It's the essence of what is known as "a Lifetime movie": a woman facing incredible odds to ensure justice is done.
That framework has serviced numerous dramas and actresses, and it does so again as Lifetime debuts the fact-based film "Bond of Silence" Monday, Aug. 23. The name of the real person played by Kim Raver ("Grey's Anatomy") is Katy Hutchison, but her movie alter ego is Katy McIntosh, suddenly widowed one New Year's Eve when her attorney husband (David Cubitt, "Medium") is killed while dealing with a teen party that has gotten out of hand.
As she tries to determine the exact circumstances that led to her spouse's death, Katy is stonewalled not only by the youths who are unified in their silence but by their very protective parents. Charlie McDermott ("The Middle") plays a teenager who has a very direct role in the tragedy, and Greg Grunberg ("Heroes," "Alias") portrays a police detective trying to help the driven Katy get to the truth. Jacob Hoppenbrouwer and Ruby Curtis play the McIntoshes' young twins.
Raver appreciated Hutchison's visit while "Bond of Silence" was in production, but for creative reasons, she's also glad that presence wasn't constant.
"Katy helped us to a point, so that we could really tell the story," Raver says. "She was very available to me when I needed it, but when you're dealing with someone's life, you also want to pick the moments where (such firsthand contact) is appropriate.
"I thought it would be easier to have the real person there, but it actually posed some challenging things that we had to sort of work through. What may have happened at times in her real life may not have been the best way to tell the story. The experience she went through happened over several years, and we found that was going to be difficult to do dramatically, so we had to condense the time."
Grunberg also had a considerable task in melding the traits of several investigators into a composite character for the movie's purposes.
"He's an amalgamation of five detectives who worked on the case," the amiable actor explains, "but a lot of the investigating was done by this very persistent woman who lost her husband and refused to live by this unethical social rule that was set up. In the movie, she's constantly on my character not to settle and to find the answers."
While they had no intention of diminishing the story they were telling, Raver and Grunberg found the need to let off some steam on the "Bond of Silence" set in British Columbia, where the real Katy lives.
"We were able to have a ton of laughs off-camera," Raver reports, "then really dive into some heavy-duty territory when the cameras rolled. Greg was a great partner to be able to have some laughs with ... and thank goodness, because there weren't a lot of laughs in the script."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun