Erica Durance has been as busy as ever. She has become a mother on-screen and off-screen, she is the lead actor and producer on her show ‘Saving Hope’, and now she’s about to add another title to her résumé: director.
We talked to Erica about Season 4 of Saving Hope, the challenges of being the lead actor and producer of the show, a possible Season 5 and her future as a director. Read part 1 of the interview below.
As Saving Hope Season 4 unfolds, currently is in its 7th episode, we can admittedly notice it has a different dynamic to it. Old faces have left, new faces have arrived and the focus is not only on Alex Reid and Charlie Harris. “This season, fans get to know more about the cast. It’s more of an ensemble this year,” Erica admits. “It has been challenging. Every season is the same, yet different.”
Erica, who’s also a producer on the show, understands now what the challenges are of being both the producer and the lead actor of your own show. “What’s different from a producer’s perspective is the pressure of coming up with new scripts, you realize it’s not easy to come up with stories every season that are compelling and again as actors, it’s easy to take that for granted.” She continues, “As a lead actor and producer it’s important to maintain a balance between your expectations, a sense of respect for what everyone does on the show and be willing to compromise at times. It’s easy to complain and deflect responsibility onto someone else instead of working out a solution,” she says while pointing out the importance of the team as whole. “There is the same amazing crew keeping the show going day in and day out and performing their jobs with professionalism. It’s easy for actors to dismiss them or take them for granted because they are behind the camera. They are the backbone of the show and its important to always keep that into account.”
For years, Erica Durance has been considering on taking her turn in the director’s chair. So finally, she decided to officially add the title to her résumé. But, she dismisses being called director – at least for now, “Getting to direct an episode is a great opportunity but in no way is it an indication I’m a director now!” she laughs off.
The woman behind Dr. Alex Reid will make her directorial debut with Episode 16 of Season 4 “Torn and Frayed” and she’s excited about the challenge, “I’m excited about the prospect of directing. It gives you another perspective into the production and it requires a lot of preparation outside of being a lead actor.”
Erica’s having a wonderful moment both in her personal and professional lives that it ultimately seemed the right time to take this next step on Saving Hope. “It’s a safe environment to test my skills as a director because I know the show, the crew, the cast and the expectations of what each episode demands.”
And that could be just the first of many times she will step into the role of director. “I think it’s important to challenge myself in this business because there are not enough woman directors and woman in positions of authority. No, that doesn’t mean I’m a feminist! I’m an equal opportunist!” she says with a laugh.
“It’s a reality in show business that there are more opportunities for men, so if I can create future opportunities to compete and be a positive role model for other women, then so be it. I think I have a responsibility to myself to do it. Show business is a medium where you are judged as a woman on how you look, more so than what you know, so it’s important to expand my experience beyond acting,” she explains.
After four successful seasons, Saving Hope really delivers compelling and heartfelt stories to the fans and strong numbers to the network; and there’s more to come. “Yes, there’s talk about season 5,” Erica reveals to us. “When Ilana Frank and David Wellington approached me for the pilot years ago, I had no idea I’d be looking at a possible season 5! Crazy!” she laughs.
We have full faith in you, Erica. We can’t wait to see your work! Bring on, Season 5!
“Saving Hope” airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CTV.