Checking in with Gretchen Mol
A relative newcomer to science fiction after 20-plus years in television, movies and theater, Gretchen Mol was nonetheless excited to step into the skin of a scientist desperately trying to survive a space mission gone awry in the Syfy space horror “Nightflyers.”
In the hourlong series, which premieres Sunday, Dec. 2, the 46-year-old Connecticut native stars as Dr. Agatha Matheson, a psychiatrist aboard the Nightflyer, the most advanced spaceship of its late-21st century day, who specializes in working with L-1 telepaths, one of whom the rest of the crew resent and distrust.
As their mission takes them toward the edge of the solar system and their sanity, they realize their real enemy might already be on board — which forced Mol to play someone in the throes of abject terror.
“You don’t necessarily conjure it all, I found, in this way of working,” Mol explains. “It comes down to simplicity. I can’t go back into my wheelhouse and go, ‘What situation does this compare to and what do I draw on for this?’ Really, no. Sometimes it’s just abject fear and you have to jump off the cliff and just scream for your life.”
“I found it all very cathartic,” she adds with a laugh. “I really enjoyed it. I mean, it wouldn’t be something you’d want to do every day because you put your body through some physical stress to play those kinds of scenes. But at the same time, it is cathartic. I mean, it’s good to scream. It’s healthy, you know?” Name: Gretchen Mol Birth date: Nov. 8, 1972 Birthplace: Deep River, Conn. Education: Studied acting and musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and the William Esper Studio. Family ties: Is the mother of a son and a daughter, 11-year-old Ptolemy and 7-year-old Winter, with husband TodWilliams, a filmmaker TV credits include: “Dead Man’sWalk,” “Spin City,” “Girls Club,” “Life on Mars,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Mozart in the Jungle,”
“Chance,” “Seven Seconds,” “Yellowstone”
Movie credits include: “Girl 6” (1996), “The Funeral” (1996), “Donnie Brasco” (1997), “Music From Another Room” (1998), “Rounders” (1998), “Celebrity” (1998), “Sweet and Lowdown” (1999), “The Shape of Things” (2003), “The Notorious Bettie Page” (2005), “Puccini for Beginners” (2006), “American Loser” (2007), “3:10 to Yuma” (2007), “An American Affair” (2008), “Laggies” (2014), “Manchester by the Sea” (2016)