In an interview with Variety, real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill opened up about the death of their on-screen daughter. Hill called it “one of the most incredible stories (she) had ever read,” but admitted that, as a mother of three daughters, it was “painful.”
“As a mom, I can’t even allow myself to go there. I cannot. It’s really hard, even now, to talk about, because once the tears start coming, I can’t stop them. I would tell the directors, if we start going, it’s going to be hard for me to stop,” she said. “Imagine knowing that your child is going to die and you cannot be by their side? I can’t even imagine it ever. I have not recovered.”
Similarly, McGraw said they had to make an effort to “not be emotional too early,” but it was tricky given how much Isabel May resembles their family.
“It’s hard as a parent, playing that role — you don’t want to go to any dark places in your mind about your kid,” he said. “So you have to keep trying to block that out and still be in the moment with the character that you’re playing and the characters you’re playing opposite of, but the lines do get blurry.”
Despite the tragic finale, Hill added that it was “a good thing that (fans) hate that ending” because it speaks to how powerful the show is.