Hello there 🙂
Lily Rabe is the queen of thrillers (American horror story and The undosomeone?). She is also the queen of quirky, romantic dresses. (The proof is in those The vampire's wife and Batsheva Numbers.) For those two reasons, we've long loved seeing the actress on and off the screen. Fortunately, we're getting another generous helping this month with the premiere of Rabe's latest project. Tell me your secrets and their corresponding press appearances – both of which, as I can testify, do not disappoint.
When you've devoured The undo– Let's face it, who doesn't? – You will want to adjust to it Tell me your secrets, an equally delicious suspense drama that revolves around a trio of questionable characters. The main actors are Emma (Raven), who once loved a dangerous murderer, Mary (Amy Brenneman), a grieving mother who will stop at nothing to find her daughter's killer, and John (Hamish Linklater), a former serial rapist, seeking redemption. How they relate to one another and the truth of their dirty past comes to light in 10 gripping episodes. In short, it's an exhilarating roller coaster ride where you can guess who is actually good and bad until the last few minutes.
I sat down with Rabe on Zoom to talk about the show (no spoilers!), What makes a great thriller, and the success of The undo, and how her character Sylvia's own incredible coat moment came about.
Here you are with two delicious back-to-back thrillers, The undo and now Tell me your secrets. What do you think makes a great exciting TV series?
I think something that is so important to a great thriller is that you really have to take care of the characters and invest in the relationships. And I think you have to have a great voice at the top of the show, whether it's the director or the writer, or sometimes it's the same person doing both. However, it's so important to have a specific lens through which you experience the story.
So with The undo and Tell me your secretsWhat were these specific elements that really caught your eye?
With The undoSusanne Bier was always someone I wanted to work with. I think she's such a brilliant filmmaker and storyteller, and I loved that she would direct the whole play and tell it with her at the helm. I was so interested in her exploring this Upper East Side world and seeing these characters through their eyes. And then with Tell me your secretsIt was Harriet Warner who wrote and is the show's creator, and I found her voice so unique and the way she takes care of her characters and relationships is all meticulous. Nobody is ever a throwaway character or just a slide. I think Harriet is also very reluctant to write, where the audience is treated with great respect and you are never spooned. And the same with The undo. I love that as a spectator. I don't like shows where there is a lot of hand held. I like being trusted by the show. I felt that this is very true of both projects.
Another continuous line from The undo and Tell me your secrets is executive producer Bruna Papandrea. You have now personally worked with Papandrea on three projects. What's stopping you from coming back?
I met Bruna at a movie called All good things that Andrew Jarecki directed with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. I loved her back then and am so grateful that my path always leads me to her. I'm just a real fan of repeat business with the right person. I love having a creative shortcut with someone and I love finding people who share a sensitivity and I'm so glad Bruna is one of those people who is now becoming someone I hopefully always will be with will work together again. I feel like if you cross that threshold three times you say, "Okay, this is someone I'll just get on with because it's so satisfying to build that trust with someone and then keep working together." I think Bruna, especially with these women-driven stories, is so fearless, and I love the stories she wants to bring to the world as both a viewer and an actress. As a producer, she is incredibly caring and supportive. It's always about work. It is always about supporting the voices that it gives space and shedding light on them.
There was so much hype The undo At the end of last year. Who saw you surprised / excited the most, was a fan of the show?
Oh God. This is not a public person, but many of my girlfriends fathers were obsessed with the show. Some of the fathers I knew and some I didn't, and I received email redirects and screenshots of text from their fathers who were all just deeply invested in their theories and wanted answers. That happened often enough when I said, "Oh, that's a little bit."
Nicole Kidman's coats were a big issue The undobut Sylvia was not without her own chic fashion moments. Do you have a favorite look from the show?
She has runner-up. I got a lot of texts about this coat like: “What is this coat? What season is it? Did you keep it Where can i get this Would you be mad if I got one too? “Signe Sejlund, the costume designer, is such a genius and as incredibly chic as a woman and so detailed, so collaborative, so specific that she doesn't compromise. I just loved working with her. I remember the first day I was shooting. We had to make a very quick decision because [the director] I got a recording that I think might not have been on the schedule initially, so we didn't have time to adjust properly. I landed in New York and ran to shoot. It was an outdoor shot and we had to choose the coat, and there was this row of camel coats and we both landed on the same one immediately, put it on, and put it on. I think I picked the sunglasses. I said, "What are these sunglasses?" She passed them off of her head as I walked out the door. I think they were Celine. And my coat was Max Mara.
Let's talk about Secrets. As a viewer, you want to like Emma but keep questioning her innocence throughout the 10 episodes. What about this character who jumped sideways on you?
