Mercy is the new show on NBC that revolves around the lives of three New Jersey nurses. Two of those nurses are Veronica Callahan and Chloe Payne. They are played by Taylor Schilling and Michelle Trachtenberg, respectively (I’ve finally added ‘Trachtenberg’ to my online dictionary, woo!). Schilling is a talented newcomer to the small screen, while Trachtenberg is a veteran (Buffy, Gossip Girl).

Today I got to chat with Schilling (an absolute doll, and one of the best new actresses on TV, imho) and Trachtenberg (a strong professional with a side of sweetness) about their onscreen character relationships, watching themselves on the show, and their best medical advice.

Chloe Payne on Mercy

Michelle Trachtenberg as Chloe Payne on Mercy

What character on the show would you like each of yours to interact with more?

Taylor Schilling: Oh, that’s a great question.

Michelle Trachtenberg: You know, for me, I love the three women together. I think that’s really, really great and it’s the core of the show. It’s fun to have our doctors come in, and I absolutely adore working with James Tupper and James LeGros.

But at the core of the show it’s really the three women and I think we’ve been doing that well. And there’s definitely going to be more of that.

Taylor Schilling: I’d actually have to agree with Michelle. I think that that dynamic between the three of us is really kind of the heart of the show. And I think it’s great that we can go off and have our sort of adventures and live our lives outside.

mercy-nbcBut it’s so important to stay grounded in the relationship; the relationship that these three women have and how they believe in each other and sort of process their lives together. I love that. I think we have a fantastic cast. Margo Martindale is remarkable and James LeGros and James Tupper and Diego Klattenhoff – it’s a great group of people.

Well, we love the dynamics we see on screen. Taylor, I know this is your first leading role on a TV show; are you comfortable watching yourself on screen with other people?

Taylor Schilling: Like do I like to watch it in a group of people?

Yes, does it make you uncomfortable?

Taylor Schilling: That’s a good question, that’s something I’m still trying to figure out. I don’t know. I can kind of watch it in bits and pieces. Michelle and I watched an episode like they showed it at lunch one day at work and…

Michelle Trachtenberg: Yes.

Taylor Schilling: …it was easier to watch it with her there.

Michelle Trachtenberg: It’s the only episode I’ve seen actually. I don’t like to watch myself.


Taylor Schilling: Yes, I can’t. I don’t do it often.

Michelle Trachtenberg: I’m too critical.

“I am not on Facebook. I am not on Twitter. There are a million fakes and it super pisses me off as some of my friends start to believe them like “hey I’m following you on Twitter.” It’s like “dude I’m really not on Twitter.” I’m so not computer-advanced. I barely just got a laptop this year. I wouldn’t even know how to start.

I pretty much only know how to use my Blackberry and that’s a miracle within itself. So please feel free to broadcast that everywhere. Facebook and Twitter, it’s not me, it’s some crazy person. And don’t pay attention to them. There you go, that’s my campaign.”  – Michelle Trachtenberg on if she has a Twitter

Veronica on Mercy

Taylor Schilling as Veronica Callahan on Mercy

Oh, you (guys) shouldn’t be. Michelle, Chloe is so new to everything; do you hope that as the season goes on she becomes tougher or do you enjoy the innocence and the reality of her insecurities now?

Michelle Trachtenberg: Chloe is a interesting dynamic because she is a 25 year old woman who did graduate top of her class, so inherently I believe she is incredibly intelligent and I do believe she has a lot of experience in her life. But sometimes she’s just a little cautious or scared to really go forth on things.

It’s definitely something that we are working on with Chloe. She is going to grow more confident as life – as you do in life. I mean, human beings experience things for the first time and they learn and then they move on. And Chloe will grow, you know, just as if anyone in real life would.

“I’m actually not on either of those sites. I can’t really figure it out to be honest. So I don’t know maybe someday I’ll have someone give me a tutorial and sort of get into it. You know, more power to Facebook and Twitter. I just have not figured it out. I have not cracked the code yet.”  – Taylor Schilling on if she has Twitter or Facebook

Have people started to approach you guys and ask for medical advice as though you were real nurses and not actresses?

Taylor Schilling: That hasn’t happened to me yet. Has that happened to you Michelle?

Michelle Trachtenberg: No, it hasn’t but that’ll be really hilarious. I’d be like ‘I have no idea’. Go see a real nurse – I’m not really a nurse, I just play one on TV.

Taylor Schilling: I just play one on TV.

So, their best medical advice would be – ask someone else! Which is more than fair. We’re happy to keep watching them playing nurses on Mercy. A new episode of Mercy airs on NBC, Wednesday at 8/7c.

Sirlinksalot: Mercy