Abby Hernandez and the Cast of Lifetime’s “Girl in the Shed” Share the Important Message of the Film Adaptation

“I did find it healing in a weird way just to have it out there,” Abby Hernandez said of her story being told in the Lifetime original film, Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez. Abducted at the age of 14 and enduring 9 months of physical and psychological abuse, Abby serves as an executive producer on the film about her darkest days. “What I want to come out of this is awareness,” she explained during a TCA press conference. “I think a lot of people have that a voice in the back of their head, ‘If I disappeared it wouldn't matter.’ And I learned that yeah, it does matter. It affects a lot of people and it will forever.”



Playing Abby in the film is Lindsay Navarro, who got to work closely with the person she was portraying. “There was such a responsibility that came with that,” Lindsay revealed. “It being a true story, knowing that Abby was a part of the project, that was one of the reasons why I wanted to do it as well knowing that Abby was on board. So it was challenging in that way. But it all made it easier knowing that I could get in touch with Abby and we could talk things through. So for that I will be forever grateful having her there, accessible on What's App, getting to video chat with her. It made it heavier and it was challenging to walk through those scenes knowing that she had experienced this. And there was that weight that came with it.”

There was also a heaviness to the project for Ben Savage, who plays Abby’s captor and tormentor Nathaniel Kibby. “It was certainly a change of pace for me,” the actor best known for comedic roles explained. “I think it was such an important story to tell.” Ben also worked closely with Lindsay to ensure that she was comfortable during the most intense scenes, a kindness the young actress repaid to help each other get through them. He also praised the rest of the cast, crew, and their director, Jess Harmon. “It’s a tough subject and I think everyone wanted to be very sensitive to everything we were going through.”

“The first thing that I did was talk to Zenya,” Erica Durance said on preparing for her role as Abby’s mother. “I think that's very important when you know you're doing a true story so you're portraying somebody else. You have to get inside as much as they'll allow you access, to their process and what it was like.” The real Zenya made herself readily available to Erica, even accepting a phone call in the middle of a scene so Erica could ensure her portrayal was as accurate as possible. “For myself, it was tricky because I have little kids. And so I knew that there was going to be a point where I would probably step into a zone which was difficult to come back to and figure out how to separate myself from it. But you kind of have to dive into it.”

“The tremendous courage that Abby had and continues to have in being so passionate about sharing this story as well, it’s truly remarkable,” Lindsay Navarro concluded about the real person she portrays and got to know while making the film. “For a larger audience, I think a lot of people are going to be inspired and will continue to be inspired by Abby’s story. And the crew valued it so much as well. Everyone was so careful about telling the story as truthfully as we could and with such passion into telling it. So I think people can take away this hope, the power of prayer, the power of faith, and the power of not giving up.”

Don’t miss Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez premiering Saturday, February 26th at 8/7c on Lifetime.