After three decades in front of the camera, Kathleen Robertson, 42, says relying on her instincts hasn’t steered her wrong. “It’s always a gut feeling,” says the Hamilton, Ont. native of finding interesting roles, like her latest as San Francisco homicide detective Hildy Mulligan on Murder in the First (Mondays, Bravo). After starring on the hit political drama Boss, the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum says, “I didn’t want to do the same thing again. I wanted something totally different.”
Fully immersing herself in Hildy’s world has also meant trying her hand at social media. The busy mom – Kathleen has son William, 7, with her producer husband Chris Cowles – chats with followers on Twitter during episodes of Murder in the First. “I’m super-happy that people seem to be liking it,” the star tells Hello!. “If anyone has questions, send them my way!”
This month, fans of her small-screen series opposite Taye Diggs can also find Kathleen at the movies in The Vatican Tapes (out July 24). Here, Kathleen fills us in on taking risks in her career and tackling new experiences.
MY FIRST SCARY MOVIE
Working on The Vatican Tapes was actually my first time doing a horror movie. It was fun. Being on set could be kind of creepy. Some of the locations we shot in were very scary. There were a lot of abandoned buildings. We also filmed in an old hospital in downtown Los Angeles that of course, was rumoured to be haunted. As an actress, I was running out of things that I hadn’t done before! I’ve been acting for a really long time, so I thought, ‘This could be really fun!’ It was a cool role for me.
THE FIRST PERSON I WENT TO FOR ADVICE ON MY LATEST TV ROLE
I’d never played a cop before Murder in the First, so I talked a lot with my brother-in-law Rich, who is a sergeant in Ontario. He’s been a great resource for me. He told me a lot of really interesting things, like that it sort of lives with you even when you’re not on duty. [Now] when I see police officers, I speak to them differently, like, “Hey! I’m one of you!” It’s sort of embarrassing.
THE FIRST TIME I MET MY CO-STAR TAYE DIGGS
We’d never met before Murder in the First. We met for the first time in the parking lot outside of [series creator] Steven Bochco’s office. He’s a lot of fun to work with and we get along really well. We’re like an old married couple on set. We sit and talk for hours. He loves to talk more than any girlfriend that I've ever had, so it’s fun. He’s great to work with.
THE FIRST THINGS FANS ASK ME ABOUT
It’s always different and it depends on the city I’m in. It’s cool to be recognized, whether it’s for Bates Motel, Boss, Beverly Hills, 90210 or the movies that I've been in. Also, when I’m being hired for a job the people on the show may not have seen me in certain things. I know for Murder in the First, they had seen me in Boss and that’s how this opportunity came about.
THE FIRST THING I HAVE TO DO WHEN I’M BACK IN CANADA
We absolutely try to get back to Hamilton as much as possible. I have all my specific Canadian things that I love. I love the onion rings at Harvey’s, I always ask for them extra crispy. That’s my favourite thing when I come home. I always say, “I need to go get my onion rings!” My son is obsessed with Timbits from Tim Hortons, which he calls Tidbits. We have all those little things that we have to do. Most of them involve food because we all love food in my family.