VICTORIA, BC. Two of TV's biggest breakout performances of 2014 have come from Allison Tolman and Carrie Coon, a pair of thirtysomething actresses who seemingly arrived fully formed in "Fargo" and "The Leftovers." Tolman and Coon were relative unknowns, unless you happened to know your Chicago or New York theater, but it was instantly clear from their opening small screen moments that they were stars.
If "Gracepoint," FOX's 10-episode remake of "Broadchurch," is a hit, you can expect Virginia Kull to find herself in conversations with Tolman and Coon. While the Texas-raised actress has had brief and occasionally memorable guest turns on shows including "The Following," "The Good Wife" and "Boardwalk Empire," you probably won't know her unless you saw her in stage productions of "The Orphans’ Home Cycle" or "The Heiress" or "Dividing The Estate," among others.
In "Gracepoint," Kull plays Beth Solano, grieving mother to the young boy whose murder sets the drama in motion. If you've seen "Broadchurch," it's the Jodie Whittaker role and you know how much emotional heavy-lifting it requires.
Back in May, Kull and her knee-high rubber rain boots braved drizzle and muck to sit down for interviews near the "Gracepoint" set on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
I met Kull without having seen her "Gracepoint" performance, but having heard raves from all of her co-stars. In the conversation, we talked about her detour to acting from a career in medicine and her gifts as an easy crier. We also talked about why her character will inevitably be different from Whittaker's, even if Kull is a big admirer.
I've subsequently seen seven episodes of "Gracepoint" and I can vouch for what her colleagues told me. Kull is very impressive.
Check out the full Q&A to get to know a bit about Virginia Kull before Thursday's "Gracepoint" premiere...