What’s a rock star litigator doing being a part of a newly created startup firm? That’s what viewers tuning into CBC’s Street Legal, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET, will soon discover as they learn more and more about Lilly Rue (Cara Ricketts). Lilly may be a talented litigator, but she’s looking to effect change through the cases she takes on and believes she can do that with Adam (Steve Lund) and Mina (Yvonne Chapman) at RDL. In this week’s episode, “Moving Day,” written by Lynne Kamm and directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, the parents of Lilly’s friend have gone missing and she’s determined to find them.
To get some more insight into Lilly’s motivations and her relationships on the show, The TV Junkies caught up with Ricketts. Also currently recurring as Mary on the CBC/Netflix series Anne with an E, Ricketts has also appeared on Titans, Orphan Black and Saving Hope.
The TV Junkies: What was it about this show that really made you want to be a part of it?
Cara Ricketts: Really it was because of Cynthia Dale and that Bruce [M. Smith, showrunner] was writing on it. I had seen a bit of 19-2 and just loved it. To have Olivia Novak come back and deal with the world as it is today, and to have an older woman in the workplace was interesting to me.
TTVJ: What can you share about your character, Lilly?
CR: Lilly Rue is a little bit of a rock star. She’s well-educated and has studied at Oxford. Because of those book smarts she’s overly confident, to the point of being at fault in her personal life. We get to see how free-wheeling she is, but at the same time how much a do-gooder she is and tries to take care of her family, friends and community. She may get into a little trouble though too because of that confidence.
TTVJ: It seems like the show is going to talk about a lot of really important and current topics. Can you discuss the case that’s the focus during Season 1? CR: The major case involves Adam’s mom who is addicted to opioids. She got addicted to them after having a surgery and through her doctor, she becomes addicted. When she can’t get them anymore she starts going to the streets to find more. His concern for his mother gets the three of us involved and taking on this case. We take the case to court, but find out that Olivia is also working on the case. The case itself ends up holding a really personal place for all of us, which is an interesting turn. It’s a real reflection of the times. We’re all affected by it and so are our personal lives.
TTVJ: Lilly could have been this really successful litigator, but she’s instead chosen to work with her friends. What’s her relationship like with Adam and Mina? CR: They all get along, but Mina and Adam are like work husband and wife. Lilly kind of does her own thing. She and Mina had known each other first, and Mina wanted to open this firm, so she convinced Lilly to join her and Adam.
TTVJ: I know there are only six episodes this season, but will we get a glimpse into Lilly’s personal life and learn more about her? CR: We each sort of get an episode that focuses on each character that gives a profile into each character. It’d be so great to get another season to fully explore them because in Season 1 you’re just planting so many seeds.
TTVJ: How much did you know about the first Street Legal? CR: I hadn’t seen the first Street Legal and knew nothing. I did know that it was major in terms of Canadian culture, but that’s it.
TTVJ: What was it like working with Cynthia then? CR: It was so great and so fantastic. She really was a mentor on set. Whenever I had a question or needed advice, she was there. She really encouraged speaking up too. I hadn’t done a lot of lead roles, only guest spots, so to have someone be there who wanted my ideas was great. When we first started the show, I said I thought it’d be cool if Lilly dressed a certain way and Cynthia said I should let them know. I ended up creating a Pinterest board and I had far more of a hand in my character than I ever had in a project. It all came out of her saying ‘you can speak up.’
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Street Legal airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC and is available on 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.