Erica Durance won fans over as the charmingly feisty Lois Lane on ‘Smallville’ and now she is sure to garner an even greater following when one of summer’s must-see dramas, ‘Saving Hope,’ premieres tonight. After spending six years portraying an iconic comic book character, Durance is excited to see how audiences will respond to her first project as a lead actress and producer on this captivating Canadian series.
‘Saving Hope’ follows Durance’s Dr. Alex Reid as she copes with the heartache of being unable to cure her comatose fiancé, Chief of Surgery Charlie Harris. What Dr. Reid doesn’t know is that her betrothed is still very present in her life; she just can’t see him because his spirit roams the hospital halls in limbo. In recent interviews, Durance elaborates on what we can expect from this engaging supernatural medical drama and explains why she was drawn to this show over any of the others.
In a conversation with Collider.com’s Christina Radish, Durance describes why she chose ‘Saving Hope’ as her next series:
Well, I love TV, and I love a good script. I had been given a bunch of different choices, and I kept coming back to this one because of the heart that’s in it and because of the love story. Yes, it has the medical side of it, and I think that there’s something in me that loves that side and all the angst and drama that can happen within that, but really at the core of it is the title. It’s about holding onto hope or refining hope within yourself. And, as far as the character went, it was about what you do when your world is falling apart. How do you hold onto the real, the rationale and the tangible, and how is she going to push through and bring him back to her? I think that it’s universal, and I think it’s really relatable for people because, if you want to demoralize somebody’s spirit, you take away their hope.
She is also intrigued by the various questions this show raises, especially when it comes to what we are willing to believe. Durance reveals:
One of the things I love about the show is the idea that they have taken this overall theme of hope and positivity, and believing in something better than yourself, and they have used the situation with Charlie going into a coma to push it there. And then, with each episode, they pick some of the things we, as human beings, do to hold onto the hope that we fight desperately for. Are we blind to the reality of what’s going on? Because she needs, so badly, to believe in something, you see that interwoven throughout the show. And then, what you have is Michael’s character, who is able to view all of this going on. It’s a very non-judgmental thing, but it puts out those questions.
Durance discusses her character’s obstacles in more detail with TVLine’s Matt Webb Mitovich. She explains:
It’s been a real, real roller coaster…Most shows work up to a point like this, and we started at this just high-octane place. And so, as an actress it’s been very interesting to try to find different levels and different ways to experience this huge emotional stake. …She starts out in this kind of black-and-white, ‘This is how I see the world’ place, and as the season goes along you start to see moments where she starts to slowly believe that there are other things potentially out there.
While Dr. Reid reevaluates her science-based philosophy of life, Dr. Harris desperately tries to reach out to the woman he loves. So, will Charlie pull any Swayze-style stunts on Dr. Reid to get her attention? Durance teases, “It’s almost like she feels his presence — or does she? Does she know that he’s there? Is he with her?” Durance claims the extent of Charlie’s efforts merely result in a sudden “chill” in the air surrounding Alex every now and then. However, this is one of the things Durance loves about ‘Saving Hope;’ the couple’s constant longing to reconnect and what it reveals about their relationship is at the heart of this series.
In the midst of great despair, the show flashes back to happier times in the couple’s life. Durance assures viewers that we will have a break from the intensity of life-and-death drama. She reveals:
What I love [is] that you don’t always find her in this sense of cataclysmic despair…They do these wonderful flashbacks to her and Charlie’s relationship…. You get little vignettes of fun, quirky, light stuff going on, and then you have the main course of what’s happening with me. I think they’ve tied it together really beautifully.
Essentially, Durance summarizes the show as “an interesting and wonderful love story, this trying to connect between the two worlds — intermingled with many, many other things that are going on” in the hospital.
‘Saving Hope’ airs Thursday nights at 9/8C on NBC and CTV.
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on June 7, 2012.