Saving Hope’s Michelle Nolden on Dawn’s Happy Ending and a ‘Full Circle’ Finale

Bell Media
Bell Media

Over the past five season seasons of Saving Hope Dr. Dawn Bell (Michelle Nolden) quickly grew into one of our favorite characters. Like everyone else we started out hating her, she wanted to kill Charlie after all, but her wit and her say-it-like-it-is attitude quickly won us over. We stood by her side as she took the reigns at the hospital and showed all those other doctors how things should be done, felt her pain when she discovered that she wasn’t able to have children, and watched in horror and amazement as she valiantly fought her way out of an abusive relationship.

Nolden’s portrayal of Dawn was always spot on and we couldn’t imagine another actor attempting to take on that role. We were lucky enough to chat with Nolden and reflect on the past five seasons. Read on to see some of her favorite things about the role, why she was happy to see Dawn get her happy ending and what we can all expect to see in tonight’s gripping series finale.

The TV Junkies: Congratulations on five great seasons of Saving Hope. You guys have had a great run and we’re really sad to see it come to an end.

Michelle Nolden: Oh, yes, thank you, you and me both.

TTVJ: After I stopped hating Dawn in Season 1 she quickly became one of my favorite characters. What were some of your favorite things about her?

MN: I think that was probably my most favorite, was being able to turn people around. When I started playing her I didn’t think of her as this evil woman, more as just this misunderstood one, so it was really fun to kind of swing the pendulum the other way and have people come around to love her. That was probably the most fulfilling part of it.

TTVJ: The women on Saving Hope have always been so well written. What do you think it was that made them all so great?

MN: I think it was a combination of many things. I think within the production itself there’s so many smart, amazing, brilliant women right from producers to writers to crew that it was just the expectation a little bit. So I think it just kind of became a natural thing to write these amazing women. And that’s not taking away from how the writers did it because I think there was really talented writers that were able to give them strength and wit but also be able to create really believable relationships among the women and veer away from the cattiness and all of that. And then I think I feel so privileged to have worked with such amazing female actors that then brought it to such an amazing level.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: What were some of your favorite storylines to play over the years?

MN: You know, every season I felt like I had something really great to play, which makes me feel great for the opportunity for Dawn, particularly on an ensemble show you don’t always get that. I really loved the first season and also the whole rape storyline. While it was really difficult to play it was really fulfilling as an actor because it allowed us to go to a really interesting and deep place where you had to trust the other actors. And the surgeries, I loved the surgeries. I was just amazed with everything that we got to do with them, especially when we had the real doctors come in and tell us how to do things, I just loved doing those surgeries. And then of course Dawn finding love in the end was also really great. It felt like it gave her this beautiful arc over the five seasons so I was really happy with that.

TTVJ: The Zach (Benjamin Ayres) and Dawn relationship was one of my favorites of the entire series. It wasn’t one you would have predicted in the beginning, but when they did come together they really couldn’t have been more perfect for each other. How did you feel about how their storylines played out over the years and in the end?

MN: I don’t think that was part of what made it so great. I don’t think that anyone thought of it at the very beginning but as they watched the natural progression of the characters they started to plant the seeds a little bit and it ended up just feeling very natural for the two of them to get together. So I think that is sort of why it worked, it ended up being more of an organic thing. And I really like how it all ended, I feel like Dawn got her happy ending.

TTVJ: What can you preview for our readers about tonight’s series finale. What can they expect to see?

MN: Tears, that is for sure. So I say definitely bring some Kleenex. And I think they can expect to see the spirit of the show maintained and the questions that the pilot presented 5 years ago, those things will come full circle. I think that is one of those things that makes this finale so special. It really feels cohesive of the show as a whole. It kind of wraps things up in a real but beautiful way.

TTVJ: Were you happy with how it all ended both for your character and for the entire show?

MN: I was. I mean, I’m not happy that it’s done, but if it has to be done then I think that this was a great ending. Especially for the ghost aspect of the show, that was a major premise of the show. I think that was something that I have realized in the last little while is how much when you need answers in these life and death situations where you wish there was someone that could bring some clarity into the situations. And I think that was one of the many things that really hit audience or one of the things that they really connected with so I think that it’s nice that they managed to tie that all up.

TTVJ: Are you working on anything else right now or have any future projects in the works?

MN: There’s a few things in the offing, but nothing I can talk about quite yet. I’ve been focusing a little bit more on writing and directing so I’ve been doing some shadowing and just trying to learn whatever I can. It’s been a bit of a new chapter and I’m excited to see where that might go. We need more female directors in this country, so that would be a place that I would love to go to some day. I’m sort of starting the process of seeing whether that’s something that I may be good at.


Did you love watching Dawn as much as we did over the past five seasons? What were some of your favorite parts? Are you looking forward to tonight’s series finale? Drop a few words in the comments section below and let us know what you’re thinking.

Saving Hope series finale airs Thursday, August 3 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.