A Chance at Redemption

From creator Nancy Miller, TNT's new drama, 'Saving Grace,' is about a cop's last chance at redemption and stars Holly Hunter.

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I think that probably wasn't a good thing to say, because there are a lot of people who are a lot worse than Grace. But it’s about when we're hurt, when we're hurt by someone who we trust, who we respect in everyday life. There's a moment in our first episode, a little moment that we all encounter in our lives: She opens a door for a guy, and the guy doesn't say thank you. And it's those little things that we experience everyday that make up our character.



And Grace’s character as a human being is very good. I would trust Grace with my life, without a doubt. But she has struggled. And we all have struggles. The happiest person in the world has struggled. And none of us are perfect. And people can judge. There’s so much judgment going on. And I just don't think that's what God's about.



What inspired you to come up with the idea for this character and this show?

I wanted to take a look at God, faith, religion, and sin through the eyes of a woman who has pieces of all of us in her. Originally I was developing [the character of Grace] as a TV reporter, and it was Michael Wright at TNT who said, "Let's make her a cop." And once I started working that way, it was just perfect because of what she sees every day.



I know that reporters also see horrendous things every day, but they're observers. And Grace is an active participant and has to talk to killers and act like she's their friend to get the information. So the world of police work and a woman struggling with belief, I just think it's perfect.



These are really heavy themes that are being tackled in a one-hour drama. What do you want viewers to take away from it?

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We don't try to explain anything, because we don't have the answers. I think Earl doesn't have the answers. He's an employee of heaven and God--whatever you want to think. And I hope it's a fun ride, a fun, surprising, wild ride with some depth. And I think a lot of us have thought about God. If I had God sitting across from me, what would I ask him? That's the sort of thing that we want to explore. But we're not going to have any answers because we don't know. And that has to be enough.



How could life be a test if we had all the answers?

Exactly. And I think that's what God wants. We need him, and we're so weak. I think he just cracks up and cries at some of the stuff we do. I'm from Oklahoma City, and there's a statue across from the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building of Jesus. It's called “Jesus Wept.” And I love this statue because it's a statue of Jesus with his head in his hand. And his sadness and his pain at some of the choices that are made here--that just breaks his heart.



What role does that faith play in your own life?

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