Continuum returns to Showcase today for a second season. TV, eh?‘s Martha Marcin spoke to star Rachel Nichols about Â algorithms, corporatocracies and other fun
Martha Marcin: I took a look at your resume and it looks like you did a double major in math and economics, then took up modelling, then acting, so I have to ask, did you envision yourself as the bad ass futuristic cop on Continuum while you were studying algorithms at Columbia?
Rachel Nichols: Oh heck no! My first year at Columbia I had visions of Wall Street and power suits and briefcases, I really had these grandiose ideas about I would go do. Everybody was reading Liars Poker, watching the movie Wall Street and it all seems prettyÂ glamorousÂ So when I told my parents, three weeks into Columbia, that I was going to graduate school they went, â€œGood for you but weâ€™re going to be out of money so youâ€™re going to have to pay for that yourself,â€ and I legitimately started modelling to pay for graduate school and then ended up â€¦ well, here. (Laugh).
Thatâ€™s interesting that you were enraptured by that Wall Street culture and now you are star in TV series that is rather ambiguous about whether or not the corporatocracy is good or bad. But Iâ€™m getting ahead of myself, weâ€™ll get to that later.
Of course Iâ€™m ahead, Iâ€™m from the future, remember?! (Laugh).
So what drew you to the character of Kiera initially?
You know I started reading the script and I was about 10 pages in and I thought, â€œHoly cow! I have to play this role,â€ because there was everything: sheâ€™s smart, sheâ€™s got a family, sheâ€™s travelling in time, sheâ€™s doing fight scenes, sheâ€™s forging her way 65 years into the past. There were so many elements to the script and I just thought, â€œWow man, there are not a lot of female characters like this on TV.” There are not a lot of female characters like this in general.
Youâ€™re right, there is a definite lack of good strong female characters on TV now, and when I find one I tend to latch onto the show.
We see Kieraâ€™s journey from the hard ass â€œProtectorâ€ of the futuristic corporate government, defending them against the alleged â€œTerroristsâ€, to someone conflicted about her beliefs and what side she should fight for. Can you could give us a little sneak peak; does she pick a side in season two?
You know season one was very much about, â€œI got to get home. I got to get home. Iâ€™ll team up with the bad guys, I donâ€™t care. I have to get home.â€ Season two is very centred around the idea of responsibility and at the end of season one Kagami had this speech where he asks, â€œIf you drop a pebble in the ocean does it create a tsunami on the other side of the world?â€ That ripple effect, and itâ€™s the idea of what I do now changing the future entirely, and itâ€™s very much about responsibility. So yeah, Kiera this seasonÂ doesn’tÂ necessarily choose a side but really has to identify the ramifications of her interactions in 2012/13 might be.
There is an inherent ambiguity in the philosophical leanings of Continuum. Is the show pro-capitalism, right wing, left wing, who is the terrorist, who is the freedom fighter? A lot of that is left up to the viewer to fill in. Do you agree and if so why does this help or hinder the story?
You know I love the scifi genre because you can get away with a lot, you know what I mean? You can make some â€œsocial commentary statementsâ€ and some â€œsorta-kinda political statements,â€ and yeah it is a very important part of the show.
Scifi fans are very intelligent and they are very articulate, and if you do something well they will love you forever. If you do it half assed they will have your head on the end of a stick and I completely support that. Itâ€™s like inquiring minds want to know, they have ideas, they have thoughts, and on Twitter after every episode you got people being like, â€œOh itâ€™s so capitalistic!â€ or â€œItâ€™s such a leftist show!â€ or â€œThat is so political!â€ and they are saying all of these different things, and thatâ€™s what we want.
Ideally you want people to be interactive and ask questions and have opinions about your show. I donâ€™t think we are one way or the other, we’re just making people ask all the right questions and maybe apply it to what is happening in the world today. And if you can do that with a show Iâ€™m all for it.
I think youâ€™re absolutely right, that having the conversation started, even if people are disagreeing, and especially if they are disagreeing passionately, it shows thatÂ you’veÂ done something right.
As a Vancouverite it is not a novelty to watch a show filmed in my city, but it is a novelty to watch one where the story is based in Vancouver as well. Do you like our city? Fair warning, before you answer, that we still havenâ€™t forgiven David Duchovny for complaining about the rain.
Listen, I LOVE it here. I have a realtor here. Iâ€™m looking to BUY here! I canâ€™t say enough good things, I love the people, I love the restaurants. My parents were so excited when the show got picked up for a second season so that they could come back. The first weekend they were here I walked 14 miles with them.
Iâ€™m in love with Vancouver, itâ€™s an unbelievable city!
7 thoughts on “Interview: Rachel Nichols of Continuum thinks scifi fans are the most intelligent of all”
Great interview Martha. Christie sent me the link. Do you also interview the not so rich and famous?
Thanks Pauline, and sorry for the late reply. I didn’t realize I had comments on here:) I interview a variety of people TV eh? But I’m not so sure about their fame and wealth status. All I really care about is having fun and a few laughs with them. Thanks for reading!
Rachel Nichols’s acting and Continuum make me puke!
I’d recommend taking Gravol daily if your stomach is that easily upset.
Rachel Nichols acting isn’t any worse than most on T. V IMHO
The show is obviously left wing. Those who claim it is “pro-capitalist” are not really getting the message/propaganda. The show presents the narrative “evil corporations” are “stealing money” from the employees…The bank CEO confessed “We stole from the pensions and pretended the stock market collapse did it.” They claim, as matter of factual history, that the banks acted alone to crash the economy with no mention of government regulations that practically insured the housing and banking collapse along with the bailouts being merely a desperate act to save the economy on the part of blindsided governments rather than reality that politicians were and are complicit in the financial chaos and bailouts are just a part of the plan whether the voters like it or not. It is particularly noteworthy that they avoided mentioning the governments’ contribution to the financial disasters since they used a bank as one of the main targets of the terrorists and banking is the most regulated IE ‘controlled by government’ industry. Also,the arch-antagonists refers to money as a finite pool. “Nobody gets a lot of wealth without taking it from someone else.” Which is a Marxist concept. The protagonist is slowing realizing that the corporations that run everything are evil and intentionally starving the people. The whole show is saying, “Look how evil corporations are! If only governments had thought to regulate them back when they had the power to do so! Also, the only reason why those poor terrorists are doing what they are doing is because their backs are against the wall. We may not like their methods (yeah, right) but we understand their frustrations.” Pro-capitalist? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
I hope you are right Effie, and the banks are regulated before we are given a sick fascist future depicted in Continuum. I completely agree with the show’s premise and Marx that someone is paying down the line for your Macmansion, expensive car, and self-centered capitalistic bubble. Thanks for the perfect analysis :)
The banks ARE regulated and the fascist future is NOW. Government IS in control of/collusion with large corporations. They are effectively one and the same now. Why do you think big Insurance helped co-write the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act”? Because they believe they will profit from the fascism. They will, until the system collapses. Same with banks and government regs. that LITERALLY created the housing bubble and collapse. Funny old big government, they create a problem and then the same stupid politicians campaign to “fix” the problem they created. They will be reelected to continue to destroy the economy and claim to be the best choice to “manage our decline”. THAT is the real continuum. More of the same. Don’t be so gullible. Also, don’t assume that you know people online, “your Macmansion, expensive car, and self-centered capitalistic bubble” was a painfully stupid line. Agreeing with Marx is a categorically, historically and morally bad choice.
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