Fatal Attraction: Meet Doreen Calderon
Doreen Calderon is an incredible actress who has graced our screens for years. From Fraiser to Call Me Kat, she has truly shown her range as an actress and wowed us with every performance.
She most recently appeared in the Paramount Plus series Fatal Attraction as Maureen. To celebrate, TVGrapevine sat down with her in an exclusive interview. Check it out below.
Sammi: Doreen, tell me about Fatal Attraction. We all loved the movie. Now it’s a TV series. I’m so excited. Tell me about the show and your role.
Doreen: Well, the television series is very different yet very similar to the film. The television series is a reimagining. It’s not a remake, it’s not a new edition. So, there are things in the film, if you’re a fan, which I always was a fan that you’re gonna see in the television series and things that you’re not. For instance, the first episode, like in the 1st 10, 15 minutes we open on Dan Gallagher who is the Michael Douglas character in the film, getting out of jail for having been in prison for killing Alex Forrest.
So, he was in prison for her murder for 15 years, but that’s not how the movie went. So that’s the first switch. You see also what the television series is able to do. It gives us over eight hours of story as opposed to the under two hours that the film gave us. So, we are opening up on Dan being released from jail prison, but we also then jump back to 15 years before.
And we can see how the two of them met, why the two of them met and why the two of them were in such emotional, mental, psychological states to get together. That’s where I live now. I live in 2008. And my character’s name is Maureen Walker and Maureen is a longtime assistant to Dan Gallagher. So, I’m in the district attorney office with him.
What doesn’t get and, and this is, I’m not spoiling anything, but I’m actually giving more information because I finally got to see everything with all the edits. And one of the things that’s not included is that Maureen used to work for Dan’s father and that’s important to know because Dan’s father was a judge and that’s part of Dan’s will say issue his daddy issues.
He’s trying to live up to that in addition to the fact that his father had a questionable reputation and Dan doesn’t want to be that man yet. He does want to be that man. It’s really interesting to delve into what’s going on with Dan and of course, we also get what’s going on with Alex, right? The, I can’t think of her name, the fantastic Glenn close character, who is now a brunette, not Glenn, but the character we get to see Alex’s who’s played by Lizzie Kaplan, her psychology, her mental stability or instability where she’s coming from and it just kind of, it really gives everything so much more texture at the same time, Dan is out of prison and his goal is to find Alex’s real killer. So now the question is, well, did he or did he not? And if he didn’t, there’s really no one else it would be. So, the TV series also has that murder mystery element as well as a psychological thriller going on.
Sammi: It’s incredible. And what was the biggest challenge of you playing the role of Maureen?
Doreen: Well, first of all, the script was easy, the writers were fantastic. I love that. It was created by a woman writer. Don’t tell me, I’m forgetting your name. I can see her. We can see the credits so to come back to me. So the writing was great. It was easy. It was easy for me to fall into the dialogue. What was challenging was they had to reschedule everything.
So I was thrown on set. Never having met. I am so tired, Sammy, I’m so sorry. Never having met the actor who plays Dan and we are supposed to already have established a long-time relationship. And so I it’s like, OK, action. There you go. Like, oh OK. But in addition to that, there were things had to be rescheduled right at the top and a lot of scenes were smashed in one right after another to shoot there were a couple of mishaps. There was a bit of COVID that was spread before we even started to shoot. So, people were missing. We had to work around that. Oh, maybe, I think one of the last days I shot, I’d say that the challenge for that day was the mosquitoes. Oh, wow.
(NOTE: Part of this was redacted due to respect for certain situations mentioned. )
Sammi: In what ways do you relate to your character or if you don’t? Which ways do you wish you did?
Doreen: There’s a lot of things that I relate to one that she’s a career gal. and she is, well, she’s the one that keeps Dan in stride. Right. She’s the one who’s making sure he’s got his schedules right. That he remembers things that he might forget. she’s also close to the family so she knows about parties and birthdays and things like that, so, in that sense, I’m also sort of an, a type, gotta make sure I have three calendars minimum, you know, I do.
Right, and still, something gets through. you know, one of those people who’s always there at least stays a little later. What I love about now, this is sort of an aside, this is more personal for Doreen. Is that in my career, I have had to deal with a lot of stereotypes that is being cast typecast because of the way I look based on nothing else but because of the way I look.
And this character, her name is Maureen Walker. There’s no like ethnic attachment, there’s no immigrant story. She’s college educated, I’m college educated, you know, works in the city, you know, just it, it was just so normal and natural for me to be Maureen. Good.
Sammi: That’s good. Are you working on any other projects now or is this show? We’re pretty much a baby right now.
Doreen: Well, here’s the thing. There are always some irons in the fire and that’s part of why I’m exhausted this morning. I had an audition and a call back that was live on starting at nine o’clock this morning and then I had had to wait to see if they needed to see me again. If I’m not doing that, I’m self-taping. As a matter of fact, Fatal Attraction, I was cast from a self-tape.
