Aisha Hinds talks Hen in a good spot and realistic storytelling in 911

911 Season 7 premieres tonight, Thursday, March 14. We sat down with Aisha Hinds before the premiere to discuss Hen and what to expect in the new season.
9-1-1: L-R: Aisha Hinds and Kenneth Choi in the episode of 9-1-1 airing Monday, May 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Jack Zeman/ FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.
9-1-1: L-R: Aisha Hinds and Kenneth Choi in the episode of 9-1-1 airing Monday, May 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Jack Zeman/ FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX. /

When it comes to inspiration women on our screen, 911 is a series to watch. Aisha Hinds plays Hen, the only female member of the 118, but one of the badasses of the team.

Over the course of six seasons (so far), we’ve watched Hen be pushed to her limits, deal with loss, and manage her childhood trauma to understand why she is who she is today. She has made mistakes, and she has learned from them.

Her marriage to Karen hasn’t always been easy. Yet the two of them show us how to be a family. They show us how to work through problems. Marriage is hard work, but it’s worth it when you’re with the right person.

As we head into a new season on a new network, we sat down with Aisha Hinds to talk everything Hen.

Aisha Hinds discusses refreshing storytelling in 911

Hidden Remote: Season 6 ended with Hen in a really good place in every aspect of her life. Can we see her be happy for a little longer? What could we expect?

Aisha Hinds: You’ve watched the show, and you know we can’t expect anything ever. We can always hope, though, right?

We know Hen is resilient. At the end of the day, she will follow her heart and she will do whatever is necessary for the happiness of herself and her family. So yes, we do start the season picking up the pieces of the last season, and like you said, they [Karen and Hen] were in a really good place.

They endured a lot trying to figure out whether or not they’d be able to expand their family; whether Hen could be able to balance that while still pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. Those two things sort of went head-to-head with one another, and I think there came a point where Hen really settled within herself. She saw what was important and the sacrifice that was necessary to make at that point for her family and her heart.

We start the season with Karen, my beautiful wife, played by Tracie Thoms. They’re trying to expand their family again. We hope this season allows for that with no obstacles.

HR: Let’s talk about Karen and Hen. They show that it’s okay to have disagreements and make mistakes. It’s okay not to always be on the same page. But a marriage can still work.

AH: Yes!

HR: What’s it been like showing that on screen?

AH: It’s refreshing, because growing up, I think I subscribed to a very romanticized version of what marriage is, of what relationships look like. I found myself hitting a wall, wondering why my relationships didn’t look like what I was seeing on television. The writers do an amazing job of grounding the relationship to something that feels so much closer to reality.

To your point, relationships have issues. They run into problems and places where they’re not on the same page. There are places that call for deep, transparent communication, honesty, and trust. Ultimately, you have to stay engaged in that relationship and stay engaged to the commitment you made. I’m so happy that we get to be a part of putting that relationship on television.

HR: And also with the adoption storyline. So often, TV opts for the surprise pregnancy, but 911 has stuck to Hen and Karen going the adoption route. What’s it like to show that?

AH: Yes! Again, ultimately, there are these paths of motherhood for anyone. I think we’re learning more and more, and the conversation is expanding around some of the challenges and even blind spots of what that journey is like. I think we prefer to romanticize rather than deal with the realities. So, again, I tip my hat to the writers who understood the importance of exploring that narrative in a way that doesn’t tie it up in a bow by making some beautiful, easy, non-complicated pregnancy just come out of nowhere.

The statistics are staggering for families who are pursuing parenthood and running into any number of obstacles. I’m so glad we can play that out on screen and cover the wealth of emotions that go along with that journey.

HR: So, I need more Hen and Maddie screen time.

AH: I’m going to agree with you. We had some last season with Chimney, Maddie, and the engagement ring. It was complex. Hen was getting, I wouldn’t say possessive, but concerned for her friend. She wanted to protect Chimney’s heart.

It was great having us [Hen and Maddie] sharing time together and having the hard conversations that led to this beautiful space. So, hopefully, that gives birth to a closeness and we can see that unfold more this season and the seasons to come.

HR: I was shocked when Hen wasn’t onboard with the proposal at first, but as it played out, I really got it. You are Chimney’s friend first.

AH: Exactly. And we have how Hen and Chim met. Hen will ride for her friend any day of the week, even if that involves Buck’s sister. Maddie has quite a number of issues she has dealt with, and they carry over into relationships. The conversation around them unpacking past trauma before they bring it into their new marriage is important. You’ve got to look at all that before you jump the broom.

HR: With the hope of more Hen and Maddie, let’s talk another wonderful female friendship that is Hen and Athena. They are friendship goals. We often see shows put women against each other. What’s it been like to show healthy, positive female friendships?

AH: It’s the besty bond of my dreams. Honestly, one of the selling points for me doing this show was the great Angela Bassett would be spearheading it. Then Henrietta was going to be one of her best friends! That was beyond my wildest dreams to have that opportunity.

We see the opportunity the writers have given us, having these in-depth conversations over the last seven seasons. It’s been a dream to nurture and build that relationship. I can’t really put more words to it.

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HR: There’s been so much that has happened to Hen over the last six seasons. Is there anything you would like to see?

AH: Just when I think we’ve done it all—I thought we’d done it all by 911 Season 2—I don’t even try to figure out what they could do next. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this season would open with a cruise ship turning upside its head. I’m so excited for the audience to see it and get engaged in it.

HR: But for Hen specifically, on a personal level. Is there anything that hasn’t been explored that you would like to see?

AH: Oh! The writers have been very intentional about writing for me as an actress and for Hen as a character. It has been wonderful just receiving the gifts given to me. Honestly, I’m just excited to see what their imagination holds.

HR: As my last question, what’s been your favorite part of playing Hen?

AH: Can we find a favorite? If you give me a top three, I’ll choose from one of those.

You know, there was the origin story of how she chose to become a firefighter. There was her journey of figuring out whether she wanted to become a doctor and having moments where she had to fight for her place being one of the oldest among the younger residents. She was trying to rebuild her confidence in what she was doing. That was really nice to play with.

Then there are the times where she deals with her own humanity and realizes that she’s not perfect. Every day on the job is not perfect. There was the one time a young violinist lost her life because Hen’s ambulance ran into her at the intersection, and that was a gut-wrenching, emotional episode. I had a good time with that one.

I also love the guys, anytime we’re in the fire truck together just bantering. It’s been great.

Next. 911 seasons ranked by Athena's greatness. 911 seasons ranked by Athena's greatness. dark

Get ready for 911 Season 7 tonight, Thursday, March 14 at 8/7c now on ABC.