Catherine Lough Haggquist Reflects on Fort Salem Experience – Interview

Catherine Lough Haggquist as Petra Bellweather in Motherland: Fort Salem.

Actress Catherine Lough Haggquist reflects on her time with Motherland: Fort Salem, currently airing its third and final season.

Catherine Lough Haggquist has appeared in over 140 movies and television series in a career that has spanned decades. She currently appears on Motherland: Fort Salem as Petra Bellweather, General of the Army and mother of Abigail Bellweather. As Motherland: Fort Salem currently airs its third and final season, Haggquist sat down with The Geekiary to reflect on her time with the series.

The Geekiary: What can you tell us about the remaining episodes of Motherland: Fort Salem?

Haggquist: Just that they are going to be action-packed and a bit of a thrill ride, and a lot of things that you won’t see coming or expect. I can’t give away much of the plot though because everything is connected, so even if I start to give a little about one thing, the ripple effect goes through all the other things.

TG: What was your favorite episode to film of the series?

Haggquist: I really enjoyed the first episode, and I really enjoyed the last two. I think there was something really satisfying about how they all unfolded. But it’s always a pleasure going to work on that show. I already miss it, especially knowing that it was our third and final season, but such a great group of people that every day was a great day to go to work.

TG: How was your experience on the show compared to the other shows you’ve been a part of?

Haggquist: The high number of women, on-screen and behind the scenes, was just an amazing experience. I appreciate the efforts of my male brothers, but I just really found the energy was different. The story being so focused around a world that is matri-centric, so that changes how the stories are told, it changes how we work with each other. It was a really interesting vibe, and I really loved that.

TG: What were the benefits and challenges of filming such a special effect-heavy series?

Haggquist: Making really specific choices. And being really clear in movement and intention so that those elements served the tech as opposed to were diluted by it. It was interesting working with the number of effects that we had to, and just this technical specificity that it requires. In terms of eyelines and all sorts of things.

TG: In season two, Petra became the General when Alder stepped down. How far in advance did you know that was going to happen and what was your reaction upon seeing the script for the first time?

Haggquist: I was shocked. I know that it was always part of Petra’s ambition, but Alder had been around for a couple hundred years already. Dreams are meant to be broken, so I didn’t anticipate that’s where things were going to go. We sort of had an overarch of what might happen, what might get explored, but you don’t necessarily know what that means or how that’s going to take shape. I was as surprised as anyone when I first found out those story points for sure.

TG: Now that the series is in its final season, is there anything you would have liked to do had the show been renewed for longer?

Haggquist: I am so curious about what happens with Petra next. I know sort of where it ends in terms of this season, I’m curious about how the world continues. I really love the allegorical nature of this, and how many of the scripts that are written so far in advance of when we shoot them, and then go through the production process, still tend to land in public consciousness when things are very parallel to the world at large.

I wanted to see how long that would continue and where that would take us. Because I think there is so much that is both educational and inspiring and informative about how people interact with each other in this world. I think that lends itself to being a beacon of how we can try and work things out in our own. I would have loved to have seen that continue.

TG: What will you take away from your experience on the show the most?

Haggquist: Friendships. There are people who will be in my life for the rest of it. I made some really… friends doesn’t even feel like enough, like family. I made family on this show. Those people will be in my life going forward, and that’s really a nice comfort, especially as we transition away from the world of Fort Salem.

TG: What projects are you currently working on now that the series has ended?

Haggquist: I’ve been currently working on a feature film, but I’m not allowed to talk about it yet. But I’ve got to say it’s been interesting, sort of being on another show while still so excited to see how my work on Motherland gets received.

It’s been nice to make a new film family, and always when you leave something that is so comfortable and has felt like home for so long, you always wonder how the next experience is going to be and I couldn’t be more blessed to have a really nice next job that I’m in the middle of. It’s been a really fun and collaborative experience, so I’m really grateful and I look forward to being able to talk about it when the time comes.

Haggquist will be appearing in the remaining episodes of Motherland: Fort Salem’s final season. You can catch up on Motherland: Fort Salem’s current season with our reviews.

Author: Jessica Wolff

Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.


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