Eileen and Roz have become quite the dynamic duo on Alaska Daily, even if they don’t see it just yet. The seasoned reporter and the young, driven journalist have teamed up to investigate the death of Gloria Nanmac, an indigenous woman living in Alaska. As Roz and Eileen get closer to the truth, so do Grace Dove and Hilary Swank. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Grace about working alongside the Oscar winner.
“Hilary challenges me in the best way every single day and pushes me,” the Indigenous actress said. “I realized very early on that I needed to work harder and be better to keep up. I think that’s what’s so incredibly exciting about behind the scenes, but also what’s happening in the show. I have the heart, I have the knowledge of the land and the community of Alaska, but she has years of experience on me when it comes to journalism. I think we’re a really great team whether we want to be or not.”
Grace called Roz her “dream role,” and she’s always been “fascinated with journalism.” Growing up, she even thought she would pursue a career in journalism. “But then when the dream of becoming an actor came through, then I realized I had to pursue that. But it’s weird how it all comes together. Somehow I get to do both,” Grace told HollywoodLife.
From the beginning, Roz has been skeptical about trusting Eileen and her intentions. “I think that Roz has had her trust broken for so long, has been deceived, and has been silenced for her whole life in many different ways,” Grace noted. “As I feel as an indigenous person, we are constantly fighting. There have been so many wrongdoings to us to remove our cultural culture and to silence our voices. I think it’s going to take a lot more for her to trust Eileen. Maybe she’s starting to trust her as a journalist, but I think that they still have quite a ways to go.”
Episode 3 introduced us to Roz’s half-brother and some of her family dysfunction. Grace told HollywoodLife that it was “ultimately Tom McCarthy’s goal” to show the “in-depth” life of a journalist, in and out of the office.
“It’s been just really fun exploring all those different aspects and how that affects our work and how we have to also separate home life from office life,” Grace continued. “One message that I really understood was journalists have to be so careful of letting their opinions and their feelings control a story. It always has to be about the facts and keeping the facts as the main driving force through the story.”
Roz does have a personal connection to these missing indigenous women. Her cousin, Laura, went missing at 17. Her disappearance pushed Roz to become a reporter and find answers. Grace weighed on Roz’s emotional connection to these cases.
“I think it mirrors my experience as an indigenous person because MMIW [Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women] affects all of us. It affects our families. It affects our community. That’s why Roz is also so passionate,” Grace said. “So she’s going to keep fighting to use her voice, but I think that she also is working very hard to make sure it sticks to the facts. That’s just what a good journalist does. I think that’s probably one thing that she’s going to learn a lot from Eileen is how to go about it in a professional way. But she still has a lot to learn. She’s young, and she’s got a lot of fire. I think that’s also what’s going to make her really stand out.”
She continued, “This has been such a dream come true for me because we’re telling very important stories to people that may have never even heard of MMIW. I’ve been using my voice as a Secwepemc actor to share stories of resiliency and struggle and stand up for the youth. But a lot of times, I feel like, we’re only sharing stories for our people, and no one is listening. Whereas my ultimate goal is to be able to bring indigenous experiences to non-indigenous folks. Because with a lot of the crisis and a lot of what we’re facing, it’s going to take so much more than just us being part of this fight. It’s going to take everyone, so that starts with awareness. With awareness, then we can create change.” Alaska Daily airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.