Sometimes the harder you try to resist someone the more you find yourself pulled towards them. As hard as Des (Richard Short) has tried to see everyone at the new hospice he runs with Mary (Caroline Dhavernas) as just their disease and nothing more, the more he’s started to find himself pulled into the orbit of one of them, Lucy Oliviera. Canadian actress Rachael Ancheril has joined Mary Kills People in the Global drama series’ final season as Lucy, a terminal patient suffering from lupus. She has been able to break down Des’ walls with her unique attitude and desire to still live a little before she dies.
After the couple were walked in on by Nicole (Charlotte Sullivan), they may need to be careful and step back to reevaluate their relationship in this week’s “No Happy Endings Here,” written by Matt Huether and directed by James Genn. Ancheril recently spoke to The TV Junkies about Lucy and Des’ relationship and why she had such a great experience joining the drama. Ancheril, who has appeared on Wynonna Earp and Star Trek: Discovery, also talked about reuniting with her Rookie Blue family, including co-showrunner Tassie Cameron.
The TV Junkies: I was very excited when I heard you’d be joining Mary Kills People this season. How did that opportunity come about?
Rachael Ancheril: I have absolutely loved the show since the beginning and have been dying — oh, forgive the pun — to be a part of the show. I really, really wanted to be a part of it but timing didn’t work out for me, professionally speaking, once upon a time, but Lucy came along and I was just wrapping up on Star Trek: Discovery. I was so excited to be able to work with this group of people and play this character who is so opposite to anything I’ve ever done.
TTVJ: Having only seen two episodes, we still don’t know a whole lot about Lucy. What can you share with us about her and what drew you to the character? RA: I love Lucy! When I first read her on the page in the audition sides she made me laugh. She has an honesty and joie de vivre that I really admire. She knows who she is and what she wants and is unapologetic about it. That’s another thing I really admired and is opposite to me. For me, she is a thought-provoking character and made me question my own life and happiness and what the concept of time is. When you’re dealing with a character who has a terminal illness it makes you think. I wonder if I have been taking advantage of every precious moment that someone in Lucy’s position would want.
For me, she’s a thought-provoking character and I hope she comes across like that to other people. The fact too, that someone like Lucy who is so full of life and destined for an early demise, is painful. She’s so joyful, but causes me heartache. She was a total gift for me and someone that made me shake up any complacently I had in my life. I hope she does that for other people as well because she’s so full of life. You’ll learn a lot more about her coming up.
TTVJ: Did you do any kind of research into lupus or patients who choose to die for this? RA: Yes, 100 percent. Every time I work with Tassie I get these characters that make me do this awesome research into them. I end up learning so much about a different person’s perspective and as an actor, that’s such a gift.
The one thing I noticed when looking into lupus, which is sort of the illness that doesn’t have a face — even in talking with the makeup department about bruising because some people have it and others don’t and it affects different organs. The one consistent thing that I found with all these people was how happy and full of life these people are. It’s incredible, they are going through so much pain and yet — it’s eye opening. The best thing I can do is try to honor these people with the power that I have. The writers were awesome too and gave me a whole bunch of information to look at.
TTVJ: Lucy and Des’ relationship seemed to be going pretty well last week but they were caught. Where do they go from here the rest of the season and what was it like working with Richard? RA: Let me start with Richard because I couldn’t have been luckier. He’s such a pro and I totally felt like a duck in water, paddling as fast as I could below the surface to keep up with him and this amazing cast. He’s just so brilliant and we had great communication in developing this relationship between Lucy and Des, along with the writers.
I hope everyone loves Lucy and Des together as much as I do. They’re such an amazing duo and I feel that they are very similar in that they know who they are and what they want, yet they’re opposite. I’d joke with Richard that Des is like the Eeyore and Lucy is the Tigger. They’re opposites, yet have similarities. The beauty of the two of them though is when they look at each other they can see who the person is beyond the surface. They see each other, actually hear each other and challenge each other. It’s heartbreaking because we know Lucy has a terminal illness. Where can that go and what can happen there?
Lucy was a gift for me and a lesson that came to me at a time when I needed it. I almost think Lucy and Des are that for each other — a lesson for each other in that moment that also teaches them about themselves. I love those two together!
TTVJ: Because I will talk about Rookie Blue whenever possible, what’s it been like reuniting with Charlotte Sullivan on screen and working again with Tassie Cameron? RA: It’s Charlotte Sullivan — the kindest, sweetest human being on the planet. She’s such a joy and an incredible human being. To be able to work with her again was just awesome. When I joined Rookie Blue, she wrote a note saying ‘Welcome to the family!’ She was like that again with this. It can be tough being the new kid and coming onto a show that’s already established, but this show, there was something magical about it and the cast and crew. I literally loved every single person and they all open-armed welcomed me. I did not want to leave. I was prepared to handcuff myself to my trailer because I just loved them.
Throughout my career, there have been a handful of people that have given me shots that have really affected my career and Tassie Cameron is definitely one of those people. She’s the one who had full faith in me with Rookie and gave me that opportunity. Whenever I get a chance to work with her, I’d do it it in a heartbeat. She always gives me challenges and they are always gifts. It was wonderful to work with her again and I hope we do it again many more times.
What do you think of Lucy and Des’ relationship? Sound off below!
Mary Kills People airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Global.
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.