Kathleen Robertson Interview On ‘Murder In The First’, Working With Taye Diggs & ‘Bates Motel’ Fans


Canadian star Kathleen Robertson will be back on the air starting tonight in her new crime drama, Murder In The First airing exclusively on Bravo. The actress is well known for her roles in Bates Motel, Boss, and The Business. We spoke to her before about her beauty routine, but in our most recent interview it was all about Murder In The First. See what Kathleen had to say about her new show and why she (probably) won’t be making a return to Bates Motel (sorry Jodi fans).

Real Style: How was it working with Taye Diggs?

Kathleen Robertson: Oh, it was great. He’s awesome. We had a lot of fun together. You know, we’d never met each other before, there’s always that sort of hope when you meet somebody new that you’re going to work with – is it going to be good, is he going to be cool, is this going to be nice? So, he’s great and we had a lot of fun.

Real Style: You also worked with Tom Felton from Harry Potter who plays a tech CEO and the centre of the whole mystery. What’s he like as a young actor?

Kathleen: He’s great. He has quite a rabid fan following. I mean, we definitely were sort of shocked at the level of hysteria that surrounds him with people. I mean, people were very, very, very into him. He couldn’t be a sweeter guy. He has a beautiful girlfriend, Jade, and the two of them are just two of the sweetest people you could meet. I came to set one day with a friend who was a huge fan of his and wanted to meet him. Tom couldn’t have been sweeter to him, and without even the little boy asking, he slipped a signed 8×10 into my trailer for the little boy. He made his day! Very sweet guy.

Real Style: Tell us a little bit about your character, Hildy Mulligan.

Kathleen: She’s a single mom to a 6-year-old girl, Louise, and what really drew me to the role was I feel like we’ve obviously seen a lot of cops depicted on television and film, but not a lot of female ones, especially ones that are struggling to juggle that balance between being a mother and being single, and also being a cop. When I was doing research for the role I met with a woman in San Francisco who was all those things. It’s a really difficult life, having to go to work every day and see the worst of the worst of people and the worst of the world. Then go home at night and teach a child how to be a good person, to be sensitive, vulnerable, kind and all of those things. It goes completely against what you see every day and what you’re exposed to every day. So, I thought that dichotomy was an interesting one, and one that I hadn’t seen a lot depicted.

Real Style: So there’s a lot of her personal life that’s shown as well?

Kathleen: I was definitely not interested in doing a very straightforward procedural cop show and this is not that. We definitely get to explore and delve into the character’s personal lives, which you know as an actor is the most interesting part of any job that you work on.

Real Style: Is there a romance with Taye’s character?

Kathleen: Well, there’s definitely an attraction. But it’s one of those relationships that they probably would be really good together and they’re probably a great fit because they know each other better than anyone knows them. But they know that ultimately it would probably be a bad decision for work and personal reasons. So in the pilot, his wife passes away, so it’s the worst possible time to even think about something like that for both of them. As the season progresses, we sort of deal with it, and we sort of focus on it a little bit, but I can’t – I’m giving away too much.

Real Style: Murder In The First takes place in San Francisco?

Kathleen: San Francisco, yeah. It’s a great city, and the show thematically is really about the haves and the have-nots and the different class levels. San Francisco is the perfect city to depict that. It’s really clear and in your face every day, when you walk out on the street there you see it. You see this incredible wealth, and then you see this incredible poverty, and it’s very much a part of the show thematically.

Real Style: This murder mystery wraps up by the end of the season?

Kathleen: Yes, it does. The show is very much like a novel, it has a very clear beginning,  middle and end, ten episodes, just a very closed-ended story. It’s almost like a ten hour movie, if you will. The characters that are introduced in the season have a very clear trajectory. The first chunk of the season focuses on murder, and the middle chunk focuses on the trial, and the end chunk focuses on the outcome, and sort of the truth of what really happened.

Real Style: Are you hoping that there’s going to be a second season?

Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely. We all are, we’ve all had a great time. I love doing cable television and it was only ten episodes, so it was a perfect amount of time to work on a show, and it was great. I would love to do it again.

Real Style: A lot of your fans are hoping that your character is still alive and that you’ll be back for the third season of Bates Motel.

Kathleen: Yes, somebody just came up to me in the grocery store and was yelling at me, going “What’s wrong with you, why did you let that happen!” I’m like, what is going on? And then I realized “Oh, Bates Motel!” The fans are wild for that show, yeah. Unfortunately as an actor, they don’t really allow you to be on two shows at the same time, so it’s sort of one of those weird things where right now, I’m doing Murder in the First. I don’t think they would allow me to do both shows, though.

Real Style: Well, hopefully somehow you could work it out.

Kathleen: Ease back in, yeah.

Photo credit: BellMedia

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