Frances Fisher is all over the place these days; besides her new ABC TV series Resurrection, premiering Sunday March 7, she was a recent guest star on the network’s popular Castle, and next month she costars in a movie, The M Word.
Already, Resurrection—the story of some long-dead people from a small Missouri town who have apparently returned—is getting Lost-like buzz. Fisher plays a 60-something mother whose 8-year-old son drowned 30 years before (her husband is played by That 70s Show veteran Kurtwood Smith). When the youngster turns up in a Chinese rice paddy asking to go home to Missouri, it sets off just the sort of tangled plotline that can turn otherwise normal people into rabid binge watchers.
In the days before the premiere, Fisher talked about the show’s provocative premise.
If you could get one person back, who would that be?
I would love to talk to my grandmother about her life. She passed when I was in the seventh grade. We were living in Turkey at the time, so I never was able to have real conversations with her. Now I would love to talk to my grandmother about her life, and know who she is. That’s the thing about this show; it resonates with anyone who has lost a loved one or a friend, and even someone that they didn’t know very well but would have liked to have known better.
That’s pretty deep diving for a TV show. Does it seem like television is asking a lot more of its audiences than it used to?
It depends on what kind of television you watch. There’s some really bad television out there—the reality shows where you watch people act like fools so you can feel better about yourself. But when it comes to the dramas, the writing on television is so much better than it was even 10 years ago, because the film industry has changed so much that all the good writers are going to television.
You and Kurtwood are playing, in effect, grandparents who are suddenly raising a child. Take away the spooky premise of how the boy got into your home and it’s not unlike a situation that’s faced by many grandparents these days.
Yeah, there are many people whose children can’t care for their own children and so the kids go live with grandma and grandpa. It’s something we explore on Resurrection. Dad isn’t able to run like he used to; he can’t keep up with the boy! On the other hand my character says it’s like she’s subtracted 20 years from her life. She feels youthful. She has a reason to live again.
It sounds like a fun role. If you had a chance to play any classic movie role in history, what would it be?
You mean if Bette Davis hadn’t gotten it? All About Eve! Either part: If I were younger I would’ve played Eve, and if I were older I would’ve played Bette Davis’ role. Who knows, maybe I’ll do the play some day.
Resurrection is based on Jason Mott’s novel The Returned. What are you reading now?
Two books, actually. I’m doing a role on Rectify next week, and my character is a member of a book club that talks about The Mermaid Chair (by Sue Monk Kidd). So I’m going to read it so I’ll know what I’m talking about. But I’m also reading Marianne Williamson’s A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections. So every day I can read a page. It’s beautiful. I just opened to a page and it says, “Today I communicate with love, and not fear.” It’s a good way to start the day every day.