‘9-1-1: Lone Star’s Natacha Karam on Marjan’s Heartbreak After That Shocking Visit
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 4 of 9-1-1: Lone Star, “Friends with Benefits.”]
Is there a 126 wedding in the future? It had seemed that way, until, of course, it didn’t.
In 9-1-1: Lone Star‘s February 8 episode, Marjan’s (Natacha Karam) fiancé, Salim (Mena Massoud), surprises her with a visit (and the rest of the firehouse is shocked to even find out about his existence). He wants to move up their arranged wedding (she’s not ready) and reveals he’s interested in someone else. Then, when she realizes she does love him and he’s ready to drop the other woman, she decides she can’t be with someone who doesn’t honor his commitments. The wedding is off.
“She’s a little bit heartbroken right now, and everything’s a little bit confusing,” Karam tells TV Insider. “There’s something to mourn and one door closes and another one opens, so there’s also opportunity going forward and there’s not this ticking time bomb on her career anymore of when she has to leave.” (Marjan was going to move back to Miami once she and Salim married.)
Karam teases what’s next as Marjan stars to heal, learning to roller skate, and more.
You get a script that almost has Marjan in a rom-com, albeit one without a happily ever after. How did it feel?
Natacha Karam: I was really excited to get to know Marjan a little more, humanize her, and give her a little more depth than just being one of the guys at the firehouse. It goes from zero to 100 really quick. We learn a lot about her in one episode, from the derby to the revelation of this lifelong relationship to the termination of it. What’s going to be exciting is telling the story of Marjan losing this fundamental part of her and navigating the change and heartbreak.
It all happens so quickly. How does this affect how she deals with that heartbreak?
It’s such a whirlwind, isn’t it? From [their relationship] being something she wasn’t ready to face or was intentionally trying to ignore and buy herself some time to having to face it head-on … it’s a lot. She’ll be swept off her feet for a little bit because it was a lot for her to process. Now there’s a change and a loss.
A lot of what Marjan did in this episode was for herself.
Absolutely. It felt very true to who Marjan is — true to herself, her integrity, her morals. She’s guided by her own compass and steers her own ship. That’s the thing about exposing audiences to different cultures and belief systems. It’s an individual’s journey. This doesn’t speak for every Muslim person, every hijabi woman, every woman. It’s Marjan’s experience of arranged marriage, of religion, of culture, and it felt truthful and fleshed out by the writers.
This episode touched on a possible move back to Miami…
It’s maybe a sigh of relief for her. It was definitely her choice to be with Salim, but she wanted a little more time. This now will allow her to put down firmer roots in Austin. In reality, it’s [only] been about a year she’s been there.
I liked Mateo’s [Julian Works] line about how they had that deal.
That was my favorite line! She looks at him like, “We didn’t! It wasn’t me and you!” I love their brother-sister relationship. They care so much about each other. Mateo has an arc in this episode of maturing and learning to let it go a bit.
Marjan had that pretty cool rescue in the volcano episode.
It was a really hot day and we were wearing all that stuff, and that was me hanging up there. I don’t know that people who aren’t in the industry know how many takes and how long it takes to cut something together that lasts 20 seconds. I was up there for a very long time.
I enjoy doing things [with] both physical and emotional challenges, which is Episode 4 for me. With the derby at the beginning, I didn’t know how to skate. Fox got me lessons — I was going to [them] for hours after work a couple times a week. I went from not being able to stand on skates to actually being up there with all those derby girls and skating on a banked track. I was in my element because I got to do the physical challenge and really push myself and devote time and energy to that and also have an emotional arc. Doing the stunts, that’s my brand. I love doing that. I had fun filming the volcano episode, no matter how sweaty I was and how many electrolytes I had to take.
9-1-1: Lone Star, Mondays, 9/8c, Fox