Monday, June 25, 2007

Two Cents & Five Questions With...

...Kari Matchett, Actress

The second episode of "Heartland" airs tonight at 10pm EST on TNT. Last week we had 5 Questions with the star, Treat Williams, and this week we get 5 from his co-star, Kari Marchett!

Kari plays Kate Armstrong the ex-wife of Williams' Dr. Grant. She's an organ-donor coordinator for the local donation center.

Matchett is already a star in Canada, having won a Gemini award. She was voted one of the Top 5 Faces to watch in USA Today. This past season she was seen on "24" as Lisa Miller, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, and stars as Mary Tate on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip". She also stars opposite Peter Krause ("Sports Night", "Six Feet Under") in the indie drama "Civic Duty", which opened in the Tribeca Film Festival before its nationwide release. Last season, Matchett earned high critical praise for her remarkable work on ABC's "Invasion" as Dr. Mariel Underlay.

We were able to get Two Cents & Five Answers from Kari and here we go!

Q: What do you think makes "Heartland" great dramatic television?
Kari Matchett: I think people will fall in love with "Heartland" for the same reasons that I fell in love with the original script for the pilot. It's about life and death issues. It's about people receiving organs that will help them continue to live, and they are receiving these organs from people who have just died. It also deals with the complexities of the matters of spirit, heart and emotions.

Q: Tell us about your character, Kate Armstrong.
KM: I play an organ-donation coordinator on the show, and my ex husband is played by Treat Williams, who's a hot-shot surgeon - the best in the business. So not only is my character dealing with life and death issues of people dying and people living off the donated organs but with all the emotions of working with the man she once loved, married and has a child with. Every second is filled with something new and interesting and has a wealth of history because of the fact that the two main characters were once married. It just lays in all the details and complexities and mixed emotions and really mirrors life in so many ways.

Q: Why is Dr. Grant so focused when it comes to work and such a mess in the rest of his life?
KM: David Hollander has created these incredible chracters that have truth to them. Nathaniel's truth is that we're born really good at some things, and we really suck at others. Nate was born to do what he does. He's good at it, he loved it, and he's passionate about it, and yet he's a mess when it comes to relationships. So although things are really lined up and clear and crystal clean in some areas of his life, which is his brilliant work, he's really not brilliant with his relationships, even though he tries and tries again to succeed.

Q: Why are flawed character that much more interesting to watch?
KM: Who wants to watch somebody perfect on TV? I think that television is a great representation of the truth and of who we are. Great television always reflects the truth, and people are drawn to it because they see themselves and hopefully understand themselves better. There is no one person on this Earth who is perfect, and so I think the clearer characters on television or on film, the clearer their flaws are drawn and the more complex and interesting the characters are.

Q: How does Kate convince people to turn their tragedies into good for somebody else?
The difficulty of what Kate does is trying to appeal to families who have just gone through terrible tragedies by appealing to their need to help others. She has to ask the impossible question, which is donate your loved one's heart to continue to let someone else, who you don't know, live. One of the most interesting things about playing this character is that I don't think she always knows how she is going to achieve that. It's not an easy job, and I don't think she ever really knows how she's going to deal with it. But she loves people, and she tries to connect with them and make it work.

Big thanks to Kari Matchett for answering these questions! Be sure to check out her performance tonight in the second episode of "Heartland" on TNT!

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