Zoey’s Playlist Preview: Alice Lee Talks Emily’s Fight Against Depression and How He Ties Her To Zoey
Denial is a powerful force for Zoey’s sister-in-law, Emily, who suffers from postpartum depression.
As viewers will see on this Sunday’s episode (NBC, 9 / 8c), “Emily is struggling to come to terms with what she’s feeling and really acknowledge what she’s going through,” actress Alice Lee told TVLine. “She’s trying to sweep it under the rug, brush it off somehow.”
In the meantime, her husband David “also goes through so much with his father, [who] just died. A lot of Emily’s inner thoughts are that she doesn’t want to burden anyone, ”adds Lee. “She wants to be able to endure anything on her own. She is strong. She wants to believe that she can, but in reality we can never go through things alone in life. As a result, she realizes this and really opens up and reaches for help, which is difficult for many people. “
Below, Lee previewed this week’s “very raw” heart song and how Emily’s fight will strengthen her relationship with Zoey.
TVLINE | How was that experience for you when you were shooting the music number “Rosanna” / “Anyone” in the last episode, where you had to switch from one song to another while playing all these emotions?
I know it was crazy! [Laughs] It was great fun. It was very challenging. When I heard that this was going to happen, I didn’t even know how challenging it was going to be. That should be Max’s heart song, like all in Rose. So it was a difficult transition just going from excited to sad as fk was a difficult transition, but it was amazing to turn it around. Jane [Levy] was very kind and only gave me the space and space in which I could open up everything. The director was amazing. We shot it in different ways. I was obviously very nervous and scared because it was hard and I wanted to make sure I did it right and right. But it was such a safe space and I felt very safe using those difficult emotions. At the same time I say, “I don’t even know if I’m doing it. Did you understand it? ” [Laughs]
TVLINE | Max gets your heart song, this is this really powerful moment. Were you relieved or scared to find out that you can sing this song too?
I know right?! I think I said, “Oh, damn it.” I mean, honestly, I knew my version and his version would be different. I was really excited. I said, “Oh, cool!” I heard his version when I was in the booth before filming the scene and I said, “Skylar, you sound so good.” But it wasn’t like I said, “Oh God, I have to deliver now.” It was kind of comforting to know that someone else was singing it too, to cushion any pressure I might have been feeling, I guess. I loved it. He did such a good job. And I found the concept of the whole episode changing songs to be really cool.
TVLINE | Zoey makes it her business to help Emily this week. How does Emily initially feel when Zoey tries to reach out to her? Is she receptive?
I don’t think Emily is receptive at all. Emily definitely just tries to brush it off every time because Zoey really wants to talk and have a heart to heart, but Emily is just on a completely different side. She just wants to make it mad or forget it, really. It’s a fun dynamic, and I feel like we haven’t really seen much of Zoey and Emily together and their dynamic. She was really fun working with in those scenes.
TVLINE | In season 1, we received clues that Emily and Zoey were not very close. How does this episode change your relationship in the future?
It definitely brings them closer together because I have a feeling the two of them have never spoken to each other like this before. I don’t think either of them ever met that way. In this next episode, they have a girls night, they go to the club, they are in that bathroom and then there is something else [a] whole speech, and I think it definitely connects them in a different way now. I hope this is reflected in the future too. I feel like their relationship is more developed now too, which is great.
TVLINE | How can you imagine Emily’s fight manifesting itself in her song number this week?
The number is pretty intense, which is what I loved. It’s very raw and I feel like it’s your inner struggles that are trying to get out. All your reason [for] Wanting to go to the club is: Emily wants to forget her responsibilities for a brief moment, forget about being a mother or wife or having this depression. It’s all a lot for her and [the club is] their escape. But no matter how hard she tries to escape, these feelings keep coming back and she [come] back in that bathroom for that musical number. This number is just a representation of feeling trapped and feeling like you are not a person. You are that machine that just keeps going. You are the mother and you just pump and drain. It just expresses her frustration, and no matter how hard she tries to avoid it, it always comes back and in a very powerful way. It was a really cool way to show her fight.
TVLINE | How would you say Emily’s struggle affects her marriage? Is that something fans should even be worried about?
I think it’s really cute that the reason she didn’t tell David is almost out of love. She doesn’t want to bother him. He’s been through so much and Emily just says, “I don’t want to bother him.” But I think what makes David and Emily such a lovable couple is that they try to work it all through. They are really there for each other and I think this time it won’t be any different. Just like Emily was there for David when he said, “I’m going to quit my job and join a band,” and she said, “Okayyy,” he’s the same with her, and she. They are very supportive of each other and you will definitely see more of this. That is very nice