Bad Mothers’ Tess Haubrich tells Precinct TV why she wanted to play Sarah and why Sarah is risking her life for Anton in Sundance Now’s addictive series.
Bad Mothers has been a showcase for Tess Haubrich, as the Sundance Now series has run her character Sarah through the wringer. Sarah has found out her husband Anton cheated on her, seen him accused of her best friend’s murder—and is now sticking her own neck out to prove that he’s not a killer.
It’s a challenging role, and Tess has been remarkable in it. She hasn’t held back any of the pain or anger that Sarah is going through, but she’s also carried her with poise and grace, and shown that Sarah is going to hold her life and her family together no matter what it takes to do it.
So how has she crafted such a wonderful performance? And why is Sarah standing by Anton when she could have kicked him to the curb? Tess told Precinct TV the answers to those questions and more in our interview.
Be sure to catch a new episode of Bad Mothers, starring Tess Haubrich, today on Sundance Now. The previous two episodes are also available for streaming.
Precinct TV: What about Bad Mothers made you say that you wanted to portray Sarah?
Tess Haubrich: Up until I shot the show, I’d basically just done a lot of science fiction and action movies and TV. I was really excited to play a mom and just a different genre to what I’d been doing, so that was basically what hooked me in. And also because it’s about women and women’s stories. It’s about mothers and friendship and I was really excited to play the part of Sarah.
PTV: Part of what makes the show work is the rapport between you and Daniel MacPherson, who portrays Sarah’s husband Anton. How much of a help was it to have him portraying your husband again in Bad Mothers?
TH: We were on a film called Infini about six years, seven years ago now. And so it was really great because we already knew each other. It’s not like we had to do much work to act like we were married, because we’d already done all that. So really, it was a great help, because nothing was awkward. And Dan’s just such a professional and such a good actor, that it was just a really great experience again.
PTV: He creates a truly sympathetic character, which is important because Sarah doesn’t leave Anton. In fact, she’s the only hope he’s got. Why do you think she rallies behind him even when she’s finding out these secrets he kept from her?
TH: That’s the obvious question I had to ask myself, because personally, if that had happened, I would have left my husband. But what I found really interesting about Sarah and how the writers wrote her was that she was just incredibly loyal and she was one of those women that she just didn’t want her family to break up. She didn’t want to have a broken family. She’s really thinking about her children all the time.
So I think that if anything, she was incredibly strong, because she just is an incredibly loyal character. A lot of people have asked me that question too. They’re like, why didn’t you just leave him? But I think there’s something kind of beautiful in the fact that she just had his back.
PTV: At the same time, she doesn’t let him off the hook for his behavior. Bad Mothers also has her standing up for herself, too.
TH: She’s highly aware of what a jerk he’s been. But also at the end of the day, it is still the man that she’s in love with—and she doesn’t know for sure whether he committed the crime. It’s the father of her children, so she’s not just going to leave him high and dry.
PTV: Did you know who murdered Charlotte? Or did you try to figure it out while you were filming? Because the show does well at dropping clues, as well as red herrings, in each episode.
TH: I didn’t want to know, because I like that not knowing. They also didn’t tell us. But then towards the end, I still didn’t know and everyone else knew who it was. And that was not because no one was telling me; just because I was so busy that I was just going from day to day. And so I was so shocked when I found out who it was, about a week before we were filming episode eight.
PTV: You are in almost every scene of Bad Mothers, which would be a lot of work for anyone. How did you handle the workload?
TH: It was huge. It was incredibly rewarding; her story is quite intense. I was really happy to play this part because I just felt like I could really immerse myself in her, but it was definitely a great challenge.
PTV: Sarah begins the show thinking she has the perfect life. But as it’s coming apart, and she’s meeting the other characters, is her definition of what’s perfect or what’s happy changing? The world might look a little different to her now.
TH: Absolutely. And I think it’s like a great correlation to everything that’s happening in the world. [With] social media and Instagram, you’re constantly looking at other people’s lives and thinking, oh, they have everything. But you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.
And I think that that’s a massive thing that Sarah realized, because you can have the house. You can have the perfect job. You can have the perfect husband, the perfect best friends, everything. But if you’re not happy and you realize relationships around you aren’t actually what they seem, you realize the material things aren’t very important and it’s really just the relationships that are the most important things in life.
Bad Mothers is streaming Thursdays exclusively on Sundance Now.