“The process to get this darn role was probably one of the longest auditioning processes that I’ve ever had,” actress Amanda Schull tells Gold Derby in a video chat (watch below) about her work as Dr. Cassandra Railly on the hit SyFy series “12 Monkeys.” As she explains, “They made me work for it and with every round and every incarnation of the script I loved her more and I needed to be her more.”
“12 Monkeys” is adapted from the Oscar-nominated 1995 film of the same name which won a Golden Globe for Brad Pitt. In the TV series, Schull plays a virologist sought out by time traveler James Cole (Aaron Stanford) to help him stop a virus destined to wipe out all mankind. Schull admits that though it is a TV show, it feels like its own movie every week: “The whole scope of every single episode is as grand as I’d say a lot of film! You know they get over two hours, we get it all in there in 42 minutes!”
Schull will be vying for a spot in the toughest category at this year’s Emmys and maybe any award show in quite some time: Best Drama Actress. It’s no secret that the TV Academy isn’t particularly fond of science fiction programming (just ask the criminally ignored Sarah Michelle Gellar (“Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”) and Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black“). On her side, however, is that Schull doesn’t play a clone, slayer, or president of a galaxy. She plays a doctor who is determined on saving the human race. And playing an action heroine didn’t keep Jennifer Garner from landing a few Emmy nominations for “Alias,” so it may not be the end all for Schull either.
Still, the competition is tough! According to Gold Derby’s current odds, Schull’s potential Emmy competitors this year would be: Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder“) at 10/3 odds, Robin Wright (“House of Cards“) with 9/2 odds, Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife“) at 11/2 odds, Taraji P. Henson (“Empire“) with 13/2 odds, Ruth Wilson (“The Affair“) at 12/1 odds, and Claire Danes (“Homeland“) also at 12/1 odds.
Daunting but not impossible, but according to Schull, “The whole idea is so insane to me that we’re having this interview and this conversation.” Still, she says she knows which episode she’d choose if she does indeed land an Emmy nomination: “You know what episode I really enjoyed doing and then watching it was moved was seven, which was “The Keys.” It was directed by the incredible John Badham who directed “Saturday Night Fever. So I guess if I were to choose that would be it.”
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