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How do you have a family in a world of crime? It’s complicated and actress Leah Gibson takes it on full-force as Cathy Laszlo, the wife of the oldest and most conniving Laszlo son. Our Rogue insider, Ira Parker, sat down with Gibson to find out what she has to say about the experience and her life on the Rogue set.
Ira Parker: How would you describe your character?
Leah Gibson: Cathy is a very devoted wife and mother. She is a certain type of woman in what she represents – being from California, having a lot of money, and never having to work for it herself. Low class really, in a sense of education and worldly knowledge. But she also has a wisdom about her, in so far as being a very strong-minded woman. She knows what she wants, she knows what she wants for her family, and she plays her cards accordingly.
It’s been a very interesting female role to play, just because she has had some very strong, empowered scenes and then later on her vulnerability comes out. She’s been a joy to explore with the writing, which is so wonderful.
IP: Early on, Cathy seems to encourage Alec’s bad behavior, but as the show progresses, she loses her nerve. Can you talk about that transformation?
LG: Alec and Cathy are a yin and yang. I think that’s why they have this magnetic attraction where she adores her husband and he needs her in ways that he wouldn’t ever be able to vocalize – but she knows. And that’s one of the marks of a very strong woman: She can read a man and give him what he needs without judging him for being, in some ways, a little boy. All men have a vulnerability about them that they may not necessarily be in touch with or be able to express, and a strong woman can know that and cater to that without bringing it to light.
Alec has a brash, volatile temper, but there is a vulnerability to him that she understands so well. So in some ways she mothers him. But when she starts to push him down a road that he’s not ready for, she begins to feel far away from him. Throughout the season she watches him go to a place that is further away than she can reach. And it’s surprising, and it’s very interesting for their relationship dynamic.
IP: How did you prepare for your role as Cathy?
LG: For me it was about reading a lot of material and finding archetypes that I could identify with. Understanding what it is to be a devoted wife, a nurturing mother – having that protective mother grizzly side to you and wanting the best for your family. And those passionate qualities about a woman that lives her life with commitment and integrity, just understanding the varying degrees of power.
For me, personally, my approach has always cme from a foundation of psychology and relationship dynamics. I’m very intellectual about my work just from my schooling background, I guess.
IP: How do you think Cathy and Alec met?
LG: I think they met in high school and were quite young. I think they had magnetic connection so she saw an opportunity in some ways.
IP: And how did she feel about entering a crime family?
LG: She stepped into the role. She believed in it.
IP: What was Jimmy’s reaction when Alec brought Cathy home? Did they get along?
LG: I don’t feel that he was ever particularly proud of Alec’s choice. Jimmy is all about class. And he runs a very dark business. He has certain principles in place and I don’t imagine Cathy represented the type of woman that he believes in. And yet, Alec and Cathy spawned his grandchild, which created a solid family in a way. So there is sort of an acceptance, but nothing beyond that. I don’t feel that they would ever be close.
IP : The Mars Rover Curiosity has found proof that there was once water on Mars. How does that make you feel?
LG: Ha ha ha. Wow. That the universe is massively expansive and makes you feel small and humble and curious.
IP: What kind of songs do you think we’d find on Cathy’s playlist?
LG: Rhianna, maybe some Beyoncé. Some house music, something with a good beat.
IP: Favorite scene of the season?
LG: A pretty powerful and sexy love scene with Mister Joshua Sasse (Alec).
IP: How was that experience? Was that your first sex scene?
LG: Well, I mean I’ve done kisses and pecking and whatever. That was fine but this was…well we went for it. Ha ha.
It’s very odd to do something like that because your goal at any time as an actor when there are cameras rolling is when they yell “cut”, for you to just wake up out of it. And I remember being pressed up against the window, ha ha, and then hearing cut and I just sort of looked up and saw forty people staring at me and thought, “I’m completely naked right now.” Ha ha ha. It’s a very odd thing but the crew was amazing, absolutely amazing, and I don’t think it was easy for them in some ways.
But you know Josh and I just went for it and he was incredibly supportive and checked in with me constantly. Because we’re so close as actors it was a joy in that way. Larysa, the director, was absolutely amazing and the fact that a female director was alongside me for my first experience like this was just a gift. I’m very pleased with how the scene turned out, although I still haven’t seen it, but the scene is very much about power, first and foremost, and I really enjoyed that.
IP: Best/worst part about being on set?
LG: Best part, the people. The character and the people. I love this character, it’s an absolute dream role. The people are a joy. The worst part, there is no worst part. Ha ha.