Sweet Magnolias: Heather Headley Shares Helen's IVF Journey & Deepening Relationship with Erik

at .

Heather Headley is a talented Broadway actress, singer, and television actress. She has appeared on Netflix's Sweet Magnolias since 2020, and this season we got to hear her sing.

The series is based on Sherryl Woods' best-selling book series, and Sweet Magnolias Season 2 brought even more challenges for best friends Helen, Dana Sue, and Maddie.

TV Fanatic chatted with Heather and shared Helen's emotional IVF arc, her blossoming romance with Chef Erik, and her genuine connection with her co-stars.

Heather Headley Press Photo - Sweet Magnolias

Hello Heather. It's great to talk to you. I'm a big fan. I love your emotional arcs on Sweet Magnolias. What has been your favorite to play?

I use this word carefully, Laura, to say it was fun because I know its arc is not fun for many women. I know it's very tough for them. That's what we wanted to show. I was very humbled that they would ask me to do that arc for her.

It was challenging and fun as a performer and a woman who was in that situation at one point. I'm glad that Miss Helen was like, come on, Heather. Let's take a ride here, and we'll be okay.

Yes, that was one of my favorites this season. Helen always focuses so much on other people, but this season, she went on an emotional rollercoaster with having a miscarriage and dealing with IVF.

Miscarriage - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 3

Right? Helen always takes care of everyone else. As the girls say, it's her superpower. Now, something has landed in her lap that is tragic for her in many ways, but I think it's a beautiful thing that the girls come together for her as well.

I think they always come together for each other. It's just beautiful that the Magnolias can pick Helen up and now not just the girls, but the extension of maybe Eric coming to her rescue, you know, to pick her up, which he's done before. He's always kind of the knight in shining armor to some extent.

But I'm pleased to see that Helen allows herself to have that moment of peace just for people to take care of her because, for a long time, she's taking care of everyone else. And now I'm sure Laura, you've been in these situations before where you have no choice but to be taken care of.

You're at that point in your life you have to lean on someone because this is too much of a burden to bear alone. So I think in that case, it's great to have some good girlfriends to come alongside you.

In Time of Need - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 3

I liked how Helen and Eric's relationship has changed. He's always been there for her in times of crisis. What has been your favorite part about moving from friends to being a couple?

It was great to explore that with Dion. I was not privy, of course, seeing everything in the first season because I would leave. I think many of Eric's natural reactions to Helen are behind her back. I knew he liked her, but it was different when I watched the show myself that I realized he wanted her. It was adorable. You don't know.

I think that's what happens in life as well. You leave the room, and you don't know that this person's falling for you, or you're falling for them. It was beautiful to see how much he has been pining for her and wanting to explore something more profound with her, especially after his tragedy and what a tragedy that is.

It was so sweet for him to say, this is the woman, this is the person that can move me forward. So it's great to explore that after he likes her and then see where they would go during the season.

Needless to say, Eric has a few ghosts in his past, and I don't know how that will affect or enhance their relationship, especially with you know who coming back as well in the end.

Sparks Fly - Sweet Magnolias

I will say that you and Dion ooze chemistry. What is it like working with him?

Dion is such a gentleman. He is easy to be with and work with. On the other side, Dion is such a daddy and a husband to his wife. He loves her dearly. I think it's easier for me to even be with a guy because I adore my husband and love my family.

I'm more comfortable with him because he is in love with his wife and that love he has for her. I'm just getting a smidgen of it. I love seeing him and how he talks about her and how he talks about his family. It's effortless to be around a person with that deep affection for their soul mate.

As an actor, he's just passionate about it and comes very prepared. He wants to share. He's one of those people that you love working off of because he's there for you, trying to make it better. He's willing to try new things or practice different elements.

Sometimes, some people don't go that far with you, but he is open and giving. It's easy to have this arc and this journey with him. He makes it easy. I hope I make it easier on him as well.

Unexpected proposal - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 10

And as you mentioned, an old love returned. Did you even suspect there would be a surprise proposal in those finale cliffhangers?

No, ma'am. Sheryl Anderson is our showrunner, and she's the one that knows everything on the show. She knows the characters, and she knows where they're going. Sheryl knows the histories of all of them. But, she keeps a secret like nobody. We didn't know who was in the car. She wouldn't tell us until I opened my script.

I opened my script as fast as some ladies would queue up the first episode because I wanted to know since she keeps the secrets so well. I remember I asked her what was happening with Ryan. Is he ever coming back? And she would never say anything. She would say he was going to return at the end. So I had no idea.

I didn't know how soon he was coming back. I didn't know his aunt had to die for him to come back. I just knew he would show up at some point, and I wanted to ensure that it would be a conflict with this relationship.

She wrote that this relationship with Eric would blossom and conflict with that. I remember reading the end, and I'm turning the page, realizing I'm the cliffhanger.

Last season, I had people socially distanced yelling at me, wanting to know who was in the car accident. This time it's on my shoulders. I am sure that there will be a ton of screams within the next month as people get to the 10th episode. I'm included because I have no idea what Helen will do or who Helen will choose.

At the Memorial - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 10

I'm rooting for Erik.

Are you rooting for Erik? See, there is a Team Erik and a Team Ryan. Many people are rooting for Ryan too. I'm Team Heather. I have no idea.

