Emma Booth’s belief in ghosts led to ‘The Gloaming’


“The Gloaming,” a new supernatural crime drama, gave Australian star Emma Booth a chance to dive into her real-life belief in ghosts. 

“I’ve had very real experiences with ghosts. So I’m very intrigued by that and I love to explore it with narrative in my work,” Booth, 38, told The Post. 

“That’s also what ‘The Gloaming’ is about. Some people are open to [believing in ghosts] and some are not. I’m one that is —  that’s why I’m drawn to the supernatural genre.”

Premiering Sunday, March 21 on Starz (9 p.m.) and set in Tasmania, the series — an Australian import that originally aired on Aussie streamer Stan — follows Molly McGee (Booth), a troubled policewoman and single mom who’s investigating the case of a murdered local woman with links to a cold case from her past. 

The show’s first episode opens in the 1990s, with teenagers Jenny McGinty (Milly Alcock) and Alex O’Connell (Finn Ireland) exploring a spooky abandoned house when an unseen gunman fatally shoots Jenny.

As the show moves to the present-day, a now-adult Alex (Ewen Leslie, “The Cry,”) a detective working in Melbourne, is sent back home to Tasmania to aid Molly’s investigation. 

Alex (Ewen Leslie, left) and molly (Emma Booth, left) in "The Gloaming"
Alex (Ewen Leslie, left) and Molly (Emma Booth, right) in “The Gloaming.”
Bradley Patrick

Complicating matters, Alex and Molly have a past connection from their youth that’s revealed as the show progresses — they haven’t spoken to each other in 20 years, and both are deeply impacted by Jenny’s death. Soon, the duo become increasingly disturbed as their investigation keeps turning up items linked to Jenny (such as her old ID and backpack) and ghostly apparitions manifest — along with flickering lights and lots of mood-setting fog. 

“I had never been to Tasmania before, and it was a place that I really wanted to go,” said Booth. “It was so much more epic than I even dreamed it would be. It’s such a beautiful place; it’s so giant and prehistoric and rugged with rainforests and mountains and beaches. Some parts literally look like a different planet. It was a landscape I had never seen before — even being from Australia.”

Alex (Ewan Leslie, left) and Molly (Emma Booth, right) investigate a murder among rugged Tasmanian landscapes in "The Gloaming"
Alex (Ewan Leslie, left) and Molly (Emma Booth, right) investigate a murder among rugged Tasmanian landscapes in “The Gloaming.”
Michael Brook

Booth, who’s based in LA but frequently returns home for work, is best known for “Once Upon a Time” and blockbusters such as “Gods of Egypt” and “Glitch” (another Australian supernatural show).

“I love the supernatural [and] I’m obsessed with all crime and supernatural shows, so having them both merge [for ‘The Gloaming’] is a dream for me,” she said, citing “True Detective” and “Behind Her Eyes” as among her favorites.

Her belief in spirits stems back to her teen modeling days, she said.

“I had a very haunted apartment in Japan when I was modeling there. Things would move a lot, so I guess you could call that a poltergeist experience. Kind of spooky, but exciting.”

Emma Booth as Molly in "The Gloaming"
Emma Booth as Molly in “The Gloaming.”
Michael Brook

While the ghostly elements of “The Gloaming” were a piece of cake for her, she said the detective aspects were the toughest to nail.

“Honestly, Molly was one of the most difficult characters I’ve ever played.  I was nervous trying to get it right and remember all the police jargon and nomenclature. Saying that naturally was definitely a thing where you’re like, ‘Do I sound like an idiot? Am I being believable?’  It was definitely nerve wracking — but I think nerves show respect for the character and the work.”


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