Burden of Truth: Kristin Kreuk Talks About Joanna's Journey and What Viewers Can Learn From The Show

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Kristin Kreuk is well known to fans of The CW fans for her roles on Smallville and Beauty and the Beast. She now stars in and produces CBCs Burden of Truth.

This show is so good that after airing in Canada, The CW scooped up the right to air it in America during their summer season. Burden of Truth Season 3, which premiered in Canada back in January, premieres on The CW on May 21, 2020.

As someone who has been following the show since the beginning, I can say that it is phenomenal; I am very excited to see what they come up with this season. But you guys don't care what I have to say about the show; You want to hear what Kristin Kreuk has to say.

Burden of Truth banner photo

This very talented young woman was kind enough to answer some questions about the show and her character, Joanna Chang.

What do you think distinguishes Burden of Truth from other legal shows?

Yeah, from the legal shows I've seen, I think our show, obviously all legal shows are different, but I do think our show is a lot about family and the fallout of cases and about how it affects people over periods of time.

So we tend to look at, its less about the legalities of the case and more about what happens to the people who are affected by cases. 

Joanna and Billy at the Reunion - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 1

Are any of the cases Joanna and Billy take on based on real-life cases?

Yeah, they all are based on things that have happened.

Obviously, I can't mention the real cases for legal reasons, but yeah, if you go through the news.

A lot of it's Canadian as opposed to American ones, but they are all issues that are happening in our lives on a regular basis.

Joanna reassures Kodie - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 2

The show spent a lot of time last season, and it seems like this season, focusing on the prejudice and discrimination against Indigenous Canadians. Is there a reason for that being such a focal point? 

It is a very big deal in Canada. There's a lot of racism towards indigenous people, and a lot of indigenous voices are not heard. And you know when you're looking at inequity and prejudice, particularly here, you have to look at how the indigenous people have been treated.

And what we have looked at a lot, and not all the cases are about that, but it's really important for us to look at that particularly. We're looking at kids being taken away from mothers or parents.

That happens disproportionately in Canada, and it happens with indigenous families more than others by far.

Joanna and Billy at Court - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 1

How do you feel the aspects of Canadian culture that come up, like the one you just mentioned, will resonate with CW's American audience?

Yeah, I feel like you guys have the same issues in a slightly different variation. Although your laws are very different, we share a lot of our culture.

I don't know if Americans see it in the same way, but we very much came to define ourselves always in relationship to you. And our societies are, you know, democratic and of course are similar.

So yeah, I mean, you guys also struggle with racism, and in all likelihood, kids are getting taken away from families that are racialized before they're getting taken from families that are white.

So I think that there is a lot that we share ... with communities struggling to rebuild because they've lost their industry. I think it's all shared.

Joanna Defends Her Need To Defend - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 2

I'm also seeing it seems like you're addressing some mental health things now; the panic attacks Joanna's having, Luna's PTSD moment at the jail. Why is the show choosing to address that now, and how deeply are they planning to go into it?

I think that the characters have gone through an amount of trauma. Joanna's having panic attacks because her life is falling apart.

We won't address the PTSD and the panic attacks with, you know, therapy sessions necessarily, but they are a part of these characters' lives.

Luna has gone through a horrific experience, and she has to retread ground by going back into the jail where she was arrested in. And that's going to be something that she deals with and Joanna too.

I don't know how to answer how much we'll explore it except for its part of our characters' journey.

Joanna and Billy Prep For A Case - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 1

How do you feel Joanna's character has changed from the person we met in Burden of Truth Season 1 to the person she is now?

Joanna's changed a lot. I think that she is a much more open person. She has questioned her values and what she thinks life and living should be about. And she's on a quest to find meaning and purpose of her existence.

And I think part also to make amends for both her own choices from the past, and also her father's, and also to differentiate herself from him.

So I think where we met her day one of season one and where she is day one of season three is vastly different as she tries so hard to be a healthy, functioning human being, which is working better than it used to be but its still difficult for her. 

Joanna Chang 3x01 - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 1

I noticed that they seem to be focusing on her difficulty in connecting with kids. What do you think it is about kids that she has trouble connecting with?

I think she has trouble connecting with many people, and I think with kids, she's just not used to them. Joanna's never been around kids. At that point in the story, she's terrified of the possibility that maybe she's pregnant, so the idea of them and motherhood is a lot for her.

Kids are like, kind of like truth magnets, and I think that's scary for Joanna too. She just has no idea how to relate because she's not a normal -- so she just doesn't like things that she perceives as normal things. So she feels out of place, whether that's with her coworkers or with children. It's hard really for her.

I noticed that each season starts with a one-year time jump. Is there any reason for that?

Well, mostly, we don't like to pick up right where we left off. Being here eight months is kind of irrelevant, but lives go on without drama for periods of time. Things are good for a while, and because it's a TV show, the drama kind of kicks in at a certain point.

Billy Kisses Joanna - Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 2

And with law, it can take a long time to build, and obviously, we fudge that on TV all the time, especially on our show, but giving us the time to not have to like go and research and do all the stuff on a case is great.

And also, for this specific season, it allows us to jump ahead with Billy and Joanna to a part of their relationship that's, you know, a little juicier and, for me at least, a little more unique to explore.

As opposed to the "honeymoon phase"?

Correct, yeah.

The Molly character from Burden of Truth Season 1 and the beginning of Burden of Truth Season 2, we haven't seen her in a while; they sort of wrote her out. Is she ever going to pop up again?

She is in Joanna's mind this season, but she doesn't physically show up. Should we have a fourth season, she will most likely be present.

Kristin Kreuk Burden of Proof

And is there talk about a fourth season? Do we know anything yet?

It's a tough time right now for networks or broadcast networks in our case too to make decisions on that front. We were supposed to find out and we couldn't because it's too crazy with the pandemic.

Understandable. What do you want people to take away from the show? Like when they walk away when it's over, what do you want them to be thinking and feeling and learning? 

I want them to be able to have hope for themselves, and their lives, and believe that change is possible and that healing is possible.

And that even though it's often difficult, and uncomfortable that it can be worth it in the end and indeed often is. Although it may not look the way you thought it would look.

There are ways to through the trauma to beautiful, loving experiences with people whatever that looks like for each individual.

I want them to come out of it believing in family; whether that's chosen family or your own given family, there are people out there that you can love and that can love you back.

Burden of Truth Season 3 premieres tonight on The CW.

Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..

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Burden of Truth Quotes

Juries like blue. Brings out your eyes

Joanna

Joanna: We want the jury to think this could happen to them.
Billy: Play on their fear.
Joanna: But not too hard or we'll lose them. Stay likable.
Billy: I am likable.
Joanna: Jury's still out, Crawford.
Billy: I'm more likable than you.
Joanna: Well, that is a very low bar.