Macallan's character, Josslyn Carver, has seen some much-needed growth this year, and has had the "misfortune" (insert eye roll here) of being torn between business partner and former brother-in-law, Harry (Brett Tucker) and adoring, successful fiancé Scott (Justin Hartley). It's a rough life but someone's got to live it, am I right?
HuffPost Canada TV spoke with the delightful actress, and she told us about the vast differences between Seasons 1 and 2, how Joss needed to grow up, and being stuck in the middle of a hot rock and a sexy hard place.
HuffPost TV Canada: So I am loving "Mistresses."
Jes Macallan: You are?
I've just become so invested in all the women's lives.
Yay! That makes me happy.
Is it like that for you guys? Like when you get the scripts, are you just as interested in finding out what's going to happen with Alyssa (Milano) and Rochelle (Aytes) and Yunjin (Kim)'s stories?
Oh, completely. The way that I work as an actress, I always prefer to read the whole story and tell the whole story and feel what the whole story's going to be, the journey for the audience and how it ebbs and flows, the highs and the lows. I don't really choose the way I play certain things due to what scenes come before mine but I like to feel the pacing of the show. So I always read the episodes over and over, because I just think that the four of us are in such different scenarios, it makes it really fun and interesting. You've got all the archetypes of women that are in parts of all of us. I feel that's really fun to watch.
In Season 1, we kind of knew what was going on because coming into a new show, on a pilot, we wanted to know where our characters were going in how to play them and how to make them likable and interesting. Season 2, they didn't tell us, so we were like those people who were waiting for the scripts. The finale? I dropped the script on the ground and had to walk away. I was like, "You're joking." It was much more fun because I feel like I was experiencing it this season as an audience member.
I find this season has been more about the women focusing on their own lives. They still get together and drink wine and bitch and moan and love each other, but they're off doing their own thing more this season. Was that a conscious effort to give us more insight into them as individuals?
I think so, though I can't speak for the producers. I felt there was a little more comedy and fun, everybody got to let loose a little more. It wasn't just Joss coming in with one-liners. April's had some funny moments, Karen's let loose a little bit, even the music has changed from being all dramatic to "boopy-doopy-doop." We were so happy we got a Season 2 because you have four women who each have two different storylines within their storylines. It's too much in an hour, you can't really connect with anybody. So what I think what they were trying to do in Season 1 was get that friendship, get that base, get that quirk, get that "Sex and the City" [vibe] going. Then in Season 2, we got down to the nitty-gritty and, exactly what you said, hit the nail on the head, they're doing their own thing. I think it's a good thing that they delved deeper because you start to care more about the characters because you know more about their lives.
Yes. Everything that they've gone through, kind of wild things but at the same time there's still heart to it. It's not completely crazy.
Yes, it's not completely crazy. And the great thing about having all those experiences on their own, I think it's much more like real life. Are you married? I'm married.
Yes, I'm married.
Once that happens, once life happens, you don't sit with your freakin' girlfriends every other day and download what the heck is going on. These meetings in Season 2 started to turn into us sitting there going, "What??" Even in the episode [where they learned of Joss and Scott's engagement], they're like, "What's going on?," which is a great response because you would be like that if you didn't talk every single day.
But it has happened quick.
Oh, totally. It totally happened quick. In Season 1, the way that they were writing it, it felt like we knew every single second of each other's lives all the time, we were constantly in the know about what was going on. So when Karen was like, "WHOOOO?" like maybe we haven't sat down and spoken in weeks, it was great because I think that's how girlfriends are.
OK, I swear, I'm not just saying this because I'm talking to you but Joss is my favourite.
[Laughs] Don't lie.
[Laughs] No, I swear.
[Laughs] Oh, I love that. Thank you. And if you are lying, I'll totally take it.
No, I'm not lying. And I love where her story's heading. Do you like where the writers are taking Joss? Growing her up a little, with Savi, the new career, her business with Harry ...
Oh, I was so happy. Thank God we have really powerful female executive producers, KJ Steinberg and Rina Mimoun. They have kids and they've run all these TV shows and you're watching these strong women write for strong women. I was so grateful because it's so easy to leave Joss as is. We're an ABC summer soapy series, we are expected to deliver a certain amount of steam and sex and seduction and shockers so I was expecting to have to be that character forever. I'm never going to complain because she's so much fun but it was totally a breath of fresh air. I love, love where they took her.
Is Scott really as perfect as he seems?
Wellllllllll ... you know ... the dance of the independent Joss and the dance of Scott, as successful as he is, starts to play out. I love Joss this year. I love the storyline because I feel like I'm in my own little romantic comedy, or my own "The Notebook," my own love story. In the perfection of what he is, he also represents this cookie-cutter, "you be my little wifey" thing. Even though there are independent women out there, it's very hard to be in a relationship. I'm sure you know, being a successful woman, you struggle with it all the time, it can be threatening to men, especially powerful men. That all starts to unfold and be overwhelming. That's what she ends up dealing with, is this OK? Who is this guy, really?
But is that more about the whole wifey thing, or is it about Harry?
Everybody keeps asking me about Harry, it's crazy. [laughs]
I love you guys together.
You do? It's so funny because when this came out, Season 1, the executive producers saw the chemistry between Shannyn [Sossamon], the gal that plays Alex, and I. That was not supposed to go the way it did, as heavy as it did and be an actual love story. On camera, we just really got on and our chemistry was there and she's such a kind soul and so great to work with. They were like, "Let's do it, let's write for it, it's palpable on-screen, people are liking them, let's go with it." Which I love because you lose people when it feels forced.
In Season 2, people just loved this kinship between Joss and Harry. They had this relationship where they tell it like it is. They throw us in a business together and you spend enough time with the opposite sex or whatever, in any scenario -- this is age-old stuff -- somebody's going to have feelings, that's just the way we're genetically made up. So the fact that that started to come up and they started to touch on it, I was like, "No, no, no, no, no. Are you seriously going to go there?" But they were like, "It's honest. The feelings should come out and they should be honest," and that's what we're dealing with here. I can't believe people love Harry and Joss together more than Joss and Scott together.
I'm honestly torn. It's a rough life for Joss.
Well, this is where it's like "The Notebook" scenario. When Harry found out about the engagement, stuff gets really uncomfortable. [Laughs]
You've both always played it very sister/brother-y. Is all this tension really from Scott's comment about the two of them spending all kinds of time together, or has it been building? Because, honestly, I liked how close Joss and Harry were but I didn't see it going there because, well, it's her brother-in-law!
Once again, I'm pulling from circumstances in real life. With my husband, we were friends for months, a year, we were buddies. And one day, there was that one person that was like, "Wow, you guys are really perfect for each other." And I was like, "What do you mean? Jason? What are you talking about?" And then all of a sudden, I was like, "Oh, sh*t." It's the elephant in the room that no one's recognizing. I think when Scott points it out, Joss is really taken aback. And then the wheels started to turn, do I have feelings, what does this mean, and he walks around with his shirt off, dripping all over her, I mean, come on! A woman can only be so strong. [Laughs]
[Laughs] I loved that scene.
It was so fun to shoot. It was really, really hysterical. We had a really funny director and we cackled the whole time. Brett kept going back and getting all oiled up and I was like, "Stop with the oil. The oil is ridiculous." The men on our show with the oil on the abs ... I should've bought stock in baby oil. Ricky Whittle's abs, they should be in a museum. They're crazy.
The "Mistresses" finale airs Monday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV and ABC.