If there’s one thing to say about the new Mary Kills People character Nicole Mitchell it’s that she knows how to make an entrance. That was evident last week on the Global drama when Charlotte Sullivan (Rookie Blue) debuted as Mary’s (Caroline Dhavernas) younger sister. With a very distinct look and vibe, Nicole burst onto the scene and in the process helped to reveal some secrets Mary would most likely have preferred stay hidden.
While still unclear just what role Mary and her sister played in their mother’s death, viewers did learn that may be why Mary does what she does in helping people die. Nicole will be back in the series’ finale Wednesday night, airing as two back to back episodes on Global, and may offer more insight into just what happened with the sisters’ mother. In order to learn more about Nicole and what she brings to the table, The TV Junkies recently spoke exclusively with Sullivan. She talks about how she worked with hair and makeup to give Nicole such a distinct look, what it was like building a sisterly bond with Dhavernas and reuniting with her former Rookie Blue showrunner, and Mary showrunner, Tassie Cameron.
Sullivan can also currently be seen in a recurring role on Chicago Fire where she plays Anna, a nurse that received a bone marrow transplant from Severide (Taylor Kinney). With Severide currently weighing his personal feelings and a job offer that would see him moving closer to Anna, Sullivan spoke about what it was like to join the drama and work alongside Kinney.
The TV Junkies: How did the Mary Kills People opportunity come about?
Charlotte Sullivan: I had read the script and got way too excited about it. I auditioned for Mary originally and Tassie said that I was too young for it, but she had a sister. The description she sent me had the tattoos and that she was cool, and I jumped to ‘Oh I want sleeves! I want the look to be rockabilly!’ I had such a vision for her and it is a rarity when you get to collaborate in that way.
I had a hand in what the tattoos looked like and one in particular is really personal to me. It’s not every day as an actor you’re involved in that collaborative part of it, but since I’ve known Tassie over 10 years, she was really game to do that stuff. Collaborating with the hair and makeup team was so great and they are the creme de la creme. The attention to detail was, for me as an artist, the most exciting part because when you’re working with that kind of team that is so talented, it really helps me with my work. It makes everything so much easier when the clothes feel right, the hair is right and you don’t have to do as much. That always gets me so excited.
TTVJ: Her look is very distinct for sure and I did wonder how much was on the page versus what you guys came up with? CS: I was really lucky because they let me have a lot of input, which I was very grateful for.
TTVJ: I may have also been screaming ‘No, her hair!’ at the end of the episode when you guys jump in the lake.
CS: We had that thought too on set! I have that huge bouffant and they were worried it was going to flop on my head and look hilarious. The beautiful hair team created a little pin that would come out as I got out of the water. Believe me, there was a lot of thought put into it. We did do it in one take, but they were prepared to do a few. We kept shooting the scene up until I push her and they kept reminding me, ‘Don’t push her!’
TTVJ: Mary and Nicole seem to have an interesting dynamic. What can you tell us about the sisters’ relationship?
CS: As we find out, Nicole lives at their old house where she owns and operates a salon. She’s not making a ton of money and just getting by, but she and Mary love each other immensely. They have a very strong bond, not just because they are sisters, but because they’ve gone through some really dark stuff together. They’d never betray one another.
We know that Nicole and Mary were accomplices in the aid of killing their mother. We’re not quite sure what went on, but Nicole sees it as they saved her, while Mary holds onto an incredible amount of guilt. She took the heat for it and Nicole feels very guilty that she did that because she was involved as well.
TTVJ: What was it like working with Caroline on this?
CS: She’s beautiful and perfect for Mary. She’s just a really special talent and beautiful as an artist. Getting to watch her work, I felt so lucky getting to watch her work and to work with that woman.
TTVJ: Nicole has a pretty big personality. Were you glad to play a character with some attitude?
CS: Yes. [laughs] Honestly, the most fun is when you get to play different things and not the same thing all the time, as that becomes really redundant. With Nicole it’s a different beast and you’re aesthetically thrown to think she’s darker based on appearances, but it’s just very different and so exciting. I just love that I get to do different stuff and feel so lucky.
TTVJ: Well you know that I still miss Gail Peck, so it was great to see a little snarkiness here.
CS: Me too! I loved her and as much as people sometimes hated her, I really loved her and thought she was really funny. It’s fun to make someone really flawed. Not everyone is so perfect, so I like seeing when people are messy and gross. That’s way more interesting and it’s real people.
TTVJ: You’ve also been having a pretty good ride on Chicago Fire. Did you know that Anna would be sticking around the Windy City as long as she’s been there?
CS: They were very vague with me. I knew the set number of episodes that I was doing, but I didn’t know where it was going to go. I had my suspicions and my suspicions are right, but I can’t say because I’m still shooting and right in the middle of it. They are so nice though and such a good group of people.
TTVJ: Why do you think Severide is so drawn to Anna and what makes the job offer in Springfield is so appealing?
CS: I think Anna is someone he wouldn’t normally go for and she’s not his usual type. Taylor is really funny in real life, so it’s nice to see that on screen and have him be a bit playful. He’s beautiful on the inside, a really nice guy and super sweet. I’m always impressed when people are really talented and he’s so good at what he does.
Were you excited to see Sullivan on Mary Kills People? Sound off in the comments below!
Mary Kills People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global. It will premiere on Lifetime in the U.S. on April 23 at 10 p.m.
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.