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Netflix offers dark ‘Hemlock Grove’

Fri., April 19, 2013

Complex characters populate steel town

PASADENA, Calif. – Dougray Scott knows what it’s like to be on a TV series full of sex, lies and even more sex after spending a season on “Desperate Housewives.” But the events that unfolded while he was living on Wisteria Lane look tame compared to what his character faces in the new Netflix series “Hemlock Grove.”

Think of it as an East Coast version of “Twin Peaks.”

“Hemlock Grove” is based on Brian McGreevy’s novel about a murder mystery in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town. The suspects are an odd lot, including a 17-year-old Gypsy (Landon Liboiron) who tells his classmates he’s a werewolf. Scott plays Norman Godfrey, who has an interesting relationship with Olivia (Famke Janssen), the controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove, whose husband – Godfrey’s brother – crippled Hemlock Grove by shutting down the steel industry.

“My character was very much opposed to the breaking down of the steel industry because of the effects it had on the town,” says Scott. “He’s never felt comfortable being a part of that powerful family and always wanted to distance himself, but he’s inexorably linked to it.”

The additional twists: Dougray’s character has an affair with his former sister-in-law that creates a dysfunctional relationship with his wife, and he is on rocky terms with his daughter.

It all adds up to what Scott calls a “Gothic murder mystery.”

Scott’s been acting for almost a quarter of a century, appearing in TV shows (“Heist”) and films (“Mission Impossible II”). But he’s never been involved with a project with so many complicated characters.

“I wouldn’t have done the project if the character hadn’t been so multilayered because when you commit to a series it could be for five years,” Scott says. “I read the novel before being cast, so I knew what the character could be.”

“Hemlock Grove” is the latest original series offered by Netflix. It follows January’s “House of Cards,” a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey.

When Scott was on “Housewives,” the antics were rolled out on a weekly basis. Netflix doesn’t make viewers wait: All 13 episodes of ‘Hemlock Grove” will be available starting today.


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