All in all Gail Peck has had a pretty rough go of it this season on Rookie Blue. She recently stepped aside and gave up her season-long quest to adopt little Sophie, withstood family pressure to lie for her brother Steve at his corruption hearing and has had to deal with judgement on her own character thanks to her brother’s lies. Yet at the end of the day she’s still standing and seemingly stronger than ever for it.
In order to gain more insight into Gail’s Season 6 journey, as well as her thoughts on Gail’s romantic life, The TV Junkies recently spoke with her portrayer, actress Charlotte Sullivan. We also got her thoughts on a possible Season 7, which admittedly is a little rough since “we don’t know yet, which is frustrating. But we have no idea,” she tells us. The renewal is something that’s still up in the air and the actress herself says “I have to be prepared to walk away from it. It’s been such a huge part of my life and so much has happened.” If that is the case and the show isn’t renewed, fans and cast must say goodbye to Rookie Blue, something Sullivan says “will be really heartbreaking.”
Read on below for all of Sullivan’s thoughts on Gail, Sophie, her love life and what fans can expect heading into this week’s Season 6 finale of the show airing Wednesday, July 29 at 10 p.m. ET on Global in Canada.
The TV Junkies: Gail has had quite a busy season. Was playing out the Gail and Sophie arc as satisfying for you as it has been for viewers to watch?
Charlotte Sullivan: I really admire the way they handled the adoption storyline. It wasn’t just one episode but was carried out throughout the whole season. I’ve had friends in my life who have adopted and it’s just weird because it’s not just ‘Oh you want to adopt a child? You get one next week.’ It doesn’t work like that. It can be heartbreaking and the most beautiful experience of your life, but it can also be heart-wrenching. They decided to carry it throughout the entire season and it deserved that. It’s a serious thing. Obviously you’ve seen the last episode and you know she’s not going to get Sophie, and that’s a heartbreaking, revelatory thing. At the end of the day she worked so hard but she wasn’t right for it. She wasn’t the right person. It was heartbreaking. This season was heartbreaking for me.
TTVJ: Sophie was the ultimate sacrifice for Gail to give up. How does she move on from losing her and how did you prepare for all the emotional scenes you had to do?
CS: Just like viewers, I didn’t know I wasn’t going to get her until I opened the script. When I opened that up I got so emotional because the season takes roughly 5-6 months to shoot, so that’s 5-6 months of me playing scenes with other actors where I believe I’m going to have this new life with this girl Sophie. So when I opened that script I just started to cry. Really it was the words on the page, you just feel them because you imagine being in those shoes and it would be devastating. It was really just listening and putting yourself in that position and oh my God it just felt awful. It was a beautiful way they carried it through. It was wonderful and they did a really good job.
TTVJ: Do you think Gail would ever adopt in the future?
CS: Yea, totally. 100 per cent. I’ve had friends that have done the process and it’s honestly just heart wrenching where I’ve experienced it just as a friend, but the reward of it is so amazing. Yea, of course. This whole experience is only going to make her stronger and ready for the next kid that comes along that needs her.
TTVJ: We always knew Gail was really good with kids but I never thought of that path for her. However when they said she was going to adopt it suddenly made total sense.
CS: You wouldn’t at first glance, if you had to choose which rookie got to be a parent, you certainly wouldn’t believe Gail was the one with maternal tendencies. I mean she kills plants. It was a really interesting choice for the writers, she’s such a black sheep.
TTVJ: We got to see Gail’s father come back for Steve’s trial and he wasn’t too happy with her and her decisions.
CS: He’s never happy!
TTVJ: Where does Gail go from here with her family?
CS: She’s always had to live in her family’s shadow and the reason she’s there is because of who her family is. She’s always been in the shadow of the Pecks. They are cop royalty at the end of the day. She’s had to live in their shadows for so long–she failed the academy, she didn’t make it into the academy properly–it was because who her father was and her Godfather is Chief of Police.
TTVJ: So do you agree with Adam’s [Macdonald who plays Steve Peck] assessment that the Pecks are like the Lannisters on Game of Thrones?
CS: That’s a pretty good analogy. Yea, I think that’s a really fair assessment. He’s a really smart man.
TTVJ: Inspector Jarvis announced that everyone at 15 Division would be getting broken up and given new assignments. How does that affect Gail in the season finale?
CS: I think fans are going to be–regardless of whatever happens and if the show goes or doesn’t go [for Season 7]–it’s a really beautiful episode. If we weren’t to get picked up again it really wraps everything up in a really beautiful way. We’ve all kind of grown up–if you look at the first season, which feels like forever ago–we all have such baby faces. We all look so different and so much has changed, not only on the show but in our own private lives as well. It’s like breaking up the band in a weird way but I think at the end fans will be really happy. It’s a really lovely episode.
