“Assisted dying could’ve been a very depressing subject matter,” Dhavernas says of her latest role – and if that sounds obvious, she’s not being facetious. The Canadian actress stars as the lead in Lifetime’s upcoming black comedy “Mary Kills People,” which premieres on Lifetime April 23, and follows an ER doctor who assists in end of life treatments. “They made it very fascinating to watch – there are moments of compassion, and passion, and adrenaline, and fun, and a lot of comedy,” she says.
Aside from being a role in a sweet spot of comedy and drama, Dhavernas found the subject matter necessary to explore. “I think it represents life very well – there’s always a little bit of comedy and drama around, and it feels to me a little bit like what it feels to be at a funeral – how after a funeral you feel very alive and very excited about the fact that you are healthy and that there’s very little time to do everything you want to do, and you want to go out with friends and celebrate life and drink,” she says. “So to me, that’s a bit what the show is about. There are people who have suffered enough – my character feels it’s important to help them, not let them go through that alone, and that’s a very delicate subject matter for a lot of people. I realized as soon as you soon bring in religion it becomes a little complicated but that’s why I think it’s important to talk about this subject matter. It’s a debate that we should be having more as a society.”
PROVENANCE: Montreal, Canada. “I’ve always been happy in my hometown – it’s where my friends and family are, and I love this place. I feel so comfortable here. I could never leave.”
BIG BREAK: “Hannibal” with Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Gillian Anderson.
SXSW NEWBIE: “I’d never been to Texas, and Austin is so creative and lovely. I think it’s a really great film festival too because it’s not only film – there’s comedy and music and interactive – it’s really cool to see a bunch of people from different places come together to celebrate their art.”
MARY KILLS PEOPLE: “It’s about an ER doctor named Mary who also moonlights as an “angel of death,” and helps patients who are terminally ill,” Dhavernas says of her character. “She’s a mother of two, and is filled with contradictions and interests and passions, so it’s a cool tone.”
REBOOT: The show is the latest on Lifetime’s roster as the network rebrands itself with critically praised content, boosted by the success of “UnReal.” “They’re interested in women’s stories, and this is a very strong one,” Dhavernas says of the network. “It was made by women: written, directed, produced, edited, and the lead of course is female. I’m all for television that’s smart and makes us reflect on certain subjects.”
UP NEXT: While “Mary Kills People” is her most anticipated showing, she was actually brought to Texas in promotion of an upcoming film, “Easy Living.” “Film audiences are great to watch movies with,” she says. “They are film lovers, so they stay for the q&as, and ask questions.”