"We had conversations, but I was wary of playing Lena because I already had her words. And so I ended up talking a lot to women in support groups," Garner said. "And I have friends who have personally gone through things like this, and so I kind of pulled from all different people."
Garner added that Kathryn's health problems made her empathize with a character who can, at times, be thorny and difficult.
"I have a lot of love for Kathryn. I feel like the way that Jenni and Lena wrote her, over time, you understand her more and more, and you have glimpses of who she was before her body started to kind of fail her," Garner explains. "And there are a few things that she says that are so specific and so painful, and it's a horrible thing to say. She's not a careful person. [Like,] 'I wish I had cancer so that people could see me and feel bad for me. But because I look normal, nobody gets that I'm in pain all the time.' And I think you do build up defenses around that."
Garner knocked on the wooden end table to her right. "Luckily, I'm not somebody who lives with chronic pain, so I don't know. But I can understand it, and I can understand how it would change who you are over time."