'The Village' premiere: 'One Tree Hill' alum Michaela McManus says 'surprise is in store' on the upcoming NBC family drama

MEAWW sits for an exclusive interview with Michaela McManus, who tells us about the "joyful" experience of playing Sarah, a nurse and single mother

                            'The Village' premiere: 'One Tree Hill' alum Michaela McManus says 'surprise is in store' on the upcoming NBC family drama

If you are wondering why you haven't heard much about NBC's upcoming family drama 'The Village,' which will take over the time slot of 'This is Us' after its season 3 finale wrap up, it's mainly because the show is hush-hush about giving away spoilers and, as Michaela McManus confirms, a "surprise is in store."

The upcoming show has already drawn massive comparisons with Mandy Moore's 'This is Us,' due to striking similarity of these two family-themed dramas. However, we are assured that 'The Village' will have a standout identity of its own because McManus tells us so.

In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, the star of the show, who plays the role of a nurse and a single mother, Sarah, says that the show is about a "big, sweeping family" and will have the viewers "laughing through tears."

View this post on Instagram

Village people. ❤️ @nbcthevillage

A post shared by Michaela McManus (@michaelamcmanus) on


'The Village' follows the residents of an apartment building in Brooklyn and the character descriptions of the show reads heavy with ICE threats and other struggles we face today.

Besides Sarah, we meet Gabe, a young law student, Ava, who must secure the future of her young, US-born son when ICE comes knocking and Nick, a veteran who's returned from war. Ron and Patricia, are said to be the "heart and soul" of the building and their story will interweave into a hopeful and heartwarming message that family is everything. 

For McManus, playing the role of Sarah was a "joyful" experience because she could relate so much to her. "As a mother myself, I really connected with her. Sarah’s tough, independent and resilient with an open heart. She’s someone who has to work really hard to support herself and her daughter and I think that makes her a character a lot of people can relate to," says the 35-year-old actress.

McManus shot to fame with her role of Lindsey Strauss on cult-favorite 'One Tree Hill' in 2008, and she went on to secure roles on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,' NBC's 'Aquarius' among others. Considering herself lucky to have played a plethora of characters on television, the actress added that she "rarely gets to play a character who develops over the course of a season and who is in the middle of so many emotional changes in her life."

Playing the role of Sarah has ticked that rarity off her list as it's been a "welcomed challenge." But the most challenging part of playing a nurse, who is also a single mother, was understanding that Sarah is in the middle of a personal crisis when we meet her.

"There’s a full spectrum of emotions so every day I get to work on some incredible material thanks to our talented writers," shares McManus and adds, "The most challenging part about playing Sarah is also the most rewarding."

What you can expect out of season one is the real-life echo of human stories that are relatable and truthful. "Our show is simple in concept, but I think it’s very impactful with an overall message that “we’re all in this together," McManus affirms.

However, what's even more interesting is that the message preached on the show travel pasts its setscast and crew, who see themselves as a family. "We’re often meeting up on the weekends for brunch, lunch, dinner, whatever. When we spend crazy hours all week together and still want to hang out on the weekends - that’s a true testament of how much we all genuinely like each other," McManus says.

Perhaps that itself is reflected on NBC's upcoming show.

Michaela McManus attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Michaela McManus attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.


Though we are used to seeing the Rhode Island actress on our TV screens, she recently shot a movie with her brothers, Kevin and Matt McManus, titled 'The Block Island Sound.' "We shot it back in Rhode Island where we grew up. We used to make movies together when we were kids so it was a full circle moment and I’m extremely proud of it."

Before saying our goodbyes, I had a fan moment and asked the actress a 'One Tree Hill' question. "Who do you think should have ideally ended up with Lucas? Brooke, Lindsey or Peyton?" I asked. "I’ll always treasure my time on One Tree Hill. I loved that experience and am still close with a bunch of the cast. Who should Lucas have ended up with? I think it all unfolded exactly as it should have," she concluded.

'The Village' premieres on NBC on March 19 at 10/9C.