Corinne Foxworth doesn’t have it easy inside Foxworth Hall, and her life is about to shift in a major way when Christopher arrives on Flowers In The Attic: The Origin. VC Andrews knows what Corinne and Christopher’s crossing paths means for the future. Hannah Dodd is to excited watch it all unfold.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Hannah about Christopher’s entrance on the show and getting to see what “actually see what went down between them.” She also opened up about the trauma within Foxworth Hall. Read our Q&A below:
Lifetime has been adapting VC Andrews’ material for years. Had you watched any of the movies or read any of her books before getting cast as Corinne?
Hannah Dodd: I knew nothing until I got the job, and then I kind of got sucked into this world and watched everything and read everything I could. I just couldn’t stop. I found it a little bit overwhelming at first because with Corinne Foxworth there are a lot of opinions on her, a lot of stories about her and everything. I just got obsessed during prep. It was only when we got to Romania that I kind of like took a breath and said, “Okay, we’re just going to focus on our scripts and our story because there’s just so much out there and it is addictive.”
There is a lot of controversy around Corinne, especially regarding what she does later in life. What was it about this version of Corinne that was intriguing to you?
Hannah Dodd: So many reasons. First of all, as an actor, you don’t really get the opportunity too often to play a character for that long. We start at 16, and we end at 36. That was such an interesting thing to get to play with. But also, I’ve always really enjoyed working out why people are the way they are, what makes us make the decisions that we make, especially stereotypically nasty characters. It’s quite interesting to go, what happened to you? And this is this script. I didn’t have to make up a backstory. It was all there. I got sucked into that.
There are several layers to the Foxworth family. What was it like to explore the roots of the family trauma?
Hannah Dodd: I think Paul [Sciarotta], our writer, did an amazing job at making it realistic because there wasn’t really one thing that made you go, okay, now you’re messed up. It was just this continuous thing. Quite a few things happened. It’s very layered. I feel like she picks herself up over and over again and she tries and things just keep happening. And then she’s surrounded by things because it’s the same with the rest of the family. Everybody’s experiencing trauma together and separately. I think it’s been really well done, and I think it would be challenging to not be impacted by half the things that she’s gone through.
Especially with Corinne’s parents, when you’re told no so many times, you’re going to do the exact opposite.
Hannah Dodd: She’s got that rebellious spirit, which at the beginning is quite innocent and relatable in a lot of ways. A lot of people have had arguments with their parents and have gone off and done the opposite thing. But also, I think that Foxworth Hall is such a dark place and all three of the children are really trying to reach out for things that make them happy. Unfortunately, those things aren’t always the right things.
Both Olivia and Malcolm have their flaws. Between Olivia and Malcolm, which one do you think impacts Corinne the most?
Hannah Dodd: I would say Malcolm. I think Olivia is good and she tries. She loves her children so much, and I really dread to think what Corinne’s life would have been like if Olivia wasn’t in the picture. Malcolm’s impact on Olivia also has an impact on Corinne and the same with Joel and Mal. I blame Malcolm for everything.
Corinne shows that she’s not afraid to take risks when she poisons her father. Do you think there was a part of her that would have been okay if Malcolm had died?
Hannah Dodd: I don’t think personally that was her intention. I genuinely think that it was I just want to knock you out for a bit so that I can go out and do my thing. It’s kind of scary that she didn’t think the whole plan through, and she didn’t think of the consequences fully. But I genuinely believe that there is, at that point, quite a lot of regret, guilt, and all of this stuff that you see afterward. It is genuine panic. She didn’t mean to do that. I don’t know if this is right, but I feel like if she meant to do it, she would have done it.
Unfortunately, Mal ends up dying from the poison that Corinne used. How will that regret and guilt manifest itself in Corinne?
Hannah Dodd: I think it’s horrendous for the entire family. Part 3 is kind of the aftermath of Mal’s death. She’s dealing with grief. However, the thing that surprised me is that she is impacted by it, but I think she has this innate ability to go, I’m going to focus on the good. I’m going to move on. I’m going to live my life, which is a positive thing. That’s also quite a scary ability for so long that she is able to kind of just move on from trauma and focus on the good. I think you’ll see that in episode 3 everybody’s dealing with this horrendous grief but trying to survive themselves as well.
The ending of Part 2 featured the return of Alicia, which means Christopher is on his way. What can you tease about Corinne and Christopher’s first encounter?
Hannah Dodd: I’m so excited for everybody to meet Christopher. I don’t know what I can say without giving anything away. I want people to experience it, but you will be meeting Christopher. I think it will be really nice for people to actually see that story unfold because you’ve only ever really heard about it through her children’s eyes and what they’ve been told, so it’s nice to actually see what went down between them. I’m really interested to see the audience’s reactions to that relationship.
With Corinne and Christopher, there is the whole forbidden element since they are half-siblings. Was it tough for you to dive into that?
Hannah Dodd: I had a conversation really early on with our producer and she said, “You’ve got one of the hardest jobs because you guys have got to convince the audience to want this, and they’re going to be fighting you every step of the way.” So me and Callum [Kerr], we kind of approached it as a love story. We felt like if we had too much getting in the way then the audience would see it too quickly, and they wouldn’t come on board with us. But, obviously, there were definitely moments where we’re like, “Oh, wow. This is interesting.”
What was it like working with Callum to establish that passionate love between Corinne and Christopher?
Hannah Dodd: We had a really good working relationship from the offset, and we talked about and both approached it in the same way, which was really nice. We had really long filming days together, so we just became best mates. We just had each other’s back. Callum is really good at that as well. Filming with him, he’s very good at reading the other actress. I absolutely loved working with him, and I hope that that comes through.
There are 2 episodes left. Should fans be expecting the unexpected?
Hannah Dodd: I think they’ll be surprised at the relationship in general. I can’t say much more than that. But I hope that it’s kind of different from the preconceptions that some people have. In episode 3, you’ve definitely got things coming up as well with the storyline between Joel and Harry, which is really exciting. I don’t think people will be expecting that. Things are about to kick off in episode 3, honestly. I feel like I was reading people’s tweets and people are like, “Oh my god, this is all kicking off.” I’m like, “That’s really about to happen.”
I am shocked at how good Max Irons is at playing the villain!
He is horrible onscreen [as Malcolm]. Offscreen, he is one of the nicest humans ever and so funny. On set, it was all quite heavy subjects and stuff that we were dealing with, but there was just so much love and so much laughter. I really feel like Max was kind of the person behind that.
You’re jumping from one period piece to another. What has been shifting from Flowers In The Attic to Bridgerton?
Hannah Dodd: I love a period drama. You can’t keep me away. You can’t get me out of a corset. I don’t really know what I’m allowed to say, but I’m literally over the moon to be joining that cast. Everybody has been so lovely so far. I can’t wait.
Similar to Corinne, Francesca Bridgerton is a major book character and fans have a lot of feelings about her. Do you feel any pressure taking this on?
Hannah Dodd: I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the character. I feel like that is the actor’s job just to get behind them, even with somebody like Corinne, to actually try and find empathy in the character. I’m really looking forward to exploring her story, but I’m very aware of how people feel about Franny. I feel the same. I love her so much.