Following a ground-breaking first season, Mary Kills People picks up eight months after Mary (Caroline Dhavernas) and Des (Richard Short) framed Grady (Greg Bryk) for the deaths of their patients. However, as Mary and Des dive deeper and darker into their illegal work, a mysterious woman, Olivia Bloom (Rachelle Lefevre), comes to them with a deadly request, unleashing a chain of events that unfold throughout the season.
Abigail plays Jess Geller, the intelligent, sensitive, teenage daughter of Mary. She is as equally headstrong and loving as her mother but knows that Mary is holding a secret. Since Jess values nothing more than honesty, the constant lies from her mother cause great tension between Jess and Mary.
We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Abigail. Check out the interview below.
Hi, Abigail! Thank you for granting the interview. You have several amazing projects that you’ve taken part in. Namely the role as Jess Geller in the second season of the hit show “Mary Kills People” airing on Global. Tell us more.
Thanks for being interested in chatting!
Mary Kills People is a unique, trailblazing drama about a doctor named Mary Harris who also moonlights as someone who helps the terminally ill with assisted suicide. In the world which the show is set, doctor-assisted suicide is not yet legal, so Mary must hide this part of her life to her family. I play Jess Geller, Mary’s sensitive, intuitive teenage daughter. She can sense that her mother is hiding something, and as Mary grows more and more absent, Jess is not only confused but also feels she’s taking a back seat to her mom’s “double life”. This results in a very rocky relationship with her mother. Additionally, Jess finds herself in a tumultuous relationship with her bad influence best friend, Naomi. Naomi plays with Jess’ romantic feelings, who is in the middle of coming to terms with her sexuality. The show deals beautifully with various types of terminal illnesses and poses an end of life debate that has no clear right or wrong answer. Although the show does deal with the subject of death, it’s important to note that there are also many moments of humor and moments where life is celebrated!
How did you prepare for the role?
One of the things I considered when preparing for this role was remembering how much more intense everything feels when we are teenagers. In that time of life, people are still in the process of figuring out who they, and as a result, are more easily influenced by other people and the events around them. Additionally, it was important to me that Jess didn’t come across just as a moody teenager that is upset with her mom. Rather, we also see her vulnerability, big heart, and intelligence, that sometimes end up being suppressed in order to protect herself from getting hurt.
This appears to be a role of a lifetime. Wouldn’t you agree?
Absolutely. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to play a character who is a strong, intelligent young woman, in addition to being a part of a very impactful show. One of the things I appreciate the most about how the writers created Jess’ character is that we see her in the process of exploring her sexuality, but it’s not treated any differently than a heterosexual character having their first experiences. Being a part of this show has given me the chance to watch and learn from some insanely talented actors. When you feel inspired by the people around you, you can’t help but grow and evolve as an artist. This evolution is then carried through to all the other projects I get to work on.
You’re also a writer and have penned several short films. What inspired you to write?
I started writing by accident when a friend spontaneously asked me if I would write the screenplay for a story she had in mind. I immediately noticed that when I sat down to write, the incessant chatter in my head would quiet down and I would lose myself in the world I was creating. Writing for me is a chance for me to reflect on and explore life, and to talk about the human experience in an honest way. One writing project leads to another, which resulted in me creating and producing my two of my own short films I Don’t Love You Like That and Five Things. Often times my writing is inspired by very small moments in life (eg. an awkward hello between two strangers) and then the rest of the story will develop from that little moment. I often don’t know what kind of story I’m trying to tell until after I’ve written it.
Is there any particular project you’re excited to produce?
I currently have a feature film in development that I am very excited to see brought to life. It’s a story that started coming to me while I was on a walk about 6 months ago, and has been evolving since then. The story editing process for a feature film is long and extensive, but very rewarding.
What are some of your favorite films?
Juno is one of my favorite films of all time. It was the first film I remember that really stuck with me—the humor and the authenticity of the work that Ellen Page brought to the film in particular. I also LOVE Lady Bird and am in awe of writer/ director Greta Gerwig for creating this story. She took a very popular genre of film (coming of age) and told it in such a refreshingly honest way that it felt as if it had never been done before.
What are three “Good to Know” facts about you that no one knows?
One fact about me is that I grew up in the ski-town of Whistler, BC. Another fact is that I started acting at the age of six. My first role was Gretl in the Sound of Music. A third fact about me is that I did a solo bicycle trip from Vancouver, BC to California when I was 17.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?
You can catch me as a guest star on the new series The Detail. It will be out this spring and is a fast-paced cop drama that was a lot of fun to work on. Additionally, I’ll be releasing my first original EP in the spring, which will be able to be found on all streaming platforms.
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything in 2018 I want to do ___________.
If I had an opportunity to do anything in 2018, I would love to see my feature film be brought to life! I already have an amazing team of people helping to make that happen, and I can’t wait for the rest of the journey. Also, I’d really like to take a road trip along the California coast and stop at all the surf beaches. 🙂