Canadian actress Kristin Lehman sat down with CableTV to discuss her departure from AMC’s The Killing and her new role as Detective Angie Flynn in Motive. The most watched debut series on ABC this year, the show is set to match the success it’s had in its native Canada.
Q: How did you get involved with Motive?
Lehman: After I finished shooting The Killing for AMC, which was shot in Vancouver, Canada, I thought, “I have a little boy that is starting another year of preschool and I really don’t want to move my family down to LA.” So I told my agent that I was interested in taking the responsibility of a show, but that I wanted to do it in Canada. It was just the luckiest timing ever. I heard that [writer/producer] Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist and Dexter) was involved, and that’s such a great pedigree. I got the script and I thought it was fantastic and thankfully they liked me, too.
Q: What drew you in to playing Detective Flynn?
Lehman: Daniel’s writing was so good. I was so excited to play a character who, on the page, was not trying to maintain anything false. She was not apologetic about who she was, about her strengths, about her weaknesses, her body, her age, her skills in life. I thought it was amazing to have an opportunity to play such a terrific, well-developed female character. And it was really funny. I didn’t get the whole story, I got scenes and character breakdowns. I didn’t know that Motive was going to take a “why they did it” angle and not a “whodunit” angle. So really it was the characters that drew me in right away. Angie is such a great character.
Q: A lot of people know you from playing Gwen in The Killing. How are Gwen and Angie different?
Lehman: They are just polar opposites. Gwen felt a lot of power in her tight emotional control, whether she was controlling herself or hoping to control others. Angie is much more instinctive and visceral, much more unleashed than Gwen. Gwen was so tightly reigned in and was so deeply sad. Angie is much more obvious and brash. If she wants something, she asks for it.
Q: How do you go from that more restrained role to someone who is carefree?
Lehman: Angie is more chaotic. It’s thrilling, it’s great. I have had such a great opportunity to explore so many characters, so I just feel really lucky. Gwen was a gift and my cast mates on that show were really spectacular. I feel like I worked really hard to get inside Gwen. With Angie, I am still equally committed to the stamina it takes to play her, but it’s different. I just feel so blessed that I have been able to have this very diverse opportunity—in television, no less.
Q: How do you keep track of the plot in the script? The show is very interesting and nonlinear.
Lehman: Well, the actors know everything. So we can plot through the script and say, “Oh, so here is where I learn something new, here is what influences the next set of decisions that helps solve the crimes.” As a cast, we go over it quite thoroughly. I would say the challenge is really for our guest stars. That’s the part we have noticed that our guest stars are grappling with. “Wait a minute. Does the audience know? Wait, don’t I seem guilty? Does the audience know I am guilty? How am I going to pull this off?” That’s the part that is really challenging, watching the guest stars try to get behind a character whose truth has already been revealed to the audience. It’s such an interesting show, psychologically, to watch.
Listen to the rest of the interview below. Motive airs on ABC, Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT.
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