I am rooting for Erik. I love Helen and Erik.

They are charming together. I watched the show the other day, and it's a sweet relationship. History is tricky, and when you have a history with someone like Ryan, it presents some problems. I was talking to somebody that I think it's history versus the future.

She has a history with Ryan, which is so deep and strong. They've loved each other for decades. Then, there is this possible future with Eric, who has his own ghosts things that he needs to work through. But who is she going to pick?

Helen and Ryan - Sweet Magnolias

I hope we get a Season 3 to find out. Do you think Helen will be forced to choose between having a relationship or a child?

Great question. Both men are presenting that now that she can have it all. The question is which man. Who is she feeling? Now Ryan is coming back and saying he wants to have children.

I think Eric is very open to that, too. I don't think she'll have to choose between the man and the child. I think the choice will be what her body does, and that's a whole other thing by itself.

Even as I watched the show, I'm so proud that it recognizes and discusses issues that we have in our homes as women, and this is one of them, women who want to have a baby but can't have a baby. Women that miscarry. Women that don't have enough eggs. Women who worry about getting older and how it's going to work.

I love the fact that it's addressed, and it's tragic and ugly because there's an ugliness to it, and it hurts, and it's painful, but there is another side to it. We'll see what choices Helen has to make.

Baby Mine - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 2

Yes, your story has been so touching, especially since Helen has always been so good with the kids on sweet Magnolias, from the guest stars to the teens that play Annie and Ty and CeCe. It seems like you always want to mentor the next generation.

Yeah, I've always loved that line when she talked to the parents' sister who has died, and she's trying to place the two girls in the first season. Helen says that she's an aunt and a god mommy to some fantastic children, and I know she takes that seriously. She has loved those children as they have grown up.

This season. I cannot tell you how fun and fantastic that day was to have those moments with Carson, to play with him as an actor, but as a friend too, and to have those moments with him. I loved that he would run to his Aunt Helen to some extent to talk. I hope to be that person and continue to be that person for my children.

I love that she does mentor them, such as mentoring Cece career-wise and seeing her through that and mentoring her as an aunt in a lady and now Ty. She's a good egg that Helen. I'd like to have a good auntie Helen in my life.

Helen and Ty discuss relationships - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 9

You're so good with the kids. And of course, I love the friendships on the show, which is the heart of the series. How have you, Joanna, and Brooke formed such a genuine connection?

I think credit goes to the women. They're different women – Joanna and Brooke, but yet we can sit and talk and commiserate and laugh, and giggle, and hold each other accountable on certain things.

We can tell each other when we did great, not just when we do a scene but the way we handled the situation or, as a mommy or as a friend, or as a sister to hold each other up as in Helen Maddie and Dana Sue and Heather, Brooke, and Joanna.

When we first started this, I needed a significant point because I understood that we would have a deep relationship, and I tried not to go in being effusive and in love with them. I wanted to fall in love with them.

I had to act for the first few times I met them on the show when we did the margarita nights because they weren't best friends at that point.

Celebrating Helen's News - Sweet Magnolias

As in Heather Brooke and Joanna, we, the women, had just met. How do you take this to 20 or 30 years of friendship, but I said to myself, I said, you know, I don't want to go in and say," I love you. We're going to be the best of friends. "And then two weeks later, it doesn't work out.

I wanted to organically fall in love with these women and be friends with them. By the first Margarita night in Season 1, I looked around that table at the two of them and thought I genuinely l liked them. It's been that way ever since.

There are days that we can sit together in a room and read our books and not speak knowing we're good, and then there are other days that we can sit and talk about everything.

It's been great to share this time with them, as Joanna and Brooke, and as Maddie and Dana Sue, because it is a beautiful relationship, and I hope that I can foster such a relationship with some friends of mine. I think it's such a great thing for all women to have such friends to dinner to lean on.

Pour it out - Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 1

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Our cast worked so hard, from our showrunners and producers to crew. We filmed for four and a half months. We were tested almost every day. I was tested because we were doing it during the pandemic.

There were times that I didn't know some of the crew's faces without masks on because they always had to wear their masks and always with their shields so that we could be in the room, and they worked hard.

There were some hot days where those guys would be outside, even in their masks, trying to keep us safe, but still do the work, and I'm just grateful for them. I'm thankful for our cast the work that went into it.

Everybody tried to remain healthy and responsible during a challenging time, but I could not have thought about doing it with any other group of people. They were just all sweet. It's now a labor of love to be handed back to the fans.

Heather Headley, Dion Johnstone & crew - Sweet Magnolias

We hope that even after they have to wait a bit, they will be happy with it. I hope the fans will feel all the love and work that came from our side, but I do think they deserved it.. I'm just grateful, highly humbled, and unbelievably blessed that we've had such a great reception to the show.

We're excited. For example, everybody keeps great grilling me about who's in the car, and I keep telling them that's the least of their worries.

It is. It kicks off some of the drama, but that's the least of it.

I keep telling people they will not remember who's in the car. The season gets messy. Don't worry. It'll be fine.

Sweet Magnolias Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: , ,

Sweet Magnolias Quotes

Annie, come here baby. Obviously, we have to talk, but I want you to know that I love you and I'm so grateful that you're okay.

Dana Sue

They were very lucky tonight.