On the surface, Starz’s Dublin Murders appears to be a police procedural about the hunt for the killer of a young, teenage girl. There are two separate crimes at the series’ center, but there is a darkness that surrounds its characters that interferes with both investigations and messes with the detectives’ heads. Sarah Greene was tasked in playing a young woman whose personal trauma almost blinds her to a danger that hits very close to home.
When Cassie Maddox and Rob Reilly are called to the scene of Katy Devlin’s murder, they trudge their way through a dense, mysterious woods. The duo are loners together, and everyone in their department views them as a pair. Is it more of a brother-sister bond or might there be something more, waiting to come out?
Cassie is then called to work on another case where she has to go undercover to solve the murder of her own doppelganger that shares the name of an undercover alias she once held. The stakes are insanely high, and some might argue that the premise is far-fetched. But you never don’t believe it because of Greene’s performance. When she’s undercover, there is a steely resolve underneath the part she’s playing. Greene insisted that you need to be a great actor to assume the skin of someone else, and she makes us buy every lie and every manipulation in order to get to the truth.
Awards Daily: This show is so crazy.
Sarah Greene: (laughs)
AD: I watched it all in about a day and a half so that was probably not the best idea.
SG: Your mental health must be shot. (Laughs)
AD: Someone tells Cassie towards the end of the season, ‘You’re only happy when you’re being someone else.” How true is that?
SG: I think it is true. From a young age, she’s used the coping mechanism of Lexie, this other side of her, to get through the day to day. It’s quite easy to blame any bad feelings or bad behavior on this other person. It’s a cop out, in a way. I do think that she’s uncomfortable in her own skin, so it is easier to become this other side. It’s exhilarating and exciting. It’s when she feels most alive.
AD: Sometimes you’re the only woman in the room.
SG: Dublin Murders is set in 2006, so it is impressive that she has such a high-up, powerful position at such a young age. She rose through the ranks very quickly. She would be sort of the token female or filling in a demographic. I would’ve been looked down upon when really my character is just a kick-ass cop. Cassie is good at her job, and she’s probably braver than most of the men on the team. Being undercover is putting your life really on the line. It’s really life or death. The rest of them never would’ve done that, so she deserves her position. The things that are said to her would never be said to her today.
AD: In that final episode, Cassie interrogates Rosalind and all the men are behind the two-way mirror. So they are safe behind the glass and Cassie is the one who is doing the work in the room. They’re hidden.
AD: The relationship between Cassie and Rob is so interesting because we don’t see everything.
AD: Towards the end, we see a scene where Cassie and Rob connect and identify with each other. How do you think Cassie reacted when she learned Rob’s biggest secret?
SG: That’s a funny one, isn’t it? They are the keeper of each other’s secrets. They know the darkest bits of each other’s souls so that bonds them in a weird, dark pact. They’re both loners as well—Rob more than Cassie—but I think she’s quite shocked. But what’s her choice? Out him and make him lose his job and lose the only friend she has on the team? She chooses her friendship over that and he knows some shit about her, too. It’s an even playing field at that stage. They tread that moral line very closely, but they should’ve owned up.
AD: Between the two of you, I could tell that there was something between you that wasn’t being said. It felt like a sibling bond, but then it transforms into something else. You don’t have to say anything to one another either. You are so connected with just a look or a glance.
SG: They’ve both survivors of something. There’s a guilt and a constant question about why they are the ones that got away. That bonds them in a close way.
AD: You get to really come out on your own when you go undercover. What do you think she misses about that?
SG: The thrill of it. The excitement. You have to be a really good actor to do it. I’m not that good. (Laughs)
AD: I would beg to differ. (Laughs)
SG: It’s gathering the information and getting closer and closer. You must feel so alive in that position. And you have to have nerves of steel to do it.
AD: I would get caught in a lie and be like, ‘I’m out!’ and just scurry away. I would not do well. But that’s what’s so cool about this story is that Cassie looks so much like Lexie.
SG: She gets away with it. They know it’s not her, but they can’t admit it.
AD: That layering of characters has to mess with your mind, right? You’re playing Cassie who is playing a version of a person she made up but now she has to embody. Does that change anything with how you move or how you present yourself?
SG: Definitely. Throughout the series I was playing, I think, four different versions. There was Cassie being Lexie, Lexie being Lexie, Cassie being Cassie. It was a bit of a mindfuck to get it all straightened out. Lexie is a lot more confident—kind of like a cat? She’s liquid, so you couldn’t hold onto who she was. Lexie was slippery so my movement was more relaxed. A confident, liquid cat. (Laughs)
AD: Cassie spreads Lexie’s ashes at the end, and that has to be such a difficult moment for her. What did that mean to her?
SG: I wasn’t just burying this Jane Doe, but she was letting go of this side of her. It was saying goodbye to a huge part of her life. She’ll never go undercover again and she will never work in murder again. It was closing a chapter, but it was really sad for her. She’s moving on with her life and letting her go.
AD: I felt so bad for her.
SG: It is sad, isn’t it? You’re never alone if you can call upon this other side of you or this imaginary friend. But it’s the first time she’s standing on her own two feet completely. She can’t blame anyone else for her actions.
AD: Can Cassie ever forgive Rob? Maybe she shouldn’t because the things he says to her makes my blood boil.
SG: He’s so cruel. That’s projection though, isn’t it? I don’t think she holds a grudge, so I don’t know if it’s about forgiveness. Cassie knows that Rob is a damaged person, and if he hurts the one person that truly cares about him, he’s only hurting himself. Rob is being cruel to himself really. It’s cowardly and pathetic, but I don’t think Cassie holds a grudge. She’s to blame as well, because she didn’t speak out when she should’ve. As much as she tried to stop him from taking the case, she ended up doing it with him anyway. Cassie shouldn’t have done that.
SG: I don’t think they will be friends again but I don’t think she wishes him any bad feelings. But maybe that’s just Sarah. (Laughs)
Dublin Murders is available on Starz.