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Exclusive Interview with Guilt’s Emily Tremaine

Photo Credit: Deidhra Fahey
Photo Credit: Deidhra Fahey

Emily Tremaine plays District Attorney/big sister you don’t want to mess with Natalie Atwood on Freeform’s Guilt. Tremaine recently talked to us about what drew her to the show, life in London and what lies ahead for the rest of the season. Check out our chat with the cast below, and tune into Guilt every Monday night at 10/9c on Freeform!

What drew you to Guilt?

So many things. First of all, the creators and writers are two women (Nichole and Kathryn) who both went to law school and then decided to be screenwriters. They were the ones who had the whole idea for this show, and because I was playing a lawyer there was something very interesting about going into a project that was written by two former lawyers. Especially a crime story because you feel like everything is going to be a little more legit, and the idea of two female creators was extremely alluring for me. I just thought it was really sexy and fun and a great project to be part of. It’s also shot in London, so I was like ‘yes!’ (laughs) I just think it’s great that the show is set in London, and it’s not like they shot it on a soundstage in L.A. The whole thing was shot in London- the studio was in East London, and then there were so many days on location all over this beautiful city.”

We haven’t seen much of Natalie as a D.A., but we have seen her in protective big sister mode. You know more about Natalie’s D.A. side than I do- what is your favorite thing about her as a character?

My favorite thing is that she’s a strong woman. She’s very well-rounded, she’s driven and smart and sexy, but she’s a strong woman who uses her intellect and her sexuality to get the information she needs out of every situation. She’s always willing to protect her sister, and you’ll find as the season goes on she goes to greater lengths to protect her sister by using all of her resources.”

You learn something new about Grace every week, but every time you learn something new, it’s like, “Grace- really?”

“(laughs) Exactly! She’s an onion. I think Natalie is aware that her little sister is an onion, and there’s a lot of layers. She has unconditional love for her sister and wants to believe the best, but she’s not going to be blinded by it.”

Speaking of being blinded by something, Natalie and Bruno got together last week.

Yeah! What do you think our couple name is?”

I saw a few people call you Brunalie.

I liked Bratalie, but we were talking and it somehow turned into ‘Natalie Imbruglia!’ (laughs).”

What kind of impact is that going to have going forward?

It’s interesting because of the way the episode ended last week. We know as viewers that there’s always a morning after. Moving forward, Gwen kicked Bruno off the case. I love that that happened, and then Natalie and Bruno finally hooked up because it shows that he wasn’t going to let his feelings for her impact his job. But then when he lost his job- that’s when he went forward with the relationship. I think it provides a sticky situation going forward because he still has ties to the case but then has feelings for Natalie.”

What about Natalie? Is this going to effect her at all or cloud her judgment?

I think love makes us do strange things that we would never expect we would do. But who knows if it’s love? It is the beginning of their relationship, so it’s hard to tell.”

You work with a really strong cast. You’ve got veterans like Anthony Head and Billy Zane- Anthony who is Daisy’s father, who plays Grace.

I was very excited when they cast him (Head). When we started shooting, they still hadn’t cast this character and he was up for it. I said that they definitely should cast him because as a stepfather, James has a much closer relationship with Grace than he does with Natalie. That’s perfect, because obviously Anthony would have a closer relationship with his real daughter and love her more! (laughs).”

What’s it like to work with them? And please tell me you’ve quoted Titanic around Billy Zane at least once! (laughs)

I definitely have- to the point where it’s embarrassing (laughs). It’s great! I saw Titanic in the theaters when I was young, and it’s pretty surreal to be acting and working and joking with him. He is also the first person to bring it up in a joking manner. It’s great! The best Billy Zane moment is whenever I do annoyingly quote Titanic, he’ll just shake his head and say, ‘you’re never going to let that go!’ (laughs).

Apparently, they shot the pilot in Budapest and went out to eat. The guy that was playing the piano in the restaurant accompanying the tenor started playing My Heart Will Go On! (laughs).”

You were in the pilot- did you get to go to Budapest?

No! They shot the pilot with a different actress in Natalie’s role. Everything I shot was in London.”

You were talking about London before- had you ever been there prior to Guilt? Tell me all about London.

I did! I actually studied abroad- I went to Sarah Lawrence College and I studied my junior year abroad in London. It was amazing, and it’s funny to be on a show where my younger sister is studying abroad in London. I loved it because I got all the touristy stuff out of the way, and was really able to be immersed in the culture. I found the small yoga studios, and really just get to know the more residential areas of London. I loved it.

The weather is the one thing you can really complain about, but it’s a very British thing to complain about the weather- so you feel like you’re part of the team! (laughs).”

What are you currently nerding out over in pop culture? What are you binge-watching?

I’m so late to the game, but I just finished Friday Night Lights. I had a minor obsession and would create lies as to why I couldn’t go out so I could stay in and watch it! (laughs).

I am now watching the new seasons of Orange Is the New Black and The Americans. I love The American!”

If you could play any other television character on any other show, who would it be and why?

That’s a really good question. Does it have to be a female?”

It doesn’t have to be!

I guess if it’s a female, I would love to play Elizabeth Jennings- Kerry Russell’s character on The Americans. She’s a spy, it’s the Cold War, she’s always in a different wig, she has a lot of action scenes. I think the dialogue is also so good, and I’m a big fan.”

What about a male character?

Bizarrely, I would love to play Tony Soprano and just be a boss! (laughs).”

I thought you would say Tim Riggins since you just finished Friday Night Lights!

Yes- Tim Riggins or Tony Soprano for a range! (laughs).”

Let’s get to know you a little bit. What are you doing when you’re not acting?

When I’m not acting, I’m pretty active. I love yoga and pilates. I live in L.A. and it’s great to be able to go from the mountains to the ocean. I love a lot of outdoorsy type stuff, but I’m also a big Scrabble fan. But the real Scrabble game- nothing online with a screen! Too much cheating involved with Words With Friends! (laughs).”

If we’re talking to someone who has never seen Guilt before, give me a sentence or two as to why they need to tune in and watch.

Guilt is an addictive, sexy crime drama with so many twists and turns that it will leave you second-guessing yourself on who you think the suspect is. It’s a perfect show for the summer.”

Did you have a list of people you thought were the killer as you filmed the season?

Yes! And I was trying to get everyone to place bets with me, but nobody would do it. Billy and I were the only Americans on the show, and I think the British people were too proper.

My mother actually yelled at me- not like I was going to say anything- but she said, ‘I love this show- do not tell me anything!’ I said, ‘I’m not going to!’”

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