Interview with American Gothic’s Juliet Rylance

American Gothic is a 13 episode, straight to production, series premiering on CBS. This murder mystery centers around an affluent Boston family trying to figure out who is responsible for a series of murders while trying not to turn on each other when the clues point to it being someone close to home.

Could it be the recently deceased patriarch? The wife who stayed strong at his bedside? The estranged son? Or maybe it’s the selfish, yet driven, daughter running for office?

Alison Hawthorne-Price, played by Juliet Rylance, is determined to fulfill her dreams and protect her family at any costs. It doesn’t matter if she’s protecting them from the press or themselves. She’ll pull whatever stops she needs to save their futures.

We got a chance to speak with Juliet about the mystery in American Gothic, what drives her character to make the hard decisions, and working with such an incredible cast.

From the start, “Everybody is in the frame” and “none of us know who the murderer is.”

Straight to production meant that Juliet didn’t have a chance to acclimate herself or sit down and map out the characters of the show for likely suspects. Doesn’t mean it stopped Juliet.

Every daily, script, or scene she watched, was another chance to figure out who was the killer!

“It’s a bit like 12 Angry Men, we’re all stuck in this room. And the more you stare at someone the more you go, ‘Actually you could (be the murder). You do have the potential.’”

Her character is following along in Juliet’s steps. There are possible murderers all around her and the more time she spends with her loved ones, the more she starts to suspect it’s not what it seems.

As she’s trying to piece it all together, Alison bears the brunt of the family. She’s the eldest daughter who’s taken the spot of the prodigal son, is trying to impress her mother, and has to choose between her birth family and the one she’s chosen to make on her own.

“It’s that thing, where if it came down to the wire, would you choose your birth family or your husband and your children, which you’ve actually had.”

When not trying to piece together who the murderer was, Juliet spent a lot of time watching her costars work.

As cliched as it sounds, she really admires the talent she’s had the opportunity to work with. Virginia Madsen, who plays the matriarch Madeline Hawthorne, was an inspiring actor to watch and learn from. And Antony Starr, who plays Garrett Hawthorne, challenged her to do better and make him believe her lines.

“He’s one of those actors that you can’t get away with anything on screen with him. If you say a line and he doesn’t believe it, he sort of just looks at you like ‘I’m not gonna answer that. I don’t believe you.’ Which is just…it’s really what you want. Because if he’s not going to believe it, then no one else will.”

From what we’ve seen so far we do believe it. We believe that Alison has a journey of self discovery in front of her that will show where her true allegiances lie. Maybe it’s with her mother and siblings. Or maybe it’s with the future that she’s always envisioned for her family.

The only way you’re going to figure that out is if you give American Gothic’s, Alison Hawthorne-Price, a chance and check it out yourself. Perhaps she’s the one we should be watching at the end of the day.

American Gothic premieres Wednesday, June 22, 2016. That’s tonight!

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