5:45 pm EDT, June 13, 2018

’12 Monkeys’ star Emily Hampshire on socks, her favorite Jennifer and saying goodbye

The last season of 12 Monkeys begins in just a few days and, I don’t know about you but, I’m really going to miss it.

As we count down, I’ve been able to talk with some of the cast, including Emily Hampshire who plays Jennifer Goines.

Talk about a delightful human being. Seriously. Talking to Emily Hampshire is a little like talking to Jennifer herself: you enjoy it immensely even if you’re not sure you caught all of it.

Lucky for you, I have it all written down.

Hypable chats with ’12 Monkeys’ star Emily Hampshire

Q: There are so many different Jennifers depending on where she is in time. How do you keep track of all of them?

A: Thank God we have Terry to keep track of everything. Terry just has it in his brain. Going back to Season 1 he has stuff in Season 1 that he knew would fit with stuff from Season 4.

In terms of all the Jennifers, I always feel that Jennifer is a new Jennifer all the time. Even if she’s not in a different time period, in any kind of mission or anything she’s doing she always kind of role plays. Our costume designer, Joyce Schure, is amazing [and] also lovely enough to let me be super involved in Jennifer’s costumes. Because I feel like Jennifer actually does take part in that stuff. She’s, to me, always lived in the movies. Like when she was in the mental hospital I think she just watched movies and that’s why she quotes them so much. Every mission or adventure is like a role she’s playing and therefore needs to have the perfect costume for it. Which is why I think you see Jennifer in a lot of different outfits. But the core Jennifer… any time Jennifer is just in the facility and not on an adventure, I’m always kind of wearing shorts and tights and socks. So any time I’m “normal” Jennifer I’m in wardrobe and I am like, I need socks. What kind of socks is she wearing? Since the show has ended I have two garbage bags full of thigh-high wooly ripped up, broken down socks.

That sounds like so much fun.

Oh my God! Then the greatest thing ever was when we were in Prague and we had just wrapped our Season 4 in Toronto and the showrunner went off to Prague. I got to Prague and the wardrobe department had left me… this sock monkey out of Jennifer’s socks. Inside they put a piece of all of her different costumes. It’s the greatest thing ever.

Of all your Jennifers do you have a personal favorite?

Yeah, I think it would be last season, episode 302 when I did my play in France. I feel like I got to do my personal — Emily Hampshire — I got to be the thing that made me want to be an actor, Les Miz. I wanted to be Eponine. Eponine was always the artful dodger with that hat and kind of a scamp.

The ’20s Jennifer… I saw this Charlie Chapman poster for The Kid, and if you look at the poster and you see the Kid, you see exactly the Jennifer costume for that. When she’s in the overalls and everything. So I got to have that kind of Eponine/Artful Dodger moment. Then all the plays and stuff. Jennifer is on her own in a way. She can speak French, something special. Really I felt at the end of that episode when Cole and she got into something, Jennifer was like, “I’ve been here for five years and I have changed. I’ve grown. And you’re still treating me like the old Jennifer I used to be. Now I realize you didn’t even really care about me.”

She kind of grew up to me in that episode.

I feel like it was a whole Jennifer movie I got to do from start to finish, that was definitely my favorite Jennifer. And I ran around wearing a corset. I’m the only actor who loves wearing a corset, so I got to have that for awhile, which was fun.

In the season opener, we meet a new Jennifer. She’s not like anyone we’ve met. How was that to play and what did you enjoy most about it?

First of all, that was — I was kind of scared of that because it really is such a different Jennifer and it had to be — for the story. So, it was kind of hard coming up with such… The kind of Jennifer who would wear that outfit and who would be in… a full leather, tight, kind of costume. The Jennifer Garner thing.

In coming up with stuff for that Jennifer, because every version of Jennifer is always her doing a character in a way, role-playing… To us, it was like Jennifer’s ultimate action hero, an idea of what that would be. So Terry was like, “Who is this Jennifer?” and he brought up, oh gosh, in Die Hard… John McClane. I didn’t know who that was at the time. I watched it and I understood what Terry meant by that. That would be Jennifer’s ultimate cool action hero guy. So, we were inspired by that.

In the season 3 finale, Athan tells Jennifer it’s her time. She’s the primary who’s gonna guide the next part of the mission. And he’s also been a part of her life for a really long time. The two of them have been communicating across time, so what was it like for her to lose him?

Well, heartbreaking. Also, it was just such a beautiful story, Athan’s story… I feel like when Jennifer met Athan she finally felt whole. Met another part of herself, someone just like her. In a weird way. And so we definitely continue with that prophecy that Athan has about her, that she’s the next Witness and that she will save the world. When we meet her she has taken that challenge up and is trying at least to live up to Athan’s expectations of her.

I was looking at your IMDb, and you’ve had a really interesting career, working with the likes of David Cronenberg and Darren Aronofsky, and now you’ve got a movie coming up, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Talk about this cast. Thandie Newton, Susan Sarandon. What’s it like to have these kinds of experiences? It definitely feels to me like wherever you started in your career when you start working you do what you’ve gotta do, whatever the jobs are, but it definitely feels like you’re crafting something here.

