Tag Archives: Sarah Gadon

Alias Grace: Rebecca Liddiard previews Mary’s influence on Grace’s life

Rebecca Liddiard is taking over CBC one Monday night drama at a time. At least, it sure feels that way. The Toronto-based actress can be seen in Season 1 of Frankie Drake Mysteries, which just happens to debut after her run on Alias Grace is complete.

In Alias Grace, airing Mondays at 9 p.m., Liddiard portrays Mary Whitney, the lively housemaid who befriends Grace (Sarah Gadon) when the latter arrives at the home of Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross) to work. Grace, who lived through hardship in Ireland and survived a horrible ocean crossing to Canada, views the Kinnear farm as heaven on earth and Mary as her best friend. At least, that’s the way Grace remembers it as she tells Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) the journey that led Grace to murder and incarceration at the Kingston Penitentiary.

In our latest exclusive interview, we chat with Liddiard about working on Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book and what’s to come later this season.

This is a spooky project. Anyone who has already read the book knows Mary appears to play a part in Grace’s actions. What is the relationship between these two women?
Rebecca Liddiard: Mary has also had an incredibly difficult life, just being part of this lower class, working in service, but she has lived through the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838 and her parents were very involved in it. She has this incredibly optimistic, idealistic view of the possibility of what her life could be. That lends herself to her incredible spirit that she tries to pass on to Grace. Mary gets caught up in life and her ending is just as tragic, but I think that spirit of something better and somehow transcending this life that they’re in sticks with Grace.

This is a speculative account of what’s going on in Grace’s mind, but I’m with you … I like to think Mary’s influence—if not her spirit—continues on with Grace as the rest of the story unfolds.

Mary passes away as a result of a medical issue. That must have been an intense scene to film.
Those scenes were the first ones I shot on Alias Grace and the first shots of the whole series!

How do you even prepare for that?
A lot of it is done in the moment. It was sort of a weird day. It was the beginning of the whole thing for everybody. We went to this house in the middle of the woods at Black Creek Pioneer Village and we filmed this scene. And, you just start screaming. It was really heavy.

The climax of the miniseries involves Mary as well, when Grace allegedly channels her during a hypnosis session.
Sarah [Gadon] and I talked a lot about that. How much is Mary still a part of the story at this point? I also did some recordings for Sarah reading her script in my voice so she could play around a bit. The effect is very terrifying. It’s incredible and chilling.

Alias Grace airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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Photo gallery: CBC’s Alias Grace

A full summer of programming is still ahead of us—hello Killjoys, Wynonna Earp, Dark Matter and Orphan Black—but CBC has got us excited for the fall.

The network announced earlier today that Alias Grace debuts Monday, Sept. 25, at 9 p.m. on CBC. Based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel and inspired by true events, the six episodes are written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron. The miniseries tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), an Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who—along with James McDermott (Kerr Logan), a stable hand—is accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).

Here’s a sneak peek gallery of some of the key cast. Are you as excited about Alias Grace as we are? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Alias Grace debuts Monday, Sept. 25, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Cameras roll on CBC/Netflix miniseries Alias Grace

From a media release:

Halfire Entertainment, CBC, and Netflix announced that cameras are rolling on the screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace. Alias Grace stars award-winning actress Sarah Gadon (Indignation, 11.22.63, Enemy); Academy Award-winning® Canadian-born actress Anna Paquin (True Blood, Roots, Bellevue); Zachary Levi (Chuck, Tangled); Paul Gross (Hyena Road, Due South); Edward Holcroft (Kingsman: The Secret Service, London Spy, Wolf Hall); Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones, London Irish); Rebecca Liddiard (Houdini & Doyle); and acclaimed Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg.

The six-hour miniseries is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks who was convicted of murdering Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear. Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol).

The miniseries continues production in Toronto and across Ontario until mid-November. Alias Grace will be broadcast in Canada on CBC and globally – everywhere outside of Canada – on Netflix.

Alias Grace follows Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross) and Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin) in 1843. Nancy is Kinnear’s housekeeper and lover, and while she initially befriends Grace, she begins to resent Grace and becomes increasingly jealous of Kinnear’s affection for her. Nancy eventually fires Grace in a fit of rage and is later found brutally murdered.

Alias Grace is co-commissioned by CBC and Netflix, produced by Halfire Entertainment and created by Sarah Polley. The executive producers are Sarah Polley, Mary Harron, and Noreen Halpern. Producing alongside Polley is D.J. Carson.

 

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Link: Sarah Gadon bones up on pioneer skills for Alias Grace

From Victoria Ahearn of The Canadian Press:

Link: Sarah Gadon bones up on pioneer skills for Alias Grace
Sarah Gadon is diving into what she calls “pioneer boot camp” as she prepares to play the lead in a much-anticipated adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.

The Toronto actor is in pre-production for the six-hour miniseries, which is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant and maid who was convicted of murder in Upper Canada in 1843 but exonerated decades later. Continue reading.

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Link: Sarah Gadon to star in Netflix’s Margaret Atwood drama ‘Alias Grace’

From Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: Sarah Gadon to star in Netflix’s Margaret Atwood drama ‘Alias Grace’
Sarah Gadon is going from Hulu to Netflix.

The Canadian actress has been tapped to topline Netflix’s Margaret Atwood drama Alias Grace, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Gabon, who most recently co-starred opposite James Franco in Hulu’s Stephen King limited series 11.22.63, will play Grace Marks in the streaming giant’s adaptation of Atwood’s award-winning novel. Continue reading. 

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