Elizabeth-Mitchell-Revolution

The following interview was previously posted on the Pop Culture Passionistas blog.

There are so many post apocalyptic shows on TV these days it’s hard to tell them apart. Revolution is the one that doesn’t have power or zombies. Got it straight? After a short break, the action drama returns on Monday, Marcy 25 to round out the back half of its first season. In a recent conference call interview, series star Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays Rachel Matheson, talked about what lies ahead and what she likes about working on the show.

On Why the Adventure Genre Is Appealing
I have to say I’m a huge fan of adventures. I love to read them, I love to watch them. They go on in my head. So I think anything epic and adventure wise is always a huge draw for me. It’s what I like to watch and to get to actually do it, to be in something that’s Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or any of those things it’s just what my passion is, where I go to escape. So that’s what draws me to it.

On Being Part of an Ensemble Cast
“I love ensembles mainly because I started in theater and I love that idea. What keeps people happy and engaged is good work, great words and then coming together… Lost was the same way. We were all very supportive but everybody came ready to play. And if you have that attitude and there’s not ego, which is also the case on Revolution which I really like, then it’s fun.

“You go in and it’s fun and you play together and you antagonize each other on camera and you love each other on camera and you hate each other on camera. And then you go off and you try to figure out how to make it even better and you come back and you try to do that. And that’s the collaboration of a group is and has always been very exciting to me. I think it elevates everybody. You rise to the occasion and I love that.

“I hear that from all of the actors when we’re walking around. ‘How did that go? Oh I had scene with Giancarlo and I learned so much. It was fantastic.’ Or, ‘I did this or I did that.’ So just that respect and passion. So, yes, that keeps it going and makes it really nice.”

On the Most Challenging Part of Revolution
“I like challenges. I’m weird that way. I’m the one who ran stadium stairs as a kid. Challenging… I always find shooting outdoors to be challenging. It’s loud, it’s dynamic and you can either raise your game accordingly or you can get incredibly frustrated. So I suppose that I enjoy that particular challenge of making all of that work and shooting a show with no electricity in a very powerful world. So there’s the cars, there’s the planes… there’s the cell phones so that’s definitely a challenge but it’s pretty funny.

On Rachel’s Mindset in Regards to Monroe, the Rebels and Her Children 
“She wants to be with her children. She wants to kill Monroe. Rachel is somewhat, in my mind of course but everyone feels that way about their own character, such a tragic figure. She’s tried so hard to do the right thing for so long and she’s possibly one of the worst people I think. Her mindset is on survival and her mindset is on revenge and in a horrible awkward way her mind is on good parenting, which she’s not very good at. But I think the sad thing was that she probably at one time truly was. So it’s just what this world has created and she’s a direct reflection of that. So her mindset is revenge, love and trying to do the right thing. We’ll see if it works.”

On the Dynamic Explored the Second Half of the Season 
“Well I mean I can say that in my mind it’s lucky that we do explore it. There’s a lot there. It’s deeper, richer than I at first thought. I knew there was something, but I didn’t realize how much.

“And there’s a theory that people come together because of shared pain. Like you think, ‘Oh, I have things in common with someone and that’s why I love them.’ But in some ways, it’s actually what your pain is, what the worse thing is for you, where your secret fears are.

“Miles and Rachel are at heart in their sorrows very much the same. And their tendency towards their ability to protect the ones they love is also very similar. But they’re friends. It’s a great word for them. They have been through all kinds of things which we really do get almost completely laid out for us by the end of the season. And it’s interesting.

“I don’t want to use the wrong word to lead it in the wrong direction, but I would say that if you can use passionate in the way that it was intended, being filled with emotion, that is how I would describe them and the revelations that we come across. So I’m excited to see people’s response. But I’ve had a great time playing it and I really enjoy working with Billy.”

On How Far in Advance She Sees Scripts
“Well we got the scripts before and we both, of course, memorized it the day before. And then we walked in, we read it through but we didn’t actually work on it together. It was more what’s going to come out when we’re on camera together and that’s basically what came out. It was very fresh and very raw.

“And as far as being sprung, sure episodic television is the best because you get the script and then a couple days later you’re doing these crazy huge scenes and I love that. I really do. It doesn’t give you time to think before you jump off the cliff, you just jump and I’m a fan of that.”

Revolution returns on Monday, March 25 at 10 p.m. PST/9 p.m. Central on NBC.