What happens when a wartime friend goes missing in London? Well, Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) of course heads across the pond to investigate for herself! Season 3 of the CBC drama series, which premieres Monday, September 16 at 9 p.m. ET, was shot on location in Britain, as Frankie finds herself working with none other than Agatha Christie (Honeysuckle Weeks). The pair are forced to work together to uncover the reason behind the disappearance of her friend.
The world of British aristocracy isn’t the only one that will be explored in Season 3. Frankie will also find herself looking into illegal boxing, the supernatural, and political fundraisers. In order to get a closer look at what to expect, The TV Junkies recently chatted with star Smith. She shared how, along with a new look, Frankie is getting more physical and more personal in Season 3.
The TV Junkies: It’s hard to believe that we’re now about to have the Season 3 premiere of the show. How did you feel and approach entering year 3 as this character?
Lauren Lee Smith: It’s always fun getting more familiar and comfortable in your character. Having that luxury of two seasons under our belt, we were able to look at them and say ‘what worked? What didn’t work? What do we want to see more of?’ Everyone has been really supportive and lovely with that, so we sat down with the writers and producers and talked it out. We talked about what we wanted to see for Frankie in Season 3 and the direction we wanted her to go.
I was really interested to get back to a more physical character. We veered away from that a little in Season 2 and it’s something I really, really enjoy about the character. To showcase that Frankie isn’t afraid of her physicality, her boxing experience and fight training was really fun for me.
We also will see a little more of her love life. Considering the time, the sexual freedom that was happening in the 1920s with the Flapper Era, I thought we lost that a little bit in Season 2. We’ve incorporated that again here in Season 3.
TTVJ: That physicality that you mention is something I noticed right away in the Season 3 premiere and thought was really cool.
LLS: Personally I love doing it. It presents a new challenge for me, and I’ve gotten really into boxing. So I think it’s a fun way to separate the character and have that be her speciality. I’m really excited, and there’s a boxing episode coming up that was a whole bunch of fun for me.
TTVJ: Frankie has a bit of a different look this season, as do you with your haircut. Was there anything in particular behind the decision to change up Frankie’s hair?
LLS: It’s always about the hair! [laughs] In Season 1, we had a hard time maintaining the red and the style. I naturally have quite light hair and quite straight hair, so trying to keep this red, perky bob was extremely difficult and my hair started to fall out. In Season 2, we decided to do a beautiful wig, but it added an hour and a half to my day everyday — which is a little insane because shooting is already between 12-15 hours.
But to go towards what we said before, when we took a step back and looked at the character, we thought she got a little too into the realm of the femme. She had a beautiful wig and these beautiful dresses, but I think the essence of Frankie is a little bit more of a tomboy and androgynous, in a sense. She has to be able to hop on a bike or do whatever, so we went with the 1920s bob. It sets her apart a bit and the color was to save my hair. We did some tests and everyone loved it, but we’ll see what the audience thinks! I know audiences can be hesitant when characters have a whole new look, but I’m hoping they are on board.
TTVJ: Season 3 finds Frankie in Britain and you all actually went to London for part of the shoot. What was that experience like?
LLS: It was incredible getting to shoot all through downtown London. We were only there a couple of days, but we really packed in a lot. I think it really made a difference too and is a very exciting way to start off the season. It was a bit of a ‘pinch me’ moment as well getting to shoot on the streets of London with Honeysuckle Weeks. She was incredible and such a joy to work with. The only thing was that it was Honeysuckle and I for the most part and the other girls were home. I felt a little bad about that.
TTVJ: Speaking of Honeysuckle, she plays Agatha Christie in the premiere, and this isn’t the first time the show has worked in some famous historical figures. What can you share about Agatha and will we see any other famous people this season?
LLS: That’s one of the really fun things about our show, incorporating familiar faces in one way or another. We definitely continue that in Season 3, starting off with Agatha. It’s a fun way to see how she’s intertwined with the story, and there’s a fun play between Frankie and Agatha. They are very similar in that they both think they have everything figured out. They see a lot of similarities in each other, which at first puts them off, but then they are forced to work together. It’s a really fun back and forth banter, and she was so lovely. It was wonderful getting to work with her.
TTVJ: We’ve been told this season makes Frankie face a family secret, and we know Wendy Crewson is back at Nora. How might this secret affect her relationship with her mother?
LLS: I love the interplay between Frankie and Nora and how it evolved over the last two seasons. What we see in Season 3 is a real, true acceptance that they are a part of each other’s lives. They are the only family that each one has, and they do rely on one another, so there’s moments of realization of that that are very sweet and tender. We have an episode coming up where once again, Frankie’s world is thrown upside down, and a reveal from her past comes up that she deals with with Nora. It’s a really great episode, with some fun twists that I was surprised about. It’s also something that, if we are lucky enough to get another season, we may see more of.
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Frankie Drake Mysteries Season 3 premiere airs Monday, September 16 at 9 p.m. ET 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.