‘Soulmates’ Star Malin Akerman on ‘Exploring Love’ in AMC’s Anthology Series
The six-part first season (the show’s already been greenlit for Season 2) arrives Monday, October 5 and features a lengthy list of talent. One of those actors is Malin Akerman (Dollface, Billions) who stars alongside Stranger Things‘ Charlie Heaton in the show’s fifth installment.
Set in a near-future world, Soulmates follows characters in a society where a test can determine who your soulmate is. In Akerman’s episode, Heaton’s Kurt is lost following the discovery that his soulmate is actually dead and so he turns to faith and the arms of a special church. Akerman plays Martha, a woman who, like Kurt, took the test after bouncing from one bad relationship to the next and eventually turns to the same church.
An interesting series of events will unfold as each episode of this twisty anthology plays out. Below, Akerman gives viewers a peek into the world of Soulmates, previews her episode and teases some of her other projects.
What is Soulmates about and how does your character Martha fit into the story?
Malin Akerman: Soulmates is jumping into the future where there’s a test that you can take to figure out who your soulmate is and all of the complications and beautiful outcomes that come with it is what the show’s about. What would happen if there was a test? Would you take it? How would that affect your life? It’s a really interesting concept that they’re exploring in this show and I love it.
It raises a lot of questions. In our episode, I play a woman named Martha. We find her at a place in her life where she is a bit down on her luck. She’s doesn’t have luck in her relationships. She’s in a continual pattern so the idea of taking a test to see who her soulmate is becomes very enticing and maybe doesn’t turn out the way she had expected it to.
Apart from the compelling concept, what drew you into the world of Soulmates?
There were a few things. I love the writers, Will [Bridges] and Brett [Goldstein], I love their history of work. I just think they’re very interesting writers. So I was curious to read this episode. I thought it was an interesting in depth look into love and all the things that come with exploring love and how we approach it. I was drawn to it for so many reasons, but the writing really was it for me.
Your episode is certainly interesting. Without spoiling, what was the pitch like when you were told about the installment?
I think that for me the message is there is no magic pill. There is no one thing that is going to solve all your problems. In this situation, it’s about love. So sometimes what we’re looking for is standing right in front of us or it’s within us. It’s trusting your gut. So I think that the message of this episode is don’t do the test [Laughs].
Your character Martha has a deep southern twang. What was it like having to put on an accent?
It was great. I was terrified because I think I was told two days before we were going to start shooting that they wanted a southern accent. I was like, “Oh my gosh. All right, here we go.” But I love that. I love a challenge. I think that when you get to do accents, it’s easier to get into a character because you depart from yourself a little more. So it was terrifying, but it was fun and useful for the characters. Also, it becomes a bit timeless and you don’t know where we are or what we’re doing, it’s just this sphere of timelessness, which works for the episode.
Your costar in this episode is Charlie Heaton. What was it like getting to explore the Soulmates world with him?
Oh, it was great. I love Charlie. He’s such a sweetheart and a lovely actor. He’s really talented, committed and immersive. He pulls up his sleeves and gets dirty and I love that. It’s fun to work with actors [when] there’s no self-awareness of how they look or what they’re doing. They’re just the character, and that is really great.
You’ve done films and TV over the years, but what’s so appealing about doing an anthology like Soulmates that is only one episode?
I loved Black Mirror and I thought that it was really smart and well done. It’s interesting because it’s almost like you get the best of both worlds. It’s television, but you get little mini movies for each one that really make you think. That’s what I loved about it. I just thought, “Oh, this will be a unique experience.” It is a TV show, but we’re treating it sort of like a film and that’s what it felt like while we shot it. We get some sort of closure at the end of the episode.
It’s fun now for me to be able to go in and see all the different episodes that pertain to this topic because I didn’t get to read all the scripts. I only did our episode. So I get to be an audience member. Usually with any other TV show, you’re part of every episode or many of them, but this way it’s a bit of a surprise element for myself as well.
One of your more recent roles was in Hulu’s Dollface which was renewed for Season 2. Will we see the return of your character Celeste?
Yeah, I think so… There is a Season 2. Obviously during this time, who knows when we’re going to shoot it, but yeah, I think I’m allowed to say that I’ll make an appearance [Laughs].
You also have some upcoming films — what should people know about Friendsgiving and Chick Fight?
They’re both comedies, so it’s just some levity in life right now, which I think we all need. And just before Thanksgiving, it’s perfect time for [Friendsgiving] to come out. It will give everyone something to watch during the holidays. Then we’ve got Chick Fight, which has a lot of heart in it as well. We’ve got Alec Baldwin in there and some wonderful actors, really great stunts and great fight scenes.
Soulmates, Series Premiere, Monday, October 5, 10/9c, AMC