Caitlin Bassett and Eliza Taylor play Addison and Hannah in Quantum Leap Season 2. Both of these women are important to Ben, but they are also inspirational characters for young women today.
We sat down with the two of them to talk about their characters in the series. Of course, we had to start with Taylor to talk about her experience filming in Cairo. This was already a discussion we’d recently had with Bassett.
The topics moved on to seeing Hannah throughout different time periods, both of them interacting with each other without actually interact with each other, and Addison’s decisions from Episode 10.
Eliza Taylor talks about filming in Cairo
We started off talking about filming in Cairo. This was the location for Quantum Leap Season 2, Episode 9, and yes, they actually flew over there to shoot on location.
"“Oh my goodness. Filming in Cairo was insane. You could convince me it was a dream; you really could. It was so fast. It was so intense, but it was amazing.”"- Eliza Taylor
Bassett did jump in to share how it was the first time she and Taylor were able to really hang out after filming. It’s clear that this film set has become a good group of friends. Taylor could have ended up as a one-episode guest role, but Hannah as been a constant person for Ben to find during his leaps.
That did come up after discussing that. What is it like when most of the time, someone in a leap is just a guest star?
"“It’s so fun. It’s a real dream…I always loved the movie Almost Famous, and I always wanted to do something in the ’60s, ‘70s, and now I’m getting to do multiple time periods and also develop a character over the course of her life. That’s so fun as an actor. I’ve really enjoyed it, trying to fill in the blanks…”"- Eliza Taylor
Interacting with each other without interacting with each other on Quantum Leap
It’s rare for a character other than Ben to interact with his holograms. People don’t get to know that he sees someone who isn’t actually there. That’s different with Hannah. Ben has been honest about who he is and who he has helping him with each of the cases.
It meant that in Cairo, Hannah was able to interact with Addison without actually interacting with her. How was that for filming? Taylor jumped in first.
"“What an interesting dynamic they have. I love it. The only issue for me is I struggle not to look at Caitlin when we’re filming, because she’s right there.”"- Eliza Taylor
Bassett followed on to make Taylor feel at ease as she’s dealt with people acting like she’s not there a lot.
"“It’s been the whole show. You’re not alone. I feel like it’s doing lasting psychological damage. The whole show the demand is ‘nobody look at Caitlin.’ It was really fun because the part of the hologram…the hologram is always in the stuff but isn’t really there.”"- Caitlin Bassett
After the jokes, Bassett did go into more about what it’s like for Addison with Hannah showing interest.
"“It felt really grounding, and it always has since. Whenever Hannah is on screen, Addison is invited in the dynamic that has never existed on the show before. Even though I’m invisible, I’m more seen…I think that’s what Addison has been drawn to Hannah about.”"- Caitlin Bassett
Hannah is certainly interested in Addison, and that helps. This has moved past the love triangle possibilities and created a world of women supporting women.
Being role models for young girls and women
Both of these characters are inspirational for young women. Bassett did defer to Taylor for this. We can’t overlook The 100 and how Taylor has taken on these inspirational roles before.
"“It’s so cool to have somebody who has already cemented herself to be a role model for young women on our show. It’s such an honor.”"- Caitlin Bassett
It isn’t just the character, though. For Taylor, it’s seeing how the industry has changed behind the scenes. That’s what makes Quantum Leap so great.
"“It’s really cool. I love that Quantum Leap really allows for women to shine. I was saying before, it’s not just on-screen. It’s off-screen as well. There are so many female department heads kicking a*s every day. I started in the industry when that wasn’t a thing. I started in 2001 and every single department head was male. It’s just awesome. I think it bleeds from off-screen to on-screen.”"- Eliza Taylor
Taylor did go into playing Hannah and just being these inspirational characters in general. It’s all about the fans.
"“It really hits home when you meet fans of the show. The ‘thank you for playing a kickass woman…you really helped me through a really hard time.’”"- Eliza Taylor
Addison’s decision in Quantum Leap Season 2, Episode 10
At the end of the most recent episode, Addison realized that she didn’t want to marry Tom in this rushed ceremony. She realized that as she listened to Ben’s speech, but what was it about Ben’s speech to the sisters in the episode that helped Addison?
"“It wasn’t even just Ben’s. It was the whole thing; the whole dynamic that was unfolding in front of her. I think you watch these little moments happen and eventually something clicks that you’re making a decision just to make a decision. Sometimes, you have to say yes to something to realize you don’t want it…limbo is the worst possible place to be.”"- Caitlin Bassett
Take a look at the full interview with Caitlin Bassett and Eliza Taylor:
Quantum Leap airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Catch up the following day on Peacock.