'The Lottery's' Marley Shelton: Alison doesn't 'get' what these women are going through

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Zap2it: How did you prepare for your role in "The Lottery"? Did you talk to any fertility specialists?

Marley Shelton: Actually, the main thing I did was read biographies of women in the medical and science fields. That was very enlightening in terms of understanding how much harder women in those professions have to work in order just to be heard, to be noticed. It helped me understand why Alison is so protective of her work and why it consumes her to such a degree. Her gender puts her at a disadvantage.

Zap2it: In the pilot, your lab assistant, James, comments that you "don't play well with others." Is that a fair assessment?

Marley Shelton: I think so. To begin with, Alison's social skills aren't the greatest. She doesn't really connect with the people around her the way most people do. When the series starts, she's viewing this crisis that is confronting the human race almost entirely as a puzzle for her to solve. She doesn't really "get" what some of the women she meets are going through. That's an important part of the journey she takes over the series.

Zap2it: Books, TV shows and movies all seem to be in full-on dystopian mode these days, depicting a bleak future. You're a young mother. Does that amplify your anxiety?

Marley Shelton: Oh, absolutely. It makes it all many times worse, because you realize, "This doesn't stop with me. There are other people, my children and their children, who will be affected long after I'm gone."
Photo/Video credit: Lifetime