Patricia Arquette is unrecognizable as Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell in the new Showtime series “Escape at Dannemora,” and she’s detailing her transformation for emmy magazine.
Mitchell was the real-life seamstress from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility who became romantically involved with inmates Richard Matt (Benicio Del Toro) and David Sweat (Paul Dano) and helped them escape in 2015.
Arquette, who graces the cover of the new issue of emmy magazine alongside Del Toro and Dano, opened up about the role in a behind-the-scenes video from the photo shoot.
She explained, “I was in this character for a long time and in this part for a long time. It was really interesting to gain that much weight. They would put alcohol on my skin every day. They used this tattoo and stipple sponge to make your skin more blotchy.”
Patricia added, “[It was] just kind of going through the world as this really invisible person. So interesting to see everybody’s response. And physically it was difficult and hard on your body and painful. I was just really glad for that part to be over.”
Despite the physical challenges, she insisted, “I just really had one of the best experiences of my life on this.”
In the latest issue of the mag, Arquette opens up about her character, saying, “Tilly takes care of her needs before anything else. She doesn’t mind being a bch, and I’m really not a bch, so I thought it’d be exciting to explore that part of the human experience.”
She also explains how Tilly got into trouble with Sweat and Matt.
“With Sweat, that’s a huge crush; she can imagine what her life would be like with him,” Patricia said. “With Matt, he’s the only alpha male she’s been with. She knows he’s a killer and a scary guy, but he’s also really exciting. He’s much more like her; everything she’s capable of doing, he’s capable of worse.”
The star continued, “Once you cross a line with a prisoner, they already have power over you. It becomes this slippery slope. Tilly’s main flaw is wanting to feel alive, to feel love again.”
For more cast interviews, pick up the latest issue of emmy magazine November 20.
“Escape at Dannemora," directed by Ben Stiller, premieres November 18 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.