I was a little anxious, but I wanted to do it right.
Mackenzie Booth of Home and Away will be seen in a dramatic episode on UK television next week, when she is rushed to hospital in excruciating pain.
Mac, who is currently pregnant with Ari Parata’s child, collapses at home when no one is there to assist her. She is not discovered until the next morning, when her brother Dean Thompson arrives to check on her.
Doctors diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, which has resulted in a ruptured fallopian tube, at the hospital. Mac is rushed to the hospital for surgery, but the pregnancy cannot be saved.
Emily Weir, who plays Mac, recently spoke with Digital Spy about the emotional plotline.
When did you first learn about this plot?
A month or two before it all came to fruition, the producers approached me and let me know that they were plotting it, and then I worked with Wendy, our nurse, and her husband, who is a doctor, and we planned the pain.
I consulted with the director and did a lot of studies on ectopic pregnancies and what happens when they happen, as well as how dangerous they can be.
We just wanted to do it justice, so we had a lot of acting and medical meetings to make sure it was as realistic as possible.
What were your first thoughts on taking on such a difficult story?
It’s a two-edged sword, to be sure. I was ecstatic, which I realise is unusual. I was ecstatic because I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this real-life experience to see what it was like.
I was anxious and clearly wanted to do it justice, but I was also ecstatic to be able to draw attention to such an important topic and a significant part of many women’s lives.
“Ectopic pregnancies affect a large number of women. At the end of the day, I believe contact with audiences is what it’s all about. I grew up watching Home and Away and knew a lot about the human condition, so I felt very fortunate to be given this opportunity.
Finally, how was it to film? Was it everything you had hoped for?
“Yes and no,” says the speaker. Actually, I was much more emotionally invested in it than I had expected. You put in a lot of work, a lot of thought, and a lot of emotion into it, and then when I got there and started filming it, it was strangely available.
I’m not sure if it’s because of my age as an actor – I’m 30 now, and many of my friends are marrying and having children. I was surprised by how well I handled the grief.
Was there some pressure on you and your team to do the story justice?
You never want to misinterpret anything, even if it’s as simple as the pain stage. When Mac is in the kitchen and the fallopian tube snaps, you must understand what the body does medically in such situations so that you do not overplay or underplay it.
The thing about ectopic pregnancy is that some women experience pain that ranges from 0% to 100%, while others experience pain that is just 40%. All else was secondary to knowing what we were doing professionally and emotionally.
Why is Mac so determined to keep Ari in the dark about what happened?
Mac’s issue, I believe, is that she does not want to be dependent on him. That, in my opinion, is the crux of the problem. He deserted her, and she has no desire to depend on him.
She needs to be self-sufficient and deal with the situation on her own. She needs to show herself that she doesn’t need him in a way that demonstrates her ability to move on from the breakup.
Mia discovers the truth at the hospital by chance. Is it difficult for Mac to deal with the fact that her love rival is aware of what’s going on?
Mia has discovered that it is difficult. Mackenzie has no reason to trust Mia, but she does warn her not to tell Ari, and oddly enough, they have a nice moment where she says ‘don’t tell him,’ and Mia agrees.
There is a mutual moment between them because Mia has experienced miscarriages and lost children before, so she empathises with Mackenzie and understands her situation. That was a fun scene to play between two women.
Mac was preparing for a termination, as we all know. What effect does this have on her feelings about the loss she’s suffered?
It’s a difficult situation because, despite the fact that Mackenzie schedules an appointment for a termination, she never receives one. It was ultimately determined in her favour. All is still up in the air until the moment comes when she is terminated, and I believe that is how she feels.
Yeah, she scheduled the appointment and made her decision, but it’s a matter of free will. Free will was also stripped away at the end of the day. Her body made the decision for her, not the world.
It’s not something she chose, and I think it’s important to note that before that happens, free will is always on the table, which it wasn’t in the end.
Do you believe Mac has reconsidered her decision to terminate her employment?
I absolutely believe she would have changed her mind if she hadn’t had an ectopic pregnancy.” That is exactly what I believe.
Could you tell us how this will impact Mac in the near future? It seems that she is on the verge of an understandable downward spiral.
Of course there is! And, boy, does she take that train all the way down! There’s a lot of sadness. All was fine until her boyfriend left, she discovered she was pregnant, her boyfriend went into a coma, he was reunited with his girlfriend, and she lost her daughter.
So there are all these tragic accidents that occur, and the pressure cooker’s release bursts. Since she doesn’t feel worthy and is in so much pain, she goes into a downward spiral in which she self-destructs, drives everyone close to her away, and severs contact with many significant relationships in her life.