Interview with Megan Best

TV Interview!

 

Megan Best stars in "Confessions of a Cam Girl" on Lifetime - photo from IMDB.

Interview with Megan Best of “Confessions of a Cam Girl” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/23/24

It was lovely to speak to Megan. You may know her from “The Watchful Eye” last year on Freeform, where she played the meeker of the two sisters, Darcy. She’s playing a very different character here.  She does very well as a young woman who thinks she knows what she wants and goes after it, even though she may be risking her life or reputation. It’s an exciting Lifetime drama, so you don’t want to miss it, Saturday, 1/27/24, 8/7c.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Confessions of a Cam Girl" key artInspired by real stories, Confessions of a Cam Girl follows the eighteen-year-old fashion savant Kristen (Megan Best, Dawn) who is set to become the first in her family to graduate college. Her working-class parents are furious when she reveals a plan to attend fashion school instead of college. Her parents refuse to use her college fund for her farfetched dream. Determined to pay for it herself, Kristen secretly creates an online explicit content page to raise $10,000 for dream program. Confident that she can keep her side hustle under wraps, Kristen’s secret unravels and threatens not just her future, but the safety of her family as well.

Confessions of a Cam Girl is produced by Sepia Films for Lifetime. Sheri Singer serves as executive producer. Siobhan Devine directs from a script written by Miriam van Emst.

Megan Best is known for Nobody (2021), Seance (2021) and Vandits (2022). Visit her on Instagram

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Megan Best stars in "Confessions of a Cam Girl" on Lifetime

 

Interview with Larry Thompson

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Taylor Ann Thompson who also stars in Ladies Of The '80s: A Divas Christmas with Larry Thompson, Executive Producer Courtesy of Larry Thompson Entertainment

Interview with Larry A. Thompson, producer of “Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas” on Lifetime by Suzanne 10/23/23

In a normal year, I would have been able to interview one of the great actresses in this movie, or possibly all of them. However, this interview was during the SAG-Aftra strike, so I was only allowed to speak to the movie’s executive producer. However, it was a great chat because he’s been around a long time. He worked with the Beatles when he was just starting out as a lawyer for EMI! He’s not only a producer, but a manager. In fact, he manages William Shatner, whom I love and would very much like to interview one day. It was awesome to hear his stories in this interview. I hope you enjoy it, too!

The movie is very fun – especially if you enjoy romantic Christmas movies, or if you watched primetime soaps like “Knots Landing,” “Dallas,” “Desperate Housewives,” etc. because the “ladies” of the title are LInda Grey (Sue Ellen on “Dallas”), Loni Anderson (Jennifer of “WKRP in Cincinnati, among other roles – the only “lady” not known for soaps), Morgan Fairchild (of Falcon Crest, Paper Dolls and many daytime soaps), Nicolette Sheridan (Paige of “Knots Landing” and Edie of “Desperate Housewives”), and Donna Mills (Abby in “Knots Landing”). It was great to see them all in this charming film. Thompson’s daughter, Taylor Ann, is the ingenue of the movie.  Christopher Atkins has a small role as Grey’s son (This is hilarious to me because in “Dallas,” their characters had an affair!).  I enjoyed it. It’s fun and very Christmasy. The male lead, Travis Burns, is very handsome and has a killer Aussie accent. Happy Holidays! Don’t miss the movie tomorrow, December 2nd, 2023!

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas" key artIn Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas, five glamorous ‘80s soap opera stars reunite to share the spotlight to shoot the final Christmas episode of their long-running soap opera. The producer, Alex (Travis Burns) and director Nell (Taylor Ann Thompson), old college friends, do their best to keep things on the rails but as the ladies come together, old rivalries resurface that threaten to tear the whole production apart. With the show nearly canceled before it even begins due to the ladies’ famous diva behavior, they reluctantly agree to set aside their differences and past secrets to “act” as if they all still love each other.  When old sparks reignite between Alex and Nell, the ladies become eager to play cupid and conspire to bring the couple together. Along the way, the divas also discover that the love between them all is still very strong too.

The movie’s theme song Ladies of the ’80s was written by Song Writer Hall of Fame’s Steve Dorff and Michael Jay, produced by Steve Droff, and performed by ’80s pop sensation Tiffany (I Think We’re Alone Now).

Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas is executive produced for Lifetime by Larry A. Thompson (Liz & Dick, Amish Grace). Christie Will Wolf (Christmas on Candy Cane Lane, The Art of Passion) directs from a script by James Berg & Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Gilmore Girls) with Robert G. Endara II and Ed Polgardy producing.

