For fans of Pretty Hard Cases co-creators Tassie Cameron and Sherry White, it was probably of little surprise to see another one of their old Rookie Blue cast members appear in last week’s episode. Charlotte Sullivan, who played Gail Peck for Rookie’s six-season run and co-starred in Cameron’s Mary Kills People, popped up on Pretty Hard Cases as party-girl Adeline. Adeline is under the conservatorship of her brother, Will French (Billy MacLellan), who detectives Sam (Meredith MacNeill) and Kelly (Adrienne C. Moore), along with their team, are after in an effort to infiltrate the Coyotes.
Sullivan recently spoke with The TV Junkies about how, even after working on Rookie and Mary Kills People with Cameron and White, she absolutely jumped at the chance to join the Pretty Hard Cases fun this season. She also shared how welcoming the Pretty Hard Cases cast and crew were to her, especially MacNeill, whose talent she remains “in awe of”. While Sullivan couldn’t spoil much about what’s to come for her character, and how she may be involved in the Coyotes case, she did share some insight into the development and inspiration for the character.
The TV Junkies: We’ve only just met your character, Adeline, in last week’s episode, but she seems like she’s got quite the personality on her. What attracted you to this role?
Charlotte Sullivan: Tassie is an old friend of mine and sent me the character description. I believe that originally the character was named Madeline, and don’t ask me why the “M” got dropped somewhere, but she was described as a “pansexual party girl with a heart of gold.” I thought that I’d love to do it and especially because of the show and the people attached to it. I came from a stressful work environment just before this, and more than anything, I needed to laugh. I needed to be surrounded by laughter and knowing those people, I knew it’d be a really fun, safe ride. It was all that and more.
TTVJ: What was it like getting a chance to work with Meredith and Adrienne on this project?
CS: It was magnificent. Those girls were so lovely and all we did was laugh. That sounds super cheesy and cliché, but sometimes you work on a comedy and everyone is so serious. Your expectations can be high, and I’ve seen where people weren’t very kind, and I just couldn’t understand why a comedy would be anything but a light environment. With this one, I was so upset when I wasn’t on set because I just wanted to watch and be near them.
TTVJ: It has to be hard to come into a new situation and fit in with an already existing cast. This cast definitely seems like the welcoming, fun type though.
CS: I just really needed to escape. I was at a place in my life where I was really low and I just needed to be closer to my family in Toronto, near friends that I loved, and in a work environment with people I’m quite madly in love with. For me, it was very therapeutic and I felt quite happy at the end of it. I got exactly what I wanted out of it, which was a lot of laughter and some nice friendships.
TTVJ: We don’t know much about Adeline, as I said, but we do know she’s under the conservatorship of her brother. Obviously, this leads me to ask if you drew any inspiration for this character from Britney Spears and her recent conservatorship battle?
CS: It was a topic of discussion, for sure, but when I think of Britney Spears that makes me sad. The fact that someone could be that successful, and still have no one care about the soul behind her and only view her as a commodity, makes me feel so bad. Adeline isn’t a “sad under a conservatorship” soul. She’s unlike anybody I have ever met – maybe an alien from another planet? [laughs] Without giving too much away, she’s probably smarter than you may think. That’s all I’ll say
TTVJ: Before we leave Britney completely, we do need to know something very important. What’s your favorite Britney Spears song?
CS: Oh my god, the high priestess of sound you are talking about! One of my favorite things to do is take one of her songs but turn it into opera music. I do that a lot. I had to do an audition recently and I took “Toxic” and they had no idea what I was doing. They were like, ‘what is that song?’ I said ‘it’s Britney Spears, bitch!’ [laughs] I love taking her songs and making them sound different, even if I’m just cleaning around the house then I do that. “Toxic” is pretty great.
TTVJ: Correct answer. Well done!
CS: It’s the violins at the beginning! It’s really good. And remember, at the time, people kind of discredited Britney but now it’s like she’s cool. It’s really annoying how people do that and I find it a bit nauseating. “Toxic” is my answer though.
TTVJ: Working on Pretty Hard Cases means you get to reunite with Tassie Cameron and Sherry White. What was that like to work with them again and what makes their projects so great to be a part of?
CS: They’ve been so loyal to me. The thing that I love about Tassie is that I’ve come up with things and she’s actually implemented them. As an artist you have very little control, so when you say something and they actually think your idea has value and put it in, it’s kind of mind-blowing. They’ve been really loyal to me and Rookie Blue was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. It was such a fun, singular, beautiful moment in time and any time they want to invite me along I won’t say no. They are good people and also, really funny. Sherry has written some of my favorite lines ever. Her brain is so insane, even going back to her work on Orphan Black, and she’s a hysterical, twisted writer. I just want to be a part of it.
Truthfully, when you’re around those kind of people you feel supported and like you can try different things. When I think, particularly of Rookie Blue, that character was very different than the way I did it. I recently came across the bible of the show. I read the description of Gail and thought how I didn’t do any of those things, but they let you do your own thing. When you feel that kind of level of support, then you know you can keep going. I appreciate very much how loyal they’ve been to me.
Pretty Hard Cases Season 2 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.