Entertainment Television

Anne Heche 3.0 emerges on The Brave

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

Anne Heche is a feat of constant reinvention, from daytime star to network TV. Heche is now starring in acclaimed military thriller, The Brave. NBC

Anne Heche is a feat of constant reinvention, from daytime star to network TV. Heche is now starring in acclaimed military thriller, The Brave. NBC

She's considered one of the greatest actors to grace daytime television.

From 1987-1991, Anne Heche captivated audiences with her gritty and transcendent role of twins Vicky and Marley Love on one of Canada's most popular U.S. soaps ever, NBC's Another World. Just as she left to embark on a bright future in Hollywood, Heche scored a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress.

After slaying all mediums and parts for the past three decades, Heche is back on NBC in a gritty new role as Patricia Campbell, the deputy director of the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency, on The Brave. The military drama is garnering rave reviews - and so is Heche's performance.

It's a timely series given the current political realities we're all facing with the alt-right movement and international tensions - and Heche is up to the challenge.

24 Hours spoke with the 48-year-old Gemini to chat about her return to network TV, her handsome Canadian life partner and her groundbreaking history as a sexual fluid person.

Why do you seem to resonate on network TV?

I like it a lot. I connect with characters - and maybe part of it is because I come from the soap world - and I think viewers like watching me tell the truth of a story. I've been blessed with all the characters I've played in my career but what's unique about this show is it allows me to push myself to be a better artist. I wanted to move to an area as an actor where I could tackle global issues, stories and characters.

(Partially joking) I was kind of hoping you'd join a cable network - mainly because I want you to swear and be naked!

(Laughs) I've always loved cable too but with The Brave, NBC is saying we are competing -and we're doing a show like no other right now. NBC is going to bust open the doors and have people really want to watch The Brave with the coolness factor cable has. Network TV still has the most reach in terms of audiences so I'm proud I'm working on NBC. The Brave is being made as spectacular as it can be and is.

NBC/Global has been making some great programming moves with the Will & Grace reboot and creating new diverse shows like Superstore. This fall season, there seems to be a military/intelligence trend happening with a lot of new shows. Is that a response to the political crossroads we're at right now?

There's gravity in the air that needs to be discussed, seen and noticed. Hopefully, it can awaken the understanding in our consciousness and bring us together and stop us from breaking apart. This show isn't about who is the president of the U.S. Our military still protects us ... we have to start telling their stories so we can understand what people sacrifice for our freedom of speech and rights; and how many other countries we're bonded with in an effort to create peace.

Well, if things ever get super bad down there, you can just move here! Your partner James Tupper is Canadian ...

I love Canada. I've shot so many movies and TV shows there. My husband was voted Sexiest Man in Canada so it's a win-win. I think I got the best Canadian. He's a boy from Nova Scotia - it's a big deal to watch his rise from the early days of his career to him standing on the Emmy stage a couple of weeks ago with the cast of Big Little Lies when they accepted (Best Limited Drama Series). I know it's exciting for other Canadians to see other Canadians succeeding. As an American, it's exciting for me too! It's just too bad about his looks! (Laughs) It's really rough to get up with him in the morning.

As a parent of two sons (Homer, 15, and Atlas, 8), do you worry about the world they will inherit or do you have hope?

I'm here to say we have hope! That's exactly what I represent. Our children are being raised to learn to stand up not only for themselves but also the communities they live in. And what we're really seeing is a new generation being built of really strong voices and people demanding peace.

Social media and technology are advancing so fast - does that give you concern?

It's incredible! My eight-year-old tells me what to do on the phone - even though I (ironically) play someone who knows more about technology than anyone in the world! I play catch-up. I'm in a different generation. I'm learning to enjoy social media rather than reject it - which I don't want to do because I want to embrace anything that can help my art. Kids use technology and social media differently than adults, but no matter how we use it, like anything in life, you need boundaries but it's a cool part of the culture.

One thing I admire about you is - long before it was socially cool or even accepted - you were a pioneer in standing up for sexual fluidity during your relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.

Thank you. It was one of the proudest things I have ever stood up for. One of the things that earned me the role of Patricia is that despite people telling me I was doing the right or wrong thing, I was following my gut and truth. Being an advocate for gender or sexual rights, I think helped the creator of The Brave cast me because they knew they needed a voice of truth to play Patricia. That's why I feel like I was put here to play Patricia Campbell.

The Brave airs Mondays on NBC and Global.