Virgin River’s Martin Henderson Says Season 5 Is the Best One yet


When Martin Henderson boards a Zoom from the Vancouver set of Virgin River season 5, he has just finished filming his first two scenes. He still has one scene with Alexandra Breckenridge to finish the day, but he is already exhaling in relief. 

He claims, "I didn't sleep a wink last night." I've been acting for 34 years, yet it makes no difference. This is season 5 of a program that is obviously successful, yet there is a part of me that wonders if I will be able to pull it off. However, I believe that I appeared correctly delighted at times and adequately sad at others. So, I believe I still have a job. 

One of the many reasons fans can't get enough of Henderson's portrayal of military veteran and bar owner Jack Sheridan is his blend of humility and comedy. Henderson even wonders if I've seen season 5 after I admit that the day before our interview (the day before the new season premiered), I binge-watched all 12 episodes of season 4. I attribute it to his lack of sleep and tell him that considering he has only completed two sequences of filming, it would be really spectacular if I had. Season five is excellent, he said in response. The most excellent season yet. I look fantastic in it. 

Henderson is obviously making jokes, but any viewer of season 4 can attest that he truly excels in the part, especially given how rapidly Jack's personal and professional life are disintegrating around him. In addition to the very real financial strain of raising two unborn children with his ex-sorta-girlfriend (more on that in a moment) and a child with the love of his life who may or may not be carrying his child, he also continues to struggle with PTSD from his time in the Marines, alcoholism, and guilt over the death of his brother when he was a young child. He basically strives to be the hero to everyone in the Virgin River neighborhood, which is another factor. It's incredible that the man is still standing. 

Following all of that, he is informed by his ex-sorta-girlfriend that she has been lying to him the entire time and that he is not the father of the twins. Has this show's finale ever been more shocking? 

Whatever about sleep deprivation, Henderson (or Hendo, his moniker, which also shows on his Zoom screen) patiently responded to every query regarding paternity disputes, Char's retribution, and that lovely engagement scenario. Read on. 

I've never proposed to someone, but when I do, I want to be somewhat prepared for the response. I don't know, it's 50/50, but I'm going to ask her nonetheless," type of circumstance would be awful. [Laughs.] For Jack, he was certain that she would accept. He is aware that this woman will be the center of his entire future, and that comes with some responsibility, right? The fact that he can have this moment and will continue with Mel by his side despite the fact that marriage requires a lot of us is a huge comfort. Simply said, I believe that for someone who has spent their entire lives alone, such a thought is overwhelming for him. 

You did such an amazing job this season of illustrating Jack's inner conflict, especially as he sobbed in Mel's arms while speaking about his late sibling. How did those scenes look like? 

Because these are significant events for the protagonists, those scenes are a blend of enthusiasm. There is something thrilling about bringing something to light when you are conscious that you are bringing something to light that has been hidden and latent. It gives us a lot of insight into this man's character and struggles. 

I find it to be incredibly fascinating creatively, but it's a little frightening mentally. Nobody really enjoys talking about that in their own lives, right? We're all extremely, incredibly skilled at suppressing the more unpleasant feelings. Even if it's your job as an actor, you worry that it won't pan out or that you won't be able to emotionally connect with the audience. 

You then bring Hendo outside. 

Not at all. The one that consistently arrives is Hendo. Oh, Hendo, that's him. I wish I could say I was always Hendo, but I'm not. [Laughs.] 

We must discuss that conclusion. According to Alex, Mark was originally intended to be the biological father of Mel's pregnant kid. How did you feel? 

I believe I assumed it would belong to Jack. As we continued, we learned that they were truly intending to give that baby to Mark rather than us. Personally, I didn't love that concept either. However, as a writer, I believe you have to balance giving the audience what they want while keeping in mind that's what they're there for. They are there for the romance, the love, and the breathtaking surroundings. You must provide specific items in order to live up to their expectations, but effective writing also involves defying them. It's all about the surprise factor, the hooks, the cliffhangers, and so forth. 

This is a very, really strong romance—one that I identify with because it's at the heart of the program and because I'm a romantic myself. The fact that it wasn't their child seemed to be... That just seemed like a bummer to me. These guys, in my opinion, merited a celebration. They deserved something special to them, something they could treasure, and something they could truly celebrate as a happy couple. 

This is a drama. There will be many unhappy moments. When they changed their minds and made it Jack's child, I felt so much relief. That, in turn, prompted the decision to make the twins not Jack's, according to what I hear. Because it implied that he would then simply have babies everywhere. Mel's child will be given to him as a result; Charmaine's children will not be. The major question right now, I suppose, is: Whose babies are those? 

First off, how was Charmaine able to pull this off? That is really wicked. 

Season 5 will provide the answer for you. 

How eager were you to portray the aftermath from the revelation in Season 4 given Jack's expression of "WTF" at the end of the season? 

I'm thrilled about that and expressing the reality of it because what's been fascinating about the Charmaine-Jack dynamic ever since he learned she was carrying his twins is that he had to balance having obviously really strong feelings about how heinous her behavior is—she behaved so abhorrently toward Mel and was so cunning. He was not informed that the infants were males by her. It seemed appropriate to react with bitterness and venom to a character like her because she was treating them both with such disdain. 

However, the authors and the directors were aware that Jack would still need to handle that circumstance. Because he still needed to maintain some pretense of a relationship that would enable them to function as coparents, he was unable to unleash on Charmaine in the manner he felt entitled to. He wants to prioritize his guys. He was, in a sense, caught in this trap. He had to put up with her nonsense. Naturally, he now learns that they are not even his, and all the crap he and Mel went through starts to affect his perspective of that. 

When you learned who the twins' father is, were you surprised? She stated Alex is aware. 

I do, indeed. So, I was informed. I won't disclose anything in this interview, certainly, because... 

I don't want you to, either. I'd rather not know. 

Although I haven't seen it written, I was told who the author intended it to be. In terms of plot lines, one thing I've learned around here is that you shouldn't count your chickens before they hatch because there's always a chance that it won't be who you expect it to be. However, what would be the more shocking option? I'm not sure of their decision on it, but the one I heard was excellent. It's tasty. 

Vernon's here. 

Hello, Doc. I'm good. You're all set. 

Fans will undoubtedly be interested to see whether Mel will give birth to the baby in season 5 or whether there will be a wedding in that season. What do you have to say about that? 

Things about babies become incredibly fascinating. Obviously, I can't speak for any of the actual scripts because I haven't seen any of them, but we have some pretty excellent... There are many new starts and story lines when a lot of things are tied up. I can't disclose too much. I'm aware that someone might relocate. Someone may go.


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