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Link: Saving Hope preview: A cure for the “Birthday Blues”

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Saving Hope preview: A cure for the “Birthday Blues”
Alex isn’t feeling very cheerful as of late on Saving Hope. After making the difficult decision to break things off with Charlie, she’s too busy trying to figure out her new normal to spend much time celebrating. That may change in this week’s episode of the CTV drama as it’s her birthday and that’s something her friends are going to make a priority. “Birthday Blues,” also sees Charlie dealing with a paranormal skeptic for a patient and Cassie having to face her innermost fears as she treats two people infected from their time in the tropics. Continue reading.


Link: Saving Hope preview: Dealing with a ‘Midlife Crisis’

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Saving Hope preview: Dealing with a ‘Midlife Crisis’
“Alex is really struggling with the choice she made last week. And the people around her, Shahir, Maggie, Dana, and especially Charlie, are all struggling to understand what’s going on with her too. Problem is, she can’t tell them because she doesn’t know herself. She just feels it in her gut that something’s wrong – and that something’s ALWAYS going to be wrong – if she stays with Charlie.” Continue reading.


Michelle Nolden dishes on Saving Hope’s Dawn and Zach

Saving Hope fans may be pleased as punch that Dr. Dawn Bell (Michelle Nolden) and Dr. Zachary Miller (Benjamin Ayres) are a couple, especially since Alex and Charlie have gone Splitsville. But don’t get too comfy with the twosome; executive producer and showrunner Adam Pettle and co-executive producers Noelle Carbone and Patrick Tarr revealed it won’t always be smooth sailing for the prickly twosome.

Ahead of Sunday’s new episode, “Midlife Crisis,” here is our interview from Michelle Nolden, done during a set visit last summer. She spoke about Dawn’s difficult past and her future, which includes a job shakeup.

Where is Dawn’s head at as we head into Season 5?
Michelle Nolden: Aside from beginning with the repercussions of the shooting, I think Dawn is in a happier place than she has probably ever been. From the time that she’s come on the show, it’s been a bit of a rough haul. It can’t be easy being at the same hospital as your ex-husband and see him be happy. I think she is in a well-deserved good place. And the relationship with Zach and Dawn, I’m really happy with the way the writers did it because it feels well-earned to me. They were friends first and are coming out of this needful, instead of needy, place.

It was pretty a pretty dramatic storyline she had last season with Lane [Shaun Benson] sexually assaulting Dawn. It was certainly a shocking storyline for fans; was it difficult to film those scenes?
I was happy with how murky it was. If things had gone a little bit differently, they may have gone home together, but because of a slight tonal shift, the idea of what is consensual and what isn’t shifted. I think it was really relevant in that way; the lines were a little grayer. That also gave Dawn a really natural way to play it, not really knowing what happened. What was that, and how much responsibility does she take for it?

Back to Dawn and Zach: does he bring out a softer side to her?
What’s fun is that it allows her to be harder too. I’ve never felt that Dawn was … well, sometimes she’s been bitchy and mean. [Laughs.] There have always been instances where you see that this is the way that she has been trained and it’s lonely at the top. Even if they invite her out for drinks it’s, ‘I’m your boss.’ When she lets her guard down it’s to a very trusted few. I think she really loves her doctors and she takes her job very seriously in protecting them and advocating for them. I love that there is a real professional side to her and a real private side to her.

What can you say about her job situation?
She’s not happy at not having her office. And, to be quite frank, when I as Michelle Nolden walked into my office I was like, ‘Why is he in my office?’ So, no, she’s not happy about it and is not going down without a fight.

Walking around the set, seeing Alex’s motorcycle and finding out about some of the guest stars this season, including Kristin Lehman, this season is a real shakeup.
That’s always one of the great joys of an ensemble cast. You get to spread it out and storylines because more fleshed out for the supporting characters, which is great. And, I think, we needed to go somewhere different with these characters. Sometimes you need to be apart to get together, and that’s what the fans want.

So many people have come up to me and said, ‘Please tell me that Dawn and Zach are not going to break up!’ People have really responded. And, I think, particularly for Zach and Dawn, who have been through so much they want there to be a happy relationship. While Alex and Charlie are apart, Zach and Dawn are together. To have everyone apart would be too much for the audience. But even within a happy relationship, and what Ben and I are really trying to play, is that they are a regular couple.

Saving Hope airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Saving Hope’s Erica Durance: “It’s mayhem at the hospital”

Spoiler warning: Do not read this article until you have watched Saving Hope Episode 501, “Doctor Dustiny.”

Well, Saving Hope fans, what’s your reaction to Sunday’s Season 5 return? What started out wonderfully—Charlie (Michael Shanks) proposed to Alex (Erica Durance)—crashed and burned by the end, with her giving the ring back and walking away. Fans may not be happy about that story angle, but Durance couldn’t be more thrilled. As an actor, she relishes a challenge and Alex’s change of heart is exactly that.

