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Rise’s Amy Forsyth Previews Gwen and Gordy’s Connection: They’re ‘Experiencing Similar Sorrow’ (Exclusive)

"What Flowers May Bloom"Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Tuesday, March 27, episode of Rise.

NBC’s newest drama is all about the slow burn. Lilette (Auli’i Cravalho) and Robbie (Damon Gillespie) still haven’t kissed, even though they deepened their connection during this week’s episode, but they aren’t the only couple in Stanton with something in common.

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While it was brief, Gwen (Amy Forsyth) and Gordy (Casey Johnson) had a moment on the football field.

“Your dad’s really been kicking my ass,” he tells her when she walks across the field. She responds: “Well yours has been kicking mine, so we’re even.” When he watches her walk away, the coach — Gwen’s father — interrupts. “Don’t even think about it,” he tells Gordy.

It’s clear by the look on both of their faces that Gwen and Gordy have thought about it.

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“I think when you look at them individually, their issues appear to be very different but ultimately they’re both young people who are struggling,” Forsyth tells Us Weekly about the characters. “Though their immediate issues may be different, people find comfort in other people who are experiencing similar sorrow. You wouldn’t assume that they would find each other. They’re sort of polar opposites in a lot of ways but you know, their dads are also connected. Opposites attract. Gwen finds solace in an unexpected situation.”

“Most of All to Dream” Peter Kramer/NBC

The actress also spoke to Us about the uncomfortable situation between Gwen and her parents, who appear to be heading toward a divorce. Gwen tries repeatedly to keep her parents together, sticking up for them both while her mother is pulling away from her cheating husband.

“I think when you look up to someone and you look at them as a hero, one wrong move isn’t going to deter you from loving them, especially when it’s family. When it comes to parents, as kids, your parents are on a pedestal,” she explains. “Of course Gwen is frustrated, angry and hurt by what her dad did and supports her mom, but ultimately, she’s always going to love and support him, too.”

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She continues: “In high school going through that, I can only imagine what that would be like — to feel like your entire world has shifted, everything that you have ever known, changes. You lose trust in everything and everyone. You realize that nothing is forever and that rattles you. It’s a heartbreaking thing. It’s never easy. I love that we’re seeing the effects of divorce not just at home, but in her daily life.”

Rise airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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