Charlotte Sullivan on her new “Rookie Blue” relationship

 
 

AE: Do you think that Gail is really falling for her now that they’ve been spending more and more time together? Especially now that Andy kind of broke the closest thing to a friendship that she had. Or do you think that Holly is just a safety net right now?

CS: I don’t know. What’s really interesting about how they’re going to write it is, she’s very vulnerable right now. I think she really did like, she really did love Nick. It certainly had nothing to do with the fact he was man, she really did love him, and he broke her. And again, this is a man that has abandoned her a couple times. So I think being in that kind of vulnerable state, she’s discovering this really amazing relationship with this woman, but doesn’t know what’s happening. It comes back to that whole defining it thing. Which I kind of appreciate. I don’t think you have to define it, I think you just love a person or like a person, not because they’re a man or a woman, maybe they’re just very unique and there’s some kind of chemistry that happens when you’re with that person. So I’m not quick to put a label on it, I think even out of respect to the gay community.

Even when they came to me with this idea—because I had sort of brought it up a couple of years ago—the original thought you have is, “I hope you’re not doing this for the sake of male viewers.” Like, I want to please women. I don’t want to…It’s so easy to do… I don’t know if that makes any sense.

AE: No, yeah, believe me, it does.

CS: You know what I mean? Two girls kissing, guys get off on that. Like, no! I want this to be something really intimate, with a lot of care. Not for the sake of pleasing a man. So, that was something that, they were toying with the idea last year, and the first instinct I had was, it would have to be for the girls. It can’t be for the guys. And then it sort of died down last year and then this year they brought it up to me again and they said they would handle it with the utmost care. And that’s when it got really exciting, because it’s not really about sexuality, it’s about Gail, it’s just about finally having a person she can be herself with. It’s a totally new side to her, and that’s what I appreciate the most about doing it. It’s just different. And I can’t stress enough—I don’t have to be with another guy again for a little while. I can be with whoever I want. And that’s my opinion—and the writers, they come up to me and ask, and you have to be a little afraid of what you say, because they’ll put it in the show. This is my premonition coming true that I had stated four years ago. They definitely listen and they also implement your ideas and literally verbatim what you said will be in the script, so you just have to watch yourself, because you will find out it’s in the script a couple episodes down the road. You’re like, oh, shit! It’s a really beautiful thing.

AE: It’s really great to hear, a lot of people were concerned that it was kind of like a ratings ploy. I’ve been watching from the beginning, and I’ve always felt that Gail has had equal hate for everyone when she’s angry, and I can see her having equal love for whoever. I think she does see people as people.

CS: Yeah, I think so, too. And it is true, you don’t want to—not to dismiss men in any way, I’m not bashing guys—but when there is something about two girls on screen and you want them to be together and you want them to kiss and it’s for the male viewership, and that’s the complete antithesis—no. That’s not what I want, I don’t want to use the gay community to get ratings, I don’t like that. I find that manipulative and strange. I want to use this opportunity to grow as an artist—I’ve never played this before. And that’s the more exciting part of it.

AE: That’s great to hear!

CS: I’m talking too much and rambling, forgive me. [Laughs] But It means a lot to me, I’ve been with this character for so long, and the gay community is really important to me; my friends are gay, and getting to do this storyline has made me so happy. I have chills thinking about it, the fact that I get to this makes me so fucking proud. And I don’t know what’s going to come of it, but that’s OK. It’s just about exploring and not judging and just being true to yourself.

AE: It’s so awesome to have people like you as allies and really caring about these storylines, it does mean a lot to the community.

