Mare of Easttown has been another hit for HBO, but what makes it so captivating? With the series winding down, star Connie Giordano (who portrays Patty Del Rasso) spoke with me about her experience—why she wanted to join the program, what filming was like, and how working on the show was literally close to home for her. Plus, we delve into her off-Broadway background, and how it’s influenced her work on TV.
Check out our spoiler-free interview ahead of the penultimate episode of Mare of Easttown tonight on HBO. The finale will air next Sunday, May 30; if you have missed any episodes thus far, you can catch up by streaming via HBO MAX or on demand.
Brittany Frederick: Mare of Easttown has been talked-about since its premiere. What has the experience been like for you, to see the reception?
Connie Giordano: A whirlwind, that’s for sure. There has been a lot of buzz about this show. Now I think I basically get phone calls on a daily basis, with people saying they think they know who did it. (laughs) I’m not allowed to reveal anything. Even to my own family. They think because we’re related, that I’m going to tell them, and I can’t say anything.
BF: Did you have favorite moments during filming, or favorite scenes that you filmed, which we can talk about?
CG: One of my favorites is just a little teeny scene in the second episode. It was one of my favorites for two reasons. One, because I was back in Springfield, which is where I was born, in Delaware County. And because I was channeling my mother in the scene…It was just so fun being back in my roots, doing what I love, because I haven’t been back in that area for quite a while. I’ve been doing this for so long, and you just go where the work is. It was a such a treat to be in my own backyard. And so that particular scene was the one that was, so far, nearest and dearest to my heart.
BF: What was it about Patty Del Rasso that you connected with in order to portray her?
CG: It was like a well-worn shoe that fit right, as soon as I put it on. Because first of all, I’m Italian, and I make my own gravy every fall. There’s some people who call it sauce, but my grandmother called it gravy. So I instantly connected to that Italian cooking thing and the whole sense of community. Because of where the story is set, I can relate completely to that, because that’s where I grew up. It was really a no-brainer. It really fit like the perfect glove. There wasn’t a lot of research required with this one.
BF: One unique aspect of Mare of Easttown is that the show’s creator, Brad Inglesby, wrote all seven of the episodes. For you as an actress, what does it mean to have that one consistent voice throughout the whole run of scripts?
CG: He’s such a wonderful person and such lovely man. He was on set quite a bit, and he grew up in this area as well, so we would catch up about our favorite spots to go to and things like that. And it was so nice having someone that you could completely relate to, because that’s rare too. He felt like family. It was so cool, because this just doesn’t happen very often. It was a real, real treat.
BF: You didn’t start as a television actress; your background is off-Broadway. How has your theater experience influenced your work on a show like this, which is somewhat theatrical?
CG: That’s where I’ve gotten my training. That’s where I started, and it’s my strength, it’s my background. Everything that I’ve learned from being on the stage since I was a kid, it absolutely applies when you’re acting in front of a camera. It’s a different animal, but it’s one I would like to master.
BF: Do you have a favorite memory from your stage career?
CG: I definitely have had a handful of favorite roles over the years. Two of my absolute favorites were polar opposites, in terms of character. I played Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, and that was just such a hoot, playing such a different character from who I am personally, and what I look like. I had a blonde wig; I was channeling Marilyn Monroe, whom I’ve also played. But Born Yesterday was a really juicy role. And then on the other opposite side of the spectrum, one of my [other] favorite characters was Bella from Lost in Yonkers…The cast, the director, the story, the character, it was just all so rich, and it was also a wonderful experience.
BF: Is there anything that you want Mare of Easttown viewers to know about you, or about the show that they haven’t uncovered yet?
CG: I think one of the most rewarding parts of this whole experience is that the the whole world is going to get to experience this little area that’s so special and unique. If you want to know what it’s like in the suburbs of Philadelphia and what family’s all about here, then this is the show to watch for that reason. The other one being Kate [Winslet]’s performance is just so outstanding, and the acclaim she’s already getting is well-deserved. Her performance is excellent, with a very difficult accent that she mastered. So for those two reasons, I would say please, everyone, come watch this show. You’ll be hooked by the first episode.
Mare of Easttown airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Photo Credit: Ken Volpe/Courtesy of Katz PR, with hair and makeup by Gina Kay.
Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.