Lucy Lawless Brings a Defiant Edge to Salem

Television channel WGN America has upped the ante by recruiting New Zealander Lucy Lawless, “one of television’s most cult-inspiring actresses”, to join the cast of witchy tale Salem.

The season premiere introduces a character played by the always fearless Lawless. How will she fit into Salem’s already bizarre story?

“I don’t fit in,” Lawless said. “That’s not what people hire me to do.”

Salem is set in 17th-century Massachusetts and imagines the famous witch-trial period a bit differently than the history books describe it.

The show stars Janet Montgomery as Mary, who finds her calling as a witch. Over the course of Season 1, Mary fought her way to the top of Salem’s rather well-populated witch world, but the crown sits uneasy. Season 2 is titled “Witch War.”

Into this fray comes Lawless’ character, Countess Palatine Ingrid von Marburg.

“I’m playing this real old witch,” Lawless explained. “She has survived many incarnations and finally fixated upon Salem.

“I’ve done things on this show that outdo anything I’ve ever done before.”

Lawless said the bold roles for which she is known weren’t a conscious choice – “I have never planned my career,” she said – but she welcomes them. “I’m great at being terrible,” she admitted. But she also savours the opportunity to do different types of jobs, like an episode of the HBO musical-sitcom Flight of the Conchords.

“I got to play a woman who is about as impactful as a stain on the wall,” she recalled.

Original article by Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times, April 1, 2015.

Photo by William Lothridge/WGN America.

Tags: Flight of the Conchords  Janet Montgomery  Lucy Lawless  New York Times (The)  Salem  

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