It has been over seven years since ABC's Pushing Daisies aired its premature series finale after two short-but-sweet seasons, but you wouldn't know it based on the show's fans, who remain just as passionate and committed as they were back in 2009 when they were campaigning for someone to save their favorite series from cancellation. That long-awaited Pushing Daisies revival hasn't come to fruition (yet), but the actor formerly known as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, Anna Friel, tells Bustle that fans shouldn't give up hope quite yet.
"My honest, true answer is, I don't know," Friel tells Bustle. "Would it be nice, and do I think it would be lovely to revisit? Yes."
Although there was some buzz a couple of years ago that Pushing Daisies might be adapted into a Broadway musical starring Kristin Chenoweth (who won an Emmy for her performance on the show as lovelorn waitress Olive Snook), nothing ever came of it. But everyone is still on-board if the timing — and the funding — is ever right, according to Friel. Says the actor, "I speak to some of the cast still, and we'd all love to do it."
Fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed. In the meantime, they can check out Friel on the big screen, as she appears in I.T., a tech thriller film from director John Moore (A Good Day To Die Hard) in theaters now. The actor stars as Rose Regan, the wife of Pierce Brosnan's lead character. Together with their daughter, the Regan family comes under attack from an obsessive I.T. consultant (played by Animal Kingdom's James Frecheville) who terrorizes them by hacking into every facet of their lives.
Friel says she's excited for Pushing Daisies fans to see the film, since it shows a very different side of her than they're probably used to seeing — even if it was just as big of a challenge for her, acting-wise. "It can be equally as hard to play someone who is constantly positive and up and happy as it is to play someone who's absolutely tormented and tortured and having a desperate life," Friel says.
The thriller is also extremely topical, given all the recent news stories about hacking; the topic even came up at September's first Presidential debate. "The way we're headed, we're going to be more and more reliant on technology, and we just have to make sure that it's safe," Friel says. "You kind of start to understand why the younger generation is scared to put their money in the bank in case of collapse or hacking." But ultimately, the actor believes that, "we can't really live in fear," and that "the biggest thing is protecting our children." (Friel has one child, a daughter with her ex-partner, Harry Potter actor David Thewlis.)
Yet as an actor, Friel is clearly drawn to dark stories, as are her fans. Friel has an interesting theory as to why Pushing Daisies, for instance, still resonates so strongly many years after it went off the air — and it has a lot to do with the current troubling political and cultural climate. Explains the actor,
I think in the day and age that we're in, you just think, 'Oh my god, there's so much horror in the world.' And maybe the only thing — without sounding too sappy — that we have got to hold on to is the idea that love can conquer all. When you've got two characters that, without even being able to touch each other, have this beautiful love and they live in this amazing world that is crammed full of crazy, beautiful imagination… I think [fans] are smart enough to understand that it was a show that was way ahead of its time.
That may be true, but that doesn't mean they don't miss Pushing Daisies with a fervor. Luckily, they might not have to wait for a Pushing Daisies revival to see Friel team up with show creator Bryan Fuller again. In the wake of NBC's cancellation of Hannibal , Fuller has not just one but two new shows in the works: the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery , premiering in May of next year; and the Starz drama American Gods , based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, debuting sometime in 2017. Might fans expect to see Friel pop up for a guest spot on either show?
"If the timing was right and the character was right, I would jump at the chance to work with Bryan again. I think he's got one of the most incredible imaginations out there and he works so very hard. He's one of the most committed people I've ever met," she says. Here's hoping they'll find the time to work with each other again soon. I'm sure they'd manage to cook up something as delicious as a Pumpkin Pecan Cup-pie.
Images: ABC (2)