8:00am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
'Chasing Life': Why Italia Ricci Was "Uncomfortable" With April's Life-Changing Decision
Chasing Life is leaving it all on the floor in Monday's season two finale.
ABC Family has yet to make a decision on whether or not the drama about a young woman living with cancer will return for a third season, but that didn't stop showrunner Patrick Sean Smith from ending the finale on a giant cliffhanger that will leave fans up in arms by the time the credits roll.
In fact, Chasing Life's star Italia Ricci couldn't believe where the season ended herself. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Ricci about the shocking final moments, why she was "uncomfortable" with April's life-changing decision in the episode and what else fans can expect to see in the finale.
Plus, check out the video above to watch an exclusive clip from the season finale.
April just found out that Dominic (Richard Brancatisano) still has feelings for her. What is she going to do with this information?
She has got to figure out if she wants to take the chance and bring it up, even knowing that she's not ready for it, or not say anything and risk losing Dominic forever. She always knew those feelings were there, but I don’t think she ever thought that it would reignite. She was aware that she and Dominic had this incredible connection and that it ended prematurely because of the circumstances. But then Leo [Scott Michael Foster] came in with this beautifully tragic adventure that she was completely committed to, so I don't think she was aware that there was still an underlying affection for Dominic in that way. When Danny reveals to her that Dominic is still in love with her, I think all of a sudden, it was one of those cold-chill moments where it's like, "Oh no, I do still have feelings for him, but I'm not ready for it. But I'm not ready to let him go, either." She needs to figure out what to do.
There's no easy answer for her, which is fascinating to see.
Exactly! I love the way the scene was written last week when Sara (Mary Page Keller) was like, "Well, what would you say to him?" And it's just, "Wait for me." We've all been in that situation, but you just can't say that to someone because it's so selfish. She needs to decide whether or not she's going to say anything because that could change what Dominic decides to do about leaving Boston or not.
What you said earlier, about how she and Dominic only ended their relationship because of the situation, is so true. It's not like they stopped having feelings for each other. But if Leo was still alive, do you think April would still be entertaining these feelings for Dominic?
No. April was as in love with Leo as anyone could be with someone. And that's not to say that it would have lasted forever and the marriage would have worked out in the long run. Who knows what would have happened? But if they were still together and still married and as happy as they were right before Leo died, I don't think that at any point April would ever feel like she was making the wrong decision. But that being said, at this point, Dominic could be another right decision. He just wasn't right when April was with Leo.
April also just found out that her dad's unpublished manuscript is still being shopped around. What options does the Carver family have at this point to stop that from happening?
It's pretty terrible because she doesn't own the rights to the book. There's going to be some legal stuff that goes on that leads to even more information coming out that nobody wants or expected to come out. That throws the Carvers into a total whirlwind, and all of the tension between the Carvers and Olivia is just because Olivia cannot let it go. It's so intense. She's just stirring this pot of unnecessary drama for them. You'll get to see where that all leads, how it is kind of handled and kind of not. It's very frustrating. You'll see why by the end of the episode.
Beth (Aisha Dee) just found out she's pregnant. How is April going to help her deal with this huge revelation?
She's going to be there for Beth the same way that Beth was there for her when she was going through all her fertility issues, and the same way she's been there for her during all her health struggles. That's what makes their friendship so beautiful. No matter what the problem is, they've got each other.
April finally gets to go on her honeymoon trip to Italy in the finale, and the scenes are just so beautifully shot. What was it like getting to shoot on location?
Oh my God, it was amazing. I ate so much pasta. (Laughs.) It was so breathtakingly beautiful. It was incredibly hot but so amazing and full of culture. I had only been there once when I was 5, but I had chicken pox so that doesn't count. I was just wide-eyed and mouth agape every corner we turned. The only part I hated was that I had to ride a Vespa and I felt like I was going to drive it into a wall. It was on cobblestones and downhill on this narrow street and I was like, "I don't want to do this! I feel like a crazy person!" (Laughs.) When you see that scene, know that I was so scared for my life.
How will spending time away from everything back home affect April going forward?
She makes a decision not because of being away but because of something that happens and something she finds out earlier in the episode. It's like another sledgehammer moment from the season one finale. She's at wits' end and the way she reacts to it this season, at first I was so uncomfortable with it because it didn't make sense and it didn't feel like April. But after doing it and getting through it — and the last scene of the episode was the last scene we shot — it was emotional. After doing it, as sad as I was and as confused as I was and as uncomfortable as I was with it from an outsider's perspective, I respected it. I understood it and I appreciated it. I'm so interested to see how everyone's going to react to it.
Chasing Life hasn't been renewed yet for a third season, so how would you describe the feeling of the final moments of the finale? How are fans going to feel when the credits roll?
I'm choked up just thinking about it. I don't know how they're going to feel. I don’t know how the story would continue. I have so many questions of my own, but there are a lot of questions raised in the finale. Greer comes back into Brenna's life, cops show up for George, what's going to happen with Beth and her baby? But as far as April is concerned, I really don't know. I want to see what she does and if she sticks to her decision, if she gets convinced otherwise.
What do you most want to explore in a potential third season?
I want to know what happens when someone has reached the point of making that decision and what happens after. I've never seen this before and this concept is so new to me. This show is about never giving up hope and keep fighting, and they're such beautiful messages, but sometimes real life doesn't listen. It's sad but it's very real. It does happen. I'm so curious to see how the audience reacts and if the third season comes along and when the third season comes along, I want to see what that looks like for April. I'm terrified to have to perform it because I'm so emotional just thinking about that last scene, but I want to know.
The fans will too, definitely. There's going to be some major tears when the episode ends.
I know, and now I'm crying already!
Chasing Life's season two finale airs Monday at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.