We spoke to Durance over the phone; she gave us some exclusive scoop into what Alex does next, the effect Dr. Manny (Jarod Joseph)—and characters played by Greg Bryk and Missy Peregrym—have on Alex’s life, and how she can operate on you if the situation called for it.

This first episode of Season 5, “Doctor Dustiny,” certainly begins dramatically. Charlie was shot by Crenshaw, Crenshaw is dead and then Charlie proposes to Alex.
Erica Durance: I know. We thought we’d hit all of the most important things at the get-go and get fans excited. It just sets our show off at a faster pace. We have a lot of story to tell and only 17 episodes after the first one to tell them.

So, Charlie proposes—something the fans have wanted since Season 1—but by the end of the episode Alex is giving him his ring back. What was your reaction reading that in the first script?
Oh, I laughed. I thought it was fantastic. I love it when they surprise me. I’m one of those actors who like the twists and turns and the unpredictable and the challenge of starting in one specific place and by the end of it, she’s giving his ring back. How am I going to get to that point emotionally? I like the challenge of it and it gives the audience a glimpse into what’s to come in the rest of the season. This character goes on this final little journey. It’s mayhem at the hospital.

The writers told me it’s fun to have Alex and Charlie together for a bit, but then it gets boring. That roller coaster must be a lot more fun than being cuddly and happy all the time.
Exactly. I said, ‘Listen, if you put us together and have us play board games, I’m going to lose my mind.’ I don’t like drama in my real life, but I want pretend drama. I want conflict and I want my character to be unpredictable and get to go on that journey.

During my set visit, I was shown a motorcycle. Apparently, it’s Alex’s motorcycle. Is that true?
Yes, sir.

Do you ride it?
Alex rides a little bit, but not much because, by that point, I had let everyone know I was pregnant. I wanted to ride, but no one would let me ride! Slightly outside of her form, which is what’s fun about it, is that she decides to take that on because it’s something she’s always wanted to do. Because of the decision, she’s made with Charlie, she’s exploring some avenues. She’s always been the good girl and has always done the right thing. She’s tempting fate a little bit.

Being able to play another layer of Alex must be exciting.
It’s funny because you’ll have some actors on-set that don’t want a whole lot of conflict and want everything explained perfectly. I don’t want everything explained, I want it to be messy because that’s what we’re like in real life. I would get into these little debates with people at work. It doesn’t have to make sense because, often, we don’t make sense as people. We run off of emotion and do dramatically different things than we say we’re going to do.

Does Alex get a tattoo? A piercing? How far does she go?
Oh god, I pitched it! You’ll just have to watch and see! [Laughs.] If they had taken on what I wanted to do, it would have been very different. I don’t know what people would have thought of Alex but I would have had a great time.

Let’s talk about a few new characters this season. How does the new CEO, played by Joe Dinicol, affect day-to-day life at Hope Zion?
He interacts mainly with Dawn [Michelle Nolden], who goes head-to-head with him. It’s very interesting because she’s always used to having power and this upstart comes in and kind of takes over. He is in there to cut costs and fix things and creates a lot of chaos. People lose their jobs and he starts to hit on one of the doctors there.

What can you say about Alex and Dr. Manny, played by Jarod Joseph? We saw him briefly on Sunday night.
Manny is a character that makes Alex laugh and she has a lot of fun with him. He is a different kind of dynamic for her, so I think the audience will really love to see unfold and where it ends up going for her.

There are several guest stars this season. What can you tell me about Greg Bryk’s character?
That was a completely different kind of storyline for us. It was a little bit of a departure because he brought a little more danger to the episode and to Alex. She has to track this guy down and he’s in the witness protection program, and she has to try and convince him to save his son. Again, danger, and some comedy and a heartrending story. Greg is such a lovely actor.

What about Missy Peregrym? Anything you can tell us about her character?
Missy and I worked on a couple of episodes together and she challenges Alex in a completely different way. It was like working with a sister, we had this wonderful banter and had this sarcastic back and forth that I’ve never had before.

What will you miss about Saving Hope?
I’ll desperately, desperately miss my cast and crew, the people who worked with me on a day-to-day basis. They made me laugh so much. I’m actually going to miss all of the medical stuff that we learned. Our medical consultant, Bryce Taylor, he was a chief of surgery, and he’s in there working with us and teaching me how to suture. I was always learning something every week.

If there was a medical emergency and someone needed a stitch or two, could you do it?
Yes! I’ve learned enough to cut you open without cutting any vitals and take things out. I don’t know if I can replace anything, but I can stitch you back up!

Saving Hope airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.