That’s something that I’ve learned to master. There’s also, let me see. Oh, yeah. Yeah. White House plumbers on HBO was released the day after Fatal Attraction began to be released and I’m in the pilot episode of that. So that’s a, a pretty funny, pretty funny scene. I’m in with Woody Harrelson and Justin Thoreau.
Sammi: Nice. That’s amazing.
Doreen: I’m also, I worked on season 12 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. But I don’t know how much of me is gonna end up because they, they improvise, they write the outline of the, of the scene, they are rewriting as they’re shooting. And at the same time, they ask the actors to improvise as we’re doing it and the cameras are always moving.
So, I don’t know how much of it I’m gonna be in, but fingers crossed because that’s pretty amazing. I should be, I didn’t get to work with, but I’m gonna be in the same episode with, Tracy Oman. Who is nice. Yeah. Who is just, oh my God, she’s, she’s like royalty, improv royalty.
Sammi: You are so lucky. I’m so jealous.
Doreen: Yeah. I mean, this is like twice now, in my opinion, I’ve gotten to work with comedy royalty, women. earlier this year, last year, I was on an episode of Loot with Maya Rudolph. That was really cool.
Sammi: Tell me a fun fact about yourself. I love hearing fun facts about, from the people I interview.
Doreen: Well, I am a dream interpreter. Oh, I have had a fascination with dreams since I was about five years old. I remember holding court with my two sisters in the morning telling them all about my dreams and sometimes they didn’t believe me because it was so much detail as if I was making it up, but that didn’t bother me. I just, I knew what I dreamt and as I got older, probably around college age, I started to study it.
I started to look into it because it was just such a natural part of me. I couldn’t understand people who blew off their dreams or who insisted that they didn’t dream because scientifically, if you don’t dream, you’d probably be dead. You just don’t remember them. You know. So, because some people say I don’t dream. Well, that’s not true. You just don’t remember them.
And what I love about it is that I am not telling anybody other than what their own wisdom is telling them. It’s just that in our dreams it comes in symbols. So, we’re not quite in tune with it. And that’s where my job comes in because I can interpret the symbol in context with everything else that’s going on. What drives me nuts is when people come to me and go, oh, I dreamt about I, I dreamt about sunglasses.
What does that mean? Like there it’s not, your dream cannot be interpreted from like a dictionary dream book. Like, what do sunglasses mean? I would ask things like were you wearing them or were you just looking at them? Was it sunny out? Or was it, where were you, were you with somebody? Did you were, were they pretty, were they ugly? You know, all of these so many different things.
And for me, one of my favorite pastimes is, is crossword puzzles, right? And that’s what dream interpretation is like to me because as soon as I get those big symbols out, like, you know, the words, you already know all the other things start falling into place. And I love it because then I can see it. I can see like the matrix; this is what I’m doing.
The, it all starts making sense and then I tend to blurt out what I see. And I usually get a reaction like a gasp because it’s spot on and the reason it’s spot on is because like I said, I’m not telling people anything that their wisdom isn’t already telling them. And then we’ll dig deeper. See, this is where I like to not just interpret but to have a conversation with somebody.
For instance, I remember interpreting a dream for a coworker. And I said, well, after I did it, I said it’s probably something to do with a creative project you want to take on, that’s been on your mind and you’re finding obstacles around it or, you know, there’s, you know, this could also mean you’re pregnant and she freaked out because she had just found out she was pregnant, she hadn’t told anybody.
And then we had gotten into a conversation about the obstacles in her pregnancy, that in the dream looked like obstacles, but in waking life she was making a bigger deal about it. And I love letting people know that all is, well, that’s beautiful.
Sammi: You’re using your gift for good. And that is absolutely amazing. And I think you’re one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met.
Doreen: Well, let me know if you want an interpretation anytime, just send it to me in an email.
Sammi:, I will! And where can we find you on social media so you can continue to follow your career?
Doreen: Well, to follow my career, Instagram, Doreen underscore Calderon. Very simple. Also, I M DB Doreen Calderon. I also have a YouTube channel which is at Doreen Calderon. But in the YouTube channel, I talk more about the nature of I tend to talk to artists in the industry, but I talk about the nature of thought, the nature of how life works and the nature of the artist, how the artist works. It’s something that I’ve been deep into for about the last five years that has shifted my life completely and I just want to share it with people.
I have another playlist that’s called Auditions and Driving, which was on hold during the pandemic. But I’ve started it again where I take the viewer along for the ride on my way back from an audition. Just kind of breaking it down. What happened in the room?
Sammi: That’s a cool idea. I love that.
Doreen: I’m not the only one doing it, but I’m the only one doing it the way I’m doing it.