For those who have not yet discovered Lifetime’s newest cop drama AGAINST THE WALL, you are missing out. For those that have already discovered it, you know exactly why this amazing show deserves wider recognition. Starring in the unconventional series about a young police detective who elects to take a position in Internal Affairs — much to the dismay of her three siblings and her father, all who work on the police force — Rachael Carpani stands out as the irrepressible and head-strong Abby Kowalski. The show comes from the same creative talent behind the Emmy-nominated SAVING GRACE, also known for its break-neck pace and yet timely and compelling stories. In addition, AGAINST THE WALL also offers some fun familiar faces as well as introducing some fresh new faces which creates a loving, warm back-drop for the gripping drama.
In an exclusive interview with theTVaddict.com, the show’s star Rachael Carpani shared a bit about her complex, yet fascinating character Abby. When asked what initially drew her to the role, Rachael thoughtfully said, “Initially, I read the script on a plane and the character — she’s not your average cop — she’s quirky and funny. I couldn’t put the script down.” She also happily admitted that now that she’s had a chance to work on the show, “It’s lovely and fun. It’s not a cop show, it’s more of a family drama. You actually care about every character.”
Sharing how she sees Abby through her eyes, Rachael called her “complex.” She explained, “What you’ve seen is the tip of the iceberg. She’s constantly surprising me — and, all her booty calls — wow, that’s surprising!” In the show, Abby is not your average wine-and-dine type of date, she is open about her sexuality and knows how to ask for exactly what she wants, when she wants it. But as self-determined as Abby may be in her sex life, she is much more tentative when it comes to relationships that create an interesting dichotomy – a detective “gun-shy” in relationships, but gung-ho in bed and on the streets. It makes it a fun role for Rachael.
As for the challenges, both emotional and physical in portraying Abby, Rachael revealed that she tends to find herself covered with mysterious bruises once they wrap shooting. She said, “Abby bumps into everything. I thought I handled it a bit more smoothly on the set, but when I got home I saw all the bruises, I realized that it was a lot harder than I thought!” Then she laughingly added, “Playing Abby is A LOT of fun.” She then thoughtfully shared, “The hard thing was all the physical cop work. I just wanted to get it right.” As for special training for the physically grueling role, Rachael said that most of the bigger stunts are left for the stunt people. After all, there’s no need to have her incur even more bruises after a long day playing the physically clumsy Abby!
In contrast to the bumps and bruises, Rachael appreciates that she gets to portray a cop. For one, it offers a few fun perks. She appreciatively noted, “I’m such a guy! I love anything to do with a firearm. I’m not cool and Abby’s not cool, but during her job, she knows what she’s doing. There’s something empowering about working with a firearm.”
Talking about her co-stars, Rachael described Treat Williams, who plays Abby’s father, as, “Awesome! He’s hilarious and a very funny person. I think I pulled a stomach muscle working with him. He’s an amazing actor with so much energy and such great ideas. He’s very sunny!” She also shared as to her other co-stars, Kathy Baker and Brandon Quinn, “They are gorgeous in their own ways. I was excited and nervous to work with Kathy. She’s such an iconic actress. She’s lovely, polite and she’s willing to work with you where you’re at.”
On the show, Abby has an entangled family life. She is the light that her entire family flocks around and her new job has given them pause in how to approach her now that she’s on the “other side” working in Internal Affairs. Life is no longer so simple, yet they all love each other too much to not be involved in each other’s lives and day-to-day affairs. So portraying a character whose entire family is constantly around creates a fun and, at times, tense dynamic on screen. For Rachael, she happily shared, “I love [Abby’s] relationship with her brothers! They’d take a bullet for each other, but they’ll still nag each other as well. She’s just trying to be as tough as the boys.”
Rounding out the familial/work relationships, Abby’s partner, Lina, is delightfully portrayed by Marisa Ramirez. Giving her insight on Abby and Lina’s uniquely warm and supportive partnership, Rachael shared, “Someone on set said, ‘You two are so different, how do you get on so well?’ Well, we got on straight away. I was worried and hoping she was nice and she was lovely, straight away. Honestly, we hit the jackpot. We hang out in L.A. She’s amazing! She’s this tiny thing and had to wear the pregnancy belly. People onset did a double-take when she wasn’t wearing it. You wouldn’t even recognize her.”
Then commenting on the increasingly thorny love-life of Abby, who currently has two potential suitors in the wings, Rachael gave her take on that brewing love-triangle and whether it will be resolved this season. She revealed, “A decision will definitely be made. I had no idea where they were going as both fulfill a need for her in different ways. Brody’s a buddy with crazy sexual energy. Danny is a mystery and there’s chemistry there as well. There are different writers who are Team B and Team D. In fact, they would read what the other writers wrote and it became a competition as to which boy would win!”
Despite the tug-of-war for Abby’s heart, Rachael thinks there is more to her than may be apparent on screen and emphasized that what viewers may not be seeing is, “Abby’s truly a smart woman, and she can be sweet and enduring, yet a strong woman.”
Finally, talking about what viewers and fans should be on the look-out for, Rachael teased that in an upcoming episode that a long held family secret is revealed. She said, “It’s lovely and pretty shocking. We learn that they don’t know everything about the family.”
So with that insightful look at both AGAINST THE WALL and the complex character of Abby Kowalski, Rachael hopes fans and viewers will continue on this remarkable journey and see where it leads. There is romance in the air, a secret to be revealed, and more bad guys to bust. AGAINST THE WALL airs Sunday nights at 10PM on Lifetime Television.
Tiffany Vogt is a contributing writer to TheTVAddict. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).