Frankie Drake Mysteries may be set in 1920s Toronto, but its representation of female characters is far from out-dated. Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) are both smart, tough, ambitious, complicated women, so it comes as no surprise that the women they choose to work with are just as nuanced.
Enter Flo, played by actress and cabaret star Sharron Matthews, a morgue attendant with a no-holds-barred attitude. “She’s sassy, and she’s a bit fearless,” says Matthews to The TV Junkies when asked how she infuses her cabaret flair into the character.
In fact, it’s Matthews’ cabaret background that offered real insight into how she could relate to Flo. “I didn’t start cabaret in earnest until I was 35 years old,” says Matthews. “I already had a full theatre, TV and film career before I dedicated myself to it because I was so passionate about it. With Flo, she didn’t start going to medical school until she was in her 40s, because her husband died in the war. So I get someone later in life finding a new passion and dedicating themselves to it fully.”
The process of getting the role of Flo wasn’t easy for Matthews. When her agent approached her about the part Matthews was in New York City performing her show Girl Crush at 54 Below. When Matthews said she didn’t have time, her agent insisted she at least read the part. “Some characters you read and you go, ‘I can play that.’ Then there are some characters you read and say, ‘Oh, that’s me,’” she reveals. “I literally put my suitcase in the middle of the smallest hotel room in the world, I put a toaster container on top of it, I leaned my iPhone on it, and did a self-tape.”