Q & A – Kathleen Munroe
The Call Me Fitz interactive team had a chance to sit down with the fabulous Kathleen Munroe, aka Ali Devon, to chat about mother-daughter bonds, learning to control your dangerous impulses, and bad boys.
Q: Can you describe your character and her first season story arc?
A: We first meet Ali Devon as a principled lawyer determined to nail Fitz for putting her mother, Babs, into a coma during a test drive gone awry. Hell bent on punishing Fitz, but intensely attracted to him in spite of herself, Ali begins to display her inner contradictions as the season plays out. She’s a well-intentioned woman who’s dedicated to living a “good” life and to being a “good” person…at the same time she struggles to keep her contradictory desires and impulses at bay. These desires grow stronger as the season progresses, often winning out over Ali’s intellect and good sense. She’s complicated, flawed, driven, strong-willed; someone who like all of us, is trying her best to be a better person.
Q: Viewers have decamped into two distinct fan bases, are you on Team Larry or Team Fitz?
A: As far as I’m concerned Larry and Fitz are like Crockett and Tubbs, or Bob and Doug Mackenzie, or Kate and Allie - you can’t have one without the other.
Q: Do you know an Ali? What is your inspiration for her?
A: Ali herself is separate from any one person in my life; there is no individual I know that encompasses all the complexities that make Ali unique. However, in terms of Ali’s profession as a lawyer, I do draw a bit from my own experiences growing up in the “lawyer” culture as my dad is in the profession. Luckily, all the characters in this series are fleshed out and made three-dimensional by good writing, so my part in the collaborative job of character invention is made easier.
Q: Can you talk a little about the relationship between Ali and her mom?
A: The relationship between Ali and Babs was one of the most fun aspects of the role for me as an actor. What at first looks like a fairly normal, loving mother-daughter bond is exposed as a competitive, combative, dysfunctional relationship as Babs recovers from her coma. The history between them is hilariously tumultuous, characterized by one-upmanship, theft (most notably of boyfriends), and mutual disappointment. Phyllis Ellis (who plays Babs) is such a wonderful actress to go toe-to-toe with, and it was so much fun to bring history and life to the Babs-Ali dynamic.
Q: What is your favorite episode from the first season?
A: It’s tough to pick a favourite episode from the first season, and I haven’t yet had the chance to see all of the episodes in their final form, but I had some especially fantastic writing to work with in the episodes surrounding Babs’ death and burial. Some of the scenes in the final two episodes are also memorable because I got the chance to work more with the core ensemble cast. It’s been great to see how some of the Ali scenes translate on the screen, but I’ve equally enjoyed watching my awesome cast-mates bring their storylines to life for the first time in the scenes we didn’t share.