Elizabeth Mitchell is the latest addition to the cast of Netflix’s Outer Banks, which returns for its second season Friday, July 30.
Mitchell is best known for her scene-stealing roles on Lost, The Purge: Election Year, Revolution, and Once Upon a Time.
The list goes on. The actress has appeared in a string of hit movies and TV shows, and TV Fanatic got the chance to chat with her about Outer Banks, as well as her new projects on the horizon.
TV Fanatic: Your latest series, Outer Banks, kicks off its second season this week. What attracted you to the show?
Elizabeth Mitchell: A lot of things. I hadn’t seen it yet when I got the audition, and I watched it really quickly because I love to do my homework, but then I continued to watch it, and I absolutely got sucked in.
So I think it was working with the Pate brothers and with this incredible cast. I was just excited about it.
I didn’t know a whole lot about the character, except that she was a bit toxic and hurt.
I wanted to see what that looks like. So I found myself a little bit scared and a little bit excited, and that’s what drew me to it. Those two things are usually a good signal for me.
You’re playing Carla Limbrey on the series. Are you able to speak about how your character fits into the show?
Carla is a Charleston native. She is old money. She is one from one of those old, old, old, old Southern families.
And she is after the same thing everybody is after, but she has a very distinct reason and, honestly, nothing to lose. So she is an interesting, in my way of thinking, antagonist for this particular story.
The first season ended on quite the cliffhanger, with the Pogues assuming John B and Sarah to be dead. Can you tease anything about the aftermath of that?
The aftermath is very rewarding. They do it in such a way where the first three episodes really do feel like the wildest ride you can imagine.
I think that what we all hope for and long for is that the Pogues will all be together. That’s what happens when you fall in love with a group like that, and I think people will be happy with the way things turn out this season.
I understand you’re playing Margo on the new Netflix drama, First Kill. What can you tell me about that show?
I’m a vampire! I’m a 500-year-old vampire! Oh, I’ve always wanted to play a vampire.
That’s exactly what attracted me to this show. I love the showrunner, Felicia. I find her world-building skills to be second to none.
I was excited about the idea of working on a television show with so many females. I thought that that was really fun.
When I spoke and auditioned and interviewed with everybody, I was in a room with all women, and I found that to be so interesting, in comparison to where I had been auditioning most of my life. I was instantly intrigued and a little bit tickled and ready to take it on.
And I quite like Margo. She is an interesting matriarch, and she fascinated me as well. So I think a combination of the script and the people behind the camera. All of that was really intriguing to me.
Your past shows have mostly been on cable and broadcast, and they’ve typically rolled out on a weekly basis. What are your thoughts on releasing all the episodes at once?
I like the idea of it feeling like a long movie. I liked the idea that you can be immersed. I think that sometimes with the twisty turny adventure shows that I like so much, if you separate them by too much time, you forget a plot point, and then you have to go back and rewatch.
And I think when they’re all together, especially for a thriller or an adventure show, those shows really do benefit from being back to back.
It doesn’t bother me one bit. I kind of think it’s wonderful. I do it myself. When I fall in love with something, you just sit on the couch, and all of a sudden, you fall into another world.
You’ve been a part of some of my favorite shows, including Lost, Revolution, Dead of Summer, and Once Upon a Time.
What are your thoughts on either of those shows making a comeback in some capacity?
I would be so happy if any of them did come back. The fun thing about any sort of reboot is that you get a different perspective of a good idea.
And a different perspective of a good idea, a creative take on something that works, is something that I’m always happy to watch. Battlestar Galactica was just extraordinary, right?
It’s so fun when we take things, and we put a whole different idea. That would be an absolute pleasure for me to watch on any of those shows.
I really like the Purge franchise, but my favorite one was Election Year.
I’m so glad. I liked that one, too. It felt like a thriller to me.
Do you think you’d ever return to the franchise?
I absolutely enjoyed working with everybody. If they came up with something that we all thought was wonderful, absolutely.
Those people were fantastic to work with, and I liked the fact that that one was more thriller than horror.
It’s not that I don’t like horror, it’s just that I liked the thriller aspect of it, and I had been wanting to do that.
So that felt like it filled something that I hadn’t really done before. I really enjoyed it. I loved our director and I had a great time with him.
You’re also attached to the movie When Time Got Louder. What can you tell me about that?
Oh, my goodness. I really loved that movie. That is such an emotionally naked film.
Very few of us wore any makeup, and a lot of it was improv.
We worked with a lot of incredible actors on the spectrum. It’s about a family living with autism, and it’s unflinching, but at the same time, it shows you the joy of it, as well as the struggle.
I learned so much in doing it, and I found it to be an emotionally naked role that I enjoyed tremendously.
I had such a lovely time just being a mom and a mom who is in a crisis. Our young director was also extraordinary.
If we circle back to First Kill, you’re playing a vampire for the first time, which you’ve wanted to do for some time.
Can you speak about some of the challenges of that in comparison to some of your previous roles?
The first one is physical. It’s very hard to talk with the teeth in. You have a little bit of a lisp. Like, I feel like I talk maybe like I did when I was seven and didn’t have my teeth right, but it’s very endearing, especially when you see other people do it.
Although you can’t really claim humanity for someone who is 500 years old and also a predator, you can claim love for family and you can claim wanting the people that you love to be safe and well and cared for.
And that part, I also identify with. Those are the things that we have in common. The predator is not. I’m not a predator, and I don’t think that way, but to be a hunter. It’s a very interesting thing to play.
It’s a very interesting thing to think of yourself in that way in an imaginary setting. So that was really interesting, especially for such a pacifist as me.
Thanks so much for chatting with me, and good luck with all your projects this year. I’m so excited for all of them.
So many, and I don’t really know how I ended up being so lucky, but I’m excited too. And I’m grateful that you are. Have a wonderful rest of your day.
TV Fanatic had the chance to watch Outer Banks Season 2 ahead of its debut, and we’ll be running down all the events in episodic reviews.
The fun begins Friday, July 30 at 04:00 ET.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.