A SHOT TO THE HEART – Fay Masterson discusses the demise of Andrea Garnett

The season five premiere of THE LAST SHIP was at once brutal, and shocking, and moving. The sudden and violent deaths of both Andrea Garnett and Doc Rios shook us to the core, proving once and for all that nobody is safe. The loss of Garnett was particularly devastating, especially seeing as this was her first appearance since season three.

Fay Masterson, who plays Garnett, recently took the time out to answer some questions for us about her character, and how she went out in a blaze of glory.

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LASTSHIP.TV: We missed Garnett in season four! What do you reckon she was up to, while the rest of the crew were gallivanting in the Med?

FAY MASTERSON: I’d like to think she was training Cadets and briefing others on the Nathan James’s journey so far and what could be learned from it.

TLS.TV: What was it like to come back to the show after a long break?

FM: It felt like coming home. We all get along so well and was a joy to see everyone. Garnett was welcomed heartily..:-)

TLS.TV: What were you up to in that time?

FM: Moving to Canada and giving birth to my second daughter.

TLS.TV: Was the plan always to come back for season five?

FM: That was always up to Steve Kane, but it was left open on purpose so if it felt right we could do it. It might have been in his mind all along…

Photo Credit: @FayMasterson

TLS.TV: How did it feel to be back on set with your TLS “family”?

FM: There’s nothing like being with such a talented group of people who have been through a lot together. We all make each other better as actors and I always feel so energized when that happens on a set.

TLS.TV: We can see in the promos that Garnett is the Captain of the USS Jeffrey Michener. Congratulations on the promotion! Did you change your approach to playing her in order to take into account the promotion?

FM: Not really. I think Garnett always takes everything in stride. To me she always felt focused on her part as a member of the team, whatever form that took. No grandstanding or throwing her weight around, if that makes sense.

TLS.TV: How do you feel that Garnett has grown and developed throughout the show’s run?

FM: I think there was more of a sense of gravitas – through what they had all experienced and went through, not least because Garnett lost her family. There’s a grim determination in her that probably, if given a moment to reflect, would give way to deep sorrow. She channels it into caring for her crew.

TLS.TV: How did you find out that your appearance in season five would be fleeting?

FM: Steve Kane called me and told me.

TLS.TV: How did you feel when you read the script?

FM: Emotional. And proud that she was given a good send off.

TLS.TV: Describe what it was like to say goodbye to a character who has been such a big piece of your life for so long.

FM: The timing felt right. I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be. I just felt grateful to have been a part of the show for so many seasons. I’ve learnt so much and had a blast on the show.

TLS.TV: Did shooting Garnett’s death scene present any particular challenges?

FM: Well, it could easily go wrong when you’re dealing with pyrotechnics and stunts but the team on LS is so professional that all went smoothly.

TLS.TV: Can you tell us about shooting the death scene?

FM: We were down filming at the San Diego Naval base, so the authenticity is unbeatable and being surrounded by real men and women in uniform is always an honor. I had Max, who plays Doc Rios, in the scene with me, and Adam Baldwin – both of whom I’ve spent a lot of time with and are friends, so it felt very fitting to go out with them in the scene with me. The script was perfect and I think it’s a very powerful scene. It sets up the season well.

Photo Credit: @FayMasterson

The shocking loss of both Garnett and Rios in the season premiere shows that the stakes for the crew of the Nathan James are, if it is at all possible, higher than ever before, and nobody is safe. Andrea Garnett was sorely missed in season four, and will be mourned by fans of the show. The Nathan James is a darker place without her.

New episodes of THE LAST SHIP Season 5 air Sundays, 9/8c on TNT Drama.