Kristen Gutoskie Gives 26 Reasons to Watch the Infectious New Drama 'Containment'
The 13-episode outbreak series premieres tonight on The CW.
Television's latest viral outbreak show has nothing to do with zombies or vampires. In Containment, The CW's infectious new drama, a deadly virus shuts down the city of Atlanta and forces its residents to be quarantined in order to contain the disease. The 13-episode series, which premieres tonight (9/8c), is the latest from producer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries and The Originals), and is based on the Belgian series Cordon.
In the new series, Kristen Gutoskie (Beaver Falls) steps into the role of Katie, a school teacher who gets stuck in the cordon with her son and 6th grade class. While the outbreak spreads panic in the city, Katie must find a way to keep the cool in the chaos. Ahead of tonight's premiere, the actress answers our 26 burning questions about the show.
Advice you have for the characters on Containment who are trying to survive:
Don't make out with anyone.
Best behind-the-scenes story you have about the filming of Containment:
Probably our rap sessions between takes. Yep, I said rap not wrap. Chris Wood who plays Jake and Deedee who plays Thomas and I would make up songs between takes to lighten the mood. Chris and Deedee would freestyle, and I, of course, was the designated beat boxer. I think we may be in talks for a record deal any day now, sit tight.
Comparisons you see between the Belgian series Cordon and Containment:
I tried not to watch the Belgian series because I wanted to give my version of Katie the space to develop. The actress who plays Katie in the original Cordon is so breathtaking and real. I didn't want to try and repeat anything, I wanted this Katie to find it on her own. She's in a place of curiosity throughout the season so keeping curious myself was important. But I did watch the first episode of the Belgian version. The depth of the storytelling in the original was so beautiful and I think Containment captured that well, but you will see a few differences in the season's storylines.
Do you think the outbreak will be contained by the end of the season?
If I told you, I'd have to get patient zero to sneeze on you. But I can tell you that the powers that be work very hard to contain the virus. They do whatever it takes.
Entertainment of choice, if you were contained in real life:
Live music all day every day.
Favorite Containment character and why:
I would say Bert played by Charles Black. He's just so lovable and good to his wifey, Micheline.
Guest star you'd love to see on the show:
How long do you think your character is going to last on the show?
Don't make me call patient zero.
Interesting fun fact about the making of Containment:
Whenever a healthy character sneezed or coughed during a take we'd have to stop the scene and start again. Allergy meds were available on speed dial.
Journey your character takes on the show:
Katie has a beautiful journey throughout the season. She makes it her duty to keep all of the children safe. She also opens her heart and admits to things in her past, and I think that frees her in a way. The irony is she finds freedom in the containment, and an acceptance of her flaws and mistakes with the help of new friends in the cordon. She finds her sense of purpose as a protector who would sacrifice anything for the ones she loves. She also finds strength she never thought she'd have, and watches her son mature before her eyes. Oh, and she discovers love in unexpected places.
Kissable person on the show:
Everyone. Have you seen them all? Beautiful inside and out.
Lessons you learned since filming the series:
Always cover your mouth when sneezing.
Main themes you see the show trying to tackle:
Love, loss, how humans behave in crisis, the lies we tell, and the fragility of the human heart and the human race.
Nerdiest cast member:
George Young. Well probably me, then George in a close second. But he's the best nerd in town. He gets excited about talking speakers and boy bands.
Other viral outbreak TV shows or movies you enjoy:
The Walking Dead, of course. Contagion was really realistic, too.
Prep work you did before you started filming the show:
I studied a lot with my coach Michele Lonsdale Smith. We developed the life of Katie and her backstory, and did a lot of body work and relaxation. I also interviewed a lot of single mothers and women who have similar stories to Katie, watched documentaries, and found similarities in my life. I constantly thought about her every day and how she would see things and react to situations. The work never stops really, and I immerse myself in characters when I play them, I love love love the process of getting into their heads and discovering how they see things.
Questions you think the show raises. It deals with some pretty heavy stuff:
How much as a society are we kept in the dark? Who's telling the truth? Are we safe under power of the authorities? How far would you go for the ones you love? Could this happen to us? Is bioterrorism a real possibility? Who can you trust? Does love conquer all?
Recipe your character would make over and over while contained:
Well the food is limited in the cordon, so it would be probably a dried goods jambalaya of sorts. But if Katie had a full kitchen I see her making yummy soups, comfort food that feeds a lot of mouthes. Also she likes ice cream a lot and probably could whip up some homemade cookie dough flavor if she had the equipment.
Scariest thing you had to do during the filming of the show:
It would be a toss up between seeing "sick" people in the isolation rooms, and hanging with the rats. Actually they were pretty cute those lil' guys — the rats. The patients on the other hand, not so cute. So I'd say the isolation ward scenes, our makeup team made people look so realistic and that shook me in a real way.
Three random things fans can expect to see on Containment:
A teddy bear, a guitar, and a gun.
Underrated thing you'd really want during an outbreak:
Masks and oil of oregano.
Van or plane — choose the vehicle you'd want access to during a real-life outbreak:
A van. Planes are like breeding grounds for germs.
Why were you drawn to this show?
The characters. They were so complex and well written. You care about them immediately, and mixed with the edge-of-your-seat suspense, the story is so compelling, scary, and heartwarming. And also the people involved — Julie Plec is a master, and David Nutter, a phenomenal director.
Since we will not ask for your favorite "X word," give us your shameless plug here:
Check out Relationship Status world premiere at TriBeCa film festival on April 21st and airing on Verizon's go90 the following week. A fun project I did about love in the digital age. Also The Dust Storm, a music love story I was a part of, is screening this week at Nashville Film Fest and will be coming out soon so keep your eyes peeled.
YouTube video you've been showing all your friends:
Finally, if you didn't know Zimbio was an entertainment site, what would you think "a Zimbio" was?
Sounds like a musical instrument of some sort.