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Show debuting Tuesday stars Central graduate
Past Life on Fox
Kelli Giddish plays Kate McGinn in “Past Life,” which premieres on Tuesday. - photo by For the Forsyth County News
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Forsyth County native Kelli Giddish stars in “Past Life” on Fox. The show premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday, with a second episode airing at 9 p.m. Thursday, the show’s regular time slot.
A Forsyth County native will see her dream of starring in a television series become reality Tuesday night on Fox.

Kelli Giddish, a 1998 graduate of Forsyth Central High School, has the starring role in the new show, “Past Life.”

The series focuses on Giddish’s character and a team of doctors and investigators who solve crimes by exploring people’s past life experiences.

Giddish spent several months last year in Atlanta filming six episodes of the new drama. She said she is “so excited” to finally see the show begin.

“I’m watching Fox and I see a teaser [for “Past Life”] and say, ‘Wow, that looks great,’” she said. “It’s great to see it finally coming on after we finished filming a couple of months ago.”

A 2002 graduate of the University of Evansville in Indiana, Giddish has appeared on a variety of shows, including “All My Children,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Life on Mars,” “Without a Trace” and “Damages.”

“Past Life” marks her first leading role in a television drama.

But show creator and executive producer David Hudgins said casting her as Kate McGinn, a psychologist who helps her patients deal with past life traumas, was a no brainer.

“I got her audition tape through e-mail ... and was blown away,” he said. “I said, ‘That is Kate. That’s exactly what we’re looking for.’

“We’ve had good karma from the beginning with Kelli.”

Giddish agreed, saying there are lots of similarities between herself and her character, from being Southern (McGinn hails from Texas) to “driving a big ol’ pickup truck,” which Giddish said she’s done in the past.

Giddish and Hudgins both said filming the show in Atlanta was one of the best parts of the process.

“Atlanta was fantastic,” Hudgins said. “That was my favorite part about the whole experience was being able to shoot there.”

Said Giddish: “It was such a great experience to be able to come home and know that there’s biscuits and gravy just around the corner, that there’s chicken and dumplings ...

“The [crew] fixed chicken and dumplings out in the parking lot during one day of filming. There was sweet tea always on the tables at lunch, so that was certainly nice to come back home.”  

Someone else who enjoyed having Giddish back home for a while was her mother, Nita Giddish, former principal of North Forsyth High School and a longtime local educator.

“We’re very excited for Kelli,” she said, adding the family and a few friends will gather at her house Tuesday to watch the premiere.

The pilot episode airs at 9 p.m. that night, followed by the second episode at 9 p.m. Thursday, which will become its regular time slot.