Exclusive Video Interview: SkyMed's Natasha Calis & Morgan Holmstrom Talk Hayley & Crystal’s Friendship in Season 2 & More

SkymedLast week, the Canadian medical drama SkyMed returned to Paramount Plus for all-new episodes of season two. The series follows a group of nurses and pilots working for an air ambulance service as they navigate life and working medical rescue in remote Northern Canada. This season, Nurse Hayley Roberts (Natasha Calis) struggles to deal with the aftermath of her surgery, while Crystal Highway (Morgan Holmstrom) balances medical school, while still working full time as a flight nurse. 

Calis and Holmstrom recently spoke with SciFi Vision about the season two, including how their characters are dealing with things this season, Hayley and Crystal’s strained friendship, their love lives, and more.

Watch the interview or read the full transcript below and be sure to check out Skymed season two, now available to stream on Paramount Plus.

***The following contains fairly major plot points for the beginning of the season***



SCIFI VISION:   
Natasha, let's start with you. Obviously, after the surgery, she has some issues with certain things and things aren't going as she planned. Can you sort of talk about that and tease about what we're going to see this season in relation to that? 

NATASHA CALIS:   
Yeah, so we pick up with Haley, six months post-op…double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, and it's her finding her footing back at her job and her new self and sort of her her journey along the way of discovering some of the trauma that she's buried in her past, and it's kind of coming to the surface again as she's navigating this new life and this new chapter in her life. And it turns out to be a lot more difficult than then she, I think, was expecting, and so a lot of things sort of come to the surface. It's really just, yeah, like, her human kind of experience, and we're following her journey and all of those turmoils and, yeah, hardships. 

SCIFI VISION:   
Morgan, your character, she deals a lot this season with, like, keeping her own identity and not losing that. Can you talk a bit about that? 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:   
Yeah, I think Crystal’s really going through it, because she's going to med school, or she's a medical student now, and she's also working full time as a flight nurse still, and holding on to your identity under a very male dominated, you know, white dominated field is really hard for her to navigate, and she's trying to fit in, and she's trying to be the best that she can in that field. I think she's used to being a person that's in charge and knows exactly what she's doing, and now, she's in a moment in life where she doesn't know what she's doing. She's a student again, so I think she's really trying to lean on her supervisors and look for their advice, but now she's trying to find her own way and her own voice. And how do you do that while balancing the two? So, I think she does find her way eventually, but it takes a little while to get there. 

SCIFI VISION:   
That's true. The more I thought about it, I think we're probably going to have to talk specifically about the drug issue…I don't know how much we can talk around it…But can you talk about sort of how their relationship is tested with that, and can they get over that? Can they [come] back together, and can they trust each other and everything and get through those problems? 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:   
Yeah, I think the beautiful thing about the relationship between Crystal and Haley is that it goes apart, and it comes back together in the first season, and I think with this one, both of the characters are really going through something very challenging in their life, and it's really hard to be there for one another when both are hurting. I think they realize that, and I think there's still a deep love for each other throughout the season. But I don't know if Natasha wants to hop on. 

NATASHA CALIS:   
Yeah, I think you said it really well. When two parties are hurting, it's like, I think Haley and Crystal are both on their journey of self in this season, in two very, extremely different ways. And while Haley is dealing with all of this trauma and addiction and really sort of hitting rock bottom, is I think when - and Crystal then feels betrayed that she's not communicating all of these things and that she's going behind her back and using her, and there's some pretty pivotal moments that are driving them apart. But again, it is a really beautiful thing that, at the end of the day, these are two people who deeply care about each other and have a really beautiful friendship. I think it's also just something that people can relate to you in the sense that, you know, friendships and growing, you go through this, and it's a part of the human experience, and it's a part of growing up and discovering things about yourself and whatever. And I think the fact that they deal with themselves and focus on themselves and do the work on themselves to then come together again is really beautiful, and I think sets them up for an even stronger friendship.

SkymedSCIFI VISION:   
Can you expand on though some about her kind of, I guess, trying to do it on her own and struggling with that, because obviously, for a good portion of it, she does not want help. 

NATASHA CALIS:   
Yeah, I think a lot of that has to do with not wanting to accept what has happened. I think there's a lot of regret that Haley holds in her life and with, you know, when it comes to her mom and how things ended and how she never got to say goodbye, and we find out that, that was actually a choice that she made out of just pure fear. So, there's a ton of regret there and a ton of hurt that in order to accept…you have to acknowledge, and I think that the whole theme here is that she doesn't want to acknowledge that; she doesn't want to accept this. So, she's grasping at anything she can to try to numb this pain and this deep hurt that she's been running away from for years. And in that, it just kind of spirals out of control and really puts her in a dark place, and it inevitably comes to a head when somebody she really cares about kind of gives her the ultimatum, and that was the push that she needs. Yeah, it's a heartbreaking season for Haley but also a really beautiful one in the way that it ends and the acceptance and that she comes to terms with eventually. 

