Lily Rabe Conversations Tell me your secrets have that grand finale twist: Emma she’s still scared of [Spoiler]’
Weeks have passed since it premiered, so now it’s cool to talk about the big twist on Tell Me Your Secrets, right?
That was rhetorical. We’ll do it. (If you’re looking for one Spoiler alertConsider yourself warned.) As it happens, TVLine recently called the show’s star, Lily Rabe, to discuss the first season of the Amazon Prime thriller.
The dark drama revolves around Rabe’s Emma, the ex-girlfriend of a serial killer who may or may not have assisted him in his assassination attempt – thanks to post-traumatic stress, her memories are frustratingly blurry. Meanwhile, Amy Brenneman plays Mary, the mother of one of the killer’s victims. Her desire to find Emma, who is under witness protection, and get her answer to her alleged crimes becomes a twisted force that changes her whole life (and not for the better).
In the finale of the first season we learn that Mary’s daughter Theresa was actually not one of the victims of Emma’s boyfriend … she was his lover (!) Who helped him with his crimes (!!) So this is where we jumped in. (And if you want to read some recaps, check out here and here.)
TVLINE | Emma had so much confusion about what happened to Kit: do you think she ever had the idea that Theresa might still be alive?
That’s such a great question. I think so … because of what happened and because her sense of the truth has just been destroyed … Everything is so shaky for her that I feel like she doesn’t trust any of it. And because that event isn’t something she remembers until she remembers it, her sense of Theresa or what happened is in this gray area, this panicked gray area.
I compare it to water because your memory feels like a liquid. That she has these things that will come in and out like waves. And so the events of what happened are not clear, so she couldn’t conclude that Theresa is dead – even though she isn’t, you know what I’m saying? It’s like no steps on the way are stuck in her recall then I absolutely think she’s still scared of Theresa.
TVLINE | I just noticed how little breaks Emma got throughout the first season.
She really doesn’t get a lot of breaks. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Do you think her mostly as Emma? Or Karen?
Most of the days we shot Karen, they were exclusively Karen, and most days I shot Emma, they were exclusively Emma. There were a couple of days we had to change trains, but like all of – I had acrylic nails [laughs] – So it was never great for production to have these. They happened on occasion because of the location or something, but for the most part it was like a Karen day. And I remember that on the way to work I began to notice that I was going to feel this really penetrating, powerful feeling of ease and relief. I would realize very quickly that it was because I wanted to play Karen. If you think about what actually happens to Karen in the story, I shouldn’t be feeling great. [Laughs]
But in fact she hasn’t lost her confidence because of who she is and who her ghost is. She has not lost her sense of hope and optimism and belief in people. Even if she does believe the wrong people, I still have to believe her at the moment of filming, and that felt like a huge relief. I really loved those days when I could really crawl into her skin and just be her.
And so she is Karen, even though I was Emma most of the time. I mean it is. Karen’s ghost, though completely destroyed, was always there, even in Emma’s game. It was that tiny little light that was so dark, but it was still there. And so I would say Karen – although I played Emma most of the time, if that makes sense.
TVLINE | Six months after I had a baby, I did a half marathon and it was a death march. And you –
Congratulations! Was it ok
TVLINE | Yes, I didn’t die in it. But right before that show you had a baby and then almost instantly got incredibly ripped and did your own stunts. So I’m jealous at first. Second, could you please speak to me about this process? It seems like this adds a lot more demand to an already difficult role.
Yes it was. And yet it was a wonderful publication. And women are so amazing. The whole experience of pregnancy and childbirth, if you weren’t connected to your body before, after that experience you are … I’ve never managed to do things very well in moderation. [Laughs] I know it’s a great skill, but it’s like moderation and time management: those aren’t my strengths. I’m much better at all-in-or-nothing at all. But I really loved delving deep into her and going from zero to a hundred and I knew I could do it.
It was a challenge, and of course you know you don’t want to fail. But I too was determined and knew that I could do it. I knew my body could do it. And I am very wanton. [Laughs] And when I made the decision that I would do it, which was very quick, I was just there.