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Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 8:46:42 AM
by mumtaj begum
In 'Unforgettable', Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, a former police detective who becomes a consultant with the New York Police Department, thanks to her unique ability to remember everything.
The affable Poppy Montgomery is one actress who gives memorable performances time and again.
WHILE Unforgettable actress Poppy Montgomery doesn’t share her character’s unique ability to remember every single detail of every single moment of her life, she does make it hard for audiences to forget her.
There is just something about her freckled face, pouty lips, cascading hair, toned figure and husky voice that stay in our minds.
This would also explain why – like any good actresses in demand – she has been a constant on our small screen for more than a decade.
For seven years, we knew her as the super serious FBI agent Samantha Spade on Without A Trace.
In her years as a TV actress as well, she has portrayed two other unforgettable characters – in the 2001 miniseries Blonde, she played Marilyn Monroe and in the 2011 TV movie, Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story, she was in the shoes of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
Currently, Montgomery stars in another procedural, Unforgettable.
Her character on the show – Carrie Wells – is a former police detective who becomes a consultant with the New York Police Department thanks to her amazing memory.
Forget about snapping photos at a crime scene to record everything, because Carrie can do this so much better – anything she sees, even the smallest detail stays in her head forever, allowing her to revisit the moment in her mind, anytime she wants. Neat ability.
As Carrie, the 38-year-old Australian wears her hair flaming red (Montgomery’s natural hair colour is red, but a shade less striking than Carrie’s) and is often attired in simple yet sexy outfits.
Besides looking the part, Montgomery also read the book The Woman Who Can’t Forget: The Extraordinary Story Of Living With The Most Remarkable Memory Known To Science – A Memoir by Jill Price, as research.
She also watched the 60 Minutes documentary titled Superior Autobiographical Memory featuring actress Marilu Henner (Taxi) – who is one of the six people in the United States with this ability called Hyperthymesia.
Henner now serves as the series’ consultant and guest stars as Carrie’s free-spirited aunt.
Montgomery, the mother of two children, is currently filming the second season of Unforgettable in New York.
Here, the Los Angeles resident takes time to answer some of our questions via e-mail.
What attracted you to this character?
I love Carrie for a number of reasons – she’s smart, she’s tough, she’s got so many layers and dimensions. I kind of fancy her as a modern-day superhero!
You played an FBI agent on Without A Trace for seven seasons. Did you have any initial doubt when the role of Carrie was offered to you?
Absolutely. I was conscious about going from one procedural to another, but the concept of the show was so fun, and the character really drew me in. I knew I could make her completely different from (Without A Trace’s) Samantha Spade.
The look Carrie has is not your typical detective look. Was that a conscious decision?
Oh yes! There has been a lot of collaboration with the wardrobe department, and I have had a lot of say in Carrie’s overall “look.” I wanted her to be tough and sexy – and a little bit of a rebel. She sort of defies the system, by refusing to wear a uniform (and it means that I have a lot more fun getting dressed for work!).
Since you started playing this character, have you consciously tried to develop your memory skills? What do you do and how is that coming along?
Horribly! Especially after having a baby. I really do think there is a condition called “Pregnancy Brain,” where you just forget things! I will say I am a diligent schedule keeper, and I update my calendar with every little thing, so I can prevent anything from falling through the cracks.
How do you think you would cope if you had Carrie’s ability?
Truthfully, I think it would be very difficult. I could imagine carrying a lot of anger – if anyone ever did or said anything unkind to me. There is a lot to be said about the human ability to forgive and forget!
Carrie’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s, that’s like the polar opposite to how Carrie is. Is there a purpose for the introduction of this?
It’s really the ultimate irony for Carrie – that her mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. I think it’s a gentle reminder to Carrie that not everything is in her control. It’s also a reminder to cherish moments with the important people in her life.
I read that you like doing stunts. Can you tell us some of the stuff you’d like to do on the show and where this love for physicality comes from?
I love doing stunts! It forces me to push the boundaries, and gives me extra motivation to work my butt off in the gym. For stunts, I need to be strong and in great physical shape. I love that Carrie is chasing down suspects while wearing four-inch heels. I would love to learn how to ride a motorcycle, and have a fast and furious chase while riding on the back of a bike! I just got a motorcycle (a Harley) for my boyfriend Shawn (Sanford). I think they’re sexy.
At the end of Season One, you were told that Unforgettable was cancelled, only to have it renewed later. How did you react to both the news?
I was shocked! I had made peace with the idea that the show was cancelled, and I got pregnant! And then – SURPRISE! – it was coming back! I was very excited to pick up the storyline though, because I adore playing Carrie.
What is it like filming in New York?
I am in love with this city! It’s so much fun to film here – everything is so alive and full of character. I think the city brings a whole separate dimension to the show.
You had great chemistry with Anthony LaPaglia on Without A Trace. And now, you have great chemistry with Dylan Walsh. What is your secret?
Haha, I have this special perfume…(teasing). I don’t know if I have a great secret – I just genuinely have lucked out in the co-star department. Both Anthony and Dylan are the consummate professionals, and just all-round amazing guys! I love working with Dylan – he is sexy, smart and cool!
Unforgettable airs every Monday at 9pm on Lifetime (Astro Channel 709).
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Entertainment, Poppy Montgomery, Unforgettable, Without A Trace, Dylan Walsh, TV
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