Q: In researching your character for “Pure,” what surprised you about the Mennonites?
A: I am very drawn to a lot of the ways in which the kinds of Mennonites we were studying lived their lives with a sense of community and interacting with and taking care of your neighbors and being self-sufficient and making a lot of the things that you use and rely on. That’s sort of what drew me. I can’t think of anything that surprised me about it.
Reading some of the articles and watching some of the material, specifically about the drug-related instances, that was pretty darn surprising to me … . Before I did the show, I had read an article about it and thought, “That’s pretty crazy.” And then when I signed onto the show, I did a lot more research and was like, “Oh my – wow. That’s nuts.”
Q: How did you like filming in Halifax, Nova Scotia?
A: It’s one of my favorite places in the world. I’m very lucky. When we were shooting the first season, one of my best friends lives there and my little sister was at university there so I had family and friends built in and I already knew the city. And there’s something really special about the Maritimes. The people on the East Coast of Canada are just the kindest, most welcoming, down-to-earth people. … It’s just the best. I wouldn’t recommend going in February just because you’ll get blown into the ocean by a winter hurricane. But the people will still be very nice to you when they rescue you.
And it’s nice, too, because it’s so accessible. You’ve got the ocean and the really rugged landscape and then for our show, just going out into the Annapolis Valley and having all that beautiful farm landscape, that’s just the greatest. It was so nice to be able to be in nature that much.
Q: It’s not a big stretch for it to fill in as Pennsylvania.
A: Yeah, exactly. I worked out there a bunch of times and it filled in for the Pacific Northwest and I think Boston a couple of times. Yeah, all these different regions. Pretty cool. And on our show, Mexico (laughs).
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.