A Conversation with Saving Hope Star Erica Durance

Season 3 of Saving Hope premieres tonight on CTV, and I had a chance to speak with star Erica Durance last week in Toronto about what’s coming in Season 3 following that cliffhanger of a Season 2 finale. Read our full interview below, and tune in to CTV tonight at 9pm ET for the first hour of their two-part season premiere!

That ending of Season 2 … I have to tell you, I don’t think I breathed during those final scenes.

Me neither!

When did you find out that was going to happen for Alex, and what was your initial reaction to that turn of events?

I was really excited. I was ready for some drama. I’d spent years before doing things that had a little bit more physicality and being wounded and that sort of thing, so it was exciting to dive back into there, and also play the patient because I’m always playing the doctor. I wanted that role reversal, just to flip everything on its ear again and get things going again for the show. The revelation at the end where she sees Charlie, I had a little bit of a fan geek moment myself. I was like, “This is so great.” I was so excited when I was filming. I’m like, “Oh, they’re going to love this!”

Playing spirit Alex versus Alex the doctor that you’ve been all along — what are some of the highlights or differences of playing that change to the character?

This whole season has been a really interesting journey because they’ve really forced her to look at all of those kind of things. For her to be in this world and not know if she’ll ever escape it and either go to the other side or be able to come back, it was quite a lonely feeling. It’s not something I would have imagined, but being an observer and nobody else can see you — of course Charlie can — but just that sense of the fear of “Where am I going, what’s happening, there is this other side to things,” and how much of that knowledge she carries back with her is the question of the whole show now they unraveled that. It’s really interesting and I think the fans will really like it.

I think one of the big questions is whether or not this will strengthen the relationship between Alex and Charlie.

When they are on the spiritual side together, she sees the perspective so differently and she sees the strength of that relationship and the finite quality of time. So she realizes that she has to make steps forward and at the end is a really beautiful, promising moment, and then you have her kind of coming back and that’s where things aren’t all as they seem to be, and it creates a bit of heartbreak for both of them.

Joel has always been a part of the picture, and it feels like there’s unfinished business between him and Alex. What can you share about how that relationship will be explored in the coming season?

What I loved about the way they unfolded this season so far is that because of what she’s gone through, because of the questions that she’s going through about herself, she irrevocably changed by going through this experience, she realizes how finite time is and that your choices can lead you down all sorts of different paths and create different destinies for you. She’s going through all that which causes her to need to take a step back with herself, so they’ve explored this other relationship in such a beautiful manner that you get to see the qualities of Joel, and how great he is, and a little window into how they did fit well before everything went wrong. I think of it more as you can fit with a lot of people, you can madly love a lot of people, but they bring out and make you a different person, and you have to decide what kind of person you want to be and love the people that are good for you. So you see this push-pull with their characters throughout this season.

The flashback scenes are always great and add such richness to the storyline. There’s one coming up for Alex that gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

It’s a really wonderful way to let the audience get to know Alex a little bit more and understand why she is the woman she is.

That being said, we’ve seen some of Alex and Charlie’s past, but we’ve never really seen Alex and Joel’s past. Is that something you would like to see, or do you know if there are any plans for that in the upcoming season?

Now that I don’t know yet, but I should go talk to the writers. I say “never say never,” because especially within this season, you’re starting to see some of the flashes to those kinds of things from Alex’s perspective, so some of those time shifts as I like to refer to them are through her perspective, and last couple of years it’s been Charlie. Now he’s in the real world and he’s dealing with his stuff in a very tangible way, and she’s in that transitionary stage. You just never know who I’m going to be flashing about.

Hospitals are joyous and sad places at the same time. There’s illness, there’s death, but there’s also birth, and there’s been talk of babies on this show in the past. Is that conversation going to come up again this season?

[The writers have] done a couple of things. They brought in another character, Dr. Sydney Katz, who works in gynaecology and obstetrics, and has this really interesting relationship with Maggie. It’s really great, really dynamic, and so with some of those storylines, you get the beauty of birth and rebirth, because you always have the tragedy stuff, and so we wanted to create new life as well. We work to balance those themes so that you can walk away from an episode going, wow, I really felt connected to that storyline, or that group of people, or I’m so incredibly sad but at the same time I felt hopeful. As far as it goes with my character, they haven’t specified exactly what they’re doing. I know that in the first six [episodes] it’s so about her coming back and trying to work through being in this in-between world, that’s really what that’s encapsulating, and then as far as the back 12 go, I’m not sure, but i’ve given them something interesting to consider. (By that, Erica’s referring to her pregnancy.)

When this series first started, I wasn’t sure if I’d watch, but it was your passion and enthusiasm at the Upfronts before it launched that made me watch it. I’m glad that I watched it because I connect with it and it makes me “feel.” Would you say that Saving Hope going into a third season is because of that connection it makes with viewers?

I would say that the fans are what keep you going, so I’m very grateful for their dedication and their interest and love for the show. What drew me to the script was that intangibility of the human connection. That’s what was so funny when we were talking about promoting it, it was one of those, “Watch it, you’ll see that you love the characters. I don’t have a big plane flying in. It’s so much more than that, it has layers, and it’s almost older storytelling again where you fall in love with a character and it talks about things that really matter. When I read the script and I had other things coming in, I said, “This has something special to it and I love it.” It spoke to me, so I knew this was going to work for other people.

Any final thoughts on the upcoming season?

If viewers thought that they had emotional turmoil last season, they’ll have it tenfold this season. You’re going to see it from the perspectives of all the relationships. It’s so relationship-heavy this year. I think they’re going to fall in love more and more with these characters, and characters that you would have written off — like Joel or Dawn — you’ll see these other sides to them that are so beautiful and make them human.

Photo Courtesy of CTV

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *