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The Reason Terri Hammer From Chicago Med Looks So Familiar

The seventh season of "Chicago Med" started on Sept. 22 with some new faces. One of them is that of Dr. Stevie Hammer (Kristen Hager), who is already showing a certain amount of depth in her very personal understanding of homelessness and the health problems that go with unstable living conditions. And there's more to come: one of the show's executive producers, Diane Frolov, told TV Guide, "She also has a very complicated past which is going to spool out ... And you wouldn't guess her past by looking at her." Frolov's co-showrunner Andrew Schneider added, "Which she doesn't talk about, but it affects how she treats patients, and her personal life, and will come out through the course of the season."

So there's plenty more storyline involving the new woman on the staff at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. Her story also brings other characters into the fold, including her homeless mother, played by Bonita Friedericy — which explains how the good doc knows so much about the topic. 

You may think that the actress who plays Terri Hammer looks familiar. That's because she's a veteran actor who has been working on-screen since 1997 after a stint as a teacher (via an AssignmentX interview). Her career has included guest spots on shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Family Law," "Star Trek: Enterprise" (her husband is "Enterprise" actor John Billingsley), as well as small and usually unnamed bit parts in well-known movies like "Akeelah and the Bee," and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." 

However, she's also had some bigger parts, as well, and here are some of the ones where you probably caught her. 

Bonita Friedericy played the head of the NSA on Chuck

Bonita Friedericy was a series regular on the NBC series "Chuck" from 2007-2012, which starred fan-favorite Zachary Levi as the titular character and clerk at the local Buy More, who gets spy secrets embedded in his brain when he reads an email. 

Friedericy played stern but compassionate Brigadier General Diane Beckman, the director of the National Security Agency. who gives the team intelligence and assigns their missions via video conferencing calls. She occasionally gets more involved, offering support — and also manipulating matters here and there — to make sure Chuck remains active and useful to the government. She also has a romantic interest in super-spy Roan Montgomery (John Larroquette). 

"This is the way a Beckman scene basically works," she told Assignment X. "It's a long-distance shot of me on a monitor, talking and you see the back of everyone. And it zooms up close and then it sort of goes to everybody else while I continue to talk, and then eventually it comes back to me. So most of the filming is about two, three, four hours of other people, with me just standing with the camera guys, throwing my lines out. So I actually have gotten very fond of the camera crew. I'm usually crammed behind them, under their armpits or in weird locations, trying not to get run over."

Beckman is a character she enjoyed playing quite a bit, though. "I liked her for the fact that she's got a really good heart and that she's practical. She's extraordinarily pragmatic ... She is fully capable of nuking a fortress and perhaps killing the man she loves in an effort to save him, because that's what's required," she said.

Bonita Friedericy is a meddling mom in Shotgun Wedding

After "Chuck," Friedericy was able to translate her experience into some interesting roles, like her high-profile turn in "Shotgun Wedding," a darkly humorous Fox Digital Studios film from 2013. Friedericy plays Yvette, the mother of the groom, who is called in to help when her son Robert (Mike Damous) accidentally shoots the maid of honor in the face during a skeet-shooting outing. Her determination to keep the wedding going results in a bunch of drastic decisions, bludgeoning deaths, and other bizarre happenings during the course of the film. 

Friedericy's supporting performance was listed as a positive by reviewers. "The acting is very strong in this movie, with some recognizable faces mixing in with one's I haven't seen before. Friedericy's over-the-top, yet loving mother is absolutely fantastic," Project-Nerd reported from that year's Tallgrass Film Festival. "Shotgun Wedding" actually debuted on Netflix in 2013 (via Deadline), but is no longer available there. These days, you can rent or buy it on Amazon Prime.

Bonita Friedericy played a mother who kills her child in AMC's Preacher

Bonita Friedericy had a recurring role in the first season of the AMC series based on a Vertigo imprint, "Preacher." She played Terri Loach, the mother of a comatose daughter (Gianna Lepera) who sees the girl show signs of recovery after meeting Jesse (Dominic Cooper). Her last appearance in the show (along with all the poor residents of Annville) was in the final episode of the first season (via Entertainment Weekly), "Call and Response." In the episode, God appears — only it isn't God. It's an angel masquerading as God, because apparently no one knows where God is. This revelation leads to a loss of hope in the town of Annville that spurs some horrific acts, including Terri suffocating her daughter while her son Jack (Christopher Garcia) takes a selfie of the murder. Yikes. It doesn't really matter, though, since all of Annville then got vaporized in a methane explosion generated by the local manure plant. 

IndieWire, reviewing that episode, noted, "It's an incredibly odd note to end on, since the show has killed most of its cast but our heroes are blithely unaware of it. Is it supposed to be funny? Tragic? A bit of both? Honestly, it just feels like the show saying, 'Thank God that's over! Now on to the real show!' It's certainly a definitive choice, but it's not one that justifies all the time spent on the half-developed citizens of Annville." 

The following seasons of "Preacher" were critically lauded (via Rotten Tomatoes), though, proving this strange finale was just one part of a creative and surprising plan.