CLARICE: Marnee Carpenter on the Fallout From Catherine's Dinner From Hell - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CLARICE: Marnee Carpenter on the Fallout From Catherine’s Dinner From Hell

April 3, 2021 by  

Clarice spoilers

“How Does It Feel to Be So Beautiful” – Sidelined because of her harrowing ordeal with Marilyn Felker, Clarice goes to Ruth Martin to be reinstated and gets roped into having dinner at the Martin residence. Clarice sees Catherine Martin for the first time since rescuing her from Buffalo Bill and must endure an uncomfortable evening with this fractured family. Also, Ardelia and the ViCAP team try to identify the man who aided Marilyn, but they hit a wall when they realize their DNA sample matches a file that’s been erased from the Bureau’s database, on CLARICE, April 1 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Pictured (L-R) Marnee Carpenter as Catherine Martin, Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling and Jayne Atkinson as Ruth Martin
Photo: Brooke Palmer ©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Thursday, April 1 episode of CLARICE.]

Catherine (Marnee Carpenter) finally got to talk with Clarice (Rebecca Breeds) on the Thursday, April 1 episode of CLARICE…but things spiraled in a spectacular fashion.

After failing to connect in a meaningful way, they sat down for dinner with Catherine’s mother, Ruth (Jayne Atkinson)—and Catherine quickly rejected her meal, in favor of her normal yogurt. The decision led to a fight between Ruth and Catherine, with the latter attempting to run away from home.

But with Catherine pinning so much on her botched reunion with Clarice, what comes next? Carpenter shares insight into filming “How Does It Feel to Be So Beautiful’ and previews what’s to come…

That was, essentially, the dinner from hell, as Catherine’s need for comfort led to a pretty awful fight with her mother—but it also, simultaneously, felt like it was probably needed. What was your priority when you set out to film that dinner scene? And how does this impact her going forward?
Through every episode that I’ve worked on as Catherine, it is always coming from a standpoint of fighting for her and advocating for her at the same time that I’m protecting her. I think she’s incredibly strong and ferocious. And all the things I really got from her, both reading the novel and seeing the film, is that I don’t think she’d be here if it weren’t for how tough she is and how much she wants to be here and take on life. So I think just with everything I’ve worked on with her, and this scene in particular, is just making sure that I’m her advocate above all else.

I think what it means for her going forward, to answer that part of the question, is just I think she feels like she’s all she has left in her own corner for herself. So if she’s not fighting for herself, who is?

Catherine had been desperate to reconnect, truly, with Clarice. Now that the attempt fell apart, how does the experience change her and impact her recovery process?
And I think, unfortunately, it was a bit of a slap upside the head. She had this idea of at least having someone to talk through this trauma with. And you can see that they’re kind of missing each other. They both have different recollections of it. She feels like she finally has some kind of the answers that she thinks Clarice would go for, and Clarice doesn’t, and they’re not on the same page. [Catherine] thought, ‘I was finally going to have some answers. And now I feel like I don’t even connect with this person. This person doesn’t have my back; this person can’t even tell that my mother’s playing her.’ There’s just this frustrating letdown before they can actually connect. It’s frustrating. It’s like a missed boat. I think she really thought this was going to be a solution for her. I think her constantly trying to call her and connect with her…not that they had to agree, but they could at least unpack the same experience.

Catherine is not done with anything just because one person doesn’t meet her expectations. She’s going to keep going, no matter what.

Catherine also attempts to leave home this episode…
She hasn’t gotten out, I mean she goes, and as Ruth says in the episode. “She’s not gonna make past the elevator.” And I think that leads us to believe that she’s attempted it before, and failed before. So I think it’s just this never-ending cycle of trying to push herself out of her comfort zone and hope that one of those attempts takes. And it hasn’t, thus far. So I think it’s defeating, a lot of the time. But I also appreciate that, no matter, what she’s still trying. She’s definitely not a quitter. I don’t know that she ever will regret her attempts. She is someone that, as we saw in the film, will fight no matter what. She certainly never give up. So I don’t think she’ll ever regret trying, I think she definitely is crying for help. And she’s not getting it right now. So, I think she’ll keep making herself heard.

She also found out information about Buffalo Bill’s mother. As she’s doing this research, how aware is she that going down this path could become an obsession rather than a means to get closure?
It’s less about the obsession and more just the constant search for answers and solutions, because she’s not getting them. She’s not getting mental health support, she’s not getting the familial support with her mom. It feels like she is totally alone in this. And she’s doing her best to get her own answers because no one’s helping her. So I see her as really resourceful, and if someone isn’t going to help her constructively, then she’ll take it into her own hands. Just like what she did with Precious in the film, she doesn’t want to hurt the dog, she’s using the only opportunity she’s given. So I see she’s really savvy that way.

For so much of this season, we’ve seen Catherine working through her trauma. What is the balance for you as performer—especially in speaking with the writers and the directors—about how to showcase this?
To be honest, I’ve not been in a position where I’ve read something that they’ve written and felt like I disagreed with how they’ve done it. They do an incredibly wonderful job of the nuances and the different levels, and the different pictures that trauma and recovery can take. And it’s important that she’s showing all the colors, that it’s not just this one thing. And that, because she has moments of breaking down, that that makes her—she’s still strong; that doesn’t make her a weak human being. So I felt very strongly that I wanted it to be honest.

And in terms of approaching it from an acting standpoint, I’m more concerned with where Catherine wants to be, not what’s affecting her over and over again with the trauma. The only reason she’s going forward is because she is trying to work on progression, even if it feels like it’s going too slow, she’s getting frustrated, she’s dealing with panic attacks. There’s a lot. It’s definitely overwhelming sometimes. But we’ve had wonderful directors that have really taken their time with me and we wait to see what boils over. And I’m not so attached to what the result is going to be. I feel really connected to Catherine, so I’m really lucky in that I feel like through the writing she kind of takes me on the waves already. I’m not manufacturing anything. So it’s been kind of a gift to take the ride with everybody. And the writing is just incredible. They do a really, really beautiful job that I feel is honorific and truthful.

CLARICE, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS


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