Caroline Dhavernas on Family, Friends and Foes in Mary Kills People’s Final Season

We are two episodes into the final season of Mary Kills People, and it is shaping up to be the most intense and emotional of the series. During a visit to the set earlier this year, I sat down with star Caroline Dhavernas to discuss the complicated threads in Season 3, and saying farewell to her groundbreaking character.

There’s an interesting “circle of life” layer to this story with the revelation in the first episode that Mary is pregnant.

Yes, this happening in Mary’s life is huge. Her choices have always had an impact on her family life, but more than ever now because she’ll be responsible for a vulnerable little being.

Jess also knows the truth about what her mother does. How does that affect her relationship with Mary, and is that knowledge a burden for Jess?

She finally knows the truth and Jess says, it’s way better for her to know even though it’s difficult. It’s going to have an impact on Jess’ personal life in a way that we could never imagine.

Joy’s is open and has become a family business, making Nicole a much larger part of the story. How has that changed the dynamic of the show overall?

Nicole used to be Mary’s confidant, but now she’s part of Mary’s day-to-day, complicated life. She used to really want to join in and be there for Mary, but now the reality of it all is sinking in and it’s complicated. It’s making the dynamic between the two sisters more tense at times. I’m so happy that Nicoles’s at the hospice because Charlotte [Sullivan] is a truly wonderful actress and this season, we get to see more of her.

With the opening of Joy’s, Des’ vision has come to life. Now that things are up and running, does it live up to his expectations? And how does Mary feel about it?

He’s very happy about this hospice. It was his dream, and it came true. Obviously, it wasn’t Mary’s dream. She always felt very good about working discreetly on her own. When Des got out of jail, she had gotten used to doing her own thing and had to accept him back into this business. She feels the hospice is flawed. There are upsides and downsides about having this be more in the light of day, but Des is very happy with that.

Not only has Ben survived, but his relationship with Mary has really taken a toll on his life. How tense are things between them, especially after what happened with Olivia at the end of Season 2?

We never knew where this would go if Ben did come back. What would he be able to forgive? He’s understood so much about what she did over the first two seasons. He used to be completely opposed to it. When he saw [Mary kill] Joshua in Season 2 — how beautiful that moment was, how much the family wanted it, and how it was their decision — he really grew. She really stabbed him in the back [with Olivia], but she didn’t have a choice and did it for her family. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re coming from a very tough place [this season] and there is a lot to discuss.

There’s a new antagonist this season, Frances Thorp, played by Elizabeth Saunders. Tassie [Cameron] described her to me as “Mary if she was a sociopath.”

That’s exactly what it is. In Frances’ mind, she’s helping people as Mary is. Even if you’re opposed to what Mary’s doing, you can’t deny that she’s doing it out of the kindness of her heart, and it’s always the patient’s decision. Frances thinks she knows best. I think she’s the scariest villain we’ve had. She’s not living in this drug-related environment [like Grady or Olivia]. It’s more of a tangible relationship. When someone pretends to be caring, but they don’t care, that’s the scariest.

Going into Season 3, was it gratifying to know that you would be saying farewell to Mary Harris?

It’s so rare because most of the time [when a show is] cancelled, you don’t get to say goodbye to everybody. You don’t really get to say goodbye to your character or wrap up the story in a satisfying way. We certainly got to do that this time. And it was the writers’ and the producers’ decision to end it, which was beautiful and very empowering. [There are] mixed feelings of course. I’m very happy to have played this character. She’s so complex and nuanced and wonderful, and at the same time it’s such a dense and dramatic role that I’m ready to just take a break. I had a baby, so I’d like to take time with her, and maybe do a comedy next time to change things up a little bit.

Update 8/6/22: All three seasons of Mary Kills People are now streaming on Global TV in Canada and Roku Channel in the US.

Photo Courtesy of Global TV

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