Well, in many ways. I'm always interested in some kind of unreliable narrator. This is something that happened in The undo, also where every single person is interviewed. in the Tell me your secretsIt is not clear with either of them [the characters] on the way, who can be trusted and who is somehow good, bad, in between. It lives in the gray area of these moral questions, who is in the light and who is in the dark. I think everyone is in both places and that is what is really compelling. It's not about creating a bunch of personable characters in both shows. It's about creating compelling characters. For Emma, not only is she someone who shouldn't be trusted, but she doesn't trust herself either. So [she’s] having to fight that. She tries to make decisions and move forward, yet she doesn't trust anyone. And that's so full and specific and a wonderful thing to get into playing.
I want to go back to the dressing room for a moment because that's such a big part of character development. Are you someone who enjoys being involved in these creative decisions?
In every sense. It's such an important part of it. It is so important to work with the costume designer and that way be part of every decision because, like in our daily life, whether or not you care about clothes is part of our self-expression. No matter what it means to you, you put it on your body. So this is an integral part of building a character and expressing a character and moving through the world as that character. To the Tell me your secretsThe costume designer is actually someone I worked with before. Her name is Elizabeth Warn. We had made a film together called Miss Stevens. I loved her and recommended her for the job. I said, "I just feel like this is the right person for the job." [she and Harriet] had a huge connection and she got it so completely.[[[[The undo and Tell me your secrets Characters]couldn't be more different – where Sylvia is probably wearing thousands of dollars in clothing at any given time, Emma is probably wearing a total of $ 3 on her body. But that's part of it too. Just as Sylvia won't compromise, Emma's the other side of the coin. This is not a person who has money so I can't walk around in jeans that are $ 100. Finding the things that were authentic and digging through piles was what Elizabeth did. Something about Emma that was really challenging in a wonderful way is when I go to Pete's cabin. Many of the clothes I wear are his. [We had to] find clothes that don't suit me and that are men's clothes. The difference between Emma and Karen, we had to work so closely together on that, and [Elizabeth] was just awesome every step of the way.
consequences Tell me your secretsYou have the Barry Jenkins limited series The subway comes later this spring. Can you tell me about your work on this project and your character Ethel Wells?
Yeah, that was an amazing piece to shoot and be a part of and Barry is so brilliant. You know that was a book I loved and I was so excited to be part of Barry's telling of this story and its adaptation, and the role is incredible. I don't know what is or is not locked up about this show, but I can't wait for it to be shared with the world. Working with Barry has been one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life.
You don't seem to let the virtual press days deter you from a fashionable moment. I loved the way you look The undo Tour that included some quirky The Vampire & # 39; s Wife numbers. How do you approach the press for Tell me your secrets?
Hamish [Linklater] was working on something in Canada and we were there for a large part The undo Press and listen, I love clothes and I think clothes are such a big part of the press. I think Jess [Paster] and i felt like we should do what we normally would and find things we love. I think probably on the first day it felt strange not going [the house]especially because I no longer believe in wearing shoes, let alone heels. The piece of what it is to promote something, and the fashion part of that, is something I really love. So it felt right, not getting dressed for the waist zoom and just thinking, what would I wear? So we've done the same here [in Los Angeles]. Last week we started and there was gorgeous The Row and Oscar de la Renta and Christian Dior and Sophie Buhai who I love. I wore some of their things last week. And then we're doing a whole different bunch this weekend. But yes, I have designers who I love and who I am still very loyal to. Again, I'm a huge fan of repeat business in fashion. If you find something that works that you love, I love going back to learn more. It's always great to discover new designers. That reminds me further The undoJane Mayle is a designer that I have loved personally for years, and she has become a friend. She is someone I sent Signe, the costume designer. I said, "Hey, if you have time on a weekend, personally you'll just fall in love with her pieces." So she went to Jane's house one weekend and bought a few pieces for herself, but then came back with a few pieces for Sylvia too. I will definitely carry Jane Mayle to the trial, and my bag also belongs to Jane.
You mentioned your stylist Jessica Paster. What do you like most about working with her?
There are so many things that I love about Jess, but my favorite thing that I love about her is that I know that she will always be honest with me and I can be completely honest with her. I don't have to shred words if I don't like something. I always value this direct honesty very much. I also think that she is so supportive and full of love. Jess has a really big heart and that's how she approaches fashion in my experience. And she loves what she does. But I think it's really great that nothing is bypassed. And she will sometimes say, "You know, just do it. Just try it out and send me a picture. I know you will hate it." And sometimes you won't. She can be really straight with me, and it's a one-way street and I think that's really great.
Cant wait to see the looks that you have put together. Hopefully you will document it on Instagram.
I remember Hamish taking some photos for Jess of a vampire woman's dress when we were in Vancouver, and I think he said something like, "Come on, this is not for you Fashion. Just take the photo. "And the picture he took has landed Fashion. But he's actually the greatest photographer. He just never likes to do it. I have to persuade him because there is no one else in the house!
Tell me your secrets is now streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
Photographer: Tiziano Lugli
Stylist: Jessica Paster
Hairdresser: Bradley Leake
Make-up artist: Jenna Kristina