It’s been a long road to the screen for Tell Me Your Secrets, but the highly-anticipated drama series finally makes its debut on February 19.
Starring Lily Rabe, Amy Brenneman, Hamish Linklater, and Enrique Murciano, it follows a trio of characters, each with a mysterious and troubling past: Emma (Rabe) is a woman who once looked into the eyes of a dangerous killer, John (Linklater) is a former serial predator desperate to find redemption, and Mary (Brenneman) is a grieving mother obsessed with finding her missing daughter.
As each of them is pushed to the edge, the truth about their pasts and motives grows ever murkier, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator.
Having watched the entire season, it’s a very dark show, but also very satisfying, especially if you’re binging, but what did Rabe like the most about playing this type of role?
“I loved the ambiguity of the whole story of all of the roles, the sort of the restraint that Harriet, the creator, exercised in the creation of the world and of the relationships and of the character is where there’s so much held back,” said Rabe.
“I love watching an unreliable narrator as a viewer. Even more than that, I love playing one,” she continued.
“I had never read anyone like Emma or Karen and these two women, it was like playing two characters, but they have the same soul.”
The cast also spoke a bit about playing in such a dark narrative for an entire season.
“It was challenging,” said Murciano, who plays Peter.
“Playing these characters day in and day out was taxing emotionally. It was a lot of heavy, heavy lifting,” he added, before praising Rabe.
“I’ve never been more impressed with another castmate as I was with Lily. Lily had these incredible costume changes physically,” he continued.
“I remember watching her from afar at 4:00 AM on a Friday,” he said before saying that he was amazed by her performance.
“It’s just really impressive. I’m very amazed at how she maintained that stamina throughout the whole shoot.”
Rabe thanked her co-star and said that her character was essentially running on fumes, not stopping for a breath in the darkness of it all.
“That was something that I just leaned into instead of away from. And you sort of do feel when you’re coming home at 7:00 AM from a Friday night shoot that has turned into Saturday night and you haven’t slept in a week that kind of exhaustion just living in the bleak world of the show.
“It wasn’t until after I was done shooting that I tried to bring some as much light back in to counterbalance and equalize again,” Rabe added.
“You just sort of put your head down and get through it.”
“When you’re doing a comedy, it can be so much more depressing,” said Hamish, who felt like comedies are more difficult because they have to make the audience laugh.
“Often, I find on a serious set a great deal, more levity.”
“I think dramatic actors are a lot funnier and funnier, in general, to be around,” he said with a laugh.
“I had a thing, I don’t know if that’s ever quite happened in the same way,” said Brenneman.
“We had a really fun crew and a fun makeup and hair department, and I had a hairpiece. It wasn’t full wave, but his hairpiece and one of the first days, Matthew, who’s a really funny guy who runs the department and he said like, ‘Oh, we got to name it. We got to name your hairpiece. I always like to name it.'”
“I felt like a little bit like Madeline Stowe in The Last of the Mohicans,” the actress continued.
“So I called my hairpiece, Madeline and I had the first experience I’ve had where I feel like British people have this, where it’s like, you put on the cape and you become the character.”
“Like it became this running joke about like, I didn’t do it, Madeline did it, you know?”
“And then, and then Matthew would say like, ‘Madeline is going to the spa,’ and they’d they’d wash Madeline.”
Tell Me Your Secrets launches on Amazon Prime on February 19.
Return to TV Fanatic next week for more Tell Me Your Secrets scoop from the cast.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.