JULY 4, 2016
On Freeform’s Dead of Summer, which follows the eerie goings-on at a summer camp that has seen better (or far worse?) days, the lovely Elizabeth Mitchell surely is playing the responsible, reliable adult, right?
Er, maybe not.
As seen during the premiere of the freshman series (airing Tuesdays at 9/8c), which featured at least one dead body, an extremely suspicious fire and multiple false alarms, Camp Stillwater’s owner, Deb Carpenter, at one point unearthed a mysterious box from the middle of the forest, which she then spirited away to her room. What sort of secrets is Deb of all people hiding?
“I found out what’s in there a little earlier on [before getting to the actual reveal], because the writers wanted me to know what it was,” a cryptic Mitchell tells TVLine. “But I do know what’s in there.”
Viewers, though, will have to wait until Episode 6, which delivers Deb-centric flashbacks. “They used me for a lot of it, which I thought was hilarious. I guess they put the camera far away and put Vaseline on the lens of something,” Mitchell laughs. “And then for the super-younger me, they used [Vancouver-based actress Tiera Skovbye], who is breathtaking. I told her, ‘I did not look like you when I was 19!’ It made me cry happy tears. ‘That’s what you think I looked like? Awesome!’”
In the more immediate future, Mitchell says to keep an eye on Deb’s dynamic with HandyCam-toting Joel, played by Eli Goree (“They’re really interesting”) as well as her relationship with Amy (fellow Once Upon a Time alum Elizabeth Lail). “Deb is protective of Amy, who is so good and struggling to find herself.”
Lail isn’t the only former castmate Mitchell reunited with on the Freeform drama; V alum Charles Mesure is hiding behind that bushy mustache, and sans his British accent, as Sheriff Heelan. “He looks completely different, doesn’t he?!” the actress marvels. “I went around [with his picture on my phone] like, ‘This is what he looks like,’ and all of the girls were like, ‘Oh!’ He’s doing such a good job.”
All told, Mitchell describes Dead of Summer as “nostalgic, sweet, creepy-scary fun” — though with an emphasis on the “creepy-scary,” seeing as Dave-the-gardener will be far from the latest corpse to surface. (Subsequent seasons would be set in different years with new characters, meaning there are bodies to spare.) “There are a lot of fatalities,” she assures. “Nobody’s safe, and that’s what makes it fun.”
Know what else is (very) fun? Mitchell revisiting her previous TV roles, including her first primetime gig, her seduction at the hands of Angelina Jolie, a memorable Lost run and others. Press play below for the self-described “tall and awkward” actress’ special video version of “Memories From the Set.”