Oscar nominee Driver tackles the painful reality of stillbirth in the movie Return To Zero.
One of the greatest losses a parent could ever face is the death of a child. Minnie Driver, in her latest TV movie Return To Zero, struggled to portray a mother who is faced with that exact situation.
The movie is based on a true story; Driver plays Maggie Royal, a happily married woman whose world comes crashing down when she loses her unborn child and finds out that her husband Aaron (Paul Adelstein) has been cheating on her.
Devastated over the loss of her child and faced with a broken marriage, Maggie grapples to find a balance and eventually move on with her life ... until she finds herself pregnant again.
“This terrible thing happens to her and she is cracked wide open and I think when she gets put back together, she is a very different person but a much stronger, more considerated and compassionate person,” said Driver in an interview.
Despite having played various roles in her career, Driver admits that playing Maggie had been the toughest one of all.
“You can’t prepare to portray that (a mother who has lost a child). That’s not something you can spend time imagining, it’s too hard – although you have to a bit. You talk to a lot of people who have experienced it. You just have to show up on the day and be open to the reality of the situation and how that would then process. Yeah, I was freefalling through the entire thing,” she said.
Driver, who has a five-year-old son, said that her experience as a mother in real life added some weight to her portrayal of Maggie: “Being a mother adds a depth that you can’t possibly imagine. I think it would’ve been very different if I wasn’t a mother. It would’ve been a different performance.”
The movie, which premiered in the United States earlier this month, garnered positive reviews and there are even talks that this role could earn Driver an Emmy next year.
“It’s a very intimidating subject matter. Nobody wants to tell the stories of grieving the loss of a child and yet it’s an extremely relevant story to so many families around the world. It’s a story worth telling.”
Spending a month in the shadows of Maggie, a grieving mother and a defeated wife, Driver said that she was reminded once again of the importance of taking nothing for granted in life.
“There are certain things we perceive in our brains that we could not survive. But we can – with love and with strength that comes from somewhere. You can’t put your finger on it, but it’s there. And I saw that with that character and I trust that in people. I trust in the idea of survival now.”
Return To Zero is screened on May 20 at 8pm on Lifetime (Astro Ch 709).