When speaking with “Motive” star Kristin Lehman, there is no doubt of her love for her role of Detective Angie Flynn on the ABC series Motive, which just got picked for a second season.
Motive, from Daniel Cerone, (the executive producer of Dexter and The Mentalist), is a fast-paced, thrilling crime drama that literally lives up to its title by focusing on why the crime was committed, instead of who did it-what most crime drama’s center on.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the talented and beautiful actress who told me how much she enjoys playing a woman who can be a role model on television by wearing confidence and accepting herself for who she is. We also chatted about the twists ahead for season two and much more!
PPLA: What are you most enjoying about Angie Flynn? It seems like there is never a dull moment with her!
KL: That’s true! There’s never a dull moment. One of the things that I’m enjoying is constantly trying to have her conduction seem natural. I try really hard, because for the sake of story-telling on television and wanting to keep people entertained and on the edge of their seats, there’s got to be lots and lots of things and drama happening in this kind of genre. And I think what I find really challenging is and spend a lot of time doing is trying to make that look natural. It’s always a bit challenging in the best way to take a true genre and bring humanity to it. Make the character, certainly of Angie, sound real. And that’s always an interesting and important challenge.
PPLA: I know that you film in Canada and I read what you said in a previous interview about how Canada is slightly socially different so you were concerned about the differences in story-telling.
KL: What I meant was not so much we tell our stories so differently; it’s just that there are there are social differences. When I knew I was making a show in Canada, I obviously want to take care of myself and it’s a visual medium, and I want to appear to make a compelling, healthy woman on television but, for some reason, and maybe it could be totally psychology all mine, I just felt like I had more freedom in the standards of beauty that were set, for example; or the degree of ageism that exists on American television. I wasn’t as afraid of it up here. And again, that could just be after years of living in America. We’ve got a smaller pool of story-telling up here in Canada, so I felt like to be in one of the few chosen stories to be told up here, I could have a little more freedom. And that’s an example of what I mean by the slight differences.
Often times an actor’s process is just so internal that whatever they’re going through internally it just comes out as life. What was going on for me was that I worked really hard to have it be a woman who did not constantly compare herself to standards who told her she should be doing this or being better; a woman who is really satisfied with everything about herself, even if she still felt vulnerable about it. Not from a place of ego, but just not constantly trying to drag herself down. I found that really empowering.
PPLA: I think it’s so important that women see female characters like that on television: women who are confident and comfortable with who they are and already feel empowered, instead of aspiring to be someone prettier, stronger, etc.
KL: Yes, because it’s the root of everything. Am I enough? Can I be enough? In any scenario; scenarios that you think don’t have that echoing through them, they’re usually echoing through them. And I just kept thinking, it’s not that she doubts that she’s enough, it’s just that she doesn’t hate herself if she’s not. She just accepts her limitations.
PPLA: When you first got this role, did you develop a back-story for her? To help you think of where the traits you’re playing now come from?
KL: I don’t think Daniel Cerone really ever had those words on the page-the ones you and I are talking about- but that’s the beauty of kind of tapping into what’s not said. He gave a pretty clear outline of a woman that I think couldn’t really exist in the world unless she had a lot of what we’re talking about. There was a lot of pride in the original character that he wrote. And one thing that was very prominent for me was that it was a point of interest that she was flat-chested and wore t-shirts that showed her body. It empowers me. And it makes me excited to play that. Daniel wrote a really proud, loving, intelligent woman. It was really clear and there on the page. Those words and his character description provided a back-story into the story, for example, she had a young child. And that the rest was really left up to me. How she would have gotten there given the certain, practical things.
PPLA: Best moment with her? Or a particular storyline you found the most challenging?
KL: There wasn’t really one particular storyline that I found challenging. The stuff I enjoyed dwelling in and being part of was any scene where I was being a mother, any scene with …I really enjoyed that relationship very much. I liked that these two people had leaned on each other in ways that weren’t totally traditional. I really loved that. And all the rest of the stuff, I really enjoyed. I’m a mom so I really love that side of her. I found working with Cameron Bright great. Their bond is really rich and really rewarding. Anytime, Louis Ferreira and I are working together is great. I really enjoy it all.
PPLA: Can you give us a sneak peek as to what’s ahead for season two?
KL: We’ve got really great scripts. Our writers are really great at honing a format that people really responded to and they work really hard at looking at what has worked and why and really enhancing that. I think our writing and story-telling is very tight. For season two: very interesting twists, very compelling characters; again murders and events you can never imagine and don’t understand right off the bat. And then it’s our job, because we have A and B stories, are job as the main cast is to weave ourselves around that.
PPLA: If you could go back in time and spend a day in the life of anyone from history, who would it be and why?
KL: I would say two people come to mind. I would say Albert Einstein or I would say Buddha. I think they’re both pretty revolutionary in both scientific thought but also psychological thought and humanity. I’d be the feminist side of either Buddha or Albert Einstein!
PPLA: Anything else you would like to share with viewers?
KL: The one thing I always like to say to people is that when they’re watching a television show, it takes a crew of 60 people- sometimes more- 60 dedicated, committed, hard-working people who work hard every single day to give what the final product is, and for me I’m very proud of the people that I work with. I love it. It’s all communication and relationships and then there’s the continuation of the relationship for people watching the show. So I always like to remind people, that behind our show is a whole bunch of other people that are just really committed to making something and they help.
ABC’s Motive will return in the summer of 2014.