Dolly Lewis talks Sight Unseen, explains why it’s different from the typical crime drama

Dolly Lewis on Sight Unseen
Dolly Lewis plays a detective on Sight Unseen. Pic credit: The CW

Sight Unseen is coming soon to The CW.

The network has had great success of late with crime dramas such as Wild Cards and Walker.

This latest offering focuses on a woman who loses her sight and tries to understand how to continue doing her job.

Monsters and Critics got the chance to watch the first two episodes and it’s definitely a show you should be watching.

Monsters and Critics spoke with Dolly Lewis, who plays Tess Avery on the drama.

Check out the full interview below.

Monsters and Critics: What attracted you to Sight Unseen?

Dolly Lewis: Oh gosh, so many things. As somebody who has some experience with divergence in my sight, I was really intrigued by seeing a female lead who has experiences as well, but to a much greater extent, the chance to explore how she has to grapple with that in terms of basically reconstructing her life over from scratch I found really compelling.

And, in addition to that, the role that technology plays in how she kind of, I don’t want to be overly dramatic but rises from the ashes was really interesting to me because, in my real life, I’m a bit of a stick in the mud. I’m simultaneously really excited by technology and also very suspicious of it.

I would love to go back to, you know, pen piles and candles. Learning more about how this is a really important tool for Jess to retain a sense of herself was a dream to dive into.

Monsters and Critics: What message would you like viewers to take from Tess’s journey?

Dolly Lewis: I would love people to be inspired by Tess’s grit and how she never really accepts no from anybody. Life will throw a lot of curveballs at you.

It’s not that Tess doesn’t ever feel fear or grief. It’s just that she keeps going anyway. I think that’s incredibly inspiring and important for people to remember they can do that, too. They can feel everything and still keep going.

Monsters and Critics: Sight Unseen got a head start in Canada, and the response has been very good. What has that meant to you?

Dolly Lewis: It’s been an absolute joy to know that people are so excited about it and loving our work. It’s not always easy to put yourself out there in that way, but that is what it means to be an actor: to ask questions, be a tool in somebody else’s story as they try to ask some questions, and hopefully be less concerned with the answers.

But that’s a vulnerable place to live, and knowing that people have been so receptive has meant everything because it also encourages me to believe that people find this kind of story important and relevant. I think it’s important and relevant, and hopefully, the response means that we get to tell more stories like that.

Monsters and Critics: One of my favorite parts of the show is Tess’s relationship with Sunny. Initially, Tess is very creeped out by Sunny because she constantly contacts her about this case, but they do bond pretty quickly. What can you tell me about that dynamic as the season continues?

Dolly Lewis: It’s a very unusual relationship, and at the same time, it’s not necessarily that unfamiliar to a lot of people. And what I mean by that is they’re thousands of miles apart, they’ve never seen each other, they’ve never been in the same room, and yet they find themselves there, together in a way, in very high stakes situations.

That bonds them. There’s no choice but to be bonded by that kind of experience. At the same time, they don’t really know who the other one is. And people today, you know, we can text, we can be on the phone, and message people and never see them.

This is a really common form of communication. Sometimes, I feel like people talk out loud to each other less and less. And that kind of technological medium, that kind of third party in the relationship, is actually maybe a little more common than people might realize. I hope the show gets people thinking about the role technology plays in their own lives and in their own communication and connection.

Monsters and Critics: Tess also has a great relationship with Jake. How will that change now that Tess serves as a police consultant instead of a homicide detective?

Dolly Lewis: Oh gosh, that’s such a fun relationship. It allowed me to make fun of Daniel Gillies on set so much, but he gave back as good as he got. We were matched pretty well, too. I think it raises interesting questions about how much we like people or feel connected to people based on the context in which we might have known them or based on what they do, especially in North America.

We are what we do. That is our identity. I don’t necessarily love that, but it’s just the truth about our culture, and somebody having to step away from that, I think, raises really interesting questions about why we do actually love them. Can we still love them if we can’t? Was it all about the job we did together, or how do we find ways to still be close?

How do we still find ways to connect with each other? I think that’s a relevant question.

Sight Unseen is set to premiere Wednesday, April 3, at 9/8c on The CW.

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