Merritt Wever Interview: ‘Godless’
Had “Godless” been a more traditional western, Merritt Wever may not have been “attracted to it, and more likely, there probably wouldn’t have been a part in it for me.” Yet this Netflix limited series is unique in its genre for having so many strong roles for actresses. Written and directed by Scott Frank, the show centers on the town of LaBelle, New Mexico, which is inhabited almost entirely by women after a mining accident wipes out a majority of the male population. Their world is further upended by the arrival of a wounded man (Jack O’Connell) evading a murderous outlaw (Jeff Daniels). When Wever read the script she felt she “had to do it.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Wever above.
Wever plays Mary Agnes, widow of the town mayor and sister to its sheriff, Bill McNue (Scoot McNairy). Although LaBelle is “a town with collective PTSD,” Mary Agnes is “trying to get the women of the town to see this as an opportunity for economic independence.” But she has “trouble getting all of the other women on-board,” especially after the Quicksilver Mining Company comes to town and offers to take care of their needs, both financial and romantic.
Mary Agnes is in a relationship with Callie (Tess Frazer), a prostitute-turned-schoolteacher, but Wever admits she’s “a bit of an emotional porcupine. I think that she wants to give and receive love very badly, but is not very good at doing it.”
Wever won an Emmy in 2013 as Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Nurse Jackie,” and earned another nomination for the role in 2012. That show also brought her a SAG nomination in 2013 as a member of the ensemble cast and a Critics Choice bid for Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2014. She has additionally appeared in shows including “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “New Girl,” and “The Walking Dead,” as well as the films “Michael Clayton” (2007), “Into the Wild” (2007), “The Messenger” (2009), “Greenberg” (2010), and “Birdman” (2014).