Have you been watching AMC's The Killing? If you have, you're probably as worshipful as we are when it comes to the show's stars, i.e. ready to sign on the dotted line to become Michelle Forbes' bitch. The legendary sci-fi star is doing the work of her career as Mitch Larsen, the bereaved mother of murder victim Rosie Larsen.
So what we can expect for Mitch, and from the magisterial Forbes, as the daunting weeks to come, as the detectives try to find out killed Rosie, and as Mitch tries to put her heart back together? Find out:
Q&A with The Killing Star Michelle Forbes
As a human being and/or an actress, what's it like to be grieving for so many episodes on end?
You just do your job. And I sat there with those images for months and months at a time of Rosie and then you just delve into the work and let the work take over. And at a certain point after all of that preparation with your imagination it's such a relief to get to set and to get it out of your system.
Did you watch the Danish series Forbrydelsen that the show is based on?
I chose not the watch it. I think I was the only actor who didn't watch it. But I think that grief is such a delicate and precarious thing that I didn't want to have another actress' performance in my mind. I heard that she was amazing, and I didn't want to be intimidated. Also, though, you don't want to poach another actress's hard work and you want it to be the story that you're telling. But yes, I have not seen it.
Should we suspect the parents or are you two simply Rosie's parents?
We are primarily the parents but I think there is more suspicion to Stan because he has a bit of a dodgy background. I think when I child goes missing the parents are usually the suspects.
When you were preparing for each episode, did you just want to know what your character Mitch knew at any any given time, or did you want to know everything that was going on in all the other scenes?
I always just want to know what my character knows because that's all I would know, but especially through navigating grief, there was a longing to know what was to be expected along the journey. We weren't given any information, so I really had to rely on my gut and my instinct and just playing the scenes as they came.
What emotions does your character go through over the course of the season?
I think we see just about all of them. The thing that was most interesting to me to play was 'Here's a woman who is completely capable and has created and maintained this family under great stress of economics, trying to turn around a life that she and Stan had when she was younger.' She worked very hard to do that.
When Rosie goes missing, Mitch is confused by her own actions and inabilities to be as strong and practical as she usually is in life. Everybody responds to grief differently and I think what's interesting in this family is how the rhythms orchestrate with each other—how the children respond, how the father and mother respond to each other, how their rhythms match up occasionally and then fall apart on other days.
And there is such an enormous amount of work that is involved in death and bodies and funerals and papers and investigation and interrogations and information. You don't even have a moment to grieve because you're in the midst of all of this red tape of truly dealing with death.
At what point does this couple start intersecting more with the investigation of this homicide?
It starts around the fourth or fifth episode or maybe even in the third. In the episode when I understand that the detective… I think I find out in another episode that she (the detective) has lied to me and that is when you start second guessing everything. I think so many times, when people who are in crisis, you think that the people who are surrounding you, the authority figures, are helping you but they aren't doing their jobs completely. Then a lot of times you find out that the investigations are botched or they haven't done their jobs or they have lied to you. One of the great things about Mitch's journey is that she is betrayed so many times by so many different people, which further turns her head around in trying to experience her grief and finding closure because there is always another twist and that someone who has not told me the truth.
What scenes are you most proud of and want viewers to look forward to?
For me, the more gratifying scenes to play are with the family, especially the little boys and again, it's the intricacy and the microscopic way in which we watch this family fracture and how we each go in and out. I loved doing the scenes with the little boys. They are such wonderful actors and great kids and I always get really moved when they are on set so those are probably my favorite scenes to play. Oh and I also love playing any scene with my TV sister Jamie Allman, she is an absolute delight. She is fantastic and we have quite a fun time on set. She is wonderful, I absolutely adore her and there are a few scenes coming up where she helps me get ready for the funeral and they're very touching scenes as I remember, and I think we really look like sisters and that was a relationship that came very easily. So I love doing any scene with Jamie, any.
I also think that the ensemble nature of this show and the three different story lines going on, you get to step out of the family grieving and go into the complications of the mayoral campaign. I think we jump in and out of all these different tempos and all these different worlds gives it a little bit of brevity.
What do you think of The Killing so far? Do you love it as much as we do? Whodunit? Hit the comments with your theory of the crime and/or your accolades for Forbes.
P.S. Check back soon for another The Killing Q&A, as we've also got scoop from lady detective Mireille Enos!