Interview: Jessica Sutton Talks Tarot, Astrology, and Playing Tally on ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ – Exclusive
When Motherland: Fort Salem premiered on Freeform back in March, Jessica Sutton and her character Tally Craven quickly became fan favorites. Viewers watched as Tally joined the military despite her dispensation, forged strong bonds with the other members of her unit, and immensely enjoyed Beltane. With the Motherland: Fort Salem season finale coming up on May 20, we spoke with Jessica about memorable season 1 moments, tarot and astrology, and what’s next for Tally.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Jessica Sutton.
Tally’s had some great moments on the show so far, from “saying the words” to Beltane. What moments stick out to you as particularly memorable?
Jessica Sutton: The day we had our dance choreography for Beltane was my 26th birthday. I have always loved dance, and to be with such an incredible group of dancers, I was like… “Wait, so I’m a witch, a military warrior witch, AND there’s a dance number? Can this get any cooler!?”
What do you like most about playing Tally? Which emotions have been hardest for you to tap into?
I love her kindness and how she seems to be married to amazement. Two qualities the world could use more of! I think the most confronting part came with the flirtatious energy. There’s a very specific frequency about flirting and the erotic energy required within sex scenes; I had never done anything like that before as an actor, and it takes a tremendous amount of trust in the crew and cast. Revealing myself in that place of desire so privately in Tally’s world yet so publicly in Jessica’s world was a test for me.
If you encountered Tally in real life, do you think you would be friends with her?
I hope so! She is rather remarkable.
The witches on the show have specialized fields of magic, including Knowers (like Tally), Blasters, Fixers, and Necros. What type of specialization would you choose to go into and why?
All of them, please! If I have to choose, the Fixer. Who doesn’t know someone in their life who’s in pain? How incredible it would be to take away their pain.
Earlier in the season, we learned that Tally and Raelle both have combat charms to protect them in battle. Do you use any lucky charms, rituals, etc. in your own life?
I’m not superstitious, but I do find myself paying attention to the “road signs” along the way. I find rituals like lighting a candle, meditation, journaling, and walking in nature bring me focus and calm. Setting intentions and asking the Universe for what I want is very useful, although I am mindful of the saying, “Be careful of what you wish for… it may just come true”! I can be very indecisive, and eventually I sometimes flip a coin if a decision is hard to come to.
While the show mostly focuses on witch history and warfare, you’ve mentioned being into other elements of the craft, including tarot and astrology. What sign do you think Tally is and why?
I don’t know much about astrology; everything I do know is because of Tay Hickson (who plays Raelle Collar on Fort Salem: Motherland). She introduced me to the Costar app, so this is really her field of expertise. As a guess, I think Tally would be an Aries for her cheerful disposition, her energetic and fiery passion, and, most of all, her seemingly inexhaustible courage.
As you know, the tarot is based on archetypes, with each card representing an aspect of human nature and/or a stage of development. Which card(s) do you think best represent Tally?
I use the Osho Zen Tarot, which are more like angel cards in that they are used for insight, reflection, or a meditation for the day. An archetype that came to mind for Tally is The Fool. According to the Osho Zen Tarot, The Fool is someone who goes on trusting, whose trust is tremendous, whose trust is “so pure that nobody can corrupt it.” The card goes on to say that though the world will take advantage of you, you must let it. “Even if you are cheated and deceived and robbed, let it happen, because that which is really yours cannot be robbed from you, that which is really yours nobody can steal from you.”
And lastly, it looks like the rest of the season is shaping up to be explosive! What can you tell us about how Tally navigates the challenges that come her way in the upcoming episodes?
You are gonna have to wait and see! I will say that one of the things you can count on with this show is SURPRISE…
Looking for more Motherland: Fort Salem content? Check out our interview with Tony Giroux, and don’t forget to watch Motherland: Fort Salem Wednesdays at 9/8c on Freeform.