Link: An On Set Chat with ‘Mary Kills People’ Star Richard Short
“Des is absolutely a grounded realist, and as far as he’s concerned, that would probably mean that he’s an atheist or an agnostic. It’s clinical, it’s based in science. There’s compassion, but once there’s a dead body, it’s a dead body. That’s not being unfeeling toward the client. Religion is an important point to raise because we’re talking about a show in which some of the people asking for this [assistance] will be deeply religious, and you have to respect that.” Continue reading.
“We’re not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just trying build a place where the debate can happen.” That, says Caroline Dhavernas, is at the heart of Mary Kills People, Global’s newest original drama.
Debuting Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the network, Mary Kills People will certainly elicit discussion about the subject matter. Dhavernas is Dr. Mary Harris, an emergency room doctor and mother who—with the help of her friend Des Bennett (Richard Short, Covert Affairs)—assists those who want to die. Mary struggles to keep her two careers in order while keeping her night job a secret from her family as the authorities—led by Det. Frank Gaines (Lyriq Bent, Shoot the Messenger)—investigates her. Add to that Mary’s intense feelings for a terminal patient named Joel (Jay Ryan, Beauty and the Beast) and her plate is full. (Look for Bitten‘s Greg Bryk, Rookie Blue‘s Matt Gordon and Charlotte Sullivan, and InSecurity‘s Grace Lynn Kung in key roles.)
Created by Tara Armstrong and executive-produced by Tassie and Amy Cameron alongside Armstrong, Jocelyn Hamilton and director Holly Dale, the six-part event provides plenty of dark comedy to go along with the serious subject matter. (That’s 19-2‘s Adrian Holmes in the opening twisted, gruesomely giddy opening scene.)
We spoke to Dhavernas about her character, the subject matter and where the show goes in the next six episodes.
Can you give me some background on Mary?
Caroline Dhavernas: She’s an ER doctor and a mom. She has this side gig where she assists people in their wish to die. Of course, it’s completely illegal and she will get in trouble for it. It comes from a place of compassion, really, because she has been very close to people who have had to make that decision and she deeply understands where that desire comes from. She doesn’t judge it and she also knows it’s not about her.
It’s a very emotional debate and there is a lot of grey zone. It becomes a lot about not knowing what death is all about because no one has come back to say what it is. We’re very afraid to send people over the edge because it almost feels like pushing them into a place that’s too dangerous. But the place these people are in is so damaging to them that they would rather go to the unknown. I think she gets all that. Not everyone does, and that’s why she gets into real trouble. What’s fascinating about this show is that we’re not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just trying build a place where the debate can happen. It’s fascinating subject matter and a great part. There are a lot of levels to play.
Where do you stand on the debate of doctor-assisted suicide?
I’m on Mary’s side. [Laughs.] It’s good, as a society, to have both sides to the discussion and hear what everyone else has to say. The more you talk about it, the more you know where you stand. If anything, this solidified how I feel about it.
Describe Mary’s relationship with Des.
We don’t really explain where they’re coming from, but I’m pretty sure they went to school together and have been friends forever. Des is going through a hard time because he’s done things that are very wrong for a doctor to do and she is trying to include him in all this and make him feel like a doctor again. They’re in this together and they have a very strong bond.
How many people know what Mary is doing? I feel like she’s going to get caught soon.
It is very illegal, so she will get in trouble for it. She is trying to not let too many people know but these people have families and diaries that she can’t control. Mary has one partner at the hospital, a nurse named Annie, who sees who needs help and meets with people who are asking for that help.
Related: Our podcast chat with Mary Kills People creator Tara Armstrong, executive producer Tassie Cameron and co-producer Marsha Greene
What were your first thoughts when you read the script?
I like bold, daring subject matter and this is certainly that. I like the fact that we’re not judging anything. And, also, a strong female lead is so rare still. The director is female, the writers are female as well … that is so rare and it’s so great to be part of this team. When I met with everyone there was an immediate connection. I’d never worked with Holly Dale before, but when she showed me the mood boards and the water theme … visually it’s going to be stunning as well.
