Carrie Preston is a versatile and dedicated actress. She has appeared in many films, TV shows and theatrical productions where she has portrayed a range of characters that captivate the audience. Carrie currently has roles on three popular television series! She plays the sassy Arlene Fowler on the HBO series True Blood and has compelling guest roles on The Good Wife and Person of Interest. The Daily Quirk recently had the opportunity to speak with Carrie for an interview and find out all the details on her latest projects. Read on to learn more about Carrie’s quirky role on The Good Wife, the final season of True Blood and what it is like to play the love interest of her real-life husband on screen!
The Daily Quirk: Last year you won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress for The Good Wife. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like you’ll be a shoe-in for another. What’s it like to play Elsbeth, the quirky lawyer?
Carrie Preston: I have to say, it’s probably the most exciting and cherished and treasured role I’ve ever had. She is so unique; on the page, off the page, and in the world. There aren’t very many people that are exactly like Elsbeth. I feel so privileged that she has been trusted to me by the writers and the creators of The Good Wife. I just really delight in playing her.
TDQ: There are so many elements to Elsbeth; She’s smart, she’s a little scatterbrained. How do you prepare before filming?
CP: I spend a lot of time with the script. In the theater they say, ‘If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage!’ So it starts with the writing. I really spend a lot of time on the text, making sure that it is so ingrained in my brain that I can forget about it when I get on set and just let her take over. I map out beforehand where I think all the twists and turns are in her thinking and in her brain. I don’t really set it, but I have a general road map. When I get on set and I see what the other actors are doing and I see what the director wants, then I can take a free ride and see where it’s going to go. That’s the thrill of playing her.
TDQ: Any word on how Elsbeth starting her own firm will affect The Good Wife or perhaps spawn a spinoff?
CP: No, I haven’t heard anything about that from anyone that would have the authority to do such a thing. It does make me feel really good that people respond so well to the character that they would want to see more of her, in The Good Wife, or in a spinoff. It is such a compliment and it’s very humbling. I am very moved by that.
TDQ: People are excited!
CP: I love that! It excites me too. Why else do we create these television shows and movies and plays if we’re not doing it for the audience? We’re doing it for them, so it’s nice to see that they are receiving it.
TDQ: You’ve also been busy playing Grace Hendricks on Person of Interest. What originally attracted you to the role?
CP: My husband is one of the stars of the show, so there’s an attraction there! He plays Harold Finch. Originally, they actually came to him and said, ‘Would it be okay if we asked Carrie to play this role?’ and he was of course excited about that, and said ‘Yes, please ask her, and if you could work it out with her schedule’ because I do tend to be a little busy these days, which I’m grateful for. Luckily it worked out, and I was able to step into what is turning out to be this important role on the show.
TDQ: What is it like to play the love interest of your real-life husband on the show?
CP: There’s something quite peculiar watching your husband who is playing someone else, having a relationship with yourself, who’s playing another person. It gets very odd and otherworldly. It’s also really sweet, because Michael and I have a strong connection and we have a long history together and that’s something that we don’t have to try to create, which is something that you usually have to do when you step into a guest role. You have to create a long history and a lot of specific background with a bunch of people you’ve never met before. So that’s very challenging but that side of things on Person of Interest was taken care of. It is really fun to go from there and deepen the relationships further from that. In a way, this role has come a little more easily to me than some of the others that further away from who I am.
TDQ: The seventh season of True Blood is premiering this June! Can you tell us what this season has in store?
CP: Well, I can’t go into specifics or I’d have to get a vampire to kill you! Every moment counts, because it is our last season and everyone knows that. I’m actually grateful that they announced that this was going to be the last season a long time ago. Everyone, including the audience is really trying to make every moment count. And that’s certainly the case with the writers and the cast on our show. It’s going to be very exciting, it’s going to be very sad. I trust that it will be a fulfilling way to wrap up this extraordinary journey.
TDQ: The season finale ended with quite a cliffhanger! Will the story pick up right where it left off?
CP: Yes, in True Blood fashion, we pick up right where we left off. We see the affects of this band of infected vampires descending on the entire town. You’ll be feeling the aftermath of that for several episodes.
TDQ: What’s in store for Arlene Fowler this season?
CP: I’m very excited about this season and Arlene. The stuff that the writer’s have given me this season is more than I could have imagined myself. I’m really excited to share it with the audience. Without giving anything away right now, I’m confident that it’s going to be something that the audience isn’t expecting, and I hope that they’re going to enjoy it as much as I do.
TDQ: We like to end our interviews on a fun note, so what’s one fun or quirky thing that fans would be surprised to find out about you?
CP: I don’t know if all of the fans know that I’m also a filmmaker and I have a production company. We make independent films and web series. We’ve been doing that for over 10 years now. It’s something that takes even more of my time and focus than my acting career. If anybody wants to check us out, we’re called Daisy 3 Pictures.
TDQ: You must be incredibly busy then!
CP: I am. I’m one of those people who’s not happy unless I have 50 million things on my plate!