Kim Raver on Lifetime's 'Tempting Fate' & a 'Messy' 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16
Kim Raver’s starred in more than one hit series — 24, Third Watch, and, of course, Grey’s Anatomy, where she plays new mom, Dr. Teddy Altman! Now, she’s taking her experiences as an actress and going behind the lens for the Lifetime movie Tempting Fate, based on the Jane Green novel.
The movie stars Alyssa Milano as Gabby, a woman who cheats on her husband, becomes pregnant, and tries to repair her broken family. Co-directing the feature with Raver is the actress’ husband, Manu Boyer, who "ravers" (sorry, couldn’t resist) about his wife’s directorial debut.
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Read on to get the scoop on what makes Tempting Fate different from other Lifetime movies. Plus, Raver talks about that Grey’s Anatomy Season 15 finale and what viewers can expect for Teddy when the medial drama returns this fall on ABC.
This story focuses on Gabby’s mistake and how she deals with it, realistically. There’s no one out to kill her.
Kim Raver: Yes. What’s so interesting to me is that it’s definitely a story about people who are flawed. I relate to that. I think we’re all flawed and we also have our ‘hero’ moments that we arrive at through hard work and self-examination. So often, we see in the papers and magazines glossy Hollywood relationships but they are so much more than that. What I love about [Jane’s] book is that it’s about a woman who makes a choice because of a situation that she’s in. Then, she has to deal with the consequences. I love that she does deal with them and also enlightens herself as to who she wants to be.
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What did you enjoy about stepping behind the camera for this movie, which you and your husband also executive-produced?
Raver: It was exhilarating. I got to co-direct my debut with my husband who is talented and has been working for a long time. I felt this is something I’ve known as an actor through osmosis for years. The nervousness of stepping into another role excited me. I loved every single minute of it.
Manu Boyer: Kim’s a wonderful director. She’s really good at it and I’d love to keep working with her and I could see her working as a director on her own. She has a natural ability to talk to actors, obviously, and to direct scenes dramatically. I thought the technical aspects of filmmaking came naturally to her, too.
What was the biggest technical thing you learned by directing this film?
Raver: As a director you want more time, but as executive producers, you know that you don’t have as much time as you’d like. At one point, the producer in me was saying, “You have 45 more minutes and you’re wrapping up!” I learned from my husband when we only had a limited amount of time to get an important scene. Inside, I was screaming. I looked at Manu and he knew what my concern was. He stayed absolutely calm.
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I heard you got it by doing a “French turnaround” — what is that exactly?
Boyer: That was the only French turnaround we did in the film. It’s called that (laughs) not because I am French. It’s where you have a scene that you’ve shot one way and instead of turning the lights and the cameras around [to shoot it from another angle], which takes a lot of time, you instead turn the table [where the characters were sitting] and the actors around and you leave the cameras and lights where they are [in order to save time].
Raver: He set up the shot calmly and professionally.
What was it like working with Alyssa as her director?
Raver: What makes this movie so good is Alyssa’s performance through both the gravitas and the humor she brings to the role.
Why should people who have already read the book – who know the ending — watch this movie?
Raver: When you read a good book, you get to [read] the thought process of the characters. When you see it on-screen, you get to see that extra level on Alyssa’s face. I know it’s a hard thing to do — play complex and opposing thoughts. When you read the words in a book, you’re not necessarily seeing what the characters are thinking.
Boyer: It’s priceless to see this journey, the little moments that Gabby and all the characters go through. Even if you know the ending, you’re going on a journey that’s very emotional.
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Can you talk about the Grey’s Anatomy season finale in which Teddy gave birth?
Raver: Yes. It’s a girl, named after [her late friend] Allison. And Owen [Kevin McKidd] has professed his love for Teddy, but then there’s Tom [Greg Germann] who’s fixing the baby furniture. It’s going to be a very messy and amazing season coming up.
And not just because of the diapers!
Raver: [Laughs] Yes! And not just because of the diapers!
Tempting Fate, Movie Premiere, Saturday, June 15, 8/7c, Lifetime
Grey's Anatomy, Season 16 Premiere, Fall 2019, ABC