MacKenzie Porter – Picking up medical jargon and keeping her Marcys straight

Which Marcy?

MacKenzie Porter of ‘Travelers’ on Netflix

Q: What are the challenges in playing a character like Marcy?

A: I think the most challenging aspect is I kind of play different personalities. I mean, there are a few different versions of Marcy, so as an actress I always need to go back and remember, “What do I know?” I have them labeled in my head, like Marcy 2.0, 1.0, original Marcy, so I have to remember what she would know and what she doesn’t know, depending on which character I’m playing. Usually throughout the season I’m playing the same person but sometimes just as an actress I’m like, “Oh, she wouldn’t have known what I know because her consciousness was reset.” So I find that challenging sometimes.

Q: Sounds like it’s easy to lose track.

A: Totally. Like I have a whole kind of thing written out, my cheat notes of what she would know. And then sometimes if we’re filming really fast, the other challenging thing about playing Marcy is the dialog sometimes. I really do have to memorize it a little bit far in advance just because it’s all medical. Especially in Season 3 there’s a lot of medical jargon and so that always takes me a little bit longer just to memorize and really know what I’m saying. I have to look up a lot of words and a lot of medical terms.

Lennie James

Q: On the other hand, you can converse with doctors on their level now.

A: (Laughs) I feel like I could do a surgery on somebody. No. You know what’s pretty cool, is every day on set when I’m doing a scene like that, we actually do have a surgeon who shows me how I would properly suture or how I would properly hold this device or that device or how to properly give CPR. So I actually have learned a lot.

Q: Knowing CPR can come in handy.

A: Totally. Obviously I don’t do this on set but when she was explaining it to me, I didn’t realize how hard you have to press on an adult. It’s insane. Obviously, I’m not doing that to anybody on set but I have to act like it and I have to act like it’s that amount of force.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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