Gaby Hoffmann Breaks Down the Crazy in Caroline
The wildcard newcomer discusses the "explosive temper" Adam shares with his sister.
What's your theory on how Laird and Caroline wound up together?
I imagine that once she got kicked out of Hannah and Adam's, she was feeling dejected as she walked down the stairs, but when she hit the ground floor, a light bulb went off. She remembers that strange man behind the door and how they shared that funny day in the cemetery. She ingratiated herself to him because she had nowhere else to go and he's convenient.� And then it took off from there.
Do you think it's possible for the two of them to have a healthy relationship?
I think it's pretty difficult for anyone who's that out of touch with themselves and struggling to the extent that Caroline seems to be, to have a healthy relationship with anyone. If you don't have a healthy relationship with yourself, how can you with anyone else? Even if it's not healthy, I imagine it's a lot of fun. And healthy or not, I still think there can be a lot of love. They have a lot of fun. They plan adventures and play strange talk games, and I imagine that they eat a lot for some reason -- I don't know why I think that. I can see them feeding each other.
An even bigger surprise than her relationship with Laird is the fact that she's pregnant. Do you think it's possible for Caroline to be a good mother?
Oh, I think it's going to be a hard road for that kid. I think Caroline's bipolar behavior will be present in her parenting -- she'll be incredibly loving and devoted to the child until the moment that it doesn't quite suit her. I think anybody who's in that much pain, the closer you are to them, the more you're in the line of fire. But you never know. Maybe she could have a spiritual awakening with the birth and it could be just what she needed.
What do you think Caroline and Adam's childhood was like?
I don't really know, and I haven't been the type of actress who comes up with a concrete narrative for my characters. Clearly it was difficult. We all have difficult childhoods and come from dysfunctional families in one way or another, but theirs seems to be especially so. They both have a lot of not-so-repressed rage, and so I imagine they weren't sufficiently loved.
What do you think she and Adam have in common?
They both seem to have a bit of an explosive temper, though Adam tends to express it more physically. They're both pretty blunt. But Adam's been Caroline's caretaker and nurturer, so he's more emotionally well-developed and sophisticated because of that. They're very different on that fundamental level which allows him to have a healthier life experience.
Earlier in the season, during their big fight, Caroline accuses Adam of having sexual feelings for her. Is that true? Or just something said in the heat of the moment?
No, she really thinks that. I don't have a brother, but I think it's pretty accurate for most sibling relationships that are very close, that there's some undercurrent of sexual energy. I don't think it's necessarily a terrible, lusting incestual impulse, nor is it something consciously played out or acted upon.
Caroline tells Hannah that she hopes Adam doesn't "shuck her like a piece of summer corn." She's been trying to drive a wedge between them since she arrived -- what gives?
She feels that Adam's abandoned her, so she projects that on everybody. Hannah is clearly the priority in his life and has thus replaced Caroline. He matured into an independent person and separated himself from his family, which we all have to do. He left her, so of course she wants to imagine he'll do the same thing to Hannah. Otherwise, it'd be too painful.