'Unforgettable's' Poppy Montgomery channels Carrie Wells' super memory
On “Unforgettable,” Detective Carrie Wells has a unique ability to remember everything that has ever happened in her life and actress Poppy Montgomery says playing this character has changed how her memory works as well.
“I think my memory has actually really gotten better,” Montgomery tells CTV.ca in a recent conference call. “It’s definitely gotten stronger. And I play little memory games with myself just to keep it going.
“I also have to learn 10-pages of dialogue every day, so that’s also a memory game of sorts!” she says with a laugh.
Montgomery was further inspired by working alongside Marilu Henner, who has a Superior Autobiographical Memory – the same condition Carrie has. “I spend a lot of time with Marilu. She guest starred on the show and she’s a consultant on the show. And she’s fantastic. She’s really interesting . . . she’s extraordinary. Her memory is amazing!”
Beyond her extraordinary memory, Montgomery is also drawn to the complex character she gets to play.
“She’s kind of balls-y and badass and she’s rebellious and rude. She has a perfect memory. And she sleeps around. And I like seeing this female character who’s just not the norm,” she says.
And she also loves that the show itself doesn’t conform to the strict genre of the police procedural – “It’s a cop show with someone who doesn’t want to be a cop, which I kind of love. That separates it and makes it unique.”
Where Poppy began the season resisting her return to the police force, and very much uncertain about her relationship with her police partner, Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), she’s grown into her role.
“I think in the first half of the season and certainly in the pilot we saw a much more tortured soul,” agrees Montgomery. “And, you know, she had unresolved feelings and she didn’t know if she could work with (Al).
“She has become more adjusted to the world and more able to deal with things than she was in the pilot where she’s making some kind of peace in her life with her ability and her gift, and using it to sort of save and help other people, which gives her some kind of peace.”
The long ago murder of her sister, however, a crime she witnessed, and the only thing she can’t remember, remains unresolved. “I think that’s a big key to who she is,” says Montgomery
Though Montgomery can’t promise this’ll be sorted out by the season finale, she does admit she wants Carrie to know who killed her sister. “I keep asking the writers, I’m like, ‘Just a hint, please tell me what happened!’ But I don’t know if we’re going to find out fully what happened.”
But beyond the resolution of her sister’s murder, Montgomery wishes Carrie a more happy-go-lucky personal life. “I’d like to see her in a relationship,” she reflects. “I’d like to see that she can function and fall in love and it won’t be so traumatic for her all the time.”
About Lindsay Zier-Vogel
Lindsay Zier-Vogel has been working for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to interviewing the famed American choreographer Bill T. Jones and Canadian prima ballerina Karen Kain, Lindsay’s highlights include criss-crossing Canada on four SYTYCDC audition tours and covering the Juno Awards. Follow her on Twitter!