From 'Crown' to 'Chloe:' Erin Doherty wants to keep surprising people
UPI News Service, 06/23/2022
Erin Doherty said she signed on to play cyber-stalker and con artist Becky in Prime Video's six-part psychological thriller, Chloe, because the character was so unlike the real-life royal role of Princess Anne she portrayed on The Crown.
"There's something that happens as an actor when people see you portraying something and they go, 'Oh, cool, that's your thing.' It took a while for roles like Becky to start coming in," the actress told UPI in a recent Zoom interview.
"To play someone completely different, I just jumped at the opportunity," she added. "To surprise people as an actor is a real gift. I just want to keep surprising people."
Premiering Friday, Chloe casts Doherty as Becky, a temporary worker who also cares for her mother with dementia and is obsessed with strangers on social media who seem to have perfect lives.
Shocked to learn Chloe, one of objects of her fascination, has died unexpectedly, Becky pretends to be popular, successful Sasha and infiltrates Chloe's inner circle of friends to find out what happened.
"I describe Becky as an isolated human being who is just so desperate to not be in the situation that she is currently in," Doherty said. "She will do anything to be anyone else, to feel any other way. So, that's why she behaves the way she behaves."
The actress said she had no trouble understanding what drives Becky and doesn't think of her disparagingly.
"I loved her! I still do. Honestly, I am Team Becky, all the way, until I die," Doherty said.
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"They sent over all six scripts. and not at any point did I really question my ability to love this woman. That's what I find most fascinating, giving it over to audiences.
"Of course, they are free to judge away, that's absolutely what it's out there for. But it never entered my mind that she could be judged badly."
Pippa Bennett-Warner, who plays Chloe's best friend, Livia, and Brandon Micheal Hall, who plays Becky's love interest, Josh, talked to UPI in a separate joint Zoom interview about how Becky wreaks havoc in their characters' lives.
Hall said Josh doesn't expect to be as captivated emotionally by the duplicitous woman as he is, while Bennett-Warner noted Becky turns Livia's life "completely upside-down."
"She brings things to her attention that Livia wishes would remain under a rock somewhere at the bottom of the ocean," Bennett-Warner teased.
Although mainly created to entertain, Chloe delivers a clear message about how many people assume they know what others' lives are like based on how they look online.
"The show is really just fantastic at depicting social media and our relationship with it and the dangers that lie there," Doherty said.
"I really pray that people can watch this show and maybe reassess their relationships with social media. I don't think it needs to be so swallowing. It doesn't need to consume us in the way that it does."
Doherty said she likes being part of a fun project that also holds up a mirror to society as it is now.
"All I want to do is ask questions. I think that's what it is to be a human being," she said.
"Social media -- there's no escaping it and it is such a big part of our lives. Why not be a part of something that brings up really uncomfortable questions [about it]?" she added. "When we get uncomfortable, good stuff happens."
Bennet-Warner agreed that the show does a great job exploring what people share online and how they perceive others.
"Yes, you can be putting up all of these things, but your life could be normal or a mess or complicated, but you choose to put this veneer -- this slice of your life in the public space. It shows the ability to control your narrative, but also the darker and vulnerable side to that."
Hall said Josh is the "voice of reason" on the show, and Bennett-Warner called Livia the "queen bee of Bristol."
"She's running Bristol in a way and loving life. She has a great life," Bennett-Warner said.
"I wanted to play her because I felt like I hadn't really tapped into or seen this kind of character before on TV, especially played by a Black actress, so I was very keen to do it because of those reasons, and also because of Alice [Seabright's] writing. I really love the world she created."
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