Previous roles prepared actress for 'The Killing'

Michelle Forbes has led a life of crime.

Well, not really. More accurately, she has experienced an acting career peppered with crime dramas.

And it was that foundation on TV series and miniseries such as “Messiah,” “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Durham County” that prepared her for the gut-wrenching role of Mitch, the grieving mom, on AMC’s “The Killing.”

“I certainly do feel comfortable in that arena,” Forbes says. “I usually respond more to great characters. There was something about Mitch that attracted me. In my journey in crime dramas, I have found it interesting to explore this genre from many different perspectives.”

“The Killing” is about the murder of a high school girl and its aftermath on everyone in her universe. Naturally, the event devastates her parents. For an actress, living with that kind of pain and melancholy week after week requires a great deal of skill.

“On one level, that’s just your job,” explains Forbes, who is also known for major roles in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in the early ’90s and more recently in the HBO series “True Blood” and “In Treatment.”

“You just have to knuckle up and bear down and tell the truth to the best of your abilities. Some days are incredibly long and painful, but that’s what you signed up for,” she says. “I have my own tricks in my personal life for shaking it. I watch a lot of British comedies. You almost need that heightened level of comedy and laughter to escape from the pain.”

ROAD TO THE EMMYS: THE SUPPORTING ACTOR & ACTRESS:
Supporting drama actor race wide open| Shows elevate when ensembles gel
Drama
Peter Dinklage | Michelle Forbes | Irrfan Khan | “The Killing” cast | Kelly Macdonald | Margo Martindale | Denis O’Hare | Amy Ryan | Michael Shannon | Donnie Wahlberg |
Comedy

Mayim Bialik | Garret Dillahunt | Oliver Platt | Adam Scott

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