Kari Matchett discusses the subject matter of the show and role she plays in it
Heartland is a new TNT series in which heart surgeon Nathaniel Grant's (Treat Williams) dedication to his work takes a toll on his health and his relationships. We recently got to hear from Kari Matchett who plays Kate Armstrong on the show. She discussed the series' tone, its subject matter and how sometimes one person's tragedy is another person's blessing.
What do you think makes Heartland great dramatic television?
Kari Matchett: I think people will fall in love with Heartland for the same reasons that I fell in love with the original script for the pilot. It's about life and death issues. It's about people receiving organs that will help them continue to live, and they are receiving these organs from people who have just died. It also deals with the complexities of the matters of spirit, heart and emotions.
Tell us about your character, Kate Armstrong?
Kari Matchett: I play an organ-donation coordinator on the show, and my ex husband is played by Treat Williams, who's a hot-shot surgeon - the best in the business. So not only is my character dealing with life and death issues of people dying and people living off of donated organs but with all the emotions of working with the man she once loved, married and has a child with. Every second is filled with something new and interesting and has a wealth of history because of the fact that the two main characters were once married. It just lays in all the details and complexities and mixed emotions and really mirrors life in so many ways.
Why is Dr. Grant so focused when it comes to work and such a mess in the rest of his life?
Kari Matchett: David Hollander has created these incredible characters that have truth to them. Nathaniel's truth is that we're born really good at some things, and we really suck at others. Nate was born to do what he does. He's good at it, he loves it and he's passionate about it, and yet he's a mess when it comes to relationships. So although things are really lined up and clear and crystal clean in some areas of his life, which is his brilliant work, he's really not brilliant with his relationships, even though he tries and tries again to succeed.
Why are flawed characters that much more interesting to watch?
Kari Matchett: Who wants to watch somebody perfect on TV? I think that television is a great representation of the truth and of who we are. Great television always reflects truth, and people are drawn to it because they see themselves and hopefully understand themselves better. There is no one person on this Earth who is perfect, and so I think the clearer characters on television or on film, the clearer their flaws are drawn and the more complex and interesting the characters are.
How does Kate convince people to turn their tragedies into good for somebody else?
Kari Matchett: The difficulty of what Kate does is trying to appeal to families who have just gone through terrible tragedies by appealing to their need to help others. She has to ask the impossible question, which is donate your loved one's heart to continue to let someone else who you don't know live. One of the most interesting things about playing this character is that I don't think she always knows how she is going to achieve that. It's not an easy job, and I don't think she ever really knows how she's going to deal with it. But she loves people, and she tries to connect with them and make it work.
Heartland premieres Monday, June 18 at 10/9c on TNT.
Dont't forget to also check out: Heartland