FRESNO, Calif. — Anne Heche is a firm believer in second chances. That’s why she connects so well with the role she’s playing in the new NBC series “Save Me.”
Heche plays Beth Harper, a woman who wouldn’t make the Top 1,000 list for the wife or mother of the year. But that changes when she sees the light — literally — after suffering a dramatic near-death experience. She returns to the land of the living with an open line to God. Her husband (Michael Landes) is skeptical; her teenage daughter (Madison Davenport) horrified.
“By the time we come in to meet her and she’s choking on a hoagie, her life isn’t great,” Heche says. “She gets a second chance to do it again. And I love that because I’ve been so blessed with many chances in my life that I get really excited by being able to play women that get to do it all again.
“We do come to points in our life where we need something to believe in. Wherever we get our strength from, I think we have so much courage, everybody, to walk through this life and try to make it right.”
Heche found the courage to keep on going — even after a wacky visit to the Fresno area in 2000 when she wandered confused and disoriented down a remote dirt road before getting assistance from a farmworker’s family in rural western Fresno County.
The odd behavior didn’t stop her career. Heche went on to appear in TV shows such as “Ally McBeal,” “Everwood” and “Men in Trees.” She’s also appeared in films and on Broadway, further examples of the second chances she has had in her life.
The 43-year-old Ohio native talks in very positive terms, saying she shares the same determination to make people happy that Beth gets after the TV character’s close encounter of the terminal kind.