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Feature: The Dead Zone

Torn Between Two Lovers

Sarah in the middle Life goes on.

Though Sarah Bracknell
was devastated when her fiancé Johnny Smith was
put in a coma by a car accident, leaving her pregnant with his child
. . .she moved on.

She eventually found a man willing to raise her son as his own, in the form of Sheriff Walt Bannerman. No one expected that Johnny might ever wake up, leaving her with conflicting feelings for both men, as actress Nicole de Boer explains.

“Walt [Chris Bruno] is an amazing and wonderful man. He came in and rescued Sarah at a time when she was a bit of a mess,” says the actress. “Walt loved her so much, even though she was pregnant with another man’s child, and he proved it by marrying Sarah and accepting her son. They have a really solid husband/wife relationship. When Johnny [Anthony Michael Hall] comes back into the picture, it stirs up all kinds of past memories for Sarah. They’ve known each other since they were kids. Sarah loves Johnny and always will. However, her love now stems out of concern for him. He has these ‘powers’ and she sees how people are treating him because of it. She wants to look out for him as a friend and make sure he’s all right. Of course, Sarah hopes her husband is OK with this bond or connection that she has with Johnny and can understand where her feelings are coming from.

“This sets up an interesting triangle with her, Walt and Johnny as well as providing the program with some of its dramatic tension,” continues de Boer. “We see this in the episode we’re filming at the moment [The Siege]. Sarah and Johnny are spending the day with Johnny’s young son. They’re still trying to get the little boy to take to Johnny but it’s not easy. Sarah has to run into the bank and leaves the two of them waiting in the car. A local man who’s been having some personal problems and is depressed comes in to rob the bank while Sarah is there. Of course, being the sheriff, Walt arrives on the scene and he and Johnny are both outside worrying about Sarah. Johnny goes into the bank to try to help resolve the situation. This leaves poor Walt having to deal with the fact that Johnny is saving his wife’s life. Needless to say Michael, Chris and I are having a blast playing out this dynamic.”

De Boer’s role of Sarah Bracknell Bannerman on The Dead Zone is the actress’s sixth as a series regular, following on from leading roles on Mission: Genesis, Catwalk and Beyond Reality, though she’s probably best known to TV audiences around the world as Ensign Ezri Dax on the final season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she became enamored of acting at nine years old after appearing on stage in a school production of The Wizard of Oz. With her parents’ permission and blessing, her grandmother helped de Boer find an agent and it was not long after that she made her TV début on a Christmas special starring Red Skelton and Vincent Price.

by Steve Eramo

Read more from Nicole de Boer and about other shows and films in:
Xposé #71

© USA Network
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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Xposé #71
September 2002
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