Poppy Montgomery Teases Unforgettable Twists... Including a Little Poppy-on-Poppy Action?!

CBS’ Unforgettable (Tuesdays at 10/9c) stars Without a Trace alum Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a retired Syracuse police detective who has reteamed with her former partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Nip/Tuck‘s Dylan Walsh), to solve homicides. What Carrie brings to the table – and what torpedoed her and Al’s on- and –off-duty relationship years prior – is hyperthymesia, or a “super memory” through which she can recall every little detail about most anything (save for her sister’s murder).

Now that the groundwork has been laid for the procedural, TVLine invited Montgomery to tease some of the juicier episodes to come – as well as ponder the potential for some “Carrie-on-Carrie” action.

TVLINE | I want to start off by saying that I give this show props if only because of the shout outs to Syracuse, where I went to college. Just don’t go shooting on location – Syracuse has two seasons, Winter and July.
[Laughs] Is that really true? Oh, wow. I had better tell them that! And Syracuse is featuring more and more prominently in each episode, because with the murder of her sister she’s peeking back into her past.

TVLINE | How are things going to progress with the mystery of who killed Carrie’s sister back when they were kids?
I don’t know what the outcome is, which I kind of like, because it helps me. That will play out over at least the first 12 episodes, and if we get picked up for a back 9 we should find out by the end of the first year what happened. I’m as eager as anybody else to know!

TVLINE | What kind of feedback are you getting on the show’s numbers thus far? Is it doing what it needs to do?
I’m assuming so… ? Honestly, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I try to stay out of all of that because I don’t understand it. And I really don’t know what the expectation is for television shows anymore, because the landscape has changed so much. My first TV series, Relativity, was on a Saturday night and we were getting like an 18 share – and it was considered a bomb! That was 16 years ago, before cable, the Internet….

TVLINE | Now that Unforgettable has had time to set things up, let’s talk about a couple of the upcoming storylines. For one, Carrie’s ability is going to draw scrutiny from the Assistant District Attorney (played by Omar Metwally)?
She’s got this kind of woo-woo gift, and there are people who are skeptical of it and not really believe in it. I think her and this DA have a loooove connection, too, so there’s a weird dynamic going on there. We’ve got Al, played by the wonderful Dylan Walsh, trying to keep what she does under wraps form the higher ups because it’s a little cuckoo to them.

TVLINE | Speaking of Al, I understand that just as things start simmering anew for him and Carrie, his girlfriend of all people comes to Carrie for relationship advice.
Yes, she does, and Carrie doesn’t really understand how to deal with that very well. [Laughs] Elaine, played by the fantastic Annie Parisse (As the World Turns), is trying to figure out how to get Al to connect to her when he goes through something that is very traumatic and his first instinct is to go to Carrie. It’s all just so inappropriate and out of place as Carrie is put in the position of trying to help another woman succeed in the relationship that she really wants to have with Al.

TVLINE | We of course learned early on about the relationship problems Carrie and Al had in Syracuse. Was Poppy Montgomery a difficult girlfriend back in the day?
I still am a difficult girlfriend! I wouldn’t want to date me, not for all the money in the world. And if I had Carrie’s ability, I’d be even worse. But I have selective memory – anything inappropriate or negative or unhappy, I block it out. That’s my philosophy, it never happened. But yes, sometimes I can hold a good grudge with the best of them.

TVLINE | Marilu Henner (Taxi) is one of the few people known to actually have hyperthymesia, and she’s a consultant on the show. Has she shared with you any of the real-life drawbacks to this ability?
She really embraces it and it’s a real gift for her — she’s got this quick, incredible mind, and she’s written books — but there are other people, like Jill Price, who wrote The Woman Who Can’t Forget, who has a much more difficult past with it. It’s up to the individual.

TVLINE | Talk about shooting the scenes where Carrie “steps outside of herself” to remember something she saw. What’s the secret to making it not look like you’re checking yourself out?
[Laughs] It’s all very technical, and none of it is green-screened. We use a stop-motion camera, and I have an earpiece into which someone who’s watching what I shot before talks me through it, telling me where to look at what to look at. And sometimes I have tennis balls on sticks to establish eyelines!

TVLINE | Well if they need to jack up ratings, maybe at some point you have the two Carries get a little too cozy with each other….
Yeah, get a little make-out session on! Carrie-on-Carrie! [Laughs] That’s hysterical. When Carrie watches herself we call her “Traveling Carrie,” but the crew calls her “Traveling Barbie.” They have all these Barbies around the set, and my hairstylist dyed all their hair red.

TVLINE | Carrie is perhaps the only woman who doesn’t need to ask her guy, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” — because she can actually see for herself.
That’s a good point! It’s like, “You know what, you look pretty damn good in those jeans.”

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29 Comments
  1. Asha says:

    Her hair is SO orange. I can’t focus on anything but her hair when I see ads for this show. I don’t even know what it’s called just that her hair is SO SO orange.

    • Sarah says:

      I was just thinking that the other day! I would love it if they made her hair a darker red, or maybe just less orangey red. It really is very distracting, and it doesn’t look natural. Red hair can be so pretty or it can be a miss…

      But I LOVE this show, I think it’s a really interesting twist on the cop procedural.

    • Ginger says:

      Her hair bothers me, too. It looks like a wig and the color is awful with her skin tones. She looks way better as a blonde.

    • patident says:

      I had never watched Without a Trace before. Once I started watching the repeats I recognized Poppy Mongomery as that beautiful blond actress who has become a not so pretty lady on Unforgettable. Who decided to take that away from her just because she was playing a new role???
      Blond maybe with red highlights would of been a better choice. How about she goes on a vacation to warmer climates and returns on the new season with that pretty blond hair again.