Well, thank you. I mean, what’s strange is that my career has been different to friends of mine that I’ve known in that I started really young, like 13, and at first I got the good friend parts. The girl in peril of being raped. Or the daughter. Those parts.

At a certain point I put on some weight and I wasn’t looking like the pretty girl anymore. I did this one movie where I played an overweight actress and I realized I had to be funny, and it changed my career in terms of from that movie on I got character parts. It never really went backward for me in terms of doing what I didn’t want to do, which I know you normally have to do, but I also was doing a lot of indie movies with friends of mine. I was lucky enough to have great parts in that sort of way. I got this show called Schitt’s Creek right before I got 12 Monkeys and both of those were the first time I was doing television. I was very used to doing indie movies nobody saw.

The Death and Life of John Donovan was a movie one of my best friends, Xavier Dolan [wrote and directed]. He had written me a part for the movie… a mean girl part. Then it took four years for this movie to be made. In those four years, all these people were like, “I want to work with you.” Then other people, and it became this movie where I was the only non-famous person. I was waiting for my part to be taken away from me. Just waiting. These are huge names and he was like, “No, it’s you.”

So anyway, I finally shot that movie. It was scary because something so long in the making and everybody on set was a huge name, it turned out to be one of the greatest working experiences of my life. It has taken a very long time to come out because it’s so epic. Natalie Portman and Jacob Tremblay shot almost a year after us. It’s been quite a long editing process… so the movie is probably coming out, I believe, in September.

When we were shooting that movie, Darren Aronofsky was shooting Mother! in Montreal, which was so exciting to me. I’m a huge fan of his. It weirdly feels like going to do these movies was like going back to what I used to do before 12 Monkeys and Schitt’s Creek, but with more confidence. Because working in TV was hard for me at the beginning. On my first day at 12 Monkeys, I don’t know if you’ve seen season 1, but my first episode, episode 2, we shot every single thing I do in that episode first thing. I was like, oh my God, when you do a movie your first day is your blocking across the street, stuff like that, stuff to get you comfortable. I was so scared.

It feels like going to do these movies again except with people who were my friends before. It was my friends before that I worked with, but this time they are super famous. But we’re still doing the thing we did before, which is lovely. My ultimate dream with a friend of mine, Jacob Tierney, was always when we were younger and doing our own movies together was to rise up together. To be able to… It’s really about having a choice. So to be able to do the movies you want to do but with your friends and community. It’s the greatest thing ever.

Personally I can’t wait to see what comes next. I would say, especially after 12 Monkeys, it’s such a showcase for you.

It’s actually hard. Amanda’s talked about it too. In pilot season we realized, maybe not at the time but after, what a gift 12 Monkeys is and how we’ll never get it again, to be able to be on one show where you can do every time period, you can play yourself older, you can act with yourself, you play. It doesn’t come along. It’s really been hard to find — you never want to go backward, right? I can’t imagine doing some show that is not as big a part or as good a show as 12 Monkeys. I’d rather sit home and eat stuff. It’s very hard. I’m shooting Schitt’s Creek right now and we’re gonna wrap in like two weeks. I’m like, I don’t have another job right now… I need to find something. But it has to be great. Which before it did not have to be as great.

But now it’s… They’ve raised the bar to make it impossible for me to work on anything.

Is there anything you’d like to tease about season 4 or any hints you’d like to give fans about what to look for?

Season 3 I felt like Terry couldn’t do better for Jennifer. I had 99 Luftballoons, and my play, and all that… There is in episode 6, I could say, maybe not equivalent to 99 Luftballoons because I believe it might be better. It is amazing. Like nobody’s ever done. I cannot wait for them to see this. It gives them their 99 Luftballoons and a thousand more.

What’s been your favorite part of this whole experience and what do you hope fans will take away from this?

Honestly, my favorite part has been Jennifer. Her growth. I know she’s not technically a real person, but I feel like she’s given me so much in my own life. Just having her in my life I think she’s so special and no one loves more and has such a big heart than Jennifer.

Then I just felt this… I was talking to Terry recently. I miss Jennifer so much. Terry is talking about doing this cartoon of Jennifer, maybe, going back in time and like maybe Jennifer getting in the way of the shootout between Hamilton and Burr, stuff like that. Which I think, I would never want to do a spinoff of just Jennifer, it would not be good for the fans and stuff, but this feels like Jennifer to me lived in a cartoon so that would be the best thing ever because I would get to have my Jennifer but we would end the show properly.

I hope they are as fulfilled as I believe they will be. Terry really made a point of really giving a proper ending to everyone and everything. He wrapped up. He didn’t leave any kind of clue or storyline untied. There’s stuff in season 4 which he planted in season 1. It’s such, to me, a gift he wanted to give to anyone who loves the show as much as he does, to get that kind of season 4. I hope they totally are fulfilled, which I think they will be, I just hope they are.

We want to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Why not write a comment below or submit an article to Hypable.

Introducing the Hypable app

Free for iOS and Android