In the three episodes of Kendra released so far, Sarah Jones has played the leading lady as a stoic nurse in a dimly lit operating room where the drug Versed has caused a patient to tell his wife he’s cheating on her with a prostitute. The wife, Macy, asks Kendra for advice. Kendra is used to being invisible in what she calls “the twilight room,” so when she’s asked for an opinion or facts about her own life, it’s a different kind of day for her on the job.
“I almost feel like being in that recovery room sort of helps her kind of stay low and keep anything that she might have to deal with at bay,” Jones said. “I think there’s this odd kind of protection she feels in that room because that room is all about the patient and whoever is in that room is about that patient whether it be a loved one or a family member or whoever is in there with that patient and the focus is completely off of her. For the most part no one really cares about who she is or what her life’s about. And I think that she feels safe in knowing that.”
A war veteran, we see that Kendra has a photo of herself with another woman as the background of her phone, but we won’t find out more about that woman until later on in the series. Instead, the first few episodes focus on Kendra’s job and meeting of Macy, who feels connected to Kendra because she’s there with her for her husband’s drug-induced secret-spilling.
“She sees this sort of innocence in Macy and she seems friendly and cares about this person who is in the room,” Jones said. “And I think that because of Kendra’s experiences with someone that she loved and knowing the weight of something being misunderstood and the consequences that can have if you don’t, if you’re not honest with yourself and someone that you love, I think she is sort of sympathetic to Macy and knows that she’s the only one, really, that Macy can talk to because Kendra was the only one that was there when Macy’s husband was saying the things that he’s saying.”
It’s quite a load to take on, but it hints at Kendra’s own troubled life, which will unfold every Monday and Friday when new episodes are released as part of the eight part series. Jones said she was given the script by creator Jon Avnet, who she couldn’t turn down, even if she didn’t love the script as much as she did.
“Obviously if someone like Jon Avnet comes to you and says ‘Hey I’ve got a script for you,’ you’re gonna wanna read it,” Jones said. “And so I read the series and I really liked it. I really liked the story, I really liked the characters in the stories and i liked the concept and foundation of it, which is following this woman that has to deal with these patients in a kind of completely different way or in a state of surrealism and how that affects her on a day-to-day basis.”
The drug the patients are on in Kendra’s twilight room, Versed, is used before medical procedures or anesthesia for surgery, but the side affect is temporary memory loss — and speaking quite freely.
“The thing about Versed is that you for, they’ll tell you that for the next 15-20 minutes after the person’s recovered, don’t let them make phone calls don’t let them have any conversations — they won’t remember what happens in that next 15 minutes,” Jones said. And that drug will come into play as the series continues.
Being a part of WIGS has been a great experience for Jones, though, despite the somewhat depressing circumstances her character may be in.
“These incredible sets the crew comes up with it almost felt like we were in a warehouse instead of a proper studio,” Jones said. “They come up with these makeshift sets and you could come into work that day and there are four other series for WIGS being shot. … There was this sort of camaraderie between everybody — cast, crew, whoever — that we were making something and kind of pioneering into uncharted territory and that would mean everybody was going to have to give 110 percent and there was something just really special about that. So I would think that’s the only difference. People were there because they were passionate about it and not because it was their job.”
As of today’s new episode, Kendra has a moment with another nurse, Leslie, played by Sydney Poitier, and things take a turn for the interesting.
Check back soon for Part 2 of our interview with Sarah Jones about Kendra.