Lauren Graham returns for Season 2 of "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Lauren Graham and Josh Duhamel said their characters in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers struggle with being overprotective in Season 2, premiering Wednesday on Disney+.
Graham, 55, returns as Alex Morrow, a mom who helped her son form his own hockey team when he was cut from The Mighty Ducks.
"As a character, one of my ongoing struggles is going to be do I hover or do I let my kid grow up?" Graham told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "I continue to struggle with that."
Morrow is Evan's (Brady Noon) mother. At the end of Season 1, their team beat the Mighty Ducks to win the name back.
Season 2 sees Alex taking the team to a summer hockey clinic. Coach Colin Cole (Josh Duhamel) is more intense than any coach Alex has ever faced.
Colin's son, Jace (Naveen Paddock) also attends the clinic, but rebels against his father's pressure to play. Duhamel, 49, said Colin has to let go of "the idea that your son is expected to be a professional hockey player like you were."
"I realize part of the way through that he does have a love for the game," Duhamel said. "It's just that he doesn't love that I force it on him or have these expectations on him."
Naveen, 16, who joins the cast of The Mighty Ducks for Season 2, said meeting the players helps Jace rediscover a love of hockey.
"As the season goes on, the Mighty Ducks help him regain confidence in himself," Naveen said. "He begins to feel better about himself."
Duhamel said letting go is a theme for the adults in Season 2.
"It's almost like you have to let them go in order for them to fall back in love with it," Duhamel said. "He can find his own way. If he does, he does. If he doesn't, that's OK."
Having starred on both seasons of Game Changers, Graham said she had to reconcile her young co-stars maturing in real life, too.
"Now they're all getting their driver's licenses," Graham said. "The little kid aspect they had that first season is really just gone. They all had a really big transformation that was really cool to see."
Season 1 also saw Evan get his first girlfriend -- in teammate Sofi (Sway Bhatia). They still are together in Season 2.
"It's just your typical middle school relationship," said Brady, 16. "We go to the pizza place and study math together."
Sway, 14, is among the younger cast members. She turns 15 in October and said she also feels like she's growing up fast.
"I was 12 when I first booked it, and now I'm almost 15," Sway said.
Maintaining their relationship in a new environment like hockey camp will challenge Sofi and Evan in Season 2.
"I think they have different mindsets when they get to the camp," Sway said. "You'll see how excited Evan is about the camp and how Sofi doesn't feel the exact same."
Alex also worries about Evan playing a contact sport against older and more experienced players. Behind the scenes, Graham said she can rest a tad easier knowing how well the young cast trained at hockey.
"They throw themselves around on the ice just in between scenes when they're out there practicing," Graham said. "It actually freaks me out less now because they are so padded and they seem kind of indestructible."
Duhamel said he played hockey until seventh grade, when a growth spurt inspired him to switch to basketball. He said training for The Mighty Ducks made him love hockey again, though it wasn't easy.
"It's not like riding a bicycle, man," Duhamel said. "It's like riding a unicycle."
New episodes of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.