  2. Sarah says:

    OMG! Love her and love her new show. Can’t wait for tonight’s episode!

  3. Alicia says:

    Haven’t actually checked this show out (yet?) but is there a reason why the character “steps outside herself” to remember something? (as I appeal to no one in particular…)

    • Renee says:

      It’s just how they do the “remembering” scenes. It shows her going thru the steps remembering exactly what she saw and examining those memories for additional details missed the first time around.

  4. wow i love those ossie eys!love to here from u poppy.via face book!!

    ps good luck on your new show!!

  5. hru says:

    This show was so under advertised I almost missed it. But is really is good and I look forward to a night of NCIS and Unforgettable.

  6. Linderella says:

    I have really enjoyed this series thus far. It’s great to see Poppy back in a series. But I have to agree about the red hair…she needs a color adjustment!

    • Justin says:

      I actually like the redhead look on her. I’ll admit I preferred her blonde hair on Without a Trace, but red still looks good on her, too.

      • Renee says:

        I like the redhead look too, but that particular shade is a little jarring. I think they need to adjust it as well.

  7. Lisa says:

    Next to be axed…Unforgettable

    • Justin says:

      Not gonna happen.

      • lauren says:

        I always find it curious when someone posts a negative comment like that on a story intended for FANS of a show. Probably some disgruntled Play Boy Club superfan, lol.

        • Justin says:

          EXACTLY!!

        • Matt says:

          I liked Playboy Club AND I like Unforgettable. This is definitely a show with potential. (Which means that if it was on NBC, they’d mispromote it and run it into the ground.)

          Hopefully this one sticks around. It’s definitely a new twist on the procedural crime-solver show.

  8. Justin says:

    I am definitely loving this show, for Poppy as Carrie Wells, and for an idea of how hyperthymesia works for and against her. This show along with NCIS and NCIS: LA makes up my Tuesday night lineup. Three hours of great tv!

  9. KMG says:

    My family & I are loving this show… prob our favorite new show this season so far. Loved Poppy on Without a Trace, although I never liked the show itself, and I love how sexy they are allowing her to be on this show (unlike WaT, where they kept her in suits and ponytails).

    I think I read somewhere that she is actually a redhead, but has always been cast as a blonde because of her Marilyn Monroe movie years ago.

  10. Templar says:

    Unforgettable is must see TV for me. Love Poppy, although her dark roots were a bit distracting last night.

  11. george says:

    I think the red hair looks great on her much better than her as a blonde goes well with her skin tone, makes her looked more toned. Looks really hot!

  12. terri says:

    I really liked this new TV program “Unforgettable” from the start & the pilot. I think it’s an original premise – someone with a photographic memory solving crimes. However, I did not like this last one on Tuesday – the 4th show. First, the writers ruined Carrie’s (Poppy Montgomery) credibility & judgment by making her jump into bed with a guy she just met while drinking coffee. Yuk! Makes the character kind of stupid, now there’s no romantic element to look forward to – either with her ex or the new guy. Just yuk! The character needs more elements similar to those that make the Olivia Benson character (Mariska Hagerty) of Law & Order a classic, long-standing, dependable character. “Unforgettable” could have even added a little more romance / private life into Carrie’s (compared to Law & Order’s Olivia). Secondly, in this last episode, WHY would her memory skills be needed when she snuck into that building? — Why wouldn’t all the detectives just always have (video) cameras with them? Even her? especially in today’s hi-tech era? I understand that her memory could still catch a lot that the camera may not; which makes it suspenseful, but why would she not be supplementing her memory with the camera – for backup in court? Prior to this last 4th episode, the only thing that bothered me was: Carrie wearing the constant tank tops. Okay, we get it – she’s in super great shape; but I think the producers could have built up to that & occasionally ‘tease’ the audience when appropriate. After all, they make it known that it takes place in New York, it’s fall (i.e. getting cold), even the guys have suits, shirts, ties on, & she constantly walks around outside with a tank? getting sick of it.

    • bluchick says:

      I agree with your comments about the constant tank top she is always wearing. It just doesn’t make sense. How are they gonna handle that when the weather gets colder? You’re right, even the other characters have on jackets…etc. Do we have to be constantly reminded that she is in great shape and has muscles? It is demeaning to the character I think.

  13. Kayla says:

    Loving this show!!! I find it very intriguing and think Poppy is just wonderful. I never paid much attention to her on WAT, but with this hair color, how can you not? Definitely got my attention and I am considering dyeing my own hair this color (which is her natural haircolor btw, for all those who say it doesn’t work with her skin tone, she was born with it). I’ve seen it on another actress recently as well, Tara Summers, from the CW’s Ringer. It’s very appealing. Back to the show, I love everything about it. Not too fond of how they show the memories, kinda annoys me, but other than that… great show!!!

  14. inaro says:

    You idiots. Poppy is NOT a natural redhead. She was not “born” with it. It’s a horrible dye job. Her natural color is blonde/dirty blonde like another fake redhead Nicole Kidman. At least Nicole looks more natural w her dye job.

  15. Jenny says:

    I agree with Teri, I can’t stand the tank tops anymore. It’s stupid and distracting. Get a sweater!

  16. Emmey says:

    Like the show but not Poppy Montgomery’s red hair or sleeveless t shirts. she looks all wrong for the color of her hair. She is better as a blond than this awful color.

  17. Sam says:

    I googled ‘poppy Montgomery dreadful hair” just to see if maybe I was the only person who likes the show but can’t watch it because of that jarring ridiculous red hair with an inch of dark roots and so much gluey hairspray it looks like a bad wig…..apparently not. It’s hideously distracting and a shame because otherwise it’s a pretty good show.

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