ABC’s highly anticipated murder thriller, SECRETS AND LIES premieres tonight at 9:00EST with two episodes airing back to back. I caught up with one of the shows extremely talented stars, KaDee Strickland to chat about the similarities between her characters- Charlotte (PRIVATE PRACTICE) and Christy (SECRETS AND LIES), what drew her to this role, and what we can look forward to in tonight’s addicting and suspenseful premiere.
What drew you to Christy? What made you want to audition for this role?
KaDee Strickland: I was very fortunate that they called me in, I had worked with Barbie Klingman on PRIVATE PRACTICE and she and I had a wonderful relationship. I think she was in the helm of bringing me in to meet with the producers and the director. When I read the script I couldn’t put it down and knew immediately that I had not done anything like this before- to me that was the biggest draw. I’d been coming off of a series where I had played the same character for six years and loved her and loved that process but I really wanted to do something different. I just had a child and so whatever was going to bring me out of being a new mom 100% of the time had to be something compelling. Having just had a son and reading something where something happens to a little boy. I had such an emotional response I thought I have to go sit down with them and talk about this. I had been a fan of Charles McDougall from his work on HOUSE OF CARDS and Aaron Kaplan- I have tremendous respect for. It was sort of a no brainer; I sat down with them and talked about where the character would go, who she was and who she was going to evolve into. One never really knows what they are going to get into when they get involved with a series that is so shrouded in mystery. I loved the idea that I would be playing that kind of character, and every time I got a script I got to learn who she was even more. I really liked it; it kept me on my toes.
How was going from dealing with multiple cases and storylines on PRIVATE PRACTICE to dealing with one murder and one storyline on SECRETS AND LIES?
The entire structure of this piece, knowing it was going to end in ten episodes, knowing that in start to finish I would know where my character was when this piece was done- was really exciting for me. To play a real estate agent who lives in a suburban environment and has her world rocked by this event, and her marriage already in quite a strained place with two children, two girls was something so different for me. Knowing every time I was going to get a script I was going to unpeel a layer even more about who the Crawford’s were. It was really exciting to me; I was able to focus in a different way than when I would get multiple cases. When you get a script on a series like that you’re learning with every script that it’s going to be a different event, but with this you know it’s a single focus. It’s really isolated to the experience of the characters and to this family and this tragedy. Where they go with the evolution of being followed and being normal one day then being turned upside down the next. That was really exciting, it’s just so universal. People live in neighborhoods like this, I just felt like it was so relatable for an audience to kind of go through what it would be like if this happened to their neighbors.
How are Charlotte (PRIVATE PRACTICE) and Christy (SECRETS AND LIES) different/ the same?
In the closest regard they are both born in the southern region of the country, however Christy Crawford is not played with as much southern emphasis as Charlotte. (Laughs) They’re completely different characters. They’re both women that make their own money; both very hard working and they both come from a certain breeding and educational standard, and that’s really where it ends. The core of their response to their environment and to their circumstances could not be more different, and that’s why I was so excited to play Christy and to do something that really took me out of the comfort of playing that character that I loved so much and put me in a different world.
What can you reveal about the other suspects?
I can’t reveal anything! (Laughs) It seems so long ago; there are pieces of the puzzle that even though I was there for table read I kind of allowed myself to forget so that when I see them I can be surprised. The truth is these actors that they hired are so dang talented that they would bring different things to these scenes that I never anticipated. We did shoot multiple endings, anyone at anytime felt like they could be the one.
Which character are you most excited to learn more about this season?
I’m always a big fan of Dave. (Dan Fogler) Dave’s world is a fascinating world to me and to the audience. And of course, Cornell (Juliette Lewis) because you do learn more about her personal life, which is going to be really fun. She comes on like a hammer in the beginning so to learn more about her is going to be really interesting for everyone.
What can you tell us about tonight’s episode?
Expect the unexpected because you will get some incredibly surprising information out of both episodes that will carry you into the rest of the series.
You can watch the two-hour series premiere of SECRETS AND LIES tonight at 9EST on ABC.