After the wildly-successful movie adaptation “Flowers in the Attic,” Lifetime is checking back in with the complicated family dynamics of the Dollangangers for the sequel “Petals on the Wind.”
Airing Monday (May 26), the sequel stars Rose McIver and Wyatt Nash as older versions of Cathy and Christopher, the twisted siblings forced to find romantic solace in each others’ arms when their mother and grandmother locked them in an attic for their formative teen years. So what was it like for McIver and Nash to take on roles portrayed just months prior by Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye?
“It’s been 10 years since we last saw Cathy as played by Kiernan Shipka,” McIver tells Zap2it. “She did it incredibly well, so that was a great jumping-off point. Now we see that Cathy is still the same person who has been through these ordeals, but she’s been away for 10 years and has been able to experience a slightly more solid family experience. Now we see the combination of where she’s from combined with her trying to escape that past and trying to push past the confines of how she grew up.”
As for Nash, he attributes being able to portray an older Christopher well due to his natural similarities to Dye. “Unfortunately I was not able to get in touch with Mason before we started filming. It all happened so fast. I went from auditioning to being offered the role to filming within a few days,” Nash tells Zap2it. “So I wasn’t able to talk with him about what he did but I did watch ‘Flowers in the Attic’ twice and watched him pretty closely to try and adopt his mannerisms.”
Nash continues, “Honestly, the more and more that I looked at him, and checked out his Twitter and his Instagram, and read the script and looked at myself, I realized that we were pretty similar. I think how I would naturally play Christopher is close to how he played Christopher. That’s the sign of good casting. I’m excited to be able to follow in his footsteps.”
As “Flowers in the Attic” dealt with quite a lot of dark subject matter — along with incest there was also abuse and even murder — fans already have an inkling of what to expect in the sequel, but both McIver and Nash can’t wait for fans to see just how dark the “more grown up” sequel gets.
“It certainly continues down a very dark avenue,” McIver says. “It explores the human condition and relationships and asks the question of whether people are a product of circumstances. I had such a wonderful cast that I got to work with and there’s some big drama that you can look forward to.”
Nash adds that the first movie still a touch of innocence to it because the kids were just kids. Now, 10 years later, they should know better.
“In the first one, they were stuck in the attic and they were young so they didn’t really know what they were doing was so wrong,” Nash says. “At time goes on, there are more repressed emotions whereas before they were kind of raw, in the moment. Now, their attraction for each other is even more repressed because they know it’s wrong. There is a lot more tension between them and a lot more struggle between the two of them.”
So why pick up 10 years later? Nash teases that the death of Cathy and Christopher’s foster father shakes up their slightly stable lives. “Their foster father had been getting Chris on the right track, with going to med school, and he was a good influence for Cathy, but now he’s dead,” Nash says. “So now Cathy, myself and our younger sister Carrie are all alone again. Chris starts to assume the father role and Cathy assumes the mother role and Carrie is like our kid and that pseudo-family dynamic stirs up old feelings between the siblings.”
McIver is most excited for fans to get to see the ballet sequences in the movie. “We worked with a brilliant choreographer who was able to bring the dance sequences to life in a fantastic way,” McIver says. “They turned out quite beautiful and are moments of light in an otherwise bleak story.”
“Petals on the Wind” premieres Monday (May 26) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.