The undead—particularly of the zombie variety—is something that audiences can’t seem to get enough of as of late. From The Walking Dead—the fan-phenomenon that ignited the genre trend—to new series such as this spring’s iZombie, it seems it’s all about [eating] brains, brains, and more brains on cable television.
Now, here to switch things up is A&E’s latest contribution to the occult, The Returned, a show where the creatures beyond the grave have more than digesting humans on their minds.
Based on the film, Les Revenants, which inspired the award-winning French series by the same name, the story is set in a small nondescript town, where the appearance of several locals believed to be dead, threatens to shake the quiet of suburbia with emotional turmoil and events less…earthly. Amongst those in the eye of the storm is a doctor—Julie, played by actress Sandrine Holt—a compassionate career woman that has done well at burying her non-existent personal life under patient files. “Julie has been successful at functioning cut-off from other people emotionally, until this boy arrives at her doorstep. She relates to him and he answers her needs,” says Holt of her character. “Victor ignites this maternal love in Julie.”
One of the mysteriously returned, Victor (Dylan Kingwell), is determined to bond himself to Julie, much like the other returned individuals wish to do to different members of the town’s folk. The question the series’ action probes is, will these new attachments prove positive or detrimental. Hooked yet? We are!
Created with Ouija board enthusiasts in mind, should you have an interest in reincarnation and spirits, this series is a Monday night must-watch. “Maybe we yearn for the inexplicable,” suggests Holt when asked what the enduring audience fascination is with shows seeped in the supernatural. As for whether the actress herself is a believer, she’s keeping an open mind. “I’ve never seen a ghost, but I’d like to believe in them.”
Premiering Monday, March 9, showing after ratings grabber Bates Motel, The Returned will keep audience tuned into the channel with its perfect combination of drama and paranormal, played out by an impressive cast, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Spectacular Now) and Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory), alongside Holt.
Seen most recently in shows including Hostages on CBS and Netflick’s fan favourite, House of Cards, cinephiles will remember Holt—who got her start as a model—from her award-nominated debut in director Bruce Beresford’s acclaimed Black Robe (1991). Though Holt‘s modeling days are over, the slender actress, with her easy grace and refined features, still looks like she belongs on the runway. Even so, Holt is no slave to fashion, preferring to ignore trends in favour of “classic” looks, clothing that above all is “comfortable and functional.” The result is a sense of personal style the actress describes as being akin to that of a “fifteen-year-old boy.” All we can say to that is: Holt must have met a fair share of fashionable male teenagers in her life.
From chatting ghouls to dishing on the distinctly un-spooky secrets behind her timeless beauty, Sandrine Holt talks The Returned, before whipping through our celebrity beauty questionnaire.
The premise of “The Returned” is definitely on the creepy supernatural side of the scale, are you intrigued by ghost stories and scary movies yourself?
My grandparents lived in a small village in France. I grew up with my grandmother’s ghost stories and women reading Tarot cards at the kitchen table. The occult makes me nostalgic.
What about your character Julie, was she easy for you to relate to?
Julie felt familiar to me. She functions in an invisible way. There’s an awkwardness about her.
Without giving too much away, what can you tell us about the evolution of Julie’s story this season? Where is all this supernatural drama in her life going to take her?
She will have to revisit her past. The core of her fears.
Intriguing! You might have to speak a bit in code again when answering this one; are there any narrative developments you’re especially excited to explore in later episodes this season?
Julie’s love triangle.
Again…intriguing. The show features an incredible cast, did you make fast friends with everyone? Did you all hangout much off set?
We were on location in Vancouver, so we spent a lot of time together getting into trouble.
Speaking of Canada, I understand you grew up in Toronto. Do you miss living in Canada at all, or does L.A. pretty much feel like home these days?
I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 12 years, so its home, but I have a special love for Toronto.
Let’s talk about your personal style. You have a stunning complexion, what’s your beauty regime include?
Sleep, hydration and moisturizer.
Is your beauty regime something that was passed down to you, or did you figure out what worked best for your skin along the way?
My mother always wore moisturizer.
Are you good about keeping to beauty rituals both in the morning and before bed?
Before bed is easier for me to be disciplined with removing make up and moisturizing.
What’s one beauty item you won’t leave the house without applying to your face?
Revision Intellishade Tinted Moisturizer SPF 45.
Have you stolen any beauty secrets from the hair and makeup artists you’ve worked with in the past?
No, but I hope to in the future.
In your opinion, what’s the single beauty product every woman should invest in? Right time of year for skin!
Coconut oil. You can use it for body or hair.
What have you learned to be an easy way to transition from your daytime beauty look to the perfect evening look?
Eyeliner. I would never wear it in the day.
Describe your go-to red carpet beauty look?
I like very natural makeup.
What’s one beauty item can we find in your purse on an average day?
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.
What’s one thing we will never see you do beauty-wise?
What new beauty trend are you planning to test out this spring season?
I’m not sure what they are…
Who is your beauty idol and what about her beauty looks inspires your own look?
Tilda Swinton. She rocks her unique style. I love that she barely wears makeup.
Finish this sentence: Beauty is…
Beauty is simplicity.
Styling by Conor Graham
Makeup by Coleen Campbell-Olwell for Exclusive Artists Management using Tom Ford Beauty
Hair by Sylvia Wheeler for Atelier Management using Bumble and bumble