SCIFI VISION:   
Morgan, you have a relationship with Dr. Yana (Nadine Whiteman) this season. She's kind of her mentor and helping her in what we talked about, like, making decisions on how to be true to herself. So, can you talk about working with her and kind of their, I guess, friendship that sort of develops, even though they're still, you know, [teacher] and student? 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:   
Yeah, I think Crystal really puts Dr. Yana on a pedestal, and rightfully so. She's a phenomenal doctor, and I think she really just wants to earn her trust and show that she's going to be a good doctor one day. I think with Dr. Yana, the field has really been down on her, and you see that in some of the scenes in the earlier episodes to where one of the doctors is talking back to her, thinking that she's not actually who she is, [that] she's not the head of ER. So, I think Crystal watching that, she's seeing that this is what she's going into. And I think Crystal in a way is trying to tell Dr. Yana [that] you can be proud of yourself and be proud of who you are, and all that you are, still within this field and still be yourself, and that's a beautiful thing that we can bring of ourselves to the field. And what's any industry if it isn't changing? You know, medicine is always changing, and any field is always changing. So, I think we have to be adaptive. And I think Crystal is just trying to find her footing with that along with Dr. Yana, and I think they're both kind of teaching each other things as they go along. Both of them can be a little hard headed too, and I think that's where they clash, and then they come back together as well. And I think they build a really beautiful friendship at the end with a lot of mutual respect for each other. 

SCIFI VISION:   
Natasha, one of the big things, I think, this season, is Haley's growing relationship with Wheezer (Aaron Ashmore). So, can you talk a bit about that…and about also working with with Aaron in that respect as well? 

NATASHA CALIS:   
Yeah, I mean, that was a really fun relationship, that, I mean, I don't know about you guys, but I never saw coming. So, when we had the meeting at the beginning of the season, and Julie (Puckrin) has a one on one with us, and she kind of tells us what the arc and what our character is going to go through throughout the season, that was one of the big ones. I was like, “Oh, wow, no, I didn't see that coming.” But it was so fun, and Aaron is such a pleasure to work with. He's just like, really the best of the best, and he's so respectful, and just we had so much fun. He's a really great friend…Then, I think in terms of Haley and Wheezer's relationship and how it develops, it really is based on, I think, two people who are hurting a lot and both going through some painful and hard times and therefore able to come together and be there for for each other. I think Haley specifically is longing for love and longing to be loved and taken care of. I think she's just so broken, that this relationship is really based off of a love that two people have for each other, who are going through - who need it. So, yeah, it was really fun to to play with that with Aaron and go throughout the whole season, having more scenes together then, because we didn't have any many scenes together last season. So, it was fun to be able to act alongside him, and I wouldn't want to have done it with anyone else. He such a great human being. 

SCIFI VISION:   
Then, Morgan, obviously, things aren't what we necessarily expected between her and Jeremy (Braeden Clarke) this season. So, can you talk a bit about that and working with him? 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:   
Yeah, I mean, Braeden is just a rock star, and he's so awesome to work with. I think that both of them are on their own journeys of finding themselves. And he wanted - there's a bit of a surprise in that first episode where he shows up at work and Crystal’s like, “What are you doing here?” And now [he] is a paramedic. So, I think crystal has a lot of admiration for what he's done, but I think she's also really hurt that the person that she does love very deeply and has known her whole entire life is kind of moving away from her, and they're kind of growing apart. And I don't think that's necessarily what she wants, but it's, I think, just the trajectory that they're on. And who knows? Who knows what's going to happen in the future for the two of them, but I think there's still a lot of love and care for Crystal and Jeremy. 

SCIFI VISION:   
You talked to me last time about learning some of the medical stuff and that, but do you struggle with the medical jargon and remembering how to do different things? Because I would think that that could be something that could cause a problem for the two of you. 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:
   Yeah.

NATASHA CALIS:   
I think you have more medical jargon than I do now, being being a doctor. So, you can speak on that. I feel like mine is not too bad. [laughs] 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:   
[laughs] Yeah, Sometimes you get caught up on the words. Sometimes there're big words, you know, like “photorhabdus luminescence.” That was a hard one to get out there. I had to keep saying it over and over and over again to get it right. Yeah, you know, you say it enough times, then it starts to sink into your brain a little bit. 

NATASHA CALIS:   
My thing is when we're like rushing through the doors of the ER and there's like a million things and we have to go at a certain pace, and there're people crossing, and it's like “forty year old male. Da da da da da…” and you have to just say it super quick, and there's a certain - those are the ones that I really have to like, drill into my brain, but other than that, yeah, it's not too bad. 

SCIFI VISION:   
I was going to say, I think you would also maybe forget which patient is which patient after a while after you do too many of them. 

NATASHA CALIS: 
  Oh, yeah. 

SCIFI VISION:
   And lot of times you have more than one in an episode. 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM:   
We've definitely done that. [laughs] 

SCIFI VISION:   
The only other thing I was going to ask is about playing volleyball in the snow. I don't know. Was it really cold? Was that real snow? I mean, you are in Canada, so it probably was at least really cold, even if it wasn't really snow. 

NATASHA CALIS:   
Oh, no no no. That was real snow, real cold, real everything. That was, yeah, a tricky day. Morgan, you lucked out. You didn't have to partake. 

MORGAN HOLMSTROM: 
  I didn’t have to do that one. 

NATASHA CALIS:
   Yeah, we were all in our - actually, I was the most [covered], which was great. It wasn't too bad. But I felt bad for all of the guys, having to dive on the snow in their bathing suits and whatnot. But it was a lot of fun. It was actually funny, because we had a day of like volleyball rehearsal to make sure we all kind of knew what we were doing, and practicing some of the falls and whatnot. So yeah, it was honestly - and that was like in the first few weeks of filming, I want to say, so it was also just a really great bonding experience for us to all come together. And we had some new faces this season: Sidney Kuhne, and Ryan [Ali] was a bigger part this year. So, it was fun for both of them to be part of that scene and be able to - yeah, like I said, it was like a full team bonding experience.

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