Roundtable Interview with Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott for ‘Hemlock Grove’

– by Gig Patta

hmlkg_pds_247_h In a new TV series for Netflix, actors Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott were present at last month’s WonderCon to promote this horror-mystery produced by Eli Roth.

The series follows a couple of friends who tried to hunt a killer who brutally murdered a teenage girl. But, in a mysterious town, everyone is hiding a secret leaving anyone as the suspect.

Latino-Review was at the roundtable discussion with a group of reporters.

“Hemlock Grove” will premiere on Netflix this Friday.

Read the transcript below:

Since this is a new show, could you briefly describe your characters?

Famke Janssen: I play Olivia Godfrey. She’s married into this Godfrey family, which was traditionally in the steel business and made a transition into the biomedical. The medical institute is this white tower in middle of town. And she’s a mysterious character. We know very little about her and what we don’t know—they probably invent. She likes to keep it that way.

She has a very interesting relationship between Dougray’s character and my character. My character was married to his brother who commits suicide beginning of the story. We had this passionate, deliciously complicated relationship for a long, long time.

I’m also the mother of Bill Skarsgard’s character and Shelly, who is like the Shelly Frankenstein.

You speak with an accent in this TV show, but no one else does—so what’s going on and what is that accent?

Famke Janssen: She’s fabricated as a personality. She comes from a different background than everybody else. It seems like an Eastern Europe background, but she putting on an air of something of what she really is. That’s what the choice for the accent. She came to the United States and created this whole persona. She likes to dress in white and shows herself like the grand dame of the town. Thus she’s mysterious, dark, manipulated and strange.

You guys have a great chemistry with one another. What’s it like working with each other?

Famke Janssen: I love Dougray. I wanted to work with him for so long. I’m thrilled that we got to do that…..finally. I would not have wished for a better co-star. The whole notion of chemistry, I know that it’s just as mysterious of the chemistry between two lovers in life. It’s either you have it or you don’t. And if you have to work harder at it, it becomes much harder for the audience to believe in it.

Dougray Scott: We have a natural spark. I wanted to work with Famke a long time ago and finally an opportunity came up. Famke is a terrific actress. I think what she done with the character is extraordinary as well.

And yeah, it’s just a mystery. You just hope it works out well with the characters. It did. And it really did. You can feel it. We got along so well anyways. We became friends and I adored Famke. I love hanging out with Famke. Sometimes that doesn’t mean anything to be filming with somebody. With us, it did and brought this liveliness for the relationship. That’s incredibly important. Their relationship is on the edge most of the time.

I like the relationship they have. I enjoy exploring them and playing them as an actor.

What draws the two of them to each other?

Famke Janseen: I would say it was definitely being attracted to each other with one another’s mind. Obviously, there’s a big attraction by sexually and passionately. It’s not with them fully or completely understanding one another. In some relationships, it can work itself pretty quickly. But here, there’s so much mystery between the two. And the whole notion is that there if you want to be with one person—you can’t be with another person—especially if one is married. So whatever circumstances can keep you apart.

Dougray Scott: I want to say that his wife is vanilla. And Olivia is the opposite end of the spectrum with regards to personality. As a man, I’m always attracted to women who is challenging or interesting.

Famke Janssen: [Laughter] Crazy.

Dougray Scott: Colorful. I’ll leave crazy out of it. [Laughter]

He’s a psychiatrist. He’s attracted to the mechanics of the human psyche. Olivia represents not only a challenge and eventually becomes his client. It’s a disaster. Especially with what happens in the rooms after. [Laughter] She’s mysterious, worldly—sort of like loving Pittsburg. [Laughter]

Famke Janssen: What do you know? You’ve never been to Pittsburg.

Dougray Scott: [Laughter] What I mean is that....wait, I do love Pittsburg. Don’t write that I don’t like Pittsburg. [Laughter] Pittsburg is a beautiful city. I do like it. It’s very industrial. I come from a very industrial working class area in Scotland. So I get it and love it. Go Steelers!

They live in this introverted community until Olivia comes to the scene. For Norman, he was like “oh, my God. I want her.”

Famke, you did a lot of movies and some television series like Hemlock Grove here. Do you prefer doing something much more regular like this or being in movies—like the upcoming The Wolverine movie?

Famke Janssen: I knew you were going to dig into that one. I don’t know anything about The Wolverine. I heard I was in some trailer for a second—I don’t know. [Laughter]

I’ve mostly have done movies like Dougray. We come from a film background. My experience in television is limited and purposely set up in the past—it just didn’t feel right and was a little bit afraid of it.

This felt different, because it’s not traditional television. You had to adhere to the specific roles and rules of television like the cliffhanger at the end of every episode. There’s sometimes too much input from a studio or network in which you can or can’t do. So in that regard, it was like we’re doing a thirteen hour movie. And this was great.

In this particular stage of my life, I directed my first movie. I wanted to spend more time doing that in the future. So I thought six months of doing something that enables me something to do—and the other six months towards what I aspire to be in the future as a writer and director.

Interviews, TV Dougray Scott, Famke Janssen, Hemlock Grove