Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX © 2014 FX Networks Photo: Natalie Brown as Kelly Goodweather in The Strain

For Kelly Goodweather — actress Natalie Brown's character in FX's The Strain, which premieres on July 13 — the parasitic vampire outbreak we see in the first episode is just the latest in a long string of crises that take her husband, CDC head Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), away from their family.

"That's always been the struggle," Natalie explained during Wetpaint Entertainment's set visit in March. "As much as [Kelly wants] a stable home life, it's something that neither he nor his job could provide. Not only was he never physically present but he also wasn't emotionally present."


Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX © 2014 FX Networks Photo: Corey Stoll as Ephraim Goodweather in The Strain

Though Kelly loves Ephraim and respects his job and its high stakes, Natalie says her character eventually realizes that it means he can't be a good enough husband or father: "Every scenario that Ephraim was in was always a matter of life or death. And that was always important, of course, because people's lives were truly at stake. And eventually, she had to take a leap of faith and say, 'No. I am more important. And the family unit is more important.' … You have to sometimes get selfish in order to be selfless. She had to start thinking about Kelly in order to put her family first. So that's when you meet Matt, the boyfriend, who is happily predictable and reliable."

That would be Matt Sayles, who may be less exciting but is a lot more dependable, which appeals to Kelly, as Natalie explains: "I know that after 35, when they poll women for what the most important quality in a man is, money falls to the wayside, looks fall to the wayside, so does a sense of humor. Reliability is No. 1 after 35."

And though Matt might be the boring choice, Natalie says that Kelly still loves him: "It's a different love, but she does. I think that every love is always different, and Eph was her first love and passionate in the beginning. And at the age and stage she's at now … she's looking for different things. And Matt has qualities that are more lovable, easier to love."

See how Kelly's love life fares when The Strain premieres this Sunday, July 13, at 10 p.m ET on FX.

Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!