Despite her extensive experience in various films and TV shows, Elizabeth Mitchell did not play a vampire before she got the role of Margot Fairmont in the series “The First Murder” on Netflix. Based on the short story of the same name by Victoria “V.E.” Schwab, “The First Murder” with Sarah Catherine Hook as a teenage vampire Juliette Fairmont and Imani Lewis as Calliope Burns, who belongs to a family of monster hunters. Juliet hopes to declare Calliope her first murder, even though an affair ensues between them, challenging their rival clans.
As Juliet’s mother, Margot Mitchell sees her traditional family values challenged and her own secrets revealed. Mitchell has appeared in a number of critically acclaimed shows such as Stay Alive, Ambulance, Space, and Law & Order: Special Corps. During her film career, the actress played outstanding roles in the films “Judgment Night: Election Year”, “Frequency” and “Santa Claus 2 and 3”.
Screen Rant participated in a press roundtable with Mitchell, who talked about her fascination with vampires, the importance of LGBTQ romance in “The First Murder”, the family dynamics of the series and much more.
In “The First Murder” you play the matriarch on the side of vampires. You were such a strong and fantastic character. What else attracted you to this role?
Elizabeth Mitchell: What attracted me to this particular role of Margot was a few things. One of them was V. E. Schwab, because I am a big fan of her books. “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” just amazed me, and then I read everything I could get my hands on. Then Felicia [d. Henderson], our showrunner.
I am so fascinated by her as a person that I wanted to deal with her and wanted to work with her. Her passion, her grace and the excitement she brought to it were extraordinary. I also really liked those who have been chosen so far. I saw the cast forming and thought, “Well, this is what I want to be a part of.” Third, I’ve always wanted to play a vampire. So, it kind of entered into a big happy circle of “Yes, please!”
I must admit, when I found out I was going to interview you, my sister yelled at me very loudly because she is one of the many people who told me that Director Newman from Santa Claus 2 was part of their gay awakening.
Elizabeth Mitchell: Fantastic! I’m so glad to hear that. This is amazing! I’m very flattered. I may have to tell people today, don’t worry.
What was it like to participate in such an openly homosexual love story?
Elizabeth Mitchell: So much fun. The nice thing about it was that it was so obvious and it wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t something we had to explain. It wasn’t something that we should say, “This is it.” It was a situation with very, very complex, beautiful characters who love each other. Seems pretty simple to me. It brought me nothing but joy, and I am so pleased to think that there will be so many wonderful women and men who will look and think, “Okay, here I am. I see myself. Okay, I understand that.”
After I played Gia, so many young women came up to me and hugged me, crying. It has absolutely changed everything in the way I see the world, because I really want people to be seen, supported, loved and understand how powerful this environment is. So the way it made me feel good, and proud, and excited, and hopeful. And you know, it’s very sexy. It’s fun.
Screen Rant: Obviously, you have already starred in TV series and films on paranormal topics, but this is your first project focused on vampires. What was it like to be a part of such a story?
Elizabeth Mitchell: Oh my God, I loved it so much. I love, love, love being a vampire. I like to think about what will happen if you don’t have to fight mortality, what will happen if by your very nature you are a predator, which means that you are separated from people. What happens to the way you see the world? What happens to the dynamics? Who intrigues you? Who tires you to tears? All this, having lived 500 years, what are you interested in? What are your hobbies?
All these things came together to make me think, “Yes, well, I have an idea how to play Margot, and I want it to be built on curiosity, as well as on the limitation that is the need to ensure the safety of my family. You can.” “I’m just doing something. You have to protect the people you love. I think I understand because I’m a mom and an older sister. I’m someone who likes to guard my people, so this particular instinct comes pretty naturally to me.
We know that it was a short story of Victoria, which she expanded in the series. Did you manage to sit down and say, “I want Margot to go in this direction” or “In that direction”? How much have you talked about her general character?
Elizabeth Mitchell: I didn’t have much because I feel Felicia and Victoria had a vision of this family. I’m like, “Am I going to turn into this? Will I turn into that?