Sardonic Wisdom from Californication’s Madeleine Martin

by Lois Elfman

Sardonic Wisdom from Californication’s Madeleine Martin
Forget those Girls on HBO. One of TV’s most sarcastic and straight forward dispensers of young female wisdom is Becca Moody on Showtime’s long running dramedy Californication. Although seemingly above her father Hank Moody’s (played by David Duchovny) self-absorbed behavior, last season Becca proved she was totally influenced by it when she picked a boyfriend all too similar to Hank in talent and wandering eye. As season six kicks off, she’s dumped the chump and announced her plans to become a writer, seemingly following her father’s autobiographical bent and his means of acquiring literary fodder. Actress Madeleine Martin, 19, has embodied the character of Becca since day one—infusing her with both a sense of wisdom and confusion about the craziness in her parents’ lives. Just like Becca, Martin has New York roots, but fortunately for her she hasn’t been transplanted. When not filming in Los Angeles she gladly returns to the city that fuels her creativity and sardonic look at life.

DivineCaroline: A recurring theme on Californication is what life is in New York vs Los Angeles. Since you are a New Yorker, how is life different for you when you’re living and working in NYC vs LA?

Madeleine Martin: In NYC I can hang with my brothers. They are musicians and always working on something together, and I like to give my opinion.

DC: Was it eye opening to you to spend time in Los Angeles doing this show?

MM: It was eye opening to spend time in Venice, California. New York City can be uncontrolled at times, but I never saw a naked man calmly walking down the street as I did in Venice.

DC: Now it’s been six seasons. Do you spend equal time in both cities?
MM: NYC is home most of the year.

DC: Becca has been this voice of reason throughout Californication. She’s wise beyond her years. Right from episode one, you’ve tackled very adult material. How did you process it and try to portray it on the screen?

MM: I pretty much ignored the adult shenanigans in the show. My favorite scenes were the comic bits, or the painful events life tends to throw at you.

DC: Now that Becca has been given her own romantic dilemmas, how are you enjoying portraying that on screen?

MM: Now that I know the actor ground rules for filming romantic scenes I will go over them with my costar before a scene.

DC: Since you’ve been a kid on a very adult show, how have people reacted to you? What are some of the most interesting comments over the years?

MM: The creepiest was when a 50-year-old stopped me on the street and asked if I thought he was as cool as Hank Moody.

DC: Do kids ever approach you whose parents are divorced and ask for advice?

MM: No. Giggling girls approach me and ask if they can meet Hank Moody.


DC: We don’t know too much about what’s coming up on season six. Can you tell us anything about what’s in store for Becca?

MM: She follows in her father’s footsteps in a significant way.

DC: I love the coming attraction of you with Marilyn Manson. What was it like working with him?

MM: From him I learned that it is possible to succeed by never growing up.

DC: How do you feel your dynamic with David Duchovny and Natascha McElhone has evolved over the six seasons?

MM: David has become more like a brother and Natascha has become a spiritual and intellectual inspiration.

DC: What has it been like being able to develop and mature a character over a period of six years?

MM: I could only work with the material they gave me, but I tried to keep Becca as real as possible.

DC: Homeland has brought Showtime its first Emmy for Best Drama and helped drive attention to the amazing shows that are on the network. What is it like being part of a Showtime show?

MM: Many actors want to be on an “edgy” network like Showtime. I was fortunate to have such an opportunity so young.

DC: What projects are on your schedule for 2013?

MM: I am on Broadway in William Inge’s Picnic.