Taken from the HOTP thread at the top of the "HDTV Programming" forum=TV NotesRole as cancer patient weighed heavily on Laura Linney in ‘The Big C’
By David Hinckley, New York Daily New
- Apr. 24, 2013
After four years playing a woman with terminal cancer, Laura Linney went home and stayed in bed for two weeks.
“I’m still in angst” about the role, Linney told television critics recently. “I’m greatly relieved and I’m nostalgic already. I still think about it every day.”Starting Monday at 10 p.m.,
television viewers can share the experience. That’s when Showtime kicks off “The Big C: Hereafter,”
a four-episode finale to the story of Linney’s Cathy Jamison, a schoolteacher who parlays her melanoma diagnosis into an accelerated bucket list.
She has tried to do and say all the things she put off, sometimes delighting family and friends and sometimes confounding them with her quirky whims and graveyard humor.
She tells her son Adam (Gabriel Presso) that he’ll fail chemistry over her dead body, “and I’m in a unique position to make good on that threat.”
As the final four episodes begin, Cathy’s days clearly are dwindling down to a precious few.
Executive producer Jenny Bicks admonishes viewers, however, not to assume that “The Big C” is on an inexorable march to a death scene.
It’s bigger than that.
“It’s that very Buddhist concept that we’ve explored on the show in the past,” says Bicks. “It’s not necessarily about, ‘Oh, Cathy’s going to die at the end of the first episode and be a ghost.’ It’s really about the fact that we’re both here now and we’ll all be dead at some point.”
Have a nice day!
Linney, too, says the show has never been about Cathy’s death.
“The script came to me during a period where I was really in an existential swirl about time,” Linney said, “and how we use our time and the choices we make about our time, what is worth our time, and about the privilege of aging.”
All that said, Bicks and Linney say the show will not suddenly cut to black or drift into an amorphous fadeout.
“We had a lot of discussions about what we wanted for these last episodes,” says Bicks. “We didn’t want to shortchange it. We knew we wanted an ending.”
“We had all sorts of ideas about what could and could not happen,” said Linney. “We had all sorts of fun. Like, she would go off to an island. She was going to start a dancing school.”
In the end, she admitted “my greatest fear” was that the story would not be allowed to finish.
“You can’t dangle a show set within the context of cancer and time and a life and then not be responsible for the end of that narrative, whatever it might be.”
Physically, Linney in these final episodes looks gaunt, bearing little resemblance to the cheerful lady who introduces “Downton Abbey.”
Still, she says the impact of playing Cathy has been more mental than physical.
“At the end of the day I could wash [the makeup] off,” she says, “ which a lot of people can’t.
“The reality is I’m a very healthy person who has the privilege of being an actress who can hopefully tell a story that other people can relate to.”http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/linney-faces-big-article-1.1325151