Canadian actress and Toronto native Kari Matchett is starring as the President of the United States in the popular new Netflix series The Night Agent. One of the hardest working and busiest actresses on TV, Matchett is best-known for her five-season run on the hit spy drama Covert Affairs. But her latest project might be even better.
We checked in with Matchett to ask her all about the role, and a whole lot more.
Tell us about the show.
The Night Agent is sort of an edge-of-your-seat political thriller. The main the main character is this guy who is a hero-type character who ultimately is protecting the White House and therefore me from this thing that is potentially happening. It’s this political thriller that unwinds on a lot of levels because it all has to happen before a certain time. So it’s a really intense ride that as the President I’m blissfully unaware of for the longest time.
But you’re the President, that had to be fun.
I will say, walking in the shoes of the President of the United States was super fun. It really was. People automatically grant you a lot of authority when you walk down the halls and I enjoyed that.
What would you say was the most rewarding part of ‘The Night Agent’ was for you?
Sean Lyons, and is the creator of it, but he had this incredible writing stuff. And the scripts are so well written. I was blown away at how well crafted it was, you know, to have to write something as intricate and complicated and tricky. So just being a part of and witnessing that kind of writing skill was incredible.
Where was The Night Agent shot?
And do you get back to Ontario?
We got back a couple of times this year. I love Toronto. I have many friends. I lived there for a very long time. So it’s always, always great to be back.
What what was your first job?
Until I was seven, I lived in a very small town in Saskatchewan called Spalding. And there were grain elevators in the town and they painted the great part of the grain elevators and maybe they painted some silos probably near the grain elevators. And anyway, I was a kid and they spray painted the silos with silver paint. And there was gravel and there were all these gorgeous silver rocks. And so I gathered them all up and went from door to door selling them. And I think I made about five bucks.
What’s the what’s the worst piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
I didn’t do it the right way.
What’s your favourite Toronto view?
You know, had you asked me this before November, I would have had a different answer. But for the first time in my life, I went up the CN Tower. I took my son who’s nine, and he really wanted to go. So we went up the CN Tower, and we had dinner in the revolving restaurant. And I have to say, it was gorgeous. You look out over the lake of the islands. And then you look out over the city. And we were there at sunset. And it was it was so beautiful. It I mean, I do love Toronto, but it really gave me an appreciation of it. The fact that it’s on a lake but it’s also this big metropolis as well.
And what Torontonian would you most like to hang out with?
Right now, Sarah Polley.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Well, actually, I had a feeling of perfect happiness last night when I got my son registered in swimming lessons. That was huge actually. Because I had been trying for years since we’ve been here and I couldn’t get in. So I finally got him in and I haven’t felt that level of bliss in so long.
What is your greatest fear?
Well, contrary to what I just said about the CN Tower, it’s heights.
What which living person do you most admire?
My mother is pretty fabulous.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I just did an episode of Fargo and I was lucky enough to work with Juno Temple on it and she had this really cool silver jacket that I was was just obsessing about. And she told me where she thought I could buy it. And I bought it and I can’t say how much it was. But it was an extravagant jacket.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Well, Canadians, I include myself in this, could do with a dose of less humility.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to do an honest rendering in terms of drawing but unfortunately even though I love to draw so much the things that I draw ends up looking like the work of a five- or six-year-old
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing what would it be?
I would like to come back as a mermaid that has no natural predators.
What is your most treasured possession?
My father’s ring
Any special reason?
Definitely to remember him, he passed away. But, I’m a real ring person, and I feel like rings hold power because they’re in your hand and the thought of him having worn that really makes me feel close. It’s like he’s holding my hand when I’m wearing it.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Meryl Streep is up there, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench. Those are some of the people that I look to for inspiration. I feel like they’re doing awesome work and awesome things with their lives. And yet they seem to be walking the path of their true selves.
What is your personal motto?
Actually, it’s named after one of my favourite Toronto stores, believe it or not. It’s ‘courage, my love.’