Gwen Strickland has had it rough lately. Not only did she not get the lead role in Spring Awakening to Lillette Suarez, her dad has been cheating on her mom with Lillette’s mom. It hasn’t been easy for Gwen to cope with all the drama going on in life, but she has found some solace in Gordy. However, in the May 1 episode of Rise, Gwen decided to break things off with Gordy.
HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Amy Forsyth, who plays Gwen, about whether or not Gwen and Gordy’s relationship is over for good. Plus, is Gwen going to be able to forgive her dad for straying again? Even though they’re caught up in a messy web of drama, Amy thinks Gwen and Lillette could be friends one day. Everything is going to culminate into a show-stopping season finale, airing May 15, that will blow you away. Check out our full Q&A with Amy below!
Do you think Gwen can forgive her dad? Is that going to be a long road for them?
Amy Forsyth: I definitely think it’s going to be a long road, but ultimately, he’s family and there’s a lot of love there. Forgiveness is definitely something that I think is in their future, it’s just going to take some time.
Do you think she ultimately wants him back in the house or is she slowly starting to see the clearer picture of what may be best?
Amy Forsyth: I think that’s a little bit further down the road. She’s in high school, she’s young, she’s at a time in her life where she can be selfish and should be focusing on what makes her happy and her career. I think the idea of understanding her dad’s point of view is a little out of touch for her right now. I think that’s something we understand as we get a little older. We realize our parents are just human beings and make mistakes, too. I think right now she’s just too hurt to see that. Living together is definitely not in the near future, if at all.
Do you think Lillette and Gwen could ever be friends?
Amy Forsyth: I definitely see a world where they could be friends. In last week’s episode where Gwen says, “Just ask your mom,” I thought that was a really nice moment. Even though she’s angry when she tells Lillette, it’s not a “this is your fault.” It’s a “Hey, we’re both going through this, and I realized this is still going on and you should know, too.” It’s almost a plea in a weird, subtle way. I do see a world in which they are friends, but similar to Gwen and her dad, it’s going to take some time.
In last week’s episode, Gwen decides to cool things down with Gordy. Do you think she’s serious about this? Or will they find their way back to each other?
Amy Forsyth: I think it could go either way. I really loved how quickly she almost changed her mind. I think so often in TV and film you see it’s the guy that says they should slow things down. I thought that was really special that they had Gwen do that. Women experience that, too. It’s not just something that men experience. I think speaking to being a young woman and being unsure of what your life looks like and where you’re at, I think is an honest thing. It’s open-ended, but I like how she’s so lost. It’s not to say that she didn’t have a good time. She really did have a special time with him, but she’s not in a place to start anything.
What can you tease about the finale?
Amy Forsyth: In the final episode all hell breaks loose in the best and worst ways. It’s a pretty emotional episode, as it should be.
Is there another play or musical you’d like to see the show tackle?
Amy Forsyth: Yes, I would love to see a show that has a really large ensemble because we do as a cast. I would love to see a show like Into the Woods or The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with a large number of roles for our large cast, so everyone could be featured. You start to hear some of the voices of our ensemble towards the end.
The show has reached so many people, what’s it been like for you as a young woman to be a role model and tackle such important issues facing our youth?
Amy Forsyth: I think whenever you create something you hope that it has a positive effect on people, and ultimately, if it has a positive effect on one person, then you’ve done your job. It’s been really special to see the number of people this show has touched and the outreach that we have. I think Jason [Katims] is fantastic at telling honest, true, human stories, and it’s such an honor to be a part of something that touches on so many issues that aren’t just adult issues, they’re human issues that people deal with at all ages.