‘Life Sentence’: Lucy Hale and Elliot Knight on Family Dysfunction & & the Show’s Unique Story

life sentence image 4 - ‘Life Sentence’: Lucy Hale and Elliot Knight on Family Dysfunction & & the Show's Unique Story


Last fall, a group of reporters and I were welcomed out to the Vancouver set of the brand-new CW series Life Sentence, which concentrates on a girl, Stella ( Lucy Hale), who gets a 2nd possibility at life once she discovers she’s cancer-free. Stella invested 8 years preparing for her death, she now has to deal with the repercussions of her “life for the moment” mindset, including her marital relationship to Wes ( Elliot Knight), who is essentially a complete stranger. It likewise ends up that her ideal household was concealing their genuine dysfunction from her while she was ill, now it’s all coming out.

We got the possibility to consult with Hale and Knight about their characters, how the program overturns common stories about cancer, what Stella and Wes’ relationship might appear like now that their I Do’s truly are permanently, and more.

Question: This program is a really various technique to narrating about cancer. What has it resembled getting to check out that?


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HALE: Yeah, at first, when I had actually gotten approached with this concept, they had actually stated, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if the girl who was supposed to die ended up living, and she has to live with all these decisions and choices she made while she was dying?” So I enjoyed it. I at first believed it was such an excellent concept and something that I had actually never ever seen or heard previously. It’s really fascinating. Where we get in the pilot, you satisfy this lady who is quite spontaneous anyhow. If she’s living like she’s passing away, she’s going to do some quite insane like wed a man she’s understood for 3 days in Paris. Who understands exactly what else she’s gotten herself into? We satisfy her, we discover out she’s going to live, which is fantastic news, however to understand that she has no concept who she is and no who her household truly is, since they’ve been safeguarding her in this little bubble from the truth of their issues and the truth of the world. When she discovers out she’s going to live, it’s a bittersweet minute, since then at the very same time, she understands how remarkably inefficient her household. That’s been so enjoyable to dive into in the later episodes.

KNIGHT: Same as you. When I at first checked out the pilot, I was struck by how various it was to the regular story, since it practically informed exactly what the film variation of this would generally be, however that was simply the start. The genuine story starts at exactly what would usually be completion. That’s something that you do not truly see found because sense. I likewise believed it was heartfelt and exceptionally amusing. Throughout pilot season, you check out many programs, all the time, aiming to establish this vibrant and get you connected and invested, and it was among the only ones that I check out– It was the very first one that I check out where I felt so engaged quickly with the characters and enjoyed where– Actually, it was really various in the pilot, however I enjoyed the vibrant with both of them, exactly what they represented in the love that they had for each other, how spontaneous it was sort of in its purest kind. Getting to do it, it was so remarkable since it recognized the prospective it had when I read it. It was simply as enjoyable to make, simply as amusing, simply as heartfelt, simply as touching, simply as genuine. And it’s great to not simply discuss the genuine concerns and aspects of going through something like cancer and enduring, however in fact being truthful about it, and discovering the humor where it’s suitable, and informing a various variation of that story. And yeah, it’s continued to be enjoyable up until now.

How will the marital relationship progress after they discover she’s cancer-free?


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KNIGHT: When we satisfy in Paris, for Wes, he satisfies this remarkable brand-new vital force of somebody who has this entire viewpoint on living, existing, that he’s never ever experienced prior to. He is sort of stuck in his dead-end regular methods, and he’s sort of losing a sense of function and satisfaction and satisfaction in life, not to obtain unfathomable. [Laughs] Then he satisfies Stella, and she blows him away since she is simply this remarkable, magnetic, spontaneous animal who lights a fire within him. I believe he, for the very first time in his life, stops thinking and simply goes directly for that sensation. That is quite the style of their marital relationship and them as a couple together: it’s this burning fire that they’re both simply dancing in and living in. Oh, that sounds great.

HALE: That was great. Should we compose a tune? Side note, me and Elliot’s band name is called Knightinghale. You get it? OK, I believed it was very creative. When Stella understands she’s going to live, she likewise understands she understands not much about her other half. They understand what does it cost? they had actually never ever found, things they had actually never ever found about each other. There are certainly some speed bumps. At the core of whatever, they enjoy each other a lot, and there’s that childish love that’s constantly there. Their chemistry and connection is simply indisputable, so that’s exactly what keeps them together. There’s certainly a lot of knowing and growing to do.

KNIGHT: For sure. A great deal of tricks that existed that we didn’t even understand existed that we need to wind up dealing with, which is quite fascinating.

For Elliot, exactly what does Wes think about all Stella’s household dysfunction?


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KNIGHT: [Laughs] I seem like all he understands is he enjoys this female, increasingly. Therefore, he will handle whatever else includes it. Likewise, as Lucy stated, there’s a lot of things that Stella does not understand are occurring. In a method, they go through that journey of finding the dysfunction together and seeing how that affects them together. I believe it’s fascinating for him since he’s undoubtedly English. He’s made the relocation from England to come over and now deal with his other half that he satisfied days prior to and is now coping with her for months, and he has this entire brand-new household. I believe he’s simply a guy looking for a brand-new method to live life, and in this bubble that he’s in today, he seems like he’s discovered that. I see him sort of wishing to connect himself to the household or searching for a location to call house within this brand-new house that he’s discovered, which takes place to be someone else’s. That’s a continuous thing he goes through, and we certainly enter into that a bit more as the series goes on, of how he’s aiming to connect to his brand-new household as well as how he associates with his real household.

The program appears really knowledgeable about tropes and overturning them, can you speak about how else it might shun individuals’s expectations?

