‘Deliverance Creek’ (Lifetime) Interview: Nicholas Sparks & Lauren Ambrose Discuss Their Hopes For A Series

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Tonight, Saturday, September 13th at 8/7c, Lifetime is introducing television viewers to the world of Civil War era widow Belle (Lauren Ambrose) in Deliverance Creek, a movie which is also a backdoor pilot for a potential television series from best-selling author Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook). If the film garners the right amount of attention, Deliverance Creek could become Sparks’ first ongoing television project, if it doesn’t, then Sparks, known for never writing a book his fans didn’t flock to, could have his first clunker on his hands. Either way, fans will be presented with a sweeping frontier tale that could be a gateway to a much larger playground for Sparks and Ambrose.

In a recent conference call, Ambrose and Sparks spoke about how much they loved delving into the world of Belle, why they want a series and more.

Deliverance Creek the Series?

One thing fans should know going into Deliverance Creek is that it will end on a cliffhanger. The story of Belle, a Cival War era widow whose twin focuses in life are protecting her children and avenging her husband, is not meant to be a self-contained, two-hour event. The hope for Sparks, Ambrose and Lifetime is that the characters and stories will be ongoing. For them, the events of Deliverance Creek are a beginning.

“When I work to develop a script and I work with writers to develop a script, what we want to do is to develop multiple story lines that are — that are strong enough and interesting enough on each of their own separate levels to enable the show to have a relatively long run,” Sparks said. “And a lot of work went into the script early on to make sure that every character in there has his or her own unique role and purpose and then you set it all, get it all into the script and you hope that the audience really appreciate it.”

Sparks revealed that he, along with his fellow executive producer/writer Melissa Carter (Jane By Design), have thought up enough story to fill up at least four seasons worth of show. Sparks’ enthusiasm for the project was evident throughout the conversation. When the idea of an ongoing film series was brought up by one journalist, Sparks noted the future of the series is up to Lifetime, but ideally he noted, “For me, I would prefer a series. I would prefer a series, a really well done series and you know, 10 to 12 really high quality episodes per year, but of course we work with Lifetime on what they think is best as well, but this is originally designed to go forward as a series.”

Ambrose on Belle

Ambrose is a well respected actress who is best known for her role on HBO’s fascinating Six Feet Under, but despite the many genres she has explored from comedies to dramas and fantasy, Ambrose has always wanted to be in a western. During the call, Ambrose referred to herself as a bit of a “pioneer woman.” She lives off the beaten track and has always wanted to try her hand at playing a character like Belle. “It’s been my dream to be in a western, to have a big gun and a big hat and a big horse and be like this take no prisoner lady in the Civil War era locking it down, keeping that ranch at close,” Ambrose revealed.

The moment she read the script, Ambrose knew Belle would give her the chance to not only explore western themes, but to play a complex, strong character. What was particularly interesting were the parallels Ambrose found between Belle and modern women. “When I read this script, I really couldn’t believe the complexity of the character and just what I would get to do playing this part and what she does, this journey she goes on and she is easily flawed. She is a very complicated. She is devoted to her family. She can’t quite escape her past that she’s sort of caught between these two lives that she lived and is living and I think it’s a comparable for any working mother really– I’m just trying to keep it all together.”

Ambrose embraced the physical challenges of playing the role and delighted in learning how to ride a horse “western style” from an authentic cowboy. Deliverance Creek was filmed in Texas, which brought its share of benefits (a stunning landscape) and drawbacks (filming love scenes in freezing temperatures and wet hay), but Ambrose is ready to do it all again. If Deliverance Creek is ordered to series, Ambrose is certain she will be on board.

“I really hope people watch and like it as much as I do, I just absolutely love playing this character, bringing this fierce, gritty, you know, tough lady, who is flawed and passionate and has a lot on her plate to life and I really hope that we get the chance to go back to Texas and make more,” Ambrose said. “I love playing my character but I also find the other characters are so full and then there is the whole small town living aspect of it. So you have the all of the dynamics and the storyline in this small town which is like this little pressure cooker in this era, and I can’t wait to find out what happens.”

Tune into Deliverance Creek tonight at 8/9c on Lifetime and let us know if you agree with Ambrose and Sparks.

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