Wayward Pines’ Carla Gugino: ‘I Love a Good Thriller’

Carla Gugino
Jeff Riedel
Carla Gugino

Scene Stealer: Carla Gugino

She Plays: Kate Hewson, Secret Service agent Ethan Burke’s (Matt Dillon) missing former partner and lover. But when the estranged duo reunite in Wayward Pines, she appears significantly older and insists she’s been living in the quirky town for 12 years while married to local toy store owner Harold Ballinger (Reed Diamond). “The intriguing thing about playing this character was the fact that my job was to not reveal anything too soon,” Gugino says. “We don’t know whether we can trust her or not, or what her intentions are. She’s extremely multileveled.”

Where You’ve Seen Her: Gugino specializes in portraying powerful women, from the tough titular U.S. Deputy Marshal in ABC’s short-lived Karen Sisco to intrepid Washington reporter Susan Berg on USA’s Political Animals. And that’s not counting her big-screen action roles in Sin City and Watchmen. “I’ve been able to train a fair amount, so I would like to kick some ass as Kate,” Gugino says with a laugh. “I love a good thriller.”

Why We Love Her: Even though Wayward Pines is filled with countless head-scratching mysteries, Gugino is able to ground her storyline in reality. “Carla is one of those actresses who think about everything so deeply and honestly,” says creator and executive producer Chad Hodge. “She never changes a word of dialogue, but she brings her own thing to it that you never pictured when you were writing it. She’s such a partner in crime.”

Bizarre Love Triangle: In tonight’s episode, Kate’s life in Wayward Pines is further rocked by the sudden and surprising appearance of Ethan’s wife, Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon), and son, Ben (Charlie Tahan), who are both aware of Kate and Ethan’s past affair. “The two women really have to come together at some point, and there are lots of challenges to doing that,” Gugino teases. “But when the stakes are this incredibly high, all of that stuff seems much less consequential in comparison to basic human survival.”

Wayward Pines, Thursdays, 9/8c, Fox