KNIGHT: I seem like even if of the nature of the pilot that you saw– it being various in its roots– I believe it simply has a ripple effect to whatever else. Even if things do look like a comparable format, it’s being come at from an entirely brand-new angle and you dive into elements of it that you would not usually. Which is exactly what is certainly, for us, makes it so fascinating to check out each brand-new script that is available in and see … we might have a concept of where we’re going, however how are we going to take a look at it and exactly what particular bits are we going to focus on?

HALE: The program is so since these characters aren’t ideal and they do ruin. You understand, you discover in the pilot that this entire time her moms and dads’ marital relationship has actually been not perfect, her mama is bisexual, her sibling’s dealing drugs and is simply a hot mess. That’s exactly what’s so fantastic, is that individuals aren’t ideal and we’re not shying away from that. And it’s handled in a truly amusing method, since I believe there’s absolutely nothing more relatable than dysfunction.


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Lucy, can you talk a bit more about the dysfunction with Stella’s household, and how they respond after they discover that Stella is treated?

HALE: I’ll simply return to the pilot, however Stella matured thinking that she had this ideal fairy tale life which whatever was rainbows and unicorns and flashes and enjoy constantly exercises since why does not it? Therefore whatever comes crashing down on her. Her trouble and sister expose to her that this lags closed doors, this is not truly exactly what’s occurring. Due to the fact that she’s finding how relationships truly work and that in some cases enjoy falls apart and that in some cases your mama is bisexual, it’s sort of a strange time for her. It’s likewise an excellent time of self-discovery, not simply for Stella however for Aiden. Everybody put their life on hold for Stella, so everybody’s sort of at this moment like ‘well, where do we go now? For the last 8-10 years we’ ve done whatever for her’. I believe everybody’s a little baffled on which roadway to go down. It certainly leads to some arguments, some blow-outs. At the end of the day, this household simply truly enjoys each other in spite of their defects, in spite of whatever. It’s truly lovely. It’s a cool little household.

For Lucy, exactly what are you carrying out in this function that you have not previously? Particularly after playing the very same character for a very long time?

HALE: I need to state, it was really odd to … I delved into something quite rapidly after Pretty Little Liars, which that was not truly anticipated. I read this script and I fell in love with Stella since she is simply somebody that we might all be a bit more like. She takes a look at the glass half-full and she’s positive and she believes that whatever will exercise. And she is a favorable and quite positive individual. I appreciate her in a great deal of methods. She has an excellent funny bone. I believe that’s something that I have not truly experimented with with acting. I’ve never ever gotten to do a funny. And I believed the writing was truly amusing and she yaps. This has actually been … it’s been an obstacle for me …

KNIGHT: She does yap.


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HALE: She talks in monologues. She simply talks a lot. It’s been challenging as a starlet since tonally it’s simply entirely various from Liars or anything else I’ve done. It’s been great to alter it up. It’s interesting. I hope that everybody lives her as much as I do.

There are a great deal of puns for shop names in the town– do you have a preferred?

HALE: Aren’t they adorable? The Cold and the Beautiful, the ice cream shop. The authors are so creative.

KNIGHT: It’s such a pleasure getting every script since there are many lines. Particularly as we’ve gone on and they’ve had more time to use our own sense of character and humor, you see that feed into the characters on the page. It’s so enjoyable to obtain to deal with individuals who have that sort of vision and skill. To bring something so truthful to life.

HALE: What you men didn’t understand is that initially Wes was expected to be American and [Elliot] entered the audition and they’re like “Will you read it in an American accent and a British?” And undoubtedly they opted for British. Now Stella attempts to do a British accent throughout the series and it’s so bad.

KNIGHT: And that takes place since Lucy would do it to me, simply not acting.

HALE: I would simply do it and they resembled “Wow, that’s truly bad.”

There are 2 couples on the program, you 2 and Diego/Elizabeth. Exists any competition there or competitors?

HALE: Not at all. No jealousy whatsoever. I believe that, if anything, we admire Lizzy and Diego. Due to the fact that in our eyes they’re picture-perfect and they sort of are. We find that they’ve had some speed-bumps along the method. Therefore Stella goes to Lizzy for a great deal of marital guidance. A lot.


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KNIGHT: We seem like they’ve figured it out and we are figuring it out. Therefore because we’re, like, perhaps there’s some responses there or they can use some assistance. Which is quite cool. And it sets up a good dynamic with us and them.

HALE: And then you and Diego’s character …

KNIGHT: We have a good little bromance at some time. It feeds into the characters perfectly that method.

What will see in the flashbacks?

HALE: In the pilot we see a great deal of things from when we initially satisfied when things were simply ideal.

KNIGHT: When we remained in the bubble of love and we were untouchable. And as we explore our characters and our vibrant in the story that bubble gets burst.

HALE: But we likewise see … we flash back to when Stella is going through her chemotherapy when she’s more youthful and ill in the medical facility. Due to the fact that we get to see from her viewpoint, it’s truly cool in the flashbacks. Often we’ll do flashback where it’s seen from another individual’s viewpoint. And it’s fascinating to see how various those 2 can be. I play all the method from 15 to 23 in this program, which is enjoyable. They simply toss some long hair on me. And we got to do where I see myself in the future, so I got to play older too.

KNIGHT: There is an episode where there are a great deal of flashbacks from Wes’ viewpoint or about his story. Due to the fact that, like we stated, we do not know each other in addition to we believe we do. Then we understand that therefore a few of the flashbacks satisfy of completing those spaces. And not simply for Stella, some of them for Wes. It’s in fact among my preferred episodes.

Life Sentence premieres Wednesday, March 7th on The CW.

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