patti smith on appearing in her favourite tv show, the killing

After sending fan mail to the producer, the godmother of punk got herself a speaking role in one of the very last episodes.

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Aug 24 2016, 11:56am

Readers of Patti Smith's second autobiography, 2015's M Train, will know that sometimes -- quite frequently actually -- the godmother of punk likes to remove herself from her jet-setting global travel schedule in order to hole up in a hotel room and binge watch ITV and Danish murder mysteries -- a revelation that should make us all feel better about our Netflix habits.

When her favourite show, The Killing, was inexplicably cancelled mid-plot, Smith describes in a new chapter for the paperback edition of M Train, how she was left with "the residue of the unresolved". It got under her skin so much that she wrote a fan letter to the show's executive producer Veena Sud, to express her gratitude for the creation of main characters Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder. Sud responded some weeks later with the news that the series would return for six final episodes (which aired on Netflix in 2014), and invited Smith to come and watch the filming in Vancouver. When Smith accepted, Sud upped the offer to a speaking part in the show.

"I received my script and working papers," Smith writes. "I had envisioned I might play a street castoff or some homeless informer, akin to my naturally dishevelled appearance. But surprisingly I was given the part of Doctor Ann Morrison, neurosurgeon. Ten lines and a lab coat. It was all about the brain".

Hilariously, Smith notes that she was so blown away to finally meet her TV detective heroes, played by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, that she continued to speak to the actors as if they were the characters, referring to them only as Linden and Holder. She keeps one of Holder's prop business cards on her dresser next to a picture of the French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix.

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Text Charlotte Gush