Maybe it's Maya's time to shine.
Danielle Savre's character, bisexual firefighter Maya Bishop, has been part of the colorful ensemble of Station 19, the Grey's Anatomy spin-off now in its second season on ABC.
Maya is Savre's first lead role on network TV. Previously the actress/singer had starred on the MTV music drama Kaya and the TLC drama Too Close to Home.
Maya spent much of Station 19 Season 1 serving as an enabler for her best friend, Andrea “Andy” Herrera, one of the station's two lieutenants, along with Jack Gibson, Andy's ex-boyfriend.
This season Maya, a former Olympic gold medalist in the 1,000 meters, is stepping up. On the recommendation of Chief Ripley and Captain Sullivan, Maya applied for and got promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Only intervention by Sullivan with the chief kept Maya from being transferred to another station.
Also, she and Andy are living together, which has complicated an already complex relationship that stretched back to the Fire Academy.
Talking with TV Fanatic before filming starts at Studio City, Savre chatted about her character's abilities and fears and what's ahead for Maya and the rest of the squad during the remainder of Station 19 Season 2.
How did you become involved with Station 19?
I just went on an audition, actually. A show I had been doing with Tyler Perry on TLC (Too Close to Home) had ended, and I had just found it wasn't being picked for a third season.
I'd been on that show for two years, went to South Africa to film a movie, and when that other show didn't get picked up, I flew back to L.A. and Station 19 was the first one I auditioned for.
I thought there's no way I'm going to book this, but it's good to get back into the game and start auditioning again. I went through four auditions, thinking that they like me, but I'm not the one for the role. Then I booked it, to my surprise.
How would you describe Maya?
Passionate, competitive, driven and loyal. She loves her job; she loves life.
That's one of the things I loved about her on the page was that every day this girl wakes up and is like “What can I do to make myself a better person? How can I enjoy the day to the fullest?
She seems to always live by that for the most part. I enjoy playing that.
Does firefighting give Maya the adrenaline rush which being an Olympic athlete used to?
Absolutely. I think she thrives off that. I think that's part of her getting up every day having to succeed at something. When she was running, when she was an Olympian, it was all for herself. It was all very selfish.
I think eventually we'll delve into that and how she had to get away from that since it felt so unfulfilling. Firefighting gives her that same adrenaline kick, but she's doing it for other people now. It's very selfless.
How has Maya's relationship with Andy evolved through the years? Is it a love-annoyance relationship?
I think all close friendships are that way.
The closest friends that I have in my life are the ones that, one second, I absolutely love, that I need to spend every second with, that I'll go on vacation with, or we live with each other, like Andy and I do, and the next second, I need a break from you, a good 48 hours away from you, because you're driving me crazy.
It's almost like a sibling dynamic when you become that close.
Maya and Andy have a bond that can't be broken, no matter what. They also get on each other's nerves once in a while.
The first season was really showing the very competitive side of their relationship. This season is showing the sisterly love they have, and the fact they're living together brings that out more.
What did becoming a lieutenant mean to Maya?
I think she was pretty scared about that. Maya really loved being the cheerleader to Andy in Season 1.
So when she got put in the lieutenant position, she felt like she was being more competitive than she wanted to be.
She doesn't mind being competitive with herself, but she didn't want to bring out that competitiveness with other people, especially her best friend, maybe with her and Jack but not with her and Andy.
I think she was nervous to see where it would lead and that fact that she might have to move to another station, which she almost did. I think she's now excited about it and the potential it has, but she's still a little scared about it.
She's been a cheerleader so long that she wonders “How much can I lead? If I'm going to lead, I need to be the best leader.” And that means competing with Andy.
There's a lot of caution about being a lieutenant that Maya faces. We'll see the ups and downs of that.
On the last episode, Maya took charge of the quarantine scene. Why was that an important development for her?
It was a perfect example of her being in a situation where she had to lead. She saw Jack faltering a little bit, and he wasn't at the top of his game.
She didn't believe he was ready to be back, so she had to step up, she had to 100 percent get in and take control right then, or this is all going to go really bad really quickly.
And she did. She got the chance to prove to herself, “OK. I can do this; I can lead.” And I think she loved it, which might be a good thing or a bad thing.
Sullivan has come back friendlier after his near-death experience. What will that mean for the squad?
I think it's going to be good for the entire family, the entire squad because we're not going to be complaining about him as much. It provides a lot of humor because you get to see him struggle so hard to be friendly with us.
Season 1 was about showing how bad-ass firefighters are. Season 2 is about showing the intricacies of why we're willing to run into a burning building for each other.
We're supposed to be this big family, but why would we run into a building to save Sullivan or would he run into a building to save us?
With him becoming nicer and friendlier, you're getting to see that even if he's strict or can be a Grinch sometimes, he's still worth fighting for and would put his life on the line for us.
Maya is one of the few bisexual characters on broadcast TV. She got together with Jack last episode. Was that a one-time thing because they had faced death together or will it continue?
We will have to find out. Maya is a kind of sexually free character, which I love playing. This is a huge dilemma she's in because Jack is Andy's ex-boyfriend/almost ex-fiance. So it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out.
I don't see Maya ever being in just one relationship. I don't know how much she believes in monogamy. Even if it continues with Jack, would it ever be serious? I don't think so. We'll have to find out if it even continues with Jack.
What else can fans expect from Maya the rest of the season?
You're going to see a lot of her having to deal with what she did. This is not something that is going to go away overnight. The fact that she did hook up with Jack is going to weigh heavily on her.
How it's going to unfold is going to be interesting to watch. What's going to happen to her and Andy's friendship, how tainted is it going to be from this?
You're going to see a lot more of the complexities of Maya's various relationships. There will be a lot of emotion. Be prepared to cry.
Do you have any other projects you'd like to mention?
I did a short film with Sarah Drew, Kelly McCreary, and Jake Borelli called A Cohort of Guests, which I was so lucky to be a part of with that gang of people. That's making the festival circuit and getting a great response.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.