Mary Kills People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.
It sure is that, on several levels. It is also remarkably assured, droll and adult. It’s very smart and utterly intriguing. Watch episode one and you’re sucked into anticipating the second hour with pleasure. Continue reading.
From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:
Caroline Dhavernas on her new series, Mary Kills People
“I’m really happy you’re bringing that up because it can seem like a depressing subject matter. The writers were smart to see that it’s part of life to have these moments of darkness [followed by] laughter because of the density. It’s like a funeral. So many times I’ve been to funerals and then never felt as alive as I do after. We rarely talk about death. When we’re so close to it, we’re reminded how privileged we are to be here and be healthy.” Continue reading.
Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Marsha Greene
“But I do see the importance of women having showrunner power. The female showrunners I’ve worked with are treated with a lot of respect in the room. They don’t have to demand to have their ideas heard or valued, because it comes with the job. Having said that, I imagine those are all things they dealt with en route to getting that job. So I think I’ve gotten to reap the benefits of their hard work, because my experiences have been working for women who are generous, encouraging and supportive of other female writers.” Continue reading.
Global’s provocative original drama Mary Kills People premieres Wednesday, January 25 at 9 P.M. ET/PT
Network Releases a Sneak Peek of the Series Today, Followed by the Full First Episode Available January 21 on GlobalTV.com
Go Behind the Scenes of Mary Kills People in the Exclusive Video Featuring the Series’ Female-Led Creative Team
Emotion, adrenaline, and drama are at the forefront of Global’s compelling new original series Mary Kills People. The highly anticipated, six-part event series starring Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Mary Harris, an ER doctor with a secret side job, premieres Wednesday, January 25 at 9p.m. ET/PT. From Entertainment One (eOne) and Cameron Pictures Inc, the emotionally-charged series is developed by an outstanding female led creative team including Creator/Co-Executive Producer Tara Armstrong, Executive Producers Tassie Cameron and Amy Cameron, and Director/Co-Executive Producer Holly Dale.
In anticipation of the series launch, Global is releasing the first five minutes of the premiere today (Wednesday, January 18) on GlobalTV.com. The sneak peek introduces viewers to Mary’s world as an ER doctor, who also moonlights as an underground angel of death — helping terminally ill patients who want to die and slip away on their own terms. Following the sneak peek, viewers get a chance to watch the full first episode on GlobalTV.com, Global Go, and on demand beginning January 21.
Leading up to the series premiere, GlobalTV.com delivers viewers exclusive Mary Kills People content, including weekly digital vignettes inspired by different episodes of the series. Kicking off the digital vignettes is a behind the scenes look at the women behind Mary Kills People, and explores what initially drew this female-led creative team to the compelling series.
Mary Kills People follows Dr. Mary Harris (Dhavernas), an overworked single mother and ER doctor, that lives a double life helping terminally ill patients with assisted deaths. So far Mary has managed to stay under the radar but her double life is getting complicated.
Set in the morally grey world of assisted death, the series follows Mary’s exploits as she balances the needs of her family and her day job with helping terminal patients end their lives on their terms…all while eluding the police, who are determined to bring her down. The premiere episode begins when Mary becomes romantically involved with an attractive patient that sets off a chain of events that could destroy her life, her family, and her career.
Viewers who miss Global’s gripping premiere episode can catch up on GlobalTV.com and Global Go following the broadcast the next day.
Mary Kills People is produced by eOne and Cameron Pictures Inc., in association with Corus Entertainment, and with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. The series is executive produced by Tassie Cameron, Amy Cameron, Tecca Crosby and Holly Dale. Tara Armstrong is Co-Executive Producer. Tashi Bieler serves as the Executive in Charge of Production for eOne and Norman Denver is Producer.