Erika Christensen wasn’t meant to play Kyra Sedgwick’s sister on Ten Days in the Valley -- at least, not the way creator Tassie Cameron originally envisioned. It was Sedgwick, who serves as an executive producer on the heart-pumping 10-episode mystery drama, who hand-picked the Parenthood star -- the two met “once upon a time” in New York, Christensen recalls -- to be her TV sibling.
“The script was written without me in mind and I wasn’t quite right for it the way it was on paper,” Christensen tells ET of her character, Ali Petrovich, the headstrong younger sister to Sedgwick’s Jane Sadler, a television writer whose daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. (Watch an exclusive scene between Christensen and Sedgwick from Sunday’s episode above.) That mystery serves as the driving force for the unraveling of secrets, lies and double lives.
“I had just gotten off another ABC show [the short-lived 2015 drama Wicked City] and I didn’t know that this was necessarily the right move for me. But then I read the script and I, despite myself, was so taken with it and so wrapped up with the story,” the 35-year-old actress says. Things moved quickly from there, though Christensen admits she “didn’t grasp” that she was the only actress they were meeting with for the part. “Tassie Cameron, our creator, Facetimed me and said, ‘You’re not right for what I’ve written, but you’ve given me an idea of what we can do with this character.’ So she wrote the character to be me.”
Well, not exactly like her, but as close to her real-life sensibilities that’s realistically possible in the fictional realm. Christensen revealed two major tweaks to Ali that were made that changed the trajectory of her relationship with Sedgwick’s character for the better.