Minnie Driver, Paul Adelstein and Alfred Molina touted their Lifetime original movie Return to Zero at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday.
The film follows a married couple (Driver and Adelstein) as they deal with the aftermath of losing a child from stillbirth and journey through a second pregnancy. Writer-director-producer Sean Hanish based the film on what he calls the most painful experience of his life: when he and his wife had to cope with losing their child from stillbirth.
“The film is about breaking the silence because nobody has ever done a film about this type of loss before,” Hanish told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think it’s a film that’s not just about the loss of a child, but also about any type of loss and how people grieve differently.”
Adelstein noted that preparing to portray Hanish in such a tragic situation was far different than his roles on Scandal and Private Practice.
“Sean had obviously lived through this so he was a great source to talk to,” Adelstein told THR. “I learned a lot about stillbirth that I didn’t know and that was really eye-opening. It’s just a tough thing that happens in the movie, so facing that on those days was hard, but I think it’s supposed to be hard.”
Although Driver felt her role was the hardest job she’s ever had, she said there were plenty of laughs on set to blow off steam.
“We were hysterical most of the time,” said Driver. “I think it’s cause we were so amped up emotionally, you had to have a counterbalance to that. Paul and Alfred are some of the funniest people I’ve ever met, so we cracked a lot of jokes that often ended in tears because it was all too much.”
Supermodel Cindy Crawford attended the premiere to show support for Hanish, a longtime friend. Crawford was shooting a commercial project with Hanish during his wife’s first pregnancy.
“Sean had just left my house when he got the news that [his wife] Kylie lost the baby,” Crawford told THR. “I just couldn’t imagine it. It’s the unthinkable, so I thought, ‘How are they surviving? how do you wake up in the morning?’ and I think the film does a great job of depicting that and doesn’t just gloss it over.”
Return to Zero will be the network’s first global premiere film, airing on Lifetime channels in Canada, the U.K., Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. With such an international rollout, Hanish feels that the film delivers an appropriate universal message.
“I’ve had people who watched the film say, ‘I lost my father last year and this film helped because I could see so much of myself and what I went through with his loss,” said Hanish. “It’s a film about what happens when your expectations are shattered and when you lose something so near and dear to you and really how you cope. It’s a very universal story in many ways.”
Return to Zero premieres May 17 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.