Belgian born actress Carole Weyers has made a real splash recently playing the confident and enigmatic Elodie Lancefield on the WGN hit Manhattan. Manhattan may focus on the mostly male group of scientists who develop the atomic bomb, but it’s the love affair between housewife Abby Issacs (Rachel Brosnahan) and Elodie that gives the show its humanity. The slow burning illicit romance forever changes both women. Carole Weyers was kind enough to share thoughts with us on the Abby/Elodie relationship, her hopes for their future and who planted those damned papers.
AfterEllen: I’ve really enjoyed watching you on Manhattan and it’s been such a pleasant surprise. Usually we find out a little bit ahead of time if there’s going to be a lesbian, bisexual, queer character on a show, but it really just came as a surprise to us.
Carole Weyers: You know, it’s funny. I think I actually got to read the first three episodes, and it wasn’t really said. It was maybe lightly implied that Elodie might be lesbian or bisexual. It was really more a choice I made. I know roughly what the arc of the character was, but the way they presented the character to me at the beginning, it wasn’t going to that open. It wasn’t going to be that Elodie was going to open herself to Abby that much. So after reading those first three episodes, I decided, now I think need to go with it because I have a feeling that this is a very important thing for that woman. This is part of who she is and I can’t deny her that.
AE: Wow, I love that Carole because lesbians are experts at picking up on subtextual clues. From the moment you walked on to the screen, we were picking up that vibe you were sending. On Manhattan, you play Elodie, who is such a free-spirited soul.
CW: Absolutely. Free spirited is exactly how I would put words on Elodie.
AE: Then what attracts her to Abby, who on the surface appears to be holding everything in so tightly?
CW: Elodie is a very modern woman who is really listening to what’s inside her heart, and what’s inside her guts. Abby has a hard time doing that and I think all their polar opposites attract each other. Maybe that’s the science between Abby and Elodie. Maybe that’s the science in that relationship. I think Elodie sees in Abby this really shy person who’s repressed by the period. By how women need to be towards their husbands, and to be a wife and cook dinner and talk about recipes with the other friends. Elodie is really different and I think she can see in Abby this new, young wife who needs to be introduced to the real world. The real word for Abby is the exact opposite of what the boring housewife is living. Abby is really this young, subtle little flower that needs to have her heart revealed to herself. At that time, you couldn’t really open up about your sexuality if it diverges from what the norm is.
Their first encounter is when Elodie is naked and Abby is looking at her. Then the third time, they happen to be working together. There are a lot of things, I think, that are put in Elodie’s path that make her believe that there is something else that is going to be happening with Abby. Since you can’t really be open about your orientation then, you have to be smart with tricks and friendship. You can’t approach someone the same way that you would do in 2014, even though there’s a lot of things that still need to be done in 2014, but you can’t really approach people the same way. Elodie is slowly trying to figure out and navigate how to approach Abby and see if Abby would be open or not.