Cassidy Freeman on “Longmire” and what we didn’t see on “The Playboy Club”

 
 

AE: I have to say that I was really sad The Playboy Club was cancelled because I really enjoyed that show and I wish we would have gotten to see more of your character. Was there anything that you had already filmed that you could tell us about that had happened between your character and Bunny Alice?
CF: Yeah, absolutely. We actually filmed four whole episodes together. And only one of them aired. [Laughs]

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Photo from Playboy Club

AE: I know! I was so sad!
CF: Yeah, bummer. We had three more episodes and her relationship with Alice. We had those beautiful moments where they would flirt and there was this really great scene in the fourth episode that we filmed where I told her that if she wasn’t ready then that was ok. Trying to be really understanding because it was so difficult to have that kind of relationship in that time. And she said she was ready and it was a beautiful moment between the two of us where we both sort of signed on for this relationship. I was awaiting the next script and they were like “The show’s cancelled.” [Laughs] I was like “No! How can you cancel these awesome characters?” I thought that storyline was such an important thing to have on television and unfortunately they didn’t get to show it.

AE: Yeah, that was such a bummer because it was just the beginning of seeing you in that relationship and that would have been so cool to see. What drew you to The Playboy Club and that character that made you want to audition for it?
CF: I actually originally auditioned for that reporter guest-star and when you audition for a guest-star they usually don’t give you the whole episode so I hadn’t even read the whole episode and I was like “Yeah, sure! The Playboy Club — that sounds awesome. Cool new show, shoots in Chicago — that’s where I’m from” and then auditioned for the reporter role and the casting director was like, “Actually, will you come back in and audition for a recurring socialite closed lesbian character and I was like, “Um, come again?”

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Photo from Playboy Club

AE: [Laughs]
CF: Socialite closeted lesbian? Are you kidding? I’m so there! What a cool f–king character to play.

AE: Yeah.
CF: In the 1960s and especially in Chicago! I just loved that it was my home town, that I knew that city. I just thought the gay and lesbian movement in that time was so interesting to me and was such an important part of our history. I was really interested in The Playboy’s Club and Hugh Hefner and I know everyone has their options and I’ve watched various documentaries that paint him in various lights but without judging, it’s a part of our history in this country and people were just not ready for it. That’s OK though.

AE: Yeah.
CF: I loved the idea and to play a character that controversial was super cool.

AE: Definitely. I was wondering too when you go to play a character like her opposed to Cady, do you consider her as a sexual being and do you consider what their desires are when you play them?
CF: Yes, definitely. I mean look at the difference between Frances Dunhill and Cady Longmire. They are very different, they have very different energy. I think I start with voice and physicality. In The Playboy Club I had to think about the era. I had to think about how a woman would move back then, I had to think about how a lesbian would move back then, I had to think about it on so many different levels and once I have it in my body then everything seems to fall into place. There was this really great scene where I go into The Playboy Club and I’m sitting at the table and I’m looking at all these bunnies [Laughs] and their outfits and I remember thinking, “Frances would be so attracted to all these women but would have to hide that.”

AE: Yeah.
CF: But yet she can kind of show it because it’s fantastical. So that was a really interesting scene to figure out what Frances would be paying attention to and sort of hiding her excitement at seeing these women in these costumes.

AE: Totally. That would have to be hard to be eyeing them but pretending not to be.
CF: Yes she has a like where she say, “This place is really wild!”[Laughs]

AE: [Laughs]
CF: And they were like “Oh, we can go somewhere else,” thinking that it was offending her and she’s like “Oh, no, oh, no, that’s cool.”

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