CS: It does! You want to be represented! I mean, come on, how many commercials do you watch where the couples are even like the black couples, and the white couples. Where is the diversity? Why haven’t we seen commercials with two women for like a toothpaste commercial? You just don’t see it and I find it so…even like women’s sports. We don’t watch women’s sports, we watch men’s sports. But, it’s a question—I’m such a feminist, pardon my rant, but my blood really boils when I think about this. That’s why I think it’s so important to represent different cultures, different ethnicities, and sexuality! It’s really important—and to do it right. And that’s what the writers and our showrunner Tassie [Cameron], she’s a friend of mine, and she said they were going to do it with the utmost care and make sure it’s represented well, and not just for the sake of men, which is just the complete opposite of what I want to do.

AE: I see we’re running out of time so I have one more question for you—I asked people on twitter what they wanted to know and one of the most common questions I got was, “When is Charlotte going to come to twitter?”

CS: [Laughs] Oh God, I know, I’m late on the bandwagon, I’m terrible at technology. I quit the internet. I really want to live in seclusion and live on the farm and not have the internet, because it gives me anxiety! I remember the show had originally asked me to use twitter a couple years ago and I didn’t quite understand the medium, I didn’t know what it was, and I think I was tweeting things that were inappropriate and they were like, “No, you can’t tweet that!” So I’m like, “Okay…” So I’m not tweeting right. I then I felt like I really wanted to respond to everyone and I wasn’t able to and then I felt like it wasn’t something fun for me, it was something that give me a bit of anxiety, so I just thought “Ugh, I’m outta here, man.” It’s just not me, I’m terrible at email, I have messages on my phone that are probably from two weeks ago, I’m really very kind of like go back to the 1950s when things were more simple. I want chickens, I want a pig, I want no computer, and I want books. So, that’s probably why I’m not on twitter.

AE: That makes sense!

CS: I’m really bad at that stuff, but I understand! It’s an amazing medium for people, I think a lot of people get a lot of positive things from it. I just wasn’t connected to the twitter thing, it wasn’t the right artistic medium for me to convey what I needed to do in 150 characters. It just wasn’t for me.

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AE: It’s not for everybody.

CS: I also think it’s a fad and I think it’s going to be gone! [Laughs] I don’t have a Facebook, but Facebook is fading out and there’s going to be something new, so might as well not have anything!

AE: Someday we’ll go back to messenger pigeons.

CS: Yeah, we’ll go back to snail mail! We’ll go back to the ink well and feather! [Laughs] I’m just dreaming. Pipe dreams.

AE: I don’t want to take up more of your time than we scheduled, but thank you so much for talking to me!

CS: Thank you for talking to me! I appreciate it, any time. And thank you—I’m completely gobsmacked by how supportive you are of the show and particularly with this storyline, it means so much to me. It’s a really important thing that I think the viewers are going to be happy with and the fans are going to be happy with and thank you for talking about it! It’s like mind-blowing that people care, so I appreciate it.

AE: It’s mind-blowing to us that you guys care so much about it, so it’s definitely a mutual appreciation here.

CS: Well hopefully we’ll get to talk with one another again when we start shooting season five and there’ll be more to talk about!

AE: That would be great! I do have a confession to make, I was a little nervous, because I was a big fan of Harriet the Spy when I was little, so the 10-year-old in me was a little afraid to be talking to Marion Hawthorne.

CS: Oh, you were?! That is so funny! Oh, you know Greg’s on the show!

AE: I do!

CS: You know what’s funny, his brother was on the show last week and he played a carrot in the—remember that scene that we’re all dancing as vegetables? He was in the background and he was a carrot or a celery stalk, I can’t remember. But I was like, “Wow, there are three people from Harriet!”

AE: That’s so funny!

CS: It’s really nice to get to work with Greg, I hadn’t seen him in so long. We were friends and we stayed in touch for a couple years after Harriet and we’d see each other, and then you go on to lead your lives, and I hadn’t seen him in YEARS. And he’s amazing and so lovely and he actually directed the next episode, which is a really important Chloe and Gail episode, so that’s this week. And yeah, we got to do some really great stuff, so I hope you watch and I hope you like it!

Check out Rookie Blue Thursdays on ABC at 10 p.m. EST to see Charlotte in action. 

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