Minnie Driver zeroes in on 'difficult story'

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:08 PM ET

Considering Minnie Driver has to be pregnant not once, but twice, in Return to Zero, she really should be paid by the pound. The prosthetic pound, that is.

“No, no, it doesn't work like that,” Driver said with a chuckle. “I wish it did, but it doesn't.”

Regardless, Return to Zero certainly is weighty, especially considering Driver's most recent TV work on the sitcom About a Boy, which has been renewed for a second season.

Return to Zero, which airs Saturday, May 17 on Lifetime, stars Driver and Paul Adelstein as a couple that must endure arguably the most difficult thing a couple can endure.

Based on a true and personal story from writer, director and producer Sean Hanish, Return to Zero follows Maggie (Driver) and Aaron (Adelstein), who are awaiting the arrival of their first child. But just a few weeks before their son’s due date, they receive the devastating news that a heartbeat no longer is detectable in the womb.

“It's definitely a difficult story,” Driver acknowledged. “It's not a story that gets told very often, a still-birth story. But that doesn't mean it's not relevant and viable and important to kind of get out there.

“(The script) was just sent to me, it was just offered. You know, work comes your way and you read things. It seemed like a very difficult story to tell, but it's something that I was very interested in having a go at.”

Return to Zero definitely makes you think about couples and pregnancies and the traumatic impact they can have on each other, both positive and negative.

“Well, good, I guess it's good if something makes you think,” said Driver, a 44-year-old British actress who first became widely known through her role in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. “When (Maggie and Aaron) first are having a child, they're having a child from a very happy place. The second time they conceive, it's from a very sad place.

“But it ultimately is deeply redemptive for both of them. So there's always a lot to think about when the subject matter is life and death. That's the biggest spectrum there is.”

Return to Zero actually was shot before Driver even did the pilot for About a Boy, which wrapped up its first season Tuesday on NBC, and this week airs Wednesday and Thursday on Global. While it may seem odd to suggest any remote similarity between Driver's roles in the two projects, she is good at playing intense characters, whether the end goal is drama or comedy.

“It's just who I am and how it comes out,” Driver said. “Your available emotion is what describes you as an actor, really. And it's a currency I'm quite comfortable with.

“I think it's just how you're wired, if you have the ability to go to that place, or the inclination to do that. And if it's not frightening. Emotion doesn't frighten me. I'm not scared by it.”

Viewers can't be scared of emotion if they're going to watch Minnie Driver in Return to Zero. Let's just say it'll provide a pregnant pause.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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