Monica Raymund and Rebecca Cutter on ‘Hightown’ Season 3: ‘We’re going out with a bang’

Monica Raymund, who plays the lead in the crime drama set in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Rebecca Cutter, the creator of the show, say the third and final season will see the characters end up in a place that feels at once shocking and inevitable

April 18, 2024 03:29 pm | Updated 04:25 pm IST

Monica Raymund in a scene from ‘Hightown’ Season 3

Monica Raymund in a scene from ‘Hightown’ Season 3

The crime drama Hightown tells the story of Jackie Quiñones, a National Marine Fisheries Service agent struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. She is investigating an opioid epidemic plaguing Provincetown, Massachusetts. Played by Monica Raymund, Jackie, according to creator Rebecca Cutter, came to her in a “fever dream.”

Over a video call from Los Angeles, USA, Rebecca says, “I just knew that that character could be the centre of a show. I wanted to develop her from there and then, thank God, Monica came in and made her real. It’s been a blessed journey from the beginning.”

A lot of preparation for the role was thanks to Rebecca, says Monica. “She told me about Jackie’s origin story, her context and circumstances. It was with Rebecca’s insights that we crafted the character. I also don’t know anything about Provincetown, so Rebecca was my leader there (laughs), teaching me about the area and living there.”

Talking percentages

Jackie is a complex character with relationship troubles and the struggle to stay sober, all the while dealing with a risky, high-pressure job. On whether Monica informs Jackie more than the script, the 37-year-old actor laughs, saying, “I think, 50-50, or more like 90-10! When actors play characters, we always bring a part of ourselves to the role. I felt connected to Jackie because I understood what she was going through. I understand how we try and deal with things not going our way. How one finds purpose is also Jackie’s story. She’s trying to figure out what her purpose is, sometimes making mistakes along the way.”

James Badge Dale, Rebecca Cutter and Monica Raymund 

James Badge Dale, Rebecca Cutter and Monica Raymund 

Elaborating on the similarities between herself and Jackie, The Good Wife actor says, grinning widely, “Well, she likes to party and so do I. Jackie is constantly trying to figure out her true self. And like Jackie, that is what I’m trying to do all the time as an adult. There are times when I know exactly what my purpose is and that motivates me and there are others when I lose that.”

She’s got the look

Putting together Jackie’s look was a process, says Monica. “Between Rebecca, our pilot director, Rachel Morrison, a couple of producers, and me, we made sure we were telling the same story. The look was messy, rock and roll- ish. She’s a player and likes to be the fun one at the party. Translating that vibe to hair and makeup and wardrobe was fun.”

Rebecca Cutter and Monica Raymund 

Rebecca Cutter and Monica Raymund 

Jackie also has a working-class look, says Rebecca. “We had to find a mix between small town and hip, city vibe” she adds.

Last hurrah

Season 3 is the final season of the show. “All the characters reach their final forms,” Rebecca says. “There are a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns on the way but all characters end up in a place that feels at once shocking and inevitable. It’ll be satisfying to see where everybody ends up.”

Saying goodbye to the fair people of Hightown will be bittersweet, says Rebecca. “I’m very proud of what we did. We’re going out with a bang. We’re leaving the show in the right place but of course, it’s sad. We’re family, I’ve had so much fun and learned so much from the show.”

James Badge Dale and Monica Raymund in ‘Hightown’ Season 3

James Badge Dale and Monica Raymund in ‘Hightown’ Season 3

It was a personal and meaningful project, Monica concurs. “I’m going to remember it forever. That being said, this is the best and most exciting third season of television.”

On whether there is a chance of a spinoff, prequel or follow-up, Rebecca says with a laugh, “From your lips to God’s ears. That’s above our pay grade. We love working together and I certainly would love to write more about Jackie.”

All three seasons of Hightown currently stream on Lionsgate Play

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