7 Questions with Kristin Lehman, star of ABC’s Motive premiering with a sneak preview on May 20 and airing Thursdays beginning May 23.
ABC’s new drama Motive takes a page from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, revealing the killer and victim at the beginning of each hour, and then exploring the crime via stylized flashbacks and the efforts of Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman) and her partner Detective Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira) to bring the killer to justice. Motive sneak preview airs Monday, May 20, at 10pm ET, and premieres in its regular time slot on Thursday, May 23, at 9pm ET.
“It challenges people’s preconceived notions of who a killer is and who a victim is,” Lehman says about starting the show with the reveal. “You think, ‘Wait a minute, how is this elderly woman going to end up being the killer?’ Or how is this meek, mild mannered cashier going to be the killer? Or how is this brave, aggressive lawyer going to be a victim? It basically gives people who are into cop procedurals, crime dramas, suspense genres, what they want because they’re guessing who does it off the top, anyway. Then you get to invest in the characters who are solving the case. It’s this interesting and compelling curiosity of how did these people’s lives intersect and who are the people who are solving the crime.”
In the sneak preview episode, the victim is a high-school teacher played by Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block. While not a screaming NKOTB fanatic in her youth, Lehman could still appreciate the gravity of the scene. “It really was a moment of like, ‘Oh, my God. We have killed one of the greatest late ’80s/early ’90s icons that there is!’ He was lying there in a pool of blood and all I could think was, [singing] please don’t go girl!”
At least with Motive, revealing the killer won’t become an issue like it did in Lehman’s previous hit series, AMC’s The Killing, which comes back for a third season on June 2 with a new case and a new cast. “It was just such a gift to do that show,” she says of her experience and the opportunity to work in her native Canada. Lehman had only signed on to do two seasons of The Killing, and had already committed to Motive when The Killing was saved from cancellation.
Canada’s CTV has already announced a second season of Motive, which will go into production in August.
7 Questions with Kristin Lehman of ABC’s “Motive”
What has been your strangest fan encounter?
Thankfully, I’ve had no strange ones. That is the truth. I’ve only had just pleasant, wonderful ones. I guess one really nice one was this really fabulous, unassuming clerk at the deli of my grocery store came and followed me down one of the aisles and said, “I know you’re going to be in an upcoming episode of Castle, and I just want to tell you I’m really excited!” I’m like, “Wow, how do you know that? I don’t even know when it’s on!” Just nice things. I just get really nice people, which is good.
When was the last time you were starstruck?
I would say that like, agog, like totally starstruck, was probably 10 years ago when I ran into Leonard Cohen at Whole Foods down in Santa Monica, and I couldn’t talk. I was like, “I … can’t … breathe … agh!” It was really embarrassing. I uttered a few words to him and then literally disappeared. Like I was talking to him, and he was talking to me and he shook my hand, and suddenly I just turned around and disappeared. And I thought, “Well, that was just inappropriate. That was ridiculous. I have to explain now that I was feeling starstruck.” So then I run into him in the parking lot and said, “Oh, Mr. Cohen, I’m so sorry. It’s just that I feel so starstruck.” And he looked at me and he said, “Yeah, where’d ya go? Where’d ya go?”
What three items must you always have in your refrigerator or pantry?
Cheese — lactose-free, if possible, and old cheddar. Pickles — good standby, good snack. And fresh veggies. That part’s lame, but I feed a 5-year-old, so I’ve got to put a veggie in there so I’m not a bad mom. But I’m a fanatic for the cheese and pickles.
You’ve also got a coffee addiction. What’s your brew of choice?
My coffee addiction came late. It came once I had my little boy. So I was 37. I did not drink coffee. I worked at Starbucks, even, when I was 19. Could not stand it. Couldn’t stand the smell, didn’t enjoy the taste. And then I had a baby and it became my lifeblood. I love love love a company here in Canada called Forty Ninth Parallel. I think they’re super delicious. I’m a bit of a coffee nerd, so I like finding independent coffee roasters. And I like a good mocha. Skim mocha or almond milk mocha. If I’m lucky enough to have a place that does almond milk, I’ll do that. But I’ll do skim milk if I need to. Basically, it’s just a vehicle for sugar and fat. I’m not afraid of admitting that.
If you could attend one Canadian sports event, would you go to an NHL game, a CFL game or a curling match?
It wouldn’t be CFL, though I do love live football. I have never been to a curling match, but this year I walked in the Heart Truth Red Dress campaign with Canada’s curling champ Cheryl Bernard, and I tell you, she had a rockin’ bod. She had really wicked arms. I thought she was spectacular. After having experienced her, I might be interested in the curling. But probably NHL.
You’ve just recently launched ThisFairLand.com. What’s it all about?
I wanted to create a resource where people internationally, globally and within Canada, could reliably go to a website that explores living an artful life in Canada. A lot of the blogs and websites I go to for inspiration they basically present where they hail from. The building blocks, the essential ingredients of living a creative life are often what’s right around the corner from you. What’s right in front of you. What comes from you. And I wanted to celebrate that. What I see around me and what I draw inspiration from, the people that I’m moved by, and this amazing landscape that determines so much how we live in this country. It’s a big, huge, rough, vast, beautiful diverse country. … It’s a place for explorers, no matter where you live, to see what inspires me here in Canada.
What’s this about you not owning Star Wars on DVD?
I do! I do! But it’s in storage. I do own it. Because I have a big storage unit in Toronto, I left it in Toronto. It’s like my husband, too, “WE’VE GOT THESE MOVIES IN STORAGE!” It’s only A New Hope that we were letting my son watch. We have all of the old ones, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. We don’t own the new ones because I have mixed feelings about them. But we bought it. We do have it. We watched it and I took pictures of us watching it.
Photo: Credit: ABC/Kharen Hill