Like a lot of folks, I've been a fan of Brotherhood''s Annabeth Gish since Mystic Pizza. And let me tell you, she is even cooler in real life! Calling from the Rhode Island set of her gritty Showtime series to promote the show's Season 2 DVD release, Gish dished about the upcoming season, shooting on location and shared with us a little twist even she didn't see coming. — Damian Holbrook So how is filming going?
Annabeth: It's going well. We're a little more than halfway through this season and it's a beautiful Providence fall. It's nice. One of the best things about this show is coming back to Providence, because it's such a great place. And it's great for location shoots, although your show captures some pretty grim areas, too.
Annabeth: Yes, I don't think we shoot the beautiful aspects of Rhode Island. [Laughs] We shoot more of the grimy, suffocating, more undignified areas, yes ! What is Eileen getting into this season?
Annabeth: I had to call the writers of the show back in the spring and basically suggest a storyline because my husband and I found us in the surprising predicament of being pregnant. [Laughs] Congratulations!
Annabeth: Thank you. I had to call Blake Masters and say, "What if Eileen's pregnant ?" And they said, "Why ?" [Laughs] So I can tell you that Eileen is pregnant in Season 3 — as am I — and it's actually worked into a great storyline for Eileen and the Caffee family. So who's the daddy?
Annabeth: I probably shouldn't say [Laughs]. Now, at the end of Season 2's DVD set, Eileen is giving husband Tommy all sorts of what-for about his affairs.
Annabeth: Yes. Yet Eileen is far from innocent.
Annabeth: I know, right? I think really what the writers are attempting to do with this marriage is to paint a picture of a couple who is in a lot of conflict, got married very young and who are trying to figure out who they are to each other. It makes for really good drama. Nothing about Brotherhood is ever wrapped up in a nice package. It's very messy. And violent!
Annabeth: As pregnant, hormonal women are prone to be. [Laughs] So do you get to go a little crazy this season?
Annabeth: Yeah, in certain domestic ways, yes. I think for Eileen to find herself late in life with a surprise pregnancy and a marriage that is falling apart, it's not an enviable or safe position for a woman her age to be in. And then there is her penchant for drugs.
Annabeth: A part of being an actress that is sort of frustrating is that the writers get to tell you about your character. So Eileen has traded her penchant for escape for humanitarian services. She is really trying to find out her purpose and be productive. So helping other women is what she's up to this season. How does that sit with a family so unaccustomed to doing good things?
Annabeth: [Laughs] Exactly. That's the conflict they're in: a compassionate woman trying to get her life on track, tainted by the darkness of her husband's family. And how are the brothers?
Annabeth: Well, Tommy and Michael aren't speaking for a majority of the season so far… which doesn't make for fun Sunday dinners. [Laughs] And there are a lot of different vignettes about each character's struggle for morality. That's one of the great things about rewatching the show on DVD — it plays out like a book.
Annabeth: I know, isn't that true? Plus, it saves you from having to wait the week from episode to episode.
Annabeth: It's such a more intense experience. The other night, we started watching The Wire from scratch and it really is a different form of television watching. You get to immerse yourself in the characters and their lives. It's so cool. And how is Providence treating you all?
Annabeth: You know, I have to say that it's such a pleasure. I was filling my gas tank the other day and this woman said to me "Oh my god, you look exactly like Eileen Caffee on Brotherhood." And I said that it was me and she went, "But you're pregnant… oh my god! Who's baby is it?" I think the people here are really supportive and receptive. It's such a diverse city. You have the academia of Brown and RISD, you have a progressive, gay mayor, then this whole underbelly of ethnic corruption. The city itself is a character. Like Sex and the City, but the opposite!
Annabeth: Exactly! How I wish I had the costumes they got to wear! [Laughs]
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