For one of Rookie Blue’s main couples, Det. Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) and Officer Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), Season 6 has gotten off to a rough start thanks to the bombshell dropped by Sam’s ex-girlfriend Marlo Cruz. Life has thrown McSwarek a giant curveball after Marlo revealed that she was pregnant with Sam’s baby. Will the couple be able to successfully work together with Marlo to create the loving environment this baby deserves? Will Marlo allow Andy to be involved in the baby’s life as much as she’d like?
To get the answers to those questions, as well as how Marlo will deal with the pregnancy, The TV Junkies spoke with Marlo herself, actress Rachael Ancheril. Ancheril gave us her take on Marlo’s pregnancy, dealing with McSwarek fans, and a look into the bombing investigation Marlo is leading up with Dov during Season 6. Read on for her answers.
The TV Junkies: What was your reaction when you found out Marlo was pregnant? Were you as surprised as everyone else?
Rachael Ancheril: I think the first thing that hit me was how awkward that would be. When you think about it, it’s so complicated. Marlo is not expecting to return, she’s not expecting to have a baby. How do you tell your ex, who’s been shot and almost died, and is still in love with Andy, is now with Andy — how do you tell him that you’re going to have a baby? Then how do you deal with that? I was struck by how awkward it would be. I even get uncomfortable now talking about it. Oh my God it’s so awkward! I jumped right in and thought “how would I deal with this if I was Marlo?”
TTVJ: How will Marlo and Sam work together as co-parents who aren’t actually in a relationship? What struggles will they face?
RA: They’ll be facing the struggles of being new parents, which in itself is a shock to the system. You may think you know what to expect but you don’t necessarily know what to expect. There’s going to be this new little person that’s going to come out and have it’s own personality. The best analogy I can come up with is this is a wheelbarrow. You have to maintain the load and figure out a way to work together. I believe Andy is just as a part of this as Sam and Marlo are. Marlo knows what she’s in for and that this process is going to include Andy as well. I think that’s very clear. So it’s just finding that balance and being able to all three work together and sort it out.
TTVJ: What’s it been like working with Missy this season?
RA: I have always, since Season 4, always enjoyed working with Missy and the dynamic between Andy and Marlo. They are very awkward together and I think that’s what’s so great. You don’t know what to expect. There are little jabs in their back and forth, it’s girls. At the same time I think there’s a real sense of honesty between Andy and Marlo. That totally came out in Season 4 when Marlo let her guard down to Andy, and understands that you can be totally honest with her. When Andy listens you feel like you’re confiding in a friend, though they aren’t friends. There’s a real sense of honesty between the two of them. As awkward as the communication is I think knowing that honesty is there, even though it’s awkward, it makes it OK.
TTVJ: Andy was always the one that Marlo was honest with about being bipolar. She seems to have that under control at the moment. Will we see any signs of her illness surface during the pregnancy?
RA: I think after the devastation that happen to her in Season 4, literally losing everything, that was a huge wakeup. I think more the message for Marlo, in regards to suffering from bipolar disorder, is a more positive message this season, in a sense that a woman who suffers from mental illness is able to have a child and is capable at being very successful at her job and keeping it all together. When they asked me back that was the biggest worry for me, “what is the message that’s going to be going out about bipolar disorder and people who suffer from it?” Because I was so attentive to it in Season 4 and I have a huge respect for mental illnesses. It was mentioned in the premiere, yes, the doctor told her that she should stay on her meds and it’s better for the baby. I think Marlo is taking those steps to ensure that she’s OK and doing everything in her power to do what’s right for this child. She’s responsible and she’s very aware of what works for her.
TTVJ: Marlo has obviously taken a lot of heat from the McSwarek fans out there. How hard is that on you playing a character that you know people are going to hate and how do you deal with that?
RA: Season 4 was my first time being a series regular on a show, so that was my first introduction to the fandom. I had never heard of them before, pardon my ignorance. There were fans I met in person that were really skeptical of me, but they were so very kind to me and so helpful. I have fans that reach out through Twitter and they are like “we hate your character but you seem like such a nice person.” I’m so grateful to them for having that level of respect and knowing the difference between the character and myself as an actor. I’m just doing my job. I can’t do anything to change it. In real life I do like to be liked, but it’s the character so you have to roll with the punches.
I think to be honest with you that Marlo is really getting it because of the pregnancy. I hear it as well. There are people who take personal jabs and that kind of hurts. I had to learn how to handle that, but now I don’t give any energy to it and it tends to go away.
TTVJ: Marlo and Dov are leading up the investigation into who was behind the bombings at the precinct and they seem to have a pretty good lead at the end of the Episode 2. How will this investigation continue to affect everyone at 15 Division throughout the rest of the season?
RA: I don’t want to give anything away and I have to be really careful. It’s going to affect everyone. You don’t know who’s responsible, even when I was reading the script I was like “did Marlo do this?” It was a total guessing game. I didn’t know what the situation was and was talking with Tassie [Cameron] one day and she said “who do you think it is?” I really didn’t know. I think it’s going to be awesome and I’m so excited for that overall arc. I think it’s such a cool thing and it’s going to affect everyone. EVERYONE! It’s going to be great.
TTVJ: It’s great seeing Dov and Marlo working together. Will we see their friendship continue to grow and what was it like getting to work more with Gregory Smith this season?
RA: I was really excited when I read that Marlo and Dov were going to work together. I think it’s a very unexpected pairing, that they are partners working on this investigation together. If you look back to Season 4 Dov was the one that Marlo dropped her armour for and I think Dov is as good to his friends as he is his coworkers. I could be wrong, but from my perspective he roots for the underdog. He just tries to be supportive and tries to help and I think that’s really awesome. Marlo has never really had friends at 15, that’s just the character she is. I think being a little more open and having Dov there is just awesome.
Greg is such a fantastic person. I’ve talked to him about some other things regarding the business and he’s been so generous with me and so good to me as a person as well as working on set as an actor. He’s just overall fantastic. I’m so fortunate to be with that group of people. They are wonderful people.
TTVJ: Anything else to add about Season 6?
RA: A solid injection of 15 Division! It feels like I’ve waited forever to see this season. I’m as excited as the fans.
Do you think Sam, Andy and Marlo will all be able to successfully work together? Who is behind the bombing investigation? Make sure and add your thoughts in the comments below!
Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Global and returns to ABC on Thursday, June 25.
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.