Sprague Grayden brings her sister act to ‘A Million Little Things’

As the final four episodes of Season 2 of “A Million Little Things” get under way this Thursday, the arrival of Eddie Saville’s (David Giuntoli) older sister Lindsay (Sprague Grayden) kicks off a new story that will stretch into the next fall’s episodes.

“There’s a lot there to unpack,” says Grayden, 39. “They were very close as children. She opens up a new mystery for Eddie.”

Eddie and Lindsay haven’t seen each other in years. “Lindsay’s alcoholism was too toxic for Eddie to keep her in his life when he became sober after Theo was born,” says Sprague, alluding to Eddie’s son with Katherine (Grace Park). Not only were they siblings, they were also drinking buddies when they were in high school. “I think Eddie and Lindsay grew up in a toxic family situation,” she says. “She’s newly sober.”

So apprehensive are Katherine and Eddie about his sister’s arrival that Katherine removes Theo from the house before Lindsay rings the bell. Eddie wants to check her out himself, to make sure she’s really clean. “Lindsay wants to reconnect with her brother and be part of Theo’s (Tristan Byon) life,” Grayden says. “I think she’s at a point where she is questioning the choices she’s made. Eddie has a family. Lindsay has none of those things. When you’ve been partying 15 years, you can question the quality of your friendships. Becoming sober in your 30s is a lonely experience.”

That Sprague, who is married to “The Orville” senior concept designer Alexis Cassar, was already friends with Giuntoli helped smooth the way to filming these scenes on a show where happiness lasts for two-and-a-half minutes per episode. The actors met in a Meisner acting class taught by Chris Field. At one point, Sprague asked Giuntoli to play her love interest in a short film she was producing. “I told him, You’re going to be lead on the show one day and I’ll come and guest on it,” she says.

David Giuntoli and Sprague Grayden in "A Million Little Things."
David Giuntoli and Sprague Grayden in “A Million Little Things.”ABC/David Bukach

But when the actress booked the job on “A Million Little Things,” she did not tell Giuntoli she was coming on the show. “I never tell anybody ahead of time when I audition,” Sprague says. “I don’t tell anybody until I get the job.”

Grayden was born in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, a town made famous by the Oscar-winning Casey Affleck movie. Fittingly, she says the movie was largely an illusion of coastal blue-collar life, and that the actual Manchester is more upscale. “That film is really more about more the neighboring towns like Gloucester,” she says. “Those towns are wonderful places and they have more blue-collar workers in them. But Manchester has pretty shooting views.”

She and Kassar live in LA with their 5-year-old son Ben and they are a fairly eccentric family. What’s in the garage? “I have 150 Pez dispensers,” Sprague says. “I have Mr. Bean. Yoda is really funny. I have a Pez truck: the candy comes out of the back. I have all the ‘Star Trek’ captains, still in the box. Kirk, Spock, Janeway. I got it at Dylan’s Candy Store in New York. When the kid goes to college, we’ll break them out and sell them on eBay.”

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