“Rookie Blue” star Charlotte Sullivan talks playing gay cop Gail Peck

AE: There are flights in Canada. In the Great White North. Do you think something could be worked out with Aliyah? Have you heard anything?

CS: Because we’re based in Toronto, it’s contracts and it’s all based on hiring local people, to be honest with you. Which sounds like a–it’s a very odd thing, but it’s about tax incentives and, really at the end of the day, it’s about money. Which is awful, because you want it to be about the artistry.

 

AE: Is there no way–and I’ll happily get on a call with you if need be –we can convince her to come be a part of the Toronto fold? It’s not that bad here.

CS: It’s so true. Absolutely. I think had she lived and had she moved here, it would have been a different scenario. But I think she also has a life in Vancouver. She’s got a family there, so I think that there’s definitely something pulling her to that part of the world.

 

AE: Okay, okay.

CS: You tried, you tried!

 

AE: I tried. Well then, getting back to the relationship question. I hear you about Gail sowing her wild oats, but another potential serious girlfriend, is that something you’d like to see explored? I know Gail’s being pulled in so many different directions right now.

CS: Oh god, of course. Right now it’s about dealing with the adoption.

 

AE: On that, so far this season the adoption storyline has taken precedence over Gail’s love life. Why do you think it means so much to Gail to adopt Sophie, especially since for her it means going it alone as a single parent? And a cop at that.

CS: If you look at the five of us [Note: the five original rookie cops], Gail’s never really been friends with anybody. If you really think about it. Like even when we would do our gallery shoots or photo shoots for the show, they’d be like, “Okay, put your arms around each other.” And I’m like, “But Gail hates these people.” There was always this really strange, kind of teetering dynamic of her–not hating these people, she actually loves them, but she doesn’t like to show it and she’s never really been part of the group. I think that, going back to this kind of maternal thing that’s inside of her, people not believing in her, even believing her as a police officer, it really comes back to belief in her that she is capable of being warm and tender or loving, and even though she has this incredibly hard shell that’s probably made of black tar, you know what I mean? So that she is actually a woman and she can actually be maternal.

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AE: Gail isn’t loved up this season, but we’ve seen her in her own way express interest in women. So even though it’s been a different expression of her sexuality this season, how has it been playing gay Gail?

CS: I fucking love playing Gail Peck. I do. She’s just a dream. I certainly love putting parts of myself into her, and regardless of whatever her sexuality is she’s just like such an interesting creature. She’s layered and weird and strange and beautiful, in a twisted kind of dark way. We’re playing cops and robbers, and we get paid to do it. You can never complain. It’s an amazing gig. And my character’s my favorite.

 

AE: She’s my favorite too, but I’m incredibly biased. Speaking of, what’s touched you most about how fans have received Gail’s–let’s call it her sexual epiphany?

CS: I’m always so touched by the fans. The fans have been really beautiful. But the moment that this happened something switched. It was like once I had the gay community’s back, it was a different ballgame. They’ve been beautiful to me. Like, really incredible.

Unfortunately I have had hate mail. And I will defend the gay community to the death, so if anyone’s going to get hate mail it should be me. I don’t care, I’m glad to pick a fight with anybody. But I’m always just interested in why people feel negatively about this storyline. There’s some people that have and I think it’s just ignorance and not being open to it.

I come from Canada, so it’s like everywhere. And it’s normal. When it’s not someone’s normal, they think it’s odd. And so for me, it’s my job as an artist to just speak about it like it’s a normal thing. And that’s why it’s so important for everyone to be represented–every culture, every sexual orientation, because it is normal. The fans have been – gay fans are the best.

 

AE: You will have them forever.

CS: Amazing. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. So I’m proud, I’m beyond proud to represent them on television.

 

AE: If another season is confirmed, do you know where they might take your character?

CS: I’m in the blind. They certainly don’t like to tell us things, because they know that I will talk to you. But I had–based on the final episode, I won’t say exactly, but I get to–there’s a different position for Gail. That’s all I’m gonna say.

 

AE: Well I’m going to plant this seed, and you will be the third person associated with the show that I have shared this with. If this comes to fruition, I’m totally claiming ownership of it. I recently saw Rachael Ancheril, who plays Marlo Cruz on the show, in a film called Tru Love, where she played a lesbian very convincingly, even if briefly. I thought budget-wise, instead of having to hire a new actor and coming up with more storylines–

CS: I know where you’re going.

 

AE: Wouldn’t it be a great idea if Marlo and Gail got together? Especially now, considering there’s this new baby in the picture, and Gail is clearly kid-obsessed.

CS: I think that’s a brilliant idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. Can I claim ownership of it?

 

AE: We can share co-ownership of it.

CS: It’s a genius idea. It truly is.

 

AE: It’s just something to float around.

CS: It makes sense. It certainly would put a very interesting dynamic with, once again, with me and Andy.

 

AE: And Gail loves Andy.

CS: Yeah. She also loves bothering her. So that would be kind of perfect. Because I would be the stepmother?

 

AE: Well yeah, and she’s the stepmother too.

CS: That’s right. So we could duke it out if we want. I’ll be like, “I’m the best stepmom.”

 

AE: In any case, I just want to see Gail playing gay.

CS: That’s not going anywhere. Some people have asked me, “Oh does this mean like you’re going to be bisexual?” No. Absolutely not. This is who she is. And I think it would be sort of in bad taste to make it kind of flip-floppy. That’s the thing I really respected about the writers, is that they were like, “No, once you do this, it’s not going back. That’s not happening.” And so that’s been a really powerful thing for me.

And just so you know, she will be fine next episode [Note: the season finale of Rookie Blue airs in Canada on July 29]. You will be satisfied.

 

Those of you watching in Canada, make sure to tune into the season finale of “Rookie Blue” next Wednesday at 10 pm EST on Global TV. If you’re watching in America, catch up on the show as it airs on ABC on Thursday nights at 10 pm EST.