Parenthood's Monica Potter on New Baby Braverman: You'll See a Crack in Kristina's Armor
Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter, Peter Krause
If you're still drying your eyes after last week's emotional goodbye between Kristina (Monica Potter) and Alex (Michael B. Jordan) on Parenthood, you're not alone. Just don't even think about putting the tissues away yet.
"I had no idea that this scene would move people. Michael and I just did it and it was like, 'OK, that was good.' But I came in last week and our crew members were talking about that scene," Potter tells TVGuide.com. "I thought, 'Wow that's pretty incredible that people are having this strong of a reaction. Which is great — it was very moving and touching to me.'" However, just as Kristina and the Bravermans say goodbye to one (almost) member of the family, they will welcome a new arrival with the birth of their baby in Tuesday's episode, titled "Nora," airing at 10/9c on NBC. Potter talked with TVGuide.com about Kristina's surprising delivery room partner, the art of pretending to give birth (hint: it involves grape jelly and cream cheese!) and the high emotions ahead for Kristina that come with this new bundle of joy.
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This is a big week for your character with the baby coming. Having a baby on TV is never easy, so what happens when Kristina goes into labor?
Monica Potter: Kristina and Crosby get into a big argument and her water breaks, and she has no one to take her to the hospital except Crosby in his little convertible. It was absolutely hysterical because it was just this big pregnant lady and this tiny little clown car. To me, this episode meant so much because I was able to work with Dax [Shepard] who I love and adore, and I feel he's like my brother. So it was a really nice episode. It is weird trying to pretend like you're giving birth. It's weird because I felt like I was going through it again.
Having had three kids, what was it like for you to shoot these scenes? It must help that you've been through it before?
Potter: Every one and every single time is different, and I didn't have C-sections, which I don't know if that's lucky or unlucky, but I was able to feel every contraction. You forget what it feels like. God's got a great way of making women forget what it's like because we would never go through it again. ... When they brought the real babies in, they had twin boys, Liam and Quinn, and my son's name is Liam so of course I took an instant liking to them. They covered little Liam with grape jelly and cream cheese to make it look like he was just born. There was a fake umbilical cord on him and it was just wild, really wild and then Liam peed all over me. We're eternally bonded now (laughs).
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Will Crosby's presence during the delivery help ease the tension he has with Kristina?
Potter: I think it's one of those things where, deep down they really love each other and have respect for each other, but at the same time, there will always be that little kind of saltiness between them. I like that. But I think that, for now, she looks at Crosby in a different light, and loves and respects him, and is so grateful to him because she's seen a side to him in the delivery room that she's never seen before, which is extremely cool and very touching. There's definitely less [saltiness] than there used to be, but it's still there. It's like Tom and Jerry.
This new side of Crosby comes out just as he and Adam (Peter Krause) are starting their business together. Once the baby comes, will Kristina begin to get more worried about this venture or will she stay calm?
Potter: A lot of the women that I know wouldn't be as supportive as Kristina. But she's the type of woman that, at all costs, will support her husband to a certain extent. She's no pushover, but she wants what's best for him and that's how much she loves him. So I think that while she is supportive, in the next few episodes you're going to see a little bit of a shift. She's eager to get back to work and find herself again. She's been really quite emotional, understandably so, in the episodes that we've seen so far. [Episode 8] is when you start to see her get sea legs back.
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Kristina was working before her pregnancy, so will she return to the working world once the baby comes?
Potter: Based on the circumstances of what happens in the episodes that we're shooting right now, she is, I think, probably going to head back to work. It's mentioned, but I also think with what's going on, that she probably will. ... I'm glad it is happening. As long as the kids aren't put on the back burner.
Another important question is how will Haddie (Sarah Ramos) and Max (Max Burkholder) handle the arrival of the new baby when they're both dealing with some heavy personal issues?
Potter: You'll see how we're dealing with it. I think Kristina really wants her family to connect in a way that can't be broken. It's hard when you have three kids at three different ages and it's like that for a lot of us who have kids. But she's very, very adamant about keeping her family intact and sharing as much of herself with each kid on a one-to-one level, but also all three of them combined. ... She wants the best for her kids at any cost, even if that means sacrificing part of herself.
How else will the new baby affect Kristina?
Potter: Kristina is extremely fragile these few episodes and I asked [executive producer] Jason [Katims] about the whole postpartum thing and I really wanted to put that in there because your emotions are always high and low and your hormones are all over the place. I didn't want to bring it up and say Kristina's having a breakdown, but I did want to show how emotional it can be after having a child and also dealing with what she's dealing with Max and with Haddie. She's already missing Haddie even though Haddie hasn't yet gone off to college, and then dealing with Max and the new baby. You see a little bit of a crack in her armor. Actually, a big crack, so I'm glad that they let me do that.