'Saving Hope's' Erica Durance on the challenges of holding onto hope in the face of despair
“She’s stuck in this battle between the two sides of herself,” says actress Erica Durance about her character’s relationship to her comatose fiancé, Charlie. “And the side of her that she desperately wants to believe in is that if you love someone enough and if you hope for them enough they will come back to you.”
It’s easier said than done, as Alex is surrounded by medical staff who can also see the world in black and white. “I think what I love about this show is they have her private journey, but they tie it in in such a way that is so very human.
“It’s amazing what we all have gone through to hold onto hope and believe in miracles.”
Alex came from a small town, Durance reveals about her character’s backstory. “Her dad’s a plumber, her mom’s a stay-at-home mom, and through a series of different events in her life, that were quite painful, she needed to get out.
“She was driven to become a doctor. She’s a self-made woman. She put herself through school, working, not having a trust fund, one side of her is so driven and Type A personality.”
When she becomes chief resident at Hope-Zion Hospital, Alex comes in contact with Charlie and they fall madly in love with each other. “He helps her start to tentatively healing some of her wounds and she starts to believe that there is romance out there.”
And then it’s all taken out from under her when, en route to their wedding, they are hit by a car and Charlie slips into a coma.
Durance promises there’ll be flashbacks to their life before the accident, and says the series will trace her journey through grief and hope and how she negotiates keeping the hope alive.
Though Alex’s love is Charlie, Durance says “Smallville” is her “first love.” She played the lead role of Lois Lane in the ten season series.
“It was the best learning experience ever. It was seven years of so much joy. I had so many mentors who taught me so much. I think I learned to accept myself a little more. I learned to laugh at myself a little more and I realized that beautiful things can be made out of mistakes.”
Even though she soaked in everything she could out of her time on “Smallville,” Durance admits it was still a shock when it was over, but taping “Saving Hope” reminds Durance of “how much fun being on set really is.”
“It’s such a great opportunity to go in again with a great group of people,” she says about the “Saving Hope” cast and crew.
“The thing that keeps me going is realizing that we’re all here to make something that hopefully helps people and gives them encouragement and makes them feel like they’re not alone.”
"Saving Hope" airs on Thursday June 7 at 9pm ET on CTV.