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P.E.I. actor Tessa Mossey stars alongside Patrick Dempsey in new miniseries

Tessa Mossey rehearses her lines with director Jean-Jacques Annaud on the set of “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”. The miniseries has just been released in Canada.
Tessa Mossey rehearses her lines with director Jean-Jacques Annaud on the set of “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”. The miniseries has just been released in Canada. - Contributed

“The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair” airs Sunday on CTV Drama

Another P.E.I. actor has taken the leap from the stage to the screen.

Tessa Mossey, who got her start in the Confederation Centre’s “Canada Rocks Christmas” and other stage shows, is now appearing in “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”.

“I was filled with excitement and gratitude when I got the role,” says the former Colonel Gray High School student, of the miniseries which made its Canadian debut on Sunday on the CTV Drama Channel, formerly called Bravo.

The drama, which occurs in two time periods (2008 and 1975), follows a young writer who heads to the home of author Harry Quebert for some inspiration. Instead, he finds that his mentor has been accused of murdering 15-year-old Nola Kellergan, who went missing years prior.

Harry Quebert (Patrick Dempsey) and Jenny Quinn (Tessa Mossey) appear in a scene from “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”. The murder mystery miniseries airs Sunday on CTV Drama (formerly Bravo) at 10 p.m. MGM STUDIOS photo.
Harry Quebert (Patrick Dempsey) and Jenny Quinn (Tessa Mossey) appear in a scene from “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”. The murder mystery miniseries airs Sunday on CTV Drama (formerly Bravo) at 10 p.m. MGM STUDIOS photo.

In the series, Mossey plays Quebert’s love interest, Jenny Quinn, from the 1975 time period.

“She is such a sweetheart. She’s got one of the biggest hearts that I’ve seen in a character in a very long time. She lives in a small town and has a big aspiration.”

So, when the character first brushes shoulders with Quebert, played by Patrick Dempsey, she’s smitten.

“She falls head over heels in love quickly because she thinks they are compatible, without digging any deeper (into his past). So, it’s the whole experience of growth as she discovers what really matters and what is important in life.”

Working with Dempsey has been a gift.

“He’s an incredible scene partner. He’s very generous. He’s also very experienced. He knows when there’s going to be scenes coming up that are difficult or require a lot of vulnerability and he knows exactly how to make his scene partner feel comfortable,” says Mossey of the actor known to many as Dr. Derek McDreamy Shepherd in “Grey’s Anatomy”.

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, the 10-episode murder mystery series has already been released in the United States, the Middle East and Europe. 

Mossey's character is in every episode; the Jenny from 2008 is played by Victoria Clark.

“Working in a period piece is so much fun….My favourite takeaway is the growth I had in the process – being in a roomful of really smart people. You can’t beat that.”

It’s not the first time Mossey has worked in a network television show. She played the villain in “Shadow Hunters”, an American drama Netflix series.

What’s the secret to her success?

Having a supportive family and growing up on Prince Edward Island. 


Need to know

What: “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”
Based on: Novel by Swiss author Joël Dicker
When and where: CTV Drama (formerly Bravo), Sunday, 10 p.m.


“On P.E.I. I also discovered my love for acting through incredible teachers who were not only great at their jobs but made me realize that my passion didn’t have to be just a hobby but something that could be a life-long career,” says Mossey, who went on to attend the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Massachusetts, majoring in acting.

Her P.E.I. teachers remember her well. They include Heather Burke, Lori and Kay Linkletter, Martha Nicholson, Sung Ha Shin-Bouey and Stephen Bouey.

From an early age, Mossey had the passion, dedication and work ethic of a true performer, says Lori.

“Her talent was endless not just in music but in dance and acting. She was pure joy to work with.”

Wade Lynch, her acting teacher, agrees.

“In addition to remarkable talent, Tessa has two other important things going for her: discipline and fearlessness. I had the pleasure of working with her and watching her grow. She was that rare kid who said yes to any challenge.”

As for any future challenges, Mossey remains positive.

“I’m living in Los Angeles now. I’m very excited to be here, just opening up the opportunity to see what happens.”

She’s also excited about the next episode of “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”.

“I’m singing an Elvis cover as a voice-over for another character. It’s special to me because it’s one of my father’s favourites.”


Making the jumps

  • Jonathan Torrens got his acting start as the rabbit in the Sherwood Elementary production of “The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings” and other plays. He went on to television roles like "J-Roc" in the popular Canadian mockumentary “Trailer Park Boys” and Mr. Cheeley in “Mr. D”.
  • Claire Rankin has appeared in over 50 films and television shows, including recent recurring roles on “Rogue”, “Halcyon” and “Damien” and guest star roles on “Suits”, “Hemlock Grove”, “The Mentalist”, “House”, “Without a Trace”, “The District”, “Chicago Hope”, “Ally McBeal” and “The Drew Carey Show”
  • Martha MacIsaac made her acting debut as a child star in “Emily of New Moon”, appeared in Soul Pepper Theatre plays in Toronto, films like “Superbad” and “The House on the Left” and television shows like“1600 Penn” and “The Pinkertons”

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