[Interview] The Mosquito Coast’s Melissa George on Margot’s Backstory, Living off the Grid, and Margot and Allie’s “Cat and Mouse” Game

Photo: Apple TV+

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The Mosquito Coast, the Apple TV+ series starring Justin Theroux and Melissa Geroge as Allie and Margot, two parents on the run and living off the grid with their seasons, with back with season two. I talked to Melissa George about Margot’s mindset, her backstory, and her character’s dynamic with Allie.

I’m so excited to meet you/ I’ve been a fan since Sugar & Spice.

Oh my God, that was my first film I think in America. Oh yeah, I did an American film called Dark City we shot that in Australia so yeah. That’s funny. Yeah, I’ve been around and still here.

On The Mosquito Coast, you guys are living off the grid. What do you think would be the hardest part of living off the grid for you?

I mean, I do live off the grid I would say.  I’m Australian-American and I live in France so you know there are some survival skills right there. You know all the things that come with the french which I love. So I feel like living off the grid can be very exciting, you know, if you have it in check but poor Margot, everything she been through finds it very hard to stay off the grid and get the kids to safety.

At the end of season one, it seems like Margot is a little sick of Allie and considering leaving him and taking the kids. Do you think that where her head was and then circumstances changed? Where do you think her head was at the beginning of the season one finale compared to the beginning of season two?

It’s like everything you see in season one has been almost like she’s hypnotized by Allie. You know every time he comes up with a new plan she goes “oh that sounds great” and she’s all starry-eyed.  But you realize that they’re together because they have to be together not because they want to be together. But there are so many moments that you see that they’re great together at the same time. So it’s this very strange push and pulls of these two people that are both equally as powerful. Especially in season two, you see Margot really sort of taking over as to what to do. Also in season two, we reveal why they’re on the run, which makes it all the heavier to deal with.  

Speaking of that episode did you always know the backstory of Margot and Allie?

Yes, I did know the backstory which is great because I knew that everything she was doing was for a reason in season one. You know, I love the fact that they wanted her backstory which is great because I knew that every she was doing was for a reason in season one. You know she’s in hiding in season one and then she’s super good at getting away fast and driving cars and getting their kids and robbing a bank and doing all these things. And you’re like, who is this lady? Yes, I loved all time all those moments and looks and feelings all the way until the end of season two. 

What was one of your favorite scenes to shoot in season one or two?

I mean every scene I would say has been my favorite but really the ones that I loved were the six, seven-page dialogue scenes that they gave us to do with them Justin and I at the table with that beautiful lighting in the first time you really see them express themselves and her more so her frustration of being held captive by her husband. 

Do you think if not given her circumstances and what happened 13 years ago that she would want to live a normal life or do you think deep down she enjoys that drama of it all?

I don’t know how to answer that because she seems to want to live a normal life. But yes, she’s so good at this abnormal life and I don’t know. I don’t think she knows the answer to that either.

How would you say that you’re similar and different from Margot, other than hopefully obviously not bank-robbing or anything like that.

You never know (laughter). I feel like we’re both survivors. I mean I definitely come a long way and you know I’ve been working for a long time and you know I’m a mother too of two and I feel like all those instincts are very similar to Margot. You’ll do anything for your children. There are probably a lot more similarities than dissimilar. You know I’m not Margot but I just play her on a television show. So there must be similarities in order to get the part I would say.

Speaking of motherhood, I feel like Allie and Margot’s parenting styles are different because I believe Margot considers her children and Allie kind of considers his ego first. How would you describe that dynamic?

I think that’s what frustrates Marot the most. Every time Allie says something is not for the greater good of the family. He’s a narcissist. And if anyone knows a narcissist knows that they see no sadness in others. It’s just what they want to do. I feel like Allie has a little bit of that about him and that frustrates Margot to no end. It’s almost like this cat-and-mouse thing that they’re doing. They try to outsmart each other all the time, and you know hopefully the audience is going to be you know riveted by this kind of push and pull of these two people to see who to win in the end.

Mosquito Coast Season 2 premieres on November 4th on Apple TV+.

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