Laurie Fortier Interview: “Hemlock Grove is like a 13-hour independent film”

Monica Gleberman | Jul 31, 2013

Laurie Fortier Hemlock Grove

After a series of one-off TV roles in shows including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and House, Laurie Fortier found a home on Netflix’s Hemlock Grove. In the original series, Fortier plays Marie Godfrey, wife of Norman Godfrey (Dougray Scott) and mother to Letha (Penelope Mitchell). In this exclusive interview, Fortier discusses her character, what it was like working with such a diverse cast, and what might happen in season two.

Q: How did you get involved with Hemlock Grove?

Fortier: Hemlock Grove came around last year and it was a script that came my way and I loved it. I actually read for a smaller role in the pilot and they saw my tape and they liked what I did. Then [creators] Brian [McGreevy] and Eli [Roth] suggested that I play Marie, which of course I said yes to, but I didn’t know who or what Marie was until I read the book. [Initially] Marie actually appears in later episodes. It was after we did the reshoots that I was actually added and introduced in the pilot. It was really cool how it all came together like that.

Q: I know you didn’t necessarily go into the audition for Marie, but was there something about her that you liked?

Fortier: Yes, her strength. Marie is very grounded and is sort of, I don’t wanna say black and white, but she is all about protecting her daughter and her family. She is one of the more straightforward characters.

Q: What is it like dealing with the supernatural aspect of Hemlock Grove? How do you deal with that as an actor?

Fortier: [My character is] not involved directly in any of the supernatural elements. For me, as an actor, I had no direct involvement with that. But for me, as a person, to get to work on the show and see all the behind the scenes [work], like the werewolf transformation—some of the makeup and all the other elements that brought it together were really fascinating because I have never worked on a show that had all of these supernatural elements.

Q: Do you prep differently working for Netflix knowing all the episodes are going to come out at once?

Fortier: That’s interesting. First of all, I have to say that Netflix gave the writers and the producers this freedom that radiated through them to us and the crew. If they [Netflix] were on set, it was never really to give notes. The feeling on set was different from a network show, where you are surrounded by techs and they have their notes out. They would come on set and hang out at craft service. So that was exciting. I really feel like it was like making a 13-hour independent film. That’s what it felt like. We did know where the characters were going because we had the book as our guide.

Q: The show has been renewed for a second two. Since Marie is one of the few characters that isn’t directly connected to the supernatural, what is season two going to be like for her?

Fortier: I have absolutely no idea where my character may be going. There are definitely a lot of possibilities. I know that some of the people died, but because it’s supernatural that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t come back to life. We just have to wait and see what they write.

Listen to the full interview with Laurie Fortier below and log on to Netflix to start streaming episodes of Hemlock Grove.

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