Tonight Lifetime premieres its latest TV-movie Pregnant at 17, starring Zoe de Grand Maison (Orphan Black) as Chelsea, who discovers that the boyfriend who just got her pregnant is in fact a married man. LA Fan Cultures Examiner conducted an interview with Zoe on Friday to discuss what made the film appeal to her, and what she thinks of her character’s predicament.
“It started out as an audition just like everything else and then when I was offered the part I read the script,” she said of what made the movie work for her. “I liked it and thought there was a lot to [Chelsea] and she seemed like a lot of fun to play. I liked that she was smart and likable at the same time. I just thought it would be a fun challenge.”
As a young woman herself, Zoe was able to understand her character even if she’s never come close to the kind of duplicity and challenges that Chelsea faces in the film. “Obviously we all did stupid things as teenagers but as a girl, I was able to kind of relate to her,” she explained, “because I was 17 three years ago, it’s not that far of a stretch. It’s a pretty tough situation…but I watched a lot of videos from those shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom.”
What was she doing at 17? “I never got into that much trouble,” Zoe laughed. “I’d just go out with friends on weekends and go to house parties, but we never did anything too crazy!”
Pregnant at 17 co-stars Josie Bissett in the role of Sonia, the wife of Chelsea’s boyfriend who decides to come to the teen’s rescue and help her through the pregnancy. The success of the film really rests on the bond between these two women. So what was it like for Zoe to create that relationship and play opposite Josie?
“It was great,” she enthused. “Josie is the loveliest person ever. She’s so easy to talk to and get along with. She just has this quality [where] she makes you feel at ease and like you’ve known her forever. She made building a relationship with her so easy it felt effortless. We worked really well together, I think, and she’s a great actress. It just happens so naturally and I’m very fortunate to have worked with her.”
The movie is a bit different for Zoe, who is known for her guest-starring roles on a number of Canadian series that have aired in the US, including a recurring part as Gracie in the second season of Orphan Black and appearances on the hit procedurals Motive and Rookie Blue. Which of her past characters has been her favorite so far?
“Orphan Black, that was a such a fun and different dark character to play,” she said. “And the show, I went into it as a fan, so it was a such a incredible experience. I think the show in general is amazing and it’s really well done, and everybody involved is so talented and invested.”
Pregnant at 17 premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on Lifetime. For more on the film, you can also read our previous interview with star Josie Bissett.