Karine Vanasse has been stirring things up on ABC’s Revenge for two seasons as Margaux LeMarchal, and playing a strong character who demands to have her input paid attention to has been a refreshing change for the Canadian actress. Vanasse took part in the TCA winter press day for the popular TV show and I had the chance to sit down with her briefly to discuss her work on the series.
– Warning: Make sure you’re caught up on season four before reading any further. There is a major spoiler in this Q&A that has to do with the mid-season finale, “Atonement,” which aired on December 7, 2014. You’ve been warned.
Interview with Karine Vanasse:
How do you feel about this season thus far?
Karine Vanasse: “Revenge is really going strong this season and the fans are really involved in what’s going on. Since Daniel Grayson’s death before, it kind of changed, reinvented every characters’ trajectory. It’s great to see that after four years the fans are still as devoted and passionate.”
Moving forward characters will want revenge for new things.
Karine Vanasse: “Yes, and they’ll want revenge for different reasons. New characters want revenge also. What’s really delicate for Emily (played by Emily VanCamp) this season is that guilt of having done all of this for years and then finding her dad. She did it all of it for him and finally he’s not more grateful than that. What did she do it for then? And then Margaux, my character, she arrived in the Hamptons, very fresh, and started a relationship with Jack and then slowly lost her dad, Daniel was killed, and now that she knows that Emily was really the cause of all of this, she’s unhappy.”
You know what they say about revenge is that you should dig two graves. Is that coming true for Emily?
Karine Vanasse: “I think it is. People see that, we can feel how hurt she is – especially with Daniel’s death. When does it stop? That’s the question: when does it stop? I think my character is like, ‘This has to stop!’ and so she’s going to do everything. But by doing everything, she’s not stopping herself either so it’s kind of a circle of revenge. It always starts with revenges, and I guess it hasn’t stopped for anybody.”
How has the show changed your life?
Karine Vanasse: “I’ve never been on a TV show for two seasons. Pan Am was only one season, when I was working in Canada it was only one season. So being back on the show for a second season is great. You see the work you’ve done and how influenced and inspired the writers have been to create new things that they maybe didn’t think of writing for you at first. And on that show they trusted me with lots of anger and with a really strong character, which I’ve never played before. I’ve always played a sweet, gentle, goodhearted character. And now I’m playing a woman who’s not afraid to say no, who’s not afraid to stand up and say, ‘No, I don’t agree with the situation.’ It’s actually really fun.”
Is there anyone on the cast who you are particularly close to?
Karine Vanasse: “Some actors do more scenes together. Like right now I’m doing lots of scenes with Madeleine Stowe which I love because last year I had almost no scenes with her. So it’s good because I feel like you get to discover new actors each period. Last season I had so many scenes with Nick [Wechsler] who plays Jack. The first half of this season all of my scenes are with Daniel (played by Joshua Bowman), so I guess eventually all of my scenes will be with Emily I’m guessing.”
Were you following Revenge before you got the part?
Karine Vanasse: “Yes, because I was on Pan Am and they started the same season. So I watched it and kept watching it for the second season also. I knew all the backstories.”
What were they originally able to tell you about Margaux when you first got the part.
Karine Vanasse: “They offered it to me and I didn’t even know if I would be there for more than eight episodes. They didn’t really know. I knew she was French; I knew she was coming to the Hamptons to start a new magazine. That was about it. That was about all I knew about that character, and that she was kind of the feminine counterpart to Daniel.”
How has the fan reaction been to Margaux?
Karine Vanasse: “When you play a character who challenges the lead, especially this season, of course some fans are going to be like, ‘What?! Get her out! She’s not nice with Emily.’ When I was with Daniel and before that Jack, they were like, ‘No! Jack belongs to Emily. No! Daniel belongs to Emily!’ And that’s the kind of reaction you want from audiences anyway. You want them to react. If they don’t react that’s not good news, actually.”
Is it fun to be the character who stirs things up and who some viewers see as bad?
Karine Vanasse: [Laughing] “It’s more fun that I thought. Yes.”
What’s been particularly fun for you?
Karine Vanasse: “My voice. I think to be so strong about what she sees. I don’t have that voice myself so I surprise myself with where it goes sometimes.”
– By Fred Topel
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