Exclusive Interview: Kandyse McClure Talks Hemlock Grove, BSG Reunion & More

There is something to be said about determination. It’s a rare and very sought-after quality that the regular viewer definitely appreciate in any TV character.

Luckily, the new Netflix series Hemlock Grove has a very determined character to offer us in the form of Dr Clementine Chasseur, played by the stunningly beautiful and wickedly talented Kandyse McClure who you may recognize as Battlestar Galactica‘s Dee.

Dr Chasseur is an animal expert called in by the local law enforcement headed by another BSG alumn Aaron Douglas to aid in the investigation of a brutal murder. Chasseur’s approach to her work is certainly unique and interesting to watch so needless to say, TV Equals was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with the wonderfully charming Kandyse McClure about this interesting character, the series Hemlock Grove and much much more.

Check out what she had to had to say below and don’t forget to watch her in Hemlock Grove when it premieres on Netflix April 19, 2013 in its entirety (Yes every 13 episodes will be available right away).
_________________________________________________________________

The show is going to start soon. You must be really excited right now?

Kandyse McClure: I’m so excited. It’s like giving birth. At this point, you just want it to happen.

Can you talk about what attracted you to the role?

Kandyse McClure: Well, I think first it was sort of an unspoken feeling, something that I couldn’t point to necessarily. I just knew that I was immediately attracted to the material when I got the audition sides. I loved that there was a mystery about her. I loved that she’s continually underestimated. She was described as diminutive. I had the sense that there was more to her than people expected. I loved how intelligent she was and the way that she handled being around all these police officers and all these people who sort of looked at her, like, ‘What do you know?’ She carried a very quiet confidence about her.

On day one, after getting the role, did you know everything that was going to happen to her, or was it a gradual process?

Kandyse McClure: Well, immediately upon booking the role I was given the book to read, and that was an amazing starting point. Chasseur is not that fleshed out in the book as it is in the screenplay, and I was also made aware of that. So I certainly had to wait for the script to figure out the whole picture, but I got a pretty good idea from the novel.

Then I had the great opportunity to have many conversations with Brian McGreevy, the writer, about his ideas. That’s an amazing thing because here’s this person who has lived with this character for five years. What may not actually appear on the pages of the novel, or consequently in the screenplay, is in his head and it informs the way that she spoke and the choices that she made. So it was great to sort of get into his mind and hear how he sees Chasseur.

You previously described her as tormented, determined and obsessive, to a certain degree. What kind of internal life do you have to create as an actor to embody all those elements?

Kandyse McClure: Well, a lot of it for me is finding it within myself and just kind of turning up the volume on it. We’re human beings. We have all those feelings and emotions and possibilities within us. So, I think for an actor it’s just a matter of accepting that within yourself and being open enough to sort of give it sway, let it run you around for a little while.

What can you tease about what viewers can expect from her this season?

Kandyse McClure: I think that they can expect a thrilling, cinematic ride. There are stories of lust and betrayal. Of course there’s the classic murder mystery, the whodunit of it all. I think that each character has a surprise and has something that is going to push the audience to question their own scruples and their own beliefs about good and bad and right and wrong and good and evil.

What was the most surprising or memorable moment in production for you?

Kandyse McClure: Even though I’ve worked within in the sci-fi and horror genres before, and certainly I’ve witnessed quite bloody, heinous things on set, this is the first time that I actually had to handle them as much. It was a far more tactile experience of the gore and of the horror than I’ve had previously.

Also, just the experience of working with Aaron [Douglas]. On ‘Battlestar’, we didn’t really have any dialogue together. In this we have a great deal, and forming that, using our own friendship in the ups and downs of it to inform the friendship between Sheriff Sworn and Dr. Chasseur, it’s a bit of a love/hate situation. It works perfectly for Aaron and I. I hate him and I love him. [laughs]

That must’ve helped a lot then.

Kandyse McClure: Well, the feeling is mutual. So it’s all good. [laughs]

So the concept with ‘Hemlock Grove’ is that there’s an entire season available to viewers right away, which is novel for some and scary for others. What are you thoughts on that?

Kandyse McClure: I guess I’m just thinking of the way that I watch series, particularly, and movies, certainly, and the people around me, people have busy lives. There’s so much going on. There’s so much that you have to be participating in on a daily basis. Social media alone is taking up your time, never mind your actual social life and your work and your family life and all of these things. So having it available when you are able to watch it and when you’re able to watch it as much as you want to, I think it is the wave of the future.

I might get into a lot of trouble for admitting this, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a television with a cable box. I travel so frequently that I do watch most of what I do watch on my computer and all over. So I’ve been a long time subscriber of Netflix. For those who it might be new to them, or they love the ability or the – I don’t know – comfort of knowing, like, ‘Thursday night at eight, this is what I’m going to watch,’ or that anticipation, I should say, that’s a better way of describing it, because there’s something about that, the anticipation of the next episode, but I think the world moves so quickly. The rate at which it moves is increasing exponentially, and I think Netflix is getting in on the ground floor. It’s something that I’m pretty sure is going to take over, but that’s just me.

If you could guest star on any other TV show, your pick of the litter, which one would it be?

Kandyse McClure: Oh, my God. Well, it would’ve been ‘Deadwood’ had it still been on the air. I’ve always wanted to do a western, but it’s hard to find roles for me in a western. ‘Boardwalk Empire’ is in the same vein of doing period work, set in a different time and place. I love all that production. ‘Mad Men.’ Well, ‘The Walking Dead’ is kind of along the lines, but for me that sounds like ass kicking fun.

I love Laura Linney in ‘The Big C.’ That’s the other side. Not that the subject matter in that show is lighthearted, but her approach and the approach of the writing certainly is. That kind of work around spiritual themes but in a mainstream vernacular is a good way to put it. So, I’m thinking of the now sadly cancelled ‘Enlightened’ with Laura Dern and certainly Laura Linney in ‘The Big C.’

(Top/Bottom Photo Credit: Jayme Kavanaugh (MUA), Ali Levine (Stylist), and Jean-Claude Photography – Center Photo Credit: Netflix)