Sadie Laflamme-Snow stars on Hallmark’s The Way Home as Alice, a high school student with an incredible secret.
Alice can go back to 1999, a short time before tragedy forever changed the fabric of her family.
We had the chance to chat with Sadie about being a part of the show and how Alice can carry such a massive secret on her shoulders.
Hi Sadie. Thanks so much for chatting with me today. I really appreciate it.
Hi. Thanks for having me.
This is such an exciting role for a young actress. What is it like carrying two time periods in this series on your shoulders?
Yeah, it’s been the most exciting challenge.
In terms of being an actor, in terms of just keeping both timelines straight in your mind when you’re shooting multiple episodes at the same time, trying to remember what do I know, what am I allowed to tell people, and what it means when you have knowledge about your family that could help them in the present day and help them work through what they’re going through in the present day, but you can’t possibly explain how you know these things.
That was a great challenge for me. Especially in the first or second episode, you see Alice is going through it in the present day. She’s acting out. She’s lashing out at her family, at her mom, at her grandmother, who she’s barely ever met.
She’s making life pretty hard for people, and then she ends up in this other timeline, and she is completely transformed by the warmth of what her family used to be like. She’s open, and she’s happy, and you realize that person is inside of her in the present day. She’s just got a lot of walls up.
As an actor, it’s exciting to see how both of those things can happen at the same time for one character. It was a challenge in and of itself to remember: when was I in the pond? Have I come back from the nineties? What do I know? How do I know that? So yeah, it was fantastic.
You mentioned this. Alice’s pond adventure has changed her drastically in a really short time. How hard is it for her not to be able to come right out and say it to her mom?
We saw that in the scene where Kat was angry that she had gone missing. You could see Alice was just bursting with that desire to tell her, but she didn’t do it. How is she handling that?
Yeah, I think it causes even more tension at a time when Alice is trying to put the pieces back together with her family and help her mom and help her grandmother be able to communicate with each other.
And in some ways, her time traveling can aggravate that because there are constant misunderstandings. Where has she been? Why is she lying? Why can’t she just come right out and say what she means?
When she returns from that first visit, she really thinks that everything’s going to be okay, and so for her mom to be challenging her and to not be able to tell her exactly what has happened and why she’s changed, I think, is painful for her because she wants to fix things with her mom.
But at the same time, if she tells her mom, she risks not being able to go back because you don’t really know if you could ever return somewhere like that if you tell your mom that kind of thing.
She’s so happy there, so she’s protecting that blissful world in the ’90s with her family in the past, but protecting that life is causing chaos in the present. Throughout the season, trying to navigate that is a big challenge for her.
And merely by going back in time, she’s shouldering the burden of fixing her mom’s relationship with her own mother. That seems like a lot for her to be weighing at this particularly crucial time of her life when she’s just learning to be a young woman.
For sure. Yeah, I think when she sees how happy her family was and how warm they were and how much they were looking out for each other and how much they cared about each other back in 1999, she feels, like you said, a responsibility, to do something about the current state of their relationship in the present.
I think that’s where this not being able to tell her mom about the time travel can end up complicating things because she gets in between two people with a lot of history that, even though she’s traveled back to the ’90s, she still doesn’t understand.
She will learn that history, but she’s always fumbling and getting in the way of them healing their own relationship themselves. I think there’s a balance between what she can help with and how she is sometimes getting a little bit in the way.
She had her first kiss in the past, so Alice is falling in love, and she’s making great friends, ironically, with her own mother.
How hard will it be for her to straddle these two worlds, and what is the concern if it stops? How will she handle that? We’ve seen that she didn’t handle some things really well in the first place. What do you think would happen if her adventure stopped?
Yeah, I think with really high highs come really low lows, so going back to the past and having this amazing relationship with her mom, and like you said, having her first kiss and making friends, first of all, it makes her incredibly distracted from what’s going on in her own life.
Moving to this new town, she’s not really putting down any roots. She’s very, very in another world, literally and figuratively.
But the potential for missing out on important moments in the past or the idea that the pond could lock her out again and not let her go back is the more she gets attached to her life in the past, the more painful that’s going to be.
And so every time she goes to the pond, she’s hoping it’s going to take her where she wants to go, and she’s hoping that she’s not going to miss anything important.
Meanwhile, it’s holding her back from making relationships in the present day, so I think there’ll come a time when she has to try and get roots in Port Haven in 2023. But until then, she’s just getting more and more and more attached to the life she has in 1999.
She’s also friends with Elliot in the past and in the present, and we know Elliot has feelings for KatHe’s had them all his life. The closer that she grows to him, how do you think that Alice will want to see that relationship between her mom and Elliot change in the present?
Yeah, that’s definitely something to think about.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think the relationship that Alice has with Elliot, to her, in the present day, feels very separate from her mom and Elliot’s relationship because the way she sees her mom as a teenager stays pretty separate in her mind from the way she sees her mom in the present; she has a hard time imagining that they’re the same person.
I think it could be a bit weird to see because she really sees Elliot as a friend, and she knows him as her peer, as a teenager, and as an adult, so, on the one hand, she knows him so well. She cares about him so much. He’s really close with her family. But on the other hand, he’s her friend, too.
I could see that being potentially a bit difficult for Alice, but I won’t spoil where that’s headed.
Real quick, before we go, can you tease what’s ahead for the rest of the season for Alice?
Yeah, Alice really has to figure out what her purpose is going back in time when it comes to knowing that tragedy is coming for her family and trying to make peace with or come to terms with her responsibilities between the two timelines.
I think we’ll see some really mind-bending time-travel rules and time-travel surprises, and things will be really shocking in terms of what the pond is capable of. And yeah, we’ll also see some very exciting ’90s nostalgia, fun stuff.
Also, our characters grow and get so much deeper, so all these characters that we already love, especially the teen versions of some of our older characters in the present, really blossom into their own characters, as well, and that’s really beautiful.
Yeah, I’m excited about everything, so it’s hard for me to tease just one or two things!
The Way Home airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.