While awaiting the birth of his first child this year, Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Shane, GUIDING LIGHT) has been keeping himself plenty busy! This weekend, he'll turn up on Lifetime in the thriller, Zoe Gone. "It's about Jennifer, a 16-year-old girl who has a baby (Zoe) with the support of her boyfriend, but the pressure is too much for him and he runs away," Branson offers. "Her mother is a divorcée who's got a boyfriend, which is where I come in. He's the guy who wanted the woman, but not necessarily the child, but took on the role of helping to raise her anyway. But when his gal becomes a grandmother, that wasn't in his plan. There are some moments of him not understanding and lashing out a bit."
The teenager's struggle to acclimate to motherhood and the drama that entails is further complicated by an unexpected twist: Baby Zoe goes missing! "That kicks in the young lady's maternal instincts," Branson relates. "Then the storyline becomes about finding the baby and [Jennifer] proving to herself the mother that she can be."
While Branson is reluctant to give away much more, he did want to praise the film's young star, Sammi Hanratty. "She knew exactly what she wanted to do with the role, and she ran with it right from the beginning!" he enthuses. "I think [the problem of] high school girls having babies and not knowing what to do or not having the support that they thought they would is a relevant topic. The soap fans will relate to it."
Zoe Gone premieres on Saturday, March 29, at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime. Then you can keep an eye out for Branson's upcoming guest appearances on TNT's PERCEPTION and CBS' NCIS.