(CBS) – Clarice is back with an all-new episode tonight at 10:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on Paramount+. Tonight’s episode titled “How Does It Feel To Be So Beautiful” will feature Clarice sharing a rather uncomfortable dinner with the Martins as she comes face to face with Catherine for the first time since the events of Silence Of The Lambs.
CBS’ Matt Weiss spoke to Marnee Carpenter, who plays Catherine Martin, for an inside look at the character and what fans have to look forward to later tonight.
MW: Hey Marnee, how’s it going?
MC: Good. How are you doing?
MW: Doing well over here! Jumping into things here, how did you first find out about this show and what made you want to step into the shoes of Catherine Martin?
MC: Well, I’ve actually been a huge Silence of the Lambs fan since I first saw the movie ages ago. This popped up on my manager’s radar back in LA. I got lucky enough to get in for an audition and I booked it the next week. I was ecstatic!
MW: Pretty quick turnaround.
MC: It was a quick turnaround. They were ready to move when we initially thought we were going to be starting in March of 2020 and then the world shut down. We switched that over to last September instead.
MW: The thing about playing Catherine, is that it’s a character that has been around for a long time, but it’s never really been explored before. Now you’re getting a chance to do that, especially as someone who is a big fan of the movie, what does that mean to you?
MC: I think it just means extending the story and giving her a chance to speak. It’s a lot more than just be in the pit because, of course, that’s what we see of her in the film. I think it’s a chance for her to have a voice just like giving a chance for Clarice to have more of a voice in the series versus the film. I feel like there’s so much more that can be learned, especially of these two. I’m totally thrilled that’s happening.
MW: As you said everything changed last March, so the show had to be filmed in a pandemic. You had that on top of the fact that it was the first season and everyone had to get to know each other. What was that experience like?
MC: In some way, as tough as it is to rally during a pandemic, it did give us a benefit in one way. We were all delayed and most of us were cast so we actually got to have Zoom meetings to kind of tide us over and wait until we got to go.
I feel like we actually bonded a lot more than we would have had the chance to if we had just started right away. It kind of gave us a neat little family bond before we ever started filming, which I think is actually evident in our work. We’re definitely a family and we’re dealing with unprecedented circumstances. It’s been a wild set of circumstances that I think have in some ways really benefited us, our performances, and our interplay between characters as well.
MW: It’s great that you were able to build up those relationships before you even met each other, I’m sure that was a huge help. I’ve spoken to people on other shows who also filmed their first seasons this year and they’ve mentioned one of the weirdest part is not knowing what some of the crew even looks like due to the masks. I imagine you had a similar experience?
MC: That’s very true. We have an ongoing joke about wondering if people now match their faces. We don’t know what they look like. Like, oh yeah that fits or oh no that’s not how I pictured him. [Laughs] Yeah, it’s definitely not the norm.
MW: Yeah, someone has a beard, totally throws you off.
MC: Yeah, you never know what goatee is going to surprise you.
MW: [Laughs] Last question before I let you go here. On this upcoming episode, we see Clarice and Catherine and they’re finally face to face as they sit down to dinner at the Martin house. What are we going to see out of this long-awaited meet up between the two of you?
MC: It’s a doozy. It’s definitely not a light, pleasant family dinner. We definitely are three very strong-willed women with Ruth there as well and we’re all coming from different perspectives and different truths. It makes for a very interesting triangulation, and no one’s shying away from it, which I really love, especially just working on it.
It’s like firing on all cylinders almost for a whole episode, which is just a blast to do. For Clarice, Catherine and Ruth, they all have different agendas and they’re coming from different places. I think each of them are trying to be heard and understood and taken seriously but people keep getting misunderstood. All the interesting things of being human and dealing with one another.
MW: It’s a story that is decades in the making and I think a lot of people are excited to learn more. Thank you so much for the time today Marnee and all the best moving forward!
MC: Thank you so much!
Check out new episodes of Clarice Thursdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+. Check your local listings for more information.