Things looked bleak for Tami and Eric (Kyle Chandler) as their relationship was pushed past the breaking point this season when Tami got a great job offer as Dean of Admissions at a prestigious college in Philadelphia and Eric did not want to leave Dillon. At one point, the possibility of a separation, so previously unthinkable, actually seemed possible.
“It was really challenging to go to those places,” said Britton. “We definitely were squabbling with each other in those last couple of episodes. Sometimes, it’s hard to separate reality from fiction. It took us both as actors to a different place in terms of our working together.”
Katims didn’t worry that the audience would feel unsympathetic towards Eric during this conflict, given that the exchanges between the two characters felt so honest.
“They’re both struggling in a very honest way to make a decision about this,” said Katims. “Ultimately, when he does come around at the end, I feel like that moment is really earned. If he were basically just to say, ‘Okay, let’s move to Philly,’ I don’t think it would honor his connection to the town and being a coach in that town.”
Britton agreed. “Kyle was really brave in the way he played it,” she said. “There were scenes I was like, ‘You are an asshole right now.’ He was having temper tantrums… because he is not used to having his foundation rocked like that, especially by Tami.”