With the summer approaching, NBC has a new brand show to hit the TV airwaves and this time it’s a drama called Saving Hope. Centered around a female surgeon Dr. Alex Reid played by Erica Durance (“SmalleVille”). Her character comes off being very driven, confident and passionate where she fully immerses herself in her work. A curve ball is thrown in her path when the chief of surgery Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) ends up in a coma leaving Hope-Zion Hospital in a state of chaos. Durance’s character, a fellow surgeon at the hospital has to step up and take initiative to lead and manage the chaos of her fiance being in a coma and the damage control of keeping the hospital flowing. Catching up with Durance, she gave us more insight in what to expect on season one.
TWID: Can you talk about how you got involved in this show?
Erica Durance: I was approached last May with it, and it came through with a few other scripts and I just fell in love with it right away. Lots of banter back and forth about what we wanted to do with it, and they were allowing me to step in a have a producer’s credit, which was exciting for me because I’ve always wanted to educate myself a little bit more about the other side of the biz, and then we shot our pilot in July. So, it’s been a very interesting process given that we weren’t sure what was going to happen, so finally we came around to March and got our pickup notices and away we’ve been going. It’s been fun.
TWID: Can you give us some insight on your character?
Erica Durance: Well, she’s kind of interesting because she’s this very driven pragmatic person, believes only in what she can see and touch and the tangible. And she’s come from basically nothing and she’s a self-possessed woman that basically works her way through school, and this is has been what she’s wanted to do and she’s fascinated by it. Her brain thinks just with the here and now and the present, and there’s not that extra belief in anything else that’s going. And she finds herself in this hospital situation as a doctor, ends up falling in love with the Chief of Surgery and who is opposite to her and starts to kind of bring out other sides to her. What’s interesting about this particular season that I’m working on is that because of the fact that he’s gone into this coma, she’s forced to really look at what she really believes about life. The whole concept of we can have all these set morals for how we feel about things, but when tragedy comes into our life what would or wouldn’t you do to bring that person back to you? So, you see that she slowly throughout the season starts to change those initial parameters and feelings that she had, and she’s grasping at straws. She’s incredibly loyal and she’s just this really awesome chick.
TWID: What kind of range of emotions is Alex going to be going through over this first season?
Erica Durance: I should have asked that question of myself before I took it, because it’s been a real, real roller coaster and most shows work up to a point like this, and we started at this just high octane place. As an actress it’s been very interesting to try to find different levels and different ways to experience this huge emotional stake. We were talking to grief counselors and those kind of people and they help us with all the different kind of avenues that you go through and grief, rage, despair, denial; all of those things. You see all of that happening and you see moments where you know glimpses. What I love about what they’ve done is that you don’t always find her in this sense of cataclysmic despair and they do these wonderful flashbacks to her Charlie’s relationship. The kind of woman that she was before this happened, and then just how tragic it is that all of that other stuff is going on and how it’s kind of changed her. Along with that particular storyline, the overall theme of it is about saving and holding onto hope in your own life and looking for positivity, and what do we do in our own ways to reach for human contact. So, having the Charlie character in this kind of in between world has allowed us to use the backdrop of a medical drama, which brings in a lot of those high stakes situations, and basically give another perspective to it. You’ve got little vignettes of fun, quirky, light stuff going on, and then you have the main course of what’s happening with me. And I think that they’ve tied it well really beautifully together. It’s a beautifully shot show.
TWID: She’s become a product of her past, what ways has her past shaped her?
Erica Durance: I would say just the fact that she came from nothing and did this all on her own. She just wanted to do something more in her life and she’d always wanted to help people, and I think that I made up my own personal little back story that’s driven her to the point of needing to physically be there and helping people. And I made my own specific tragedy that she came from that’s made her such an achiever. Her relationship with Joel is very, very tumultuous. It was very painful for her. It did shape and shut her off a little for a while, and then of course she meets Charlie. I think it’s like in any person’s life, in any character’s life, all those pieces do shape you to be the person you are at the moment.
TWID: So many people admire you and think of you as their hero. Who are some of yours?
Erica Durance: Well, I guess I would think the person that’s closest to me, as far as a hero, is my own mother. I watched all her strength and her compassion and what she did when she took care of us when I younger. I have a dear friend named Kathy Covert. She was a hero of mine who also helped shape who I am. So, I mean those are my close personal heroes.
TWID: If your character had a music soundtrack, what would be three of the songs that you would listen to in your character as Dr. Alex Reid?
Erica Durance: In my character? Well, unfortunately my character’s had some pretty blue moments, “Run to You” by Lady Antebellum. “And The Light”, by Sara Bareilles. Yes, and Alicia Keys “Superwoman”. That was a such a great question and that’s basically a lot of what I do when I’m preparing for something that I find emotionally difficult. I’m always listening to music.
Catching up with Durance was a treat and getting to know more about NBC’S upcoming new show Saving Hope should be intense to watch. The producers couldn’t of picked a better lead actress to play the role of Dr. Alex Reid. Saving Hope premiers this thursday June 7th 9/8 central which will kick off the summer with a brand new drama and that’s WhatItDo!
For more information on Saving Hope, please visit their official website.
Article Written By: Elizabeth Lavulo
*Photos provided by: Caitlin Cronenberg/NBC
*Video provided by NBC/Universal