LAST RESORT’s Jessy Schram previews tonight’s “Another Fine Navy Day”
On tonight’s all new episode of LAST RESORT (finally!), the team on the island finds themselves fighting against a strange and unknown force that seems to pray on their weaknesses, while Marcus and Sam must once again find a way to save the crew and the ship. Jessy Schram, who plays Christine Kendal, gets the chance to interact a bit with her TV hubby tonight and we spent some time chatting about what viewers can expect (tonight and beyond), plus she talks about what drew her to the show, what kind of research she put in, and whether we might see the return of her Disney princess or creepy hybrid Human-Alien alter egos again in the future!
I love the show for so many reasons and I find myself wondering what was it about this show in particular that drew you to it, and made you want to play Christine?
Mainly that it’s different from everything else that’s out there right now, especially on ABC. It’s not your ordinary procedural, it’s not just a RomCom. It’s adds the elements of life in an extraordinary situation, and it plays out in real time, as opposed to in some other galaxy, it’s not a sci-fi, so it’s playing out in real time, in an extraordinary situation, with all different elements of the home life, the work life, and really about trusting your instincts. So that drew it to me, and Christine Kendal, the character that I play, I kind of looked at as representing kind of middle America. People that are left behind, when your family member or the person you love goes into service and goes away for a while. So I like playing the other aspect that we tend to forget about a lot of the time.
I find that with this show, every week there’s a small reveal or a twist that we didn’t see coming. And what I loved in the most recent episode is that Christine is no dummy, she realized that Jay’s character, that Paul is there to get dirt on her, to play her. How does that affect what we’ll see going forward?
It’s interesting, because you see Christine go through this breaking point. And she’s physical about it, and aggressive. It just has boiled up, and now it’s sporadically out there, and it’s almost like she’s very quiet in her strength, and very subtle about the strategy that she’s choosing. She kind of recognizes what the Paul Wells character is, and because she can see, okay, well this is the enemy, I accept the enemy, and now I’m going to work with it. And now that Kylie’s involved here, she is able to take guidance from someone else and trust that, and move forward. Throughout this point, there’s not just one breaking point for a person, but many, and what happens after that. I think with Christine, especially, because she’s strung along so much in the show, you kind of get to see all of the different angles that’s played. It’s like, with Marcus Chaplin’s character, you don’t really know what he’s going to do!
I’m on the edge of my seat every week!
Oh good, good, we hope that you are!
From previews for tonight’s episode, it sounds like we deal with some kind of unknown toxin on the island, so you get to have some interaction with the island folks this week – what can you tease about what we’ll see?
This episode coming up is different from the rest of the series and it reveals the true nature of some situations. It kind of puts everyone in a haze, and they go through this time period, and for Christine, she shows up in places all around the island, because she’s kind of playing Sam’s conscience in this episode, kind of his subconscious, and she reveals to him, almost his fears and his secrets and his instinct of where to go next. Even with the other islanders, you are in a situation, and the reality of it comes out through your subconscious. So Christine shows up everywhere, almost as a version of Sam talking to Sam.
How far into shooting the show are you – how far ahead do you know what we’ll see?
I’m on episode 9, which, and I guess what I can just say is that it keeps growing so much bigger. Every single episode just gets bigger in its own sense, and it’s more active and more compelling and more cliffhanging than the next, so these episodes keep getting huge, and things have taken such a twist, especially in the Christine Kendal world. So right now, we’re on episode 9, and I know only a little bit of what happens next, when it comes to the character development. They’re very careful about telling us what’s going to happen next, because they like to be able to make changes and not have us be devastated that we don’t get to come in with the American flag and save the day – it’s like, nope, you don’t get to do that any more Jessy!
You mention how we don’t often get to see the story of the family left back at home in other soldier stories – is this something you’ve put research into, talked to families dealing with it, to keep it real?
I did! I was very nervous and wanted to be very respectful, trying to learn a little bit about the home life and what it would actually be if I was the wife of the Captain or the XO. So I did talk to multiple Navy wives, I talked to people in the Navy, I talked to Seals, Marines, Rangers’ wives, so I did talk to multiple people, and in the end, I kind of got a sense of ok, well what is it like when they’re deployed? What are the main things, what are the status symbols, what are the outlines of that life, and then I kind of rounded up what I learned about the disciplines of the life, and just kind of played how I would react in that kind of situation, with the elements that I know Christine is at. One of the things that I got, a collective thing, was that it’s a choice what you do every day and how you handle things. You’ll always be thrown, but there’s a strength and an independence and you just gotta go with it!
There has to be such different research going into a character like this – you can’t exactly go method with a fairy tale princess or an alien!
[laughs] What’s hard about this is that so much of America either knows someone or has someone that’s in the service, so I didn’t want to be a fake in any kind of way. But then I learned very quickly that we’re all individuals. And yes, it’s a part that people can relate to more than they can to an alien, or an apocalyptic time period, or Cinderella [laughs].
Why is LAST RESORT a show that people should be watching?
I think because it’s interesting. it’s compelling, and it’s the search for truth. It’s the search for freedom, not just from your country, but from yourself and the people around you. A lot of people are loving that we have such strong male characters, but I personally am very attracted to the women that are on the boat, the women in Washington, the family life. I think that I watch the show and I see women in a man’s world. That to me is very intriguing to see how they handle the different situations and the clashes that happen!
Switching gears, will we see Cinderella again (on ONCE UPON A TIME)? And have we seen the last of Karen (on FALLING SKIES)?
[laughs] The possibilities for both are high! ABC is now my family, therefore if story lines allow, I can definitely switch to where I need to be. And you will see some more Karen in FALLING SKIES!
LAST RESORT airs Thursdays on ABC at 8/7c. Find out more about the show by going to their site on ABC.com.