POPPY Montgomery is a trailblazer; an Aussie actor who has climbed to the top of the Hollywood tree. For eight years, Montgomery played Samantha Spade opposite Anthony Lapaglia on Without a Trace. She has stepped it up a notch, starring as Detective Carrie Wells in Unforgettable. Wells has hyperthymesia, a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to visually remember everything. Q: How daunting was it to go from co- star on Without a Trace to fronting your own TV show?
A: I’d wanted to carry a show. I took two years off after Without a Trace to be a mum. The only hesitation I had was how many hours it commanded having a young child. That’s always a struggle but we’re working through it together. Q: How do you balance Unforgettable with the demands of being a mum?
A: You take it day by day. I sometimes work 20 hours a day. I leave at 4am and get back at midnight or one in the morning so there are whole days where I don’t see Jackson because he’s asleep when I leave and asleep when I get home. Q: How did you construct Unforgettable’s Carrie Wells?
A: I read a book by Jill Price called The Woman Who Can’t Forget. She was the first person who was recognised as having this ability [ hyperthymesia]. Then I spoke to actress Marilu Henner [ Taxi] who also has it. She became a consultant on the show and guest starred on the show and she really helped me with the character. Q: Do you think hyperthymesia is a blessing or a curse?
A: I probably wouldn’t be a good candidate for having it. Q: What are the qualities you possess that have made you do so well in Hollywood?
A: If I make up my mind to do something, I won’t let it go until I’ve done it.