Sarah Pidgeon and Kathryn Hahn Shared a “Heartbeat” to Play Clare in “Tiny Beautiful Things”

Hulu / Jessica Brooks

Sarah Pidgeon had a major task when it came to Hulu’s “Tiny Beautiful Things.” The actor, who previously starred in Amazon Prime Video’s “The Wilds,” plays Clare, a college student dealing with the sudden loss of her mom. Kathryn Hahn also inhabits the character – an older version of Clare, who is dealing with that trauma from her youth and trying to move forward for her own family. They’re joined by Merrit Wever as Frankie, Clare’s mom. Pidgeon tells POPSUGAR, “I’m still pinching myself” about working with such great actors. “I feel really, really grateful that I was able to have my name even close to those people on a credits list.”

She admits she was “really nervous,” but the veteran actors were “so comforting and kind.” Before filming began, she says, “[Hahn and I] had worked together, with really the whole main cast, sort of figuring out what the heartbeat of this show was.” In the early weeks of filming, Pidgeon would watch Hahn’s performance to try to get an even clearer idea of who Clare is.

“Kathryn said, ‘The heart that beats within you is the heart that beats within Clare,'” she says. “We share the same heart. It was just opening that and trusting that we were both bringing all that we could and that we would find the connection.”

So she didn’t try to directly copy Hahn. “There was obviously pressure that I put on myself,” Pidgeon explains. “I want to make sure that someone can believe that this person becomes this person in 20 years, but also recognizing that Kathryn’s Clare is a sum of these experiences and what’s important is to focus on these experiences so that you understand why this has impacted them decades down the line.”

Wever, Pidgeon says, had “so much openness, so much kindness” in their scenes together. She explains, “She was so committed to the story and it was just so inspiring and I feel so lucky that I got to work opposite her and just see someone who is so good at what they do, do it every day. We were able to establish a connection that is unique to Frankie and Claire. I feel lucky.”

“Tiny Beautiful Things” the series is based on Cheryl Strayed’s book of advice columns of the same name. Pidgeon hadn’t read the book before she learned about the part, but she downloaded the audiobook before her final audition. “I was really scared I was gonna jinx myself. It’s like, ‘Sarah, you’re going to fall in love with even this even more and then you’re not going to get the job.'” Luckily, things obviously did work out.

Another tangible takeaway? Strayed’s advice, which she was blown away by. “You read some of these letters and you’re like, ‘Okay, well that’s an interesting letter, but it’s not me. It’s not my life.’ [Then you read] Cheryl’s response, and you’re like, ‘Whoa.'”

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