Side Order of Life is a new original series on Lifetime. The series follows several characters as they try to cope with their lives, and what life throws at them. Executive producer and creator Margaret Nagle, and stars Marisa Coughlan (who plays magazine writer/photographer Jenny), Jason Priestley (who plays Jenny's fiancé Ian), and Christopher Gartin (who plays Rick, Jenny's boss and also Vivy's friend)and Diana Maria Riva (who plays Jenny's friend Vivy who is dying from cancer) discussed the show at a recent press conference to introduce the series.
With Ms. Riva's character living with cancer, many people were wondering how long she will be with the show. She joked a little about the dilemma, then explained more about the character.
Diana Maria Riva: Well, I have a couple of children I have to put through college, so I'm hoping that this is around for a long time. The wonderful thing about this unique character is that this is probably one of the first times in television that we're going to go on this journey, that you get to go on this journey, that you get to go on this journey with her, on the ups and the downs. And with today's technology and the advances we have in medicine, people can have a lot longer life and a healthy good-quality life with cancer. So I think that you should just sit back, relax, and take the ride with Vivy, because I'm hoping that she's going to take quite the journey. And there's so much to explore with it, too, just because she's a vibrant woman who has a lot on her plate besides this. She's a career woman. She really wants to go out and continue and move up with her career. It's not just about the cancer. It's really about what the cancer has propelled her to go and do."
Although Marisa Coughlan's character is a top-notch photographer, the actress admitted she didn't know much about the profession before she got the role, although she had always had an interest in photography.
Marisa Coughlan: "I'm learning. I did have an interest and do have an interest. And our DP is a skilled photographer, so he's always giving me tips and we had a few sessions before we started the season, where he educated me a bit more. I love collecting photography. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm particularly gifted at it yet, but I'm learning. And certainly, because of my character, I'm developing sort of an eye because all she does is look for moments and capture things that, I think, prior to the pilot anyway, were kind of passing her by, and it can't help but sort of sink in to me as a person. So I'm more aware of things that would be good photographs. I just have to get a good camera."
Jason Priestley, perhaps best known for his role in "Beverly Hills 90210" where he played a fairly nice young man, is again playing a nice man. However this time his niceness doesn't win the woman he loves. Pristley describes his character as "a very sensitive guy who loves with his whole heart and, therefore, is very sensitive and gets hurt and gets hurt very easily. And it's that, the fact that he gets hurt and is not afraid to show that he gets hurt, and he's sensitive. It's that side of him that makes him interesting as an actor to play."
The show has several storylines that will run through the series, and the producer/creator stresses that it is an ensemble production. It is a story of men and women, dealing with their lives, loves, and mortality.
Margaret Nagle: The thing is the show is an ensemble. Ultimately, it's driving towards that. The dilemmas of the men are as interesting to me as the friendship of the two women, and that friendship of the four of them and the fact that ultimately they're going to work in every combination, and now I'm writing the bonding between Ian and Gartin, Chris, because Jenny's hot mom, played by Susan Blakely, comes on to Chris, and then he's absolutely freaked out because he's attracted to her, and then he goes to Ian, and he's like, 'It's already happened to me. It's okay. We can talk. We're boys.' And we also go -- Ian is going to find someone else and marry her. He's got a whole path he's going on. It's interesting because Ian's character sort of has the smallest part in the pilot, then as we're heading into series, he's got some of the biggest stuff to do, because what happens to a man when his heart is broken? What happens to a guy who's done everything right and it's still not enough? So we're going down some pretty interesting avenues with this character, far more than you see in the pilot. And then this guy [referring to Christopher Gartin], he gets to grow a soul and a conscience, eventually."
Side Order of Life airs on Lifetime TV Sundays at 8 PM ET/PT.
Dont't forget to also check out: Side Order of Life