In A&E’s new drama “Those Who Kill,” Chloe Sevigny’s homicide detective Catherine Jensen is a different breed of leading lady. More in line with “Hannibal’s” Will Graham or “The Following’s” Ryan Hardy, Catherine is deeply troubled and has a mentality that she needs to be worse than the perpetrators she hunts down.
“I think she’s morally ambiguous, which is interesting,” Sevingy tells Zap2it at the “Those Who Kill” series premiere red carpet. “I think we have so many male characters on television who are like that these days, it’s nice to have a female like that.”
Because of that, Catherine becomes a somewhat unreliable narrator. She believes her step-father Howard Burgess, played by Bruce Davison, is responsible for the disappearance of her brother, though whether that’s the case has yet to be determined. Even Davison doesn’t know how much viewers can trust Catherine.
“I think she’s a very intriguing narrator. I don’t know how reliable she may be, and certainly I’m on the other side of the fence for a lot of it,” he says.
Ryan O’Nan, who plays season premiere villain Eric, is a fan of Catherine’s twisted mentality, even though he finds himself at the receiving end of it in the series.
“I like this mentality that she has of having to be worse than the bad guys, worse than the killers themselves,” he says. “This idea of how much do you get into the mind of the killer and can you come back from that, and both her and James’ characters explore that in a major way. I feel like my character is a difficult one to come back from maybe.”
It’s Catherine’s best friend Mia Vogel, played by Kerry O’Malley, who often has to help Catherine deal with the repercussions of her darkness.
“Catherine’s in trouble, and we’re all doing what we can to help her out — without losing all our jobs at the same time,” O’Malley says. “I think everyone on the show knows that she’s in crisis but that she comes from the right place and that she’s very strong and she’s very brave. Hopefully she’s going to find justice for herself and for all the victims.”
Catherine brings on forensic psychologist Thomas Schaeffer, played by James D’Arcy, as her ally in the premiere. D’Arcy isn’t a fan of American television, but was intrigued by creator Glen Morgan’s pitch that the victims of the crimes would be more of the focus of the show than the perpetrators.
Thomas has an obvious bad history with the Pittsburgh Police Department where Catherine works, which D’Arcy teases “does come out” in Season 1. “It’s not going to be unsatisfactory in terms of a discovery about him. In essence, something went wrong,” he says. “He’s not maybe the most orthodox of people.”
Of the jumps to conclusions his character makes, D’Arcy says Thomas’ skills are based on real-life forensic psychologists. “It’s almost like they’re psychics,” he says. “The truth is weirder than we really suggest in the show.”
“Those Who Kill” premieres Monday (March 3) at 10 p.m. on A&E.