Has the actress who plays Kristina on “Parenthood” ever had breast cancer like her character?
—Mary Simotes, Concord, N.H.
Monica Potter, 41, who plays Kristina Braverman, does not have breast cancer, but the show’s executive producer Jason Katims’ wife did receive a cancer diagnosis more than two years ago, which is where the idea came from.
“We’re trying to be as true to the experience of what it’s really like as we can,” says Katims, who, as a result of his own personal experience, admits he is all too familiar with juggling everyday life and work with doctors’ appointments and life-saving treatments. He hopes to capture those feelings and incorporate them into the story.
“I’ve found going through this that, as difficult of an experience and terrible thing that it is to go through, there are silver linings, and one of them is that you really wind up appreciating life so much. You realize the fragility of it all, but also how precious it is. And the expression, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ really hits home in kind of a new way.”
Katims also promises that Kristina’s cancer will not be dealt with in one or two episodes, but rather, he is going to try as much as possible to play it out as it would really progress.
Potter, who went for her first mammogram in April, says that undergoing the procedure, coincidentally, sparked the idea of breast cancer as a possible story for Kristina.
“Knowing that it touched Jason personally, I just reached out and said, ‘What if we tried to do a storyline on Kristina?’ And he emailed me right away and said, ‘I got the chills,’ because they had been working on that storyline already,” said the Cleveland, Ohio, native.