Interviews

Katherine Willis – Deliverance Creek

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Q) What are the recent projects that are you working on?

A) I just returned to Season Two of ABC’s “Resurrection.”  I play a recurring role on the show and it’s exciting to see the direction they’re taking with the story this season!  I was also worked on two wonderful independent films this summer, both strong character pieces.

Q) How was your character Cordelia Crawford in Deliverance Creek first described to you?

A) In the original breakdown she was described as a powerful and imposing woman who rules the roost of her Missouri family ranch.  She is a moral schemer just looking for the prime opportunity to undermine, discredit and ruin Belle.

Q) Was there anything you added to the role that wasn’t originally scripted for you?

A) It didn’t make sense to me to play Cordelia like a stereotypical villain, twisting my proverbial moustache saying, “You must pay the rent!”  What I was told made the difference when I auditioned for the role was that I made her multidimensional, a real person.

Q) Why don’t the Crawfords get along with the Barlowes? Is it simply because the Crawfords are more well off?

A) It isn’t that simple – and a lot goes into answering that question.  One aspect is that Cordelia’s lecherous husband, Jeb takes a shine to Belle.  Cordelia is very protective of her own. So, the motivation to make Belle pay for her husband’s wandering eye was a factor.  I created a rich history for Cordelia and her relationship towards the entire Gatlin family, particularly Belle.  This is a small town in Missouri.  Like any small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business and infuses gossip with their own judgments.  Lastly, Cordelia has a splash of provocateur in her; she takes pleasure in stirring the pot.  She feels absolutely justified in every action towards Belle.  It wouldn’t even occur to her that she wasn’t in the right.

Q) There is such great chemistry and intensity between you and Lauren Ambrose. Was it instant when you began working together or did it take some time to bond?

A) It’s kind of impossible to not have chemistry to Lauren (Ambrose).  She’s such a committed and passionate performer.  It was immediate.  And it was SO fun!

Q) What was it like working with director Jon Amiel?

A) He’s the first director I’ve ever worked with that sat down and had a long discussion with me about the character’s back story (along with the wonderful writer/EP Melissa Carter).  That has always been work I do on my own with character development, trying to fill in the blanks.  It was wonderful to ask questions and know that we shared a point of view about her.  He understands how actors work and is incredibly kind and supportive during the long hours, crazy weather and time constraints.  He couldn’t be a better director.  Just a dream.

Q) What were some of your most memorable moments from filming Deliverance Creek?

A) I met Willie Nelson, which has always been a dream of mine.  We were filming on his western set, Willieville in Luck, Texas.  A mutual friend made the introduction and I sat with him on his tour bus.  He’s exactly how you would imagine; a legend, but completely gracious and down to earth. There were some great times on set waiting for filming.  Barry Tubb, who plays my husband Jeb, is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever been around and is hilarious!  Most of his stories are completely inappropriate for retelling.  But one day on set, he walked up to me while we were waiting for a camera set up and pointed to an old timer who was an extra.  He said, “That fella just walked up to me and said, ’10 coyote pelts.’  What? “It took 10 coyote pelts to make this!”and he opens a saloon door to reveal a huge taxidermied jackalope!” Of course, Tubb had to take a picture of himself riding it.

Q) What makes the film such a great fit for the Lifetime network?

A) Lifetime is skewed toward a female audience. Deliverance Creek has grit and realism being set in the Civil War and the cast of men on this show are sublime.  Each actor has his own essence and brings so much authenticity, which the audience will love.  For me, what makes it truly stand out is that this is told from the standpoint of strong, capable women.  Each is the hero of their own story.  A single mother of three maintaining a farm, a school teacher who is aiding escaped slaves, an educated slave who masterminds her family’s escape and my character is a wealthy bank owner who runs the family business. She doesn’t defer to her husband or any man.  These are women the audience will want to spend time with and get to know better!  It’s such a rich world!

Q) You are a part of social media. Are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you’ll receive when the movie airs?

A) It’s funny, I’ve been so focused on promoting the premiere along with the rest of the cast that I haven’t thought past the actual air date on Saturday!  It will be great to get that feedback, for sure!

Q) Where can fans go online to learn more about you?

A) You can visit my web site: http://www.kwillis.com or on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherineww, Twitter: https://twitter.com/theKatWillis
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thekatwillis/, and Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thekatwillis/.

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