TTVJ: With Holly gone Gail’s love life was put on hold this entire season until the arrival of Detective Frankie Anderson (Katharine Isabelle). How did you feel about Gail being interested in someone new?
CS: I have always thought ‘Why just put somebody with one person?’ Have her have this kind of renaissance, sow her wild oats and why not have her see what else is out there and not necessarily commit to just one person because she’s clearly not equipped to do that very well. So I was always open to it and Katharine Isabelle is a wonderful actress and is a lot of fun to work with. If that gets pursued and we get another season I would be so lucky to have her as a girlfriend.
TTVJ: Admittedly I’m a huge Gail and Holly fan so I don’t know how I feel about that.
CS: But listen to me OK? Aliyah O’Brien is the love of my life! She’s a wonderful, wonderful human but I don’t know if she’d be able to come back. That’s the other thing and it’s all logistics at the end of the day. She’s in Vancouver and we have to hire locals [shooting in Toronto] and so it’s about money at the end of the day which is a really strange thing since you’re making art and it has to be about money so it’s just a really strange dynamic. But Aliyah O’Brien is the shit. She’s amazing.
TTVJ: Why do you think people were so attached to Gail and Holly?
CS: Sometimes you do scenes with people, meet people and you don’t really connect properly but you try your very best to make it about the work and have chemistry, but so many things are out of your control. You either have chemistry or you don’t. I got along with her so well and I think that’s also what happens with the rest of the cast. You can see that we really get along, you can see it on screen. That’s why the show has been successful here. You can see it. You can see the love we have for each other, mind you sometimes we want to kill each other, there’s those moments as well. But that’s all part of being in a family.
But the relationship with Ms. O’Brien, as I like to call her, you can see that we got along. It felt really lovely and she’s just a good soul. She’s a wonderful, wonderful lady.
TTVJ: I recently interviewed Noelle [Carbone, Rookie Blue writer] and she was joking she wants to write a spin-off for Gail and Holly.
CS: [laughs] What would we call it? Would we call it ‘Golly?’ Hey I’ll do anything just let me know where to be. I’ll go, it sounds awesome.
TTVJ: Let’s get the kickstarter going!
CS: Can I just say the fans, the gay community, they are so amazing. They’ve been really beautiful and I’ve never felt so accepted and loved by a group of fans in my whole life. They are just beautiful.
TTVJ: So do you think if you would get a Season 7 that Gail would be ready for a relationship with Holly if she’d be able to come back?
CS: Yea, I would love that. That would be something I would love. I don’t know what they would have in store. They really do keep us in the dark and don’t tell us anything. They certainly don’t tell us too much but it’s also actually really exciting to not know. Like I said I had no idea I wasn’t going to get Sophie and then reading the script and going on that journey with her for 5-6 months and then opening up that script and it was like ‘Oh my God, after all that it’s not happening.’ Had I known that prior to it would’ve had a different emotional impact on me.
TTVJ: Speaking of your lovely co-stars, many of the other Rookie Blue cast members seem to always bring you up as the person who is least like their character. Is that true and what’s been the best thing about playing Gail all these years?
CS: I love Gail Peck. I love her so much. What I’ve loved the most is what they had in mind at the beginning may have been a little different and then they started to cater towards my personality. I would get these wicked one-liners–all courtesy of Noelle Carbone who often writes for my character–and they allowed for me to be who I was but with this cold and crusty veneer of Gail. They allowed for me to be silly and weird and strange, but I always felt like I was a lot like Gail Peck so it’s odd my cast would say I wasn’t.
TTVJ: They always say you say the meanest or coldest things as Gail Peck but in real life you’re the nicest, most sweetest person. So it’s always been in a really good way.
CS: I guess the bar is so low. This is what’s so funny is that people are like ‘you’re such a bitch on TV,’ and then when they meet me they are like ‘it doesn’t make any sense, you’re so nice,’ and I’m like ‘all I did was say Hi to you.’ The bar is so low so that’s what works for me. Gail wouldn’t have said ‘Hi’ to you, unless you were eating a donut and then she’d steal it! That’s really what it is at the end of the day that the bar is so low I can only go up from here.
What are your thoughts on Gail’s arc this season? What do you hope to see for her if the show returns next year? Are you a Holly fan or would you like to see her explore a relationship with Frankie? Sound off in the comments below!
Rookie Blue airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Global in Canada and Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC in the US.