‘Ghosts’ Star Rebecca Wisocky on Hetty’s (Potential) New Power & What’s Next
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 13 of Ghosts, “The Vault.”]
Ghosts uncovered a new corner of Woodstone Mansion in the latest installment, “The Vault,” as Sam (Rose McIver), Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), and the ghostly residents uncovered a secret vault underneath the estate.
Locked inside was Hetty’s (Rebecca Wisocky) husband and cousin Elias (played by Matt Walsh) who maintained his old-fashioned ideas about gender roles along with ruining the wedding Sam and Jay were hosting with his horny ghost power. Asserting her strength and fighting back against the obedience that Elias wanted, Hetty told him to go to hell. The results were explosive and game-changing for the series as the unpleasant man fell through a portal into the equivalent of hell.
Below, Wisocky opens up about Hetty’s potential new power, digging deeper into her character’s history, what’s next for the show, and more.
How exciting is it to dive deeper into Hetty’s history and backstory?
Rebecca Wisocky: It’s very exciting and we all feel like we’re in very good hands with this team of writers, with Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. I’ll be honest, I’m such a big fan that’s so in love with the rest of the cast, it’s a pleasure when all I have to do is just stand next to someone and look at them as cue. It’s all been a great big wonderful, wonderful surprise. As the rest of the season wears on, you’ll find out more and more about Hetty.
Hetty asserts her independence from her husband Elias in this episode. Was it nice getting to use the lessons she’s been learning from Sam and Alberta (Danielle Pinnock) all season?
Yeah, Hetty [always] takes a step forward and two steps back. She’s definitely a product and a prisoner of the social contracts and class contracts of her time and she clings to those things because in life they defined her, but in death they’re not necessary and they keep her from having rich relationships. So I think that’s very relatable. Everyone goes through that in their own way. How can you bend and change and still be yourself, and what even defines what that is? So Hetty in particular is a character of lots of contradictions and hypocrisies, which I always find tremendously fun to play, and is really the place where, for me at least, where comedy begins.
When Hetty tells Elias to go to hell, the floor literally opens a portal to hell into which he promptly falls through. Is she really convinced that this is her power? And what will this mean moving forward?
Well I think for a moment she’s terrified that it might be her power. For someone who is so concerned with appearances and behaving like a proper lady, it is the most grotesque, outsized, and powerful power one might be able to have. So I think she’s titillated and terrified, and then also overcome with power, the same way that she might twirl around and guzzle the booze when she possesses Jay’s body, or scarf up all of the Cheetos. She has a voracious appetite, and also a fear of being a carnal person. But I think she quickly realizes that of course that’s not her power. But she’ll probably continue to play with it and joke around about it.
The show is so funny with its dialogue. Is it difficult to keep a straight face when silly dialogue comes into play, like how going to heaven is called getting “sucked off,” or have you all become pros at hiding your laughs?
The full unedited blooper reel is going to be something else on this show, because not only are some of the things we have to say, with such conviction and with such a straight innocent face, so outrageous, but this is a company of naturally funny people, so we’re constantly breaking.
How did you find Hetty’s voice? It’s quite different than your natural speaking voice.
I’ll tell you, the costume has a great deal to do with how I found that voice. Wearing many layers of underskirts and bustles and being cinched into a period-accurate corset every day will do a lot to affect your posture, the way you move, and the way you walk and float through a room. Also, it affects how much breath I’m able to have in one go, and it has affected the musicality of how I deliver those lines. So that did a whole lot, and I also became a student of this period of history. I wouldn’t say I modeled the voice off of anyone, but I certainly tried to do as much research as I could about what that type of life might have been for that type of woman.
In this episode, a secret vault is discovered. Are there any other mysteries lurking in Woodstone Mansion?
Well, I think there’s no harm in telling you that we see what’s in the attic sooner or later.
Well, it’s good to know, especially because we’ve been to the basement so many times where Pete’s (Richie Moriarty) “girlfriend” is.
That’s been so wonderful too, the way I think fans have been so in love with the basement ghosts. They’re so stinky and creepy, they do such a great job. And it was so nice to have Betsy Sodaro come to play with us as Pete’s pretend girlfriend Nancy for two weeks in a row. We’ve been very, very lucky and so excited about the guest stars that have wanted to come play with us. That’s been one of the great things about being on a hit show, that amazing people have wanted to come and guest star for us.
Can you tease what else might be in store for Hetty this season?
Well, I think you might see the relationship with Sam deepen. They have a wonderful surrogate mother/daughter connection that happened in last week’s episode, and I think that relationship will deepen a little. There are lots of things that the future can hold. I think that there could be love for Hetty, I think that there could be the discovery of what Hetty’s family was like in terms of children. I’m not saying any of those things are going to happen this season, but those are things that I would, as an actor, love to know more about.
You’ll also, you’ll see more relationships developing. There’s a nice storyline between me and Isaac, because they’re birds of a feather, and I love them. I’ve become very close with Brandon Scott Jones in real life, all of us have become very close, but we’ve become pals, and that’s a really fun relationship to have between Hetty and Isaac. Birds of a feather is a great way to say it.
Ghosts, Thursdays, 9/8c, CBS