Maria DeLuca has come a long way since the start of Roswell, New Mexico.
Her journey has seen so many ups and downs. Still, she finds herself in Roswell, New Mexico Season 4, at a place where she’s discovering even more about herself, and star Heather Hemmens continues to play her with such warmth and determination.
Hemmens stepped behind the camera to direct Roswell, New Mexico Season 4 Episode 11, and we chatted with her about getting behind the camera again, her favorite scene from the hour, and what’s ahead for Maria as the series comes to a close. Settle in and check this one out!
Whitney, good morning. How are you?
Hi, Heather. I’m great. How are you?
I’m well. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Oh, yeah. Thanks for talking with me. Episode eleven is a big, action-packed episode. And I wanted to know what it was like directing this episode, as opposed to your first Roswell episode. Were there things you learned and could carry over into this experience?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. This was a huge episode because it’s our 50th episode. So the script was big. There are big moments. Thankfully being a part of the show, especially from directing the previous season, I was able to carry a lot of that experience in, and those relationships I’ve watched develop this whole time.
So that was very easy to lock into, but we do have a new element in the show, that liminal space. So that was challenging to establish that space and the lighting and kind of the dynamic in this portal that they go through. That was really fun. There were new things to explore.
And then there were also things that are just familiar in our show that were really, really fun to revisit.
And how do you find the challenge of directing as opposed to acting?
I love directing because it’s so consuming. It’s really like having your hands in every different pot.
Acting is really stimulating because you’re focused, but it’s all about your one experience, and directing is kind of stepping back, seeing the bigger picture, and being able to manipulate the bigger picture.
So that’s something that’s really fun for me. It’s all-consuming instead of just a myopic view that is really fun for acting but directing kicks your butt in a different way.
Yeah, I’m sure. Is there a particular scene from the episode that you’re most excited for the audience to see?
There is. There is a scene that I feel myself and the fans who have watched the show from the beginning have been waiting for a culmination of certain questions and dynamics. And like I said, this being the 50th special episode, I was so honored to direct one of those moments and be behind the camera for that.
And it’s a huge, huge payoff in this episode that everyone’s going to, I can’t say anything else about it, but when you see it, I feel like there’s going to be cheering out loud when people are watching.
So, getting into Maria a little bit here. She’s had tremendous growth throughout the series. She found herself in a place this season where she no longer had powers. And then she’s presented with a new set of abilities that she has to explore.
Can you speak to Maria’s growth and how she’s feeling now about that side of herself and her powers?
Maria was bummed when she lost her powers. It was the one thing that was making her feel like part of the gang. That was what she contributed. So she was really bummed when she lost those powers. But now, with her new connection to Alex in the liminal space, it is a type of psychic connection.
She’s just picking up on different messages, and she’s able to do that because of how close she is to him. And that the thread of love, just someone you care so deeply about and that you know so well, is why she’s able to pick up his messages because she first thought they were coming from her mother.
So her being able to connect to Alex gives her hope that she can lead the gang to find him.
Sure. And what has been your favorite part throughout these seasons of playing Maria DeLuca?
Wow. I love Maria’s emotional journey, especially this season. I mean, having to go from losing her powers to losing her mother and now losing her best friend because she can’t find Alex.
The way that Maria deals with tragedy and loss is so fun to explore as an actor because no matter what she’s going through, she comes from a place of empowerment and never lets anything rattle her too deeply.
She stays so grounded, and it’s an interesting way to interpret tragedy. Many people don’t know how we would react if these monumental things happened in our lives. Right? Thankfully we don’t have to face them too often, but I feel like Maria takes on thing after thing, and she handles it so well.
I’ve always admired that about her. And it’s been just a joy to play someone with such grit.
Yeah, of course. I think she’s come a long way since season one. It’s been nice to see her journey, especially from then, like you said, the emotional journey.
What are three words you would use to describe the experience of filming Roswell over the past few years?
Oh, exhilarating, epic, and beautiful.
I like those words. Is there anything you can tease us about Maria’s storyline as we head into the final episodes?
Yes. I think there’s a little flirtation brewing between Maria and Dallas that we can keep an eye on. Yeah. They have an interesting dynamic where they’re friends and buddies, but that friendship has meant a lot to both of them. So we’re going to see their eyes opening to the possibility. I can’t say whether they go there or not.
I think they both are very grounding for each other. It was an exciting thing. I didn’t see it coming this season. I was like, oh, yeah, they do fit. I could see it.
Yeah. It’s been a nice surprise because they were just focused on their friendship and teaming up to find Alex and help the gang. And then they’ve also kind of been a shoulder for each other.
With the series ending, is there anything you wish you had gotten to explore a little bit more with Maria?
I don’t think so. I don’t feel like any part of her journey was missed. She got to fully flesh out the experiences that she was going through.
I would say the one thing I would’ve thought would’ve been included would just maybe have been more on her mom’s passing. I felt like that was something she kind of went through behind the scenes.
And so yeah, I would say maybe exploring that a little bit, but I feel like the connection came in different ways, and it ended up being Alex, which keeps the storyline going. You can’t dwell on things too long for TV, but yeah. I guess that would be it.
How do you hope that Roswell, New Mexico will be remembered?
More than the aliens, the kitsch of it all, I guess. But I think what people are going to remember is the relationships, the love, and the connection, whether they were alien or not. I think that people are going to remember the love between all of the characters. I think that was really strong.
Roswell, New Mexico airs on Mondays 8/7c on The CW.
***This interview has been edited for length and clarity.***
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.