Saving Hope’s Julia Taylor Ross On Maggie’s Trip Into The Spirit World

Bell Media
Bell Media

The spirit world on Saving Hope has always kept the CTV drama from being just like every other medical show on television today. However, adding a supernatural aspect to any show can be risky, yet somehow, Saving Hope manages to pull it off, making the spirit world one of the main reasons to tune in every week. This week one of Hope Zion’s own enters that world during the conclusion of the show’s two-part story.

Maggie (Julia Taylor Ross) has been having a bit of a rough go of things this season. She has yet to nail down an attending position, lost a job opportunity at another hospital, and she has been struggling to find her place at Hope Zion. All of this comes to the forefront when Maggie finds herself a part of the spirit world and must decide if her life as it is right now is worth coming back for. Ross spoke exclusively with The TV Junkies about Maggie’s trip into another world, what we can expect from Sydney’s (Stacey Farber) return, if there’s a possibility of romance with Zach (Benjamin Ayres), and what’s to come for Maggie this season.

The TV Junkies: This week we get to see you play a ghost. Did you ever think that Maggie would be a ghost at some point?

Julia Taylor Ross: No, I did not. I was so surprised and honored. Erica’s [Durance] had a go and Michael [Shanks] obviously, but it was a very fun challenge. I was totally taken by surprise. I had said to the writers, ‘So what’s coming up?’ And they were like, ‘Ooooh, stuff is really coming up!’ But that’s not where my brain went at all.

TTVJ: Maggie has struggled a bit this season with trying to find her place and importance in the hospital and this week she struggles with whether she wants to fight for her life or not. Why do you think that is?

JTR: They’ve never been afraid to show her character confused or to have challenges. When we first me her she was a junior resident and I remember her flailing a little bit. And she’s had her relationship challenges. I feel like this season they’ve shown her a little more settled. They’re giving her more of an opportunity, now that she’s passed her board exam, to be a full doctor. This season, with the lack of a love interest, the story has been much more about a young woman making her priority work. Which is great, but I think what happens in the ghost storyline is that she realizes that she needs a bit of a balance.

I was curious as to how they would show Maggie’s revelatory moment, you know when the ghost realizes why they want to stay alive. It was a moment that really felt consistent with the rest of the season. It was more subtle than many of the others have been. Maggie’s has a little more depth to it.

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Bell Media

TTVJ: Are filming the scenes as a ghost any different from filming other scenes?

JTR: Absolutely. The ghost scenes in Episode 10 were directed by Greg Smith (Rookie Blue), and he’s such a smart director and obviously an actor as well. I was so happy to be supported by him. I would say that the big difference between playing the two characters is that [as a ghost] you can’t communicate with anyone–except with Michael’s character which was fantastic. What’s so cool about this season is that Charlie has really figured out how to interact with the ghosts. Plus she’s his friend and colleague. So we were able to bring in a mixture of humor and emotional depth into the scenes.

The other thing I got from Greg was on how to play the same character who still wants everything the same, but she’s kind of in denial of everything that’s going on at first. You’re not yourself, right? You’re kind of one step away from yourself. So it was fun trying to find that balance in between regular Maggie and ghost Maggie who’s a few degrees off of center. It was really fun and definitely challenging.

TTVJ: We loved seeing her stand up to Dawn [Michelle Nolden] in asking to be the primary surgeon on her future cases. Will we continue to see her be the primary surgeon on cases and mentor the new residents?

JTR: Yeah, for sure. I loved that scene with Dawn. And it’s a lot like it is with her mentoring the younger residents that are coming through. I think Maggie gets a kick out of bossing people around a little. She’s not cruel, but firm. I think she’s grown up quite a bit this season. You can really see it in the way she deals with her patients and how she handles the new residents.

TTVJ: We’ve noticed that there seems to be an interesting chemistry developing between Zach and Maggie. Is there the possibility of a romance developing between the two of them or is that just a good friendship forming?

JTR: I love the friendship that they’ve developed. It was really important to me that we showed what a platonic relationship between a man and a woman can be like. It’s much more common to see things develop into something romantic right away. But I hope that something happens between them. I think they love each other, as friends for sure, so we’ll see. I love the story of the best friends–will they or won’t they? I think the mystery of it is so enticing. Ben is a great friend and we have a really great time playing with it. When we watched [those first few episodes] we too were like, ‘Holy Moly! That was like a seed being planted.’ So it was a bit of a surprise for us as well. But as a viewer, I saw it too. Now I just do what I’m told, but I think it would be great.

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Bell Media

TTVJ: Maggie and Sydney’s relationship kind of got lost at the end of last season and we never got to see them go their separate ways. What do you think happened there?

JTR: I’m glad they made that all about Sydney come out and I felt like their last scene together was more about a friendship. I really appreciated that they left it kind of open because I think that’s how it is in life. It doesn’t always get all tied up in a bow. I think there will always be a place for Sydney in Maggie’s life. Whether that’s as a kindred spirit, or as a romantic interest I’m not sure, but they definitely had a real connection. I think Stacey and my chemistry was really great as well and people seemed to really enjoy it.

TTVJ: We know she is back for another episode this season. Can you preview what we can expect to see between her and Maggie?

JTR: She is and that will give us an opportunity to see how they managed that reunion. I think it’s not really going to be a satisfying goodbye, but that’s OK because that’s how it is in real life. The next episode [after the two-parter] is really great because they have to kind of revisit that so you’ll see little tidbits of romance.

TTVJ: You guys are filming the Season 4 finale now. What can you tease for us on what we will be seeing with Maggie for the rest of the season?

JTR: You will kind of get to see her really develop as a doctor. That’s partly through the mentoring and also through the medical storylines. There will be a lot more baby stuff. More challenges on the friendship sides and more of her trying to stand her ground as a doctor. It’s a lot of work/life balance.


Have you enjoyed the change in Maggie this season? Who would you like to see her with romantically, Zach or Sydney? Sound off in the comments below!

Saving Hope airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.