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Quick Take with Courtney Hope

What was your reaction when you found out that Sally would lose her baby? “Oh, I was devastated. I actually cried a little. I really wanted her to have this baby. Many people say if you have a baby and you’re happy, then there’s no story. But I feel there’s so much drama with a baby and I just really wanted Sally to have that moment. Hopefully maybe one day she will, but I was devastated only because I was really excited to see her as a mom.”

How challenging was it for you to tackle Sally’s biggest loss yet? “Oh, my whole body was wrecked. In general, my body is very sensitive and my nervous system is very vulnerable, too, so I knew that I would have to have a big self-care week during that week [of scenes]. I made sure that I ate properly because when I get stressed or my body gets stressed, I don’t eat.”

Reacting to losing a child requires big acting. How did you prepare? “I really wanted to do this [story] justice for any woman that’s gone through this. I did so much research on stillbirth and losing a child in the second trimester and losing a child in general. Unfortunately, I have people around me who have had all three experiences and I just wanted to honor them. Those specific people I kept in the forefront of my mind so I could be a vessel for whatever emotions come out. There’s one particular scene where my chin was chattering and I’d never experienced that before. I got back to my room and I just sat on my couch, put my hand over my heart, took a big breath and said, ‘You’re safe, you’re good.’ It’s definitely the most intense [acting] I’ve done on screen.”
This isn’t something that anybody gets over right away, so Sally will have an emotional recovery. Are you up for that? “Absolutely. Grief comes out in so many different forms, there’s no rhyme or reason to the stages of grief and they’re not in any particular order. I can see Sally being all over the place. She’ll be upset with Nick or upset with Adam and then crying and wanting to cuddle.”

Can you see this deepening her bond with Adam? “I think time will tell. Initially, it creates a bit of a wedge because Sally has her blinders on right now. She’s in survival mode and she puts a lot of blame on Adam, because she was unconscious when he made the decision to save Sally. Even though it isn’t his fault, she’s upset because he didn’t fight for their child. So right now, she’s more ‘get away from me’ with Adam. Ultimately I want her to say to him, ‘Thank you for saving my life,’ but she’s not there yet.”

What has it been like to share these heavy scenes with Mark Grossman (Adam)? “It’s been great. I just think very highly of him as an actor and he’s a really wonderful person, too. I knew our scenes would be very powerful, and I love how vulnerable he is as an actor. I love what he brings to the table. It’s very gut-wrenching seeing him play Adam’s loss and his love for Sally, as well.’