Natalie Martinez talks SECRETS AND LIES: “I think it’s pretty shocking!”

NATALIE MARTINEZTonight on ABC, don’t miss an all new episode of murder mystery drama SECRETS AND LIES, starring Ryan Phillippe as a man wrongfully accused (or is he) of murdering the neighbor boy who (spoiler alert) happens to have been his son.  The boy’s mother, Jess, is played by Natalie Martinez, who you might recognize from UNDER THE DOME and DETROIT 1-8-7, among so many other things, and I spent some time chatting with her about what brought her to this show, what comes next, and why people should tune in!

Had you seen the Australian version or did this just come across your desk and you were interested in what you had read?  What was it about SECRETS AND LIES that drew you to it?
I didn’t see the Australian version, but when I did read the script it was one of those things where I just kind of couldn’t stop reading.  I took the meeting after reading it; I had so many questions for them.  As I was walking into the room, I was like “did this person do it? did this person this?” I was trying to figure out like, is Ben the father? What’s going on? I loved the fact that it drew me in like that. I had so many questions about everything and I feel that was what the public would get and is what you have gotten – I feel every episode I get so many calls from my family and friends all like “who did it, did this person do it?” Everyone has their own theory on it and that makes really good television.

It’s so true – I honestly have no idea where it’s going to go, and you want to believe that Ben didn’t do it, but there’s this feeling that the show might actually prove that he did. That’s something we don’t see enough on TV.
Yeah, I know!  I know, we don’t. There’s a lot of stuff – it’s kind of like a game of Clue.  It feels like I’m playing a game [laughs].  There is a lot of stuff that we don’t see on TV.  I feel like TV nowadays is getting so juicy with what they’re doing, writing, showing.  TV is great right now!

RYAN PHILLIPPE, BELLE SHOUSE, NATALIE MARTINEZWhat can you tease for us about what’s coming up?
I’ll tell you this much – there’s not much I can say, because I don’t want to give too much away, but in the next couple of episodes, everyone’s questions are going to start getting answered.  You’re going to start figuring out a lot of stuff.  The intensity is going to build.  I think by 10 you’re going to have a really, really good idea as to who the killer is.  We’re going to start to get to know Jess a lot more, go into Jess’ life, figure out why she is the way she is.  Try to get to know her more. Definitely these next couple of episodes, they’re getting towards the end, so the intensity will start to build and a lot of questions are going to be answered.

As you’re shooting a show like this, was it a script by script basis where you’re finding things out, or did they scope out how the whole season would play out?  Which would you prefer, knowing or not knowing?
I like to not know, to tell you the truth; I just found it to be a lot more interesting if I just didn’t know, like what happened.  That’s why I chose not to see the Australian version.  And our show is different from the Australian version, in a lot of ways, and in a lot of ways, it’s similar.  I just thought it would be interesting for my character, and I like being surprised.  Just like watching TV, I don’t want to know the ending.  And that’s something that I really don’t get the luxury of – in order to be able to shoot a lot of things, you have to read the whole script to know the whole the story.  This was definitely interesting.  When we got our scripts, everyone was like…I mean, we were trying to sneak scripts before they came out [laughs].  Just like “what’s happened!” We had a whole ton of fun to see who they were going to make the killer be.  Even on set, we played a lot of betting games.

RYAN PHILLIPPE, NATALIE MARTINEZWhy do you think this is a show that people should be watching and/or get caught up on?
I think one of the reasons why this is a good show to be caught up on, to watch, you actually get satisfaction.  You get to see who the killer is at the end of it.  You can allow yourself to dive into it, and be a part of it.  You’re going to come to a conclusion at the end of it.  For years, it was a lot of these open shows, you’re stuck for years and years kind of figuring out who did something.  This is a show where you actually figure out at the end who did it.

We’ve seen you obviously interact with Ryan (Phillippe, Ben) on the show, but will we get to see Jess branch out, interact with more of the other characters as the season progresses?
Yeah, you will!  Episode 9, you’re going to get meet Jess a lot more, know more about her.  She’s going to interact with other characters as well and she’s definitely going come up more and more in these next couple episodes, as we get closer to find out who killed her son.

When you’re betting with your cast mates about who it’s going to be, were you as a member of the cast, surprised who the killer is?
Yeah, I think it’s pretty shocking!  I think it’s pretty shocking who it is, and that’s all I can say [laughs].

It’s so one of those shows where you can’t give anything away!
It wouldn’t be fun if I did.  It’s such a good storyline.

RYAN PHILLIPPE, BELLE SHOUSE, NATALIE MARTINEZIt’s gotta be hard – fun and hard – to be on a show like this where you can’t even say “Jess wears yellow in this episode,” it could totally give something away!
Exactly! [laughs] Exactly!

Do you get a chance to watch TV in your downtime?
Not too much.  I get home and I fall asleep [laughs].  I do watch some shows.  I’m definitely a media watcher – I’ll get online to watch shows, because I don’t really have a lot of time to watch during the day.

What else do you have coming up besides SECRETS AND LIES?
I have I have SELF/LESS that comes out July 10th this year, and that’s going to be another twist of a movie.  It really makes you think – would you choose morality or immortality?  I just finished a pilot called WARRIOR and I just finished a movie called MESSAGE FROM THE KING, that will come out in 2016 as well. So there’s a lot coming up!

SECRETS AND LIES airs Sundays at 9/8c on ABC.  Check out photos from tonight’s all new episode and for more info about the show, head to!


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SECRETS AND LIES - "The Cop" - Ben (Ryan Phillipe) visits a prison inmate who provides information that might prove Detective Cornell (Juliette Lewis) is pushing the boundaries of the law. With the "help" of Arthur Fenton, Ben attempts to bring Cornell down, but an anonymous tip puts the spotlight back on Ben as the prime suspect, and the Crawford family finally collapses under the strain, on "Secrets and Lies," airing SUNDAY, APRIL 12 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Brownie Harris)JULIETTE LEWIS

One comment

  • Jen

    I’m excited and sad it’s almost over. I want to know who did it, but I also don’t want it to end. So. Good.