While Netflix's Virgin River quickly became beloved by fans both old (the show's based on a popular, long-running series of novels) and new who adored the small town drama, romance and intricate character dynamics, anyone who's taken the time to watch even a few episodes will know that there's at least one character who lands firmly on the "love to hate" portion of the scale. Lauren Hammersley's Charmaine had been the biggest obstacle standing in the way of true love for two of our protagonists, and now she's talking about how she handles meeting fans who hate her Netflix character.
Virgin River is certainly filled with residents of the titular remote California town who make some bone-headed decisions on a semi-regular basis, and even some who are active in villainy as their way of life. But, Charmaine is a different kind of character altogether. For two seasons now she's been a big barrier keeping main couple Jack and Mel from being totally free to romance one another, so it's very easy to watch Lauren Hammersley's character and become immediately enraged. As you might imagine, this has led to some interesting interactions with fans, and here's what Hammersley told TV Line about how she handles those meetings:
For the most part, the people who interact with me directly are very sweet. They’ll say they hate Charmaine, but they still like me, and they think I play her well. So that’s good. Then there are some people who don’t recognize that the character is not the actor, so there have been a few weird interactions that usually end in me saying, ‘Have a great day!’ because I don’t know how to deal with that.
Well, at least it's good that most of the viewers Lauren Hammersley has been able to meet appreciate her work on Virgin River and the sorta-crazy spurned woman energy she brings to Charmaine. For everyone else, though, I can only imagine how weird it must be to have complete strangers come up to Hammersley and act as though she's really doing something wrong. Honestly, good on her for having the presence of mind to tell those folks to have a nice day, when it seems like it would be so easy to say not so great things right back to them.
Lauren Hammersley's portrayal of Charmaine has done a lot to bring tension to the romance between Jack and Mel. Charmaine and Jack had been in a long-time no strings attached relationship when Mel came along and Jack realized he really wanted to be with the town's new nurse practitioner. The obvious attraction between them pissed Charmaine off to no end, seeing as how she'd clearly been hoping that she would wear Jack down and get him to commit. Charmaine eventually broke up with him, but then she found out she was pregnant with his twins, making the interplay between herself and the new sorta-couple even more difficult in Season 2.
And, if you've watched Virgin River Season 2 through the end of that crazy cliffhanger finale, you'll know that Charmaine is now on a short list for more than Jack's love interests / baby mommas. Luckily, the drama has been renewed for Season 3, so we can see what that means for Charmaine, and even Hammersley can admit that she gets why audiences are so mad at Jack's former bedmate, noting:
There are two sides to the story. Charmaine really wanted Jack to be her person, but his heart belongs to Mel. It’s been a tough go for Charmaine, but I can see why people just want her out of the way, because of the chemistry between Jack and Mel.
Too true! We will likely have quite a while yet to wait until we can lay our eyes on Virgin River Season 3, but the first two seasons can be revisited on Netflix right now. In the meantime, be sure to see what's coming to the small screen in the next few weeks with our guide to early 2021 TV!