Interview: HEMLOCK GROVE’s Famke Janssen
By Clarke Wolfe on June 30, 2014
Famke Janssen is no stranger to genre entertainment. Best known for her role as Jean Grey in Bryan Singer’s X-Men movies, Janssen has taken to television for her most recent project, the Emmy winning Netflix original series Hemlock Grove. Hemlock finds itself in a state of reinvention in season two and Janssen talked to Nerdist about the family ties in Hemlock Grove, what fans can look forward to this season and what she likes most about playing the Godfrey matriarch.
At the end of season one of the Netflix original series Hemlock Grove, things got… messy, to say the least. Revelations were made, transformations took place and relationships fell apart, most notably that of Olivia and Roman Godfrey. Famke Janssen, who plays Olivia, discussed her relationship with Bill Skarsgård’s Roman, her son, gearing up for the season two premiere, saying, “We don’t get along. I’m sure that’s no surprise but we’re not getting along. And that’s really all him, I’m perfectly happy to make this a wonderful, functioning relationship but he’s stubborn, I don’t know where he got it from, and so I don’t know. I mean, we [may] have to wait until season three for us to have a lovely, wonderful mother/son relationship or something. Fuzzy, I’m ready for fuzzy.”
What can fans of season one look forward to in the sophomore season? Janssen revealed, ”It’s more loaded because there are more secrets unraveled and things are kind of a little more complicated because the season goes and progresses. When you have somebody like Olivia with that many secrets and mysteries around her something eventually is going to come out and you know it so that element is definitely played in this season.” Janssen continued, “She’s hungry for a lot of things. Obviously she needs to sustain this whatever, this Upir-ism thing, so that’s one of the things and you know, I think whatever gets her going in the beginning of season two is very different from what gets her going at the end of season two. There is a big switch in there somewhere with a realization that she never had before so that’s something fun to play with that I had to do this time around.”
What of Olivia’s relationship with the mysterious Dr. Price, played by Joel de la Fuente? “She has a direct need to be more involved. Price really holds the key to a lot of things that are happening in the second season. He’s becoming more powerful and it’s not something that most people like but it’s a reality and he’s a very fun character anyway, so we have a lot of interaction this season, Price and Olivia.”
When asked about what was Janssen’s favorite part about playing Olivia Godfrey she revealed this about her character and the path for season two: “She [Olivia] always surprises. I think everyone else around her, including me, you never know what’s coming up with her … and because we went a very different direction with her this season its almost like playing a different character all together, so that’s fun. And its hard to know of course when you sign up to – when you sign up to a film you read the entire script. Beginning to end, you know what’s coming, you know the arc you know whatever. In the format like this where you sign on to one script, a pilot script kind of thing, and then you don’t know what’s happening in the first thirteen let alone the second or more seasons after that, it’s a very scary thing to sign on to not knowing. I just felt compelled to playing her because there was something about her where we could explore different sides, and so far we have.”
Janssen’s candid interview reveals that season two of Hemlock Grove will up the ante in more ways than one. Are you all excited about the return of the genre series? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section!
Season 2 of the Emmy winning series Hemlock Grove starring Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgård, Landon Liboiron, Dougray Scott, Joel de la Fuente and Tiio Horn with ten episodes only on Netflix on Friday, July 11th at 12:01 AM PT.