Parenthood: Monica Potter & Peter Krause Talk Breast Cancer Storyline

“Parenthood” star Monica Potter gave one of the most moving performances in the 2012-2013 primetime season playing Kristina Braverman, a mom battling breast cancer in Season 4 of her NBC show and she opened up about how she approached that storyline on Saturday.

At the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills, a critic told the actress that many writers thought she deserved an Emmy nomination for the role, and it prompted the actress to talk about how she took on the heavy material.

“Thank you for saying that, that’s very sweet,” she said. “I sort of went through it with Kristina. I didn’t want to know too much. I wanted it to feel real and fresh and sort of, you know, to explore with her from the diagnosis through the treatment, through the doctor telling her that she was cancer free, so that was kind of a different way of approaching it than I normally do. I sort of study a lot and rip pages apart and highlight things.

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“This year, I sort of didn’t do that,” she continued. “I just surrounded myself with some people that have gone through it --- some women and families – and took from their experiences and just sort of learned along the way.”

Peter Krause, who plays Kristina’s husband, Adam Braverman, said that the heavy storyline also changed up his usual acting patterns.

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“Doing those scenes was different for me than doing other scenes in the show because once I was done with them, I wanted to let them go and not think about them, rather than figure out what take I liked the best or hash over the scene with another actor. I just wanted to get through it and get it over with and that’s I think, very much how Adam and Kristina felt about her battle with cancer,” Peter said. “It wasn’t fun, but I think it was rewarding for us to do that and also for the audience.”

The actor said the storyline prompted fans to come up to him and speak to him about it.

“I had a lot of people come up to me and say they were really moved by it and that’s always been the strength of the show — it’s relatability and that all the characters in the show are trying to be the best people that they can be and that’s a big enough struggle — trying to be a good parent, trying to be a good partner, trying to be a good son, father, whatever,” Peter said. “And I think that that’s why people keep coming back to the show.”

“Parenthood” returns September 26 at 10/9c on NBC.

-- Jolie Lash

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