About Larry Thompason

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Larry Thompson, Executive Producer, has his hands full while producing Lifetime's Ladies Of The '80s: A Divas Christmas starring (L-R, Linda Gray, Loni Anderson, Larry Thompson, Donna Mills, Morgan Fairchild, and Nicollette Sheridan). - Courtesy of Larry Thompson Entertainment

 

Interview with Stan Brooks

TV Interview!

 

Stan Brooks, director of "Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Stan Brooks, director of “Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/15/23

This is an interesting movie, although sad. What makes it stand out from many other TV movies is how accurate it is to the original story. From what the director says here, they went to great pains to make it as close to the original as possible. I believe it because it really does feel real.  All the actors were outstanding in this, particularly the leads, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Vicky) and Rossif Sutherland (Casey).  If you’ve only seen Wendi in comedies, you’ll be surprised at how great she is in this.  I loved Rossif in last year’s “Three Pines” on Prime Video, so I was very happy to see him show up in this. He’s the son of Donald Sutherland and brother to Kiefer Sutherland. He’s definitely inherited the family’s talent and looks.

It was a joy to speak with director Stanley M. Brooks because he’s worked for years as a producer in movies and TV, such as “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC) and “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” (Lifetime).  He has some amazing stories that you’ll love. I wish I could have picked his brain for hours.  Please watch this Lifetime movie because it’s worth watching. Enjoy our video interview!

 

MORE INFO: Trailer   Official Site

"Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" key art

Based on a true story, the movie follows Vicky White (Wendi McLendon-Covey), a lonely corrections officer who falls
for a prisoner (Rossif Sutherland), but before she can ensure their happily ever after, she must first break him out of
prison.

Every day for divorced prison corrections officer Vicky White (McLendon-Covey) is like the movie Groundhog DayWendi McLendon-Covey and Rossif Sutherland star in "Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" premiering Saturday, October 21 at 8p/7c. – mundane, and every day just like the previous. But when new prisoner Casey White (Sutherland) is brought to her facility, the two develop a secret infatuation. Vicky gives Casey special attention, believing he’s the only man to see her the way she wants to be seen. But when Casey’s inevitable transfer to a lengthy prison sentence approaches, Vicky decides to take desperate action. Risking everything, Vicky manages to break Casey out of jail and takes him on the run, eluding authorities on an eleven-day dash for freedom. For Vicky, even the probable tragedy ahead of them is worth the chance to live life fully once more.

Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story is executive produced for Lifetime by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tom Patricia, Gladys Gonzalez of John Carrabino Management and Howard Braunstein with Stan Brooks directing from a script by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney with Juliette Hagoplan producing the movie. Wendi is repped by UTA manager, Gladys Gonzalez, and attorney David Krintzman.
Stanley M. Brooks is an American film and television producer. He has produced more than 60 productions for film and television as well as several critically acclaimed miniseries including Broken Trail and Prayers for Bobby.

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Stan Brooks with Judith Light and other woman (from his Instagram)

 

Interview with Rebecca Morris

TV Interview!

 

Author Rebecca Morris

Interview with Rebecca Morris, Executive Producer of “Amish Stud: The Eli Weaver Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/20/23

This is an intriguing movie airing tomorrow, September 30 on Lifetime. Rebecca is not only one of the EPs – she co-wrote the book about this case on which the movie is based, “A Killing in Amish Country: Sex, Betrayal and a Cold-blooded Murder” (along with author Gregg Olsen). In fact, she’s a New York Times Bestselling Author! It was my privilege to speak with her about this movie and this case.

I apologize if my questions during this interview made it sound like I expected her to be more involved with the movie itself. I really wasn’t told ahead of time about the extent of her involvement (I probably should have asked, so that’s on me). I’m very glad we spoke, though, as it was educational as well as entertaining.

At any rate, I enjoyed speaking with her. I hope you enjoy this interview. You should definitely check it out. It has a good story and an amazing cast! Luke Macfarlane , Kirsten Vangsness, Miranda MacDougallClare Filipow and the others do a really great job. When you watch this movie, you will learn things you probably didn’t know about the modern Amish community. The ending of the movie is chilling, since it is about a real case. Lovers of true crime will no doubt really enjoy this movie. If you’re a fan of Luke Macfarlane, you will be shocked by his performance (he’s also an EP). It’s a very different role than the others you’ve seen him play.

 

MORE INFO: Trailer Lifetime Site

"Amish Stud: The Eli Weaver Story" key art

About Rebecca Morris

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Morris is a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington and was a free-lance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, and many other publications.

Her newest book, Boy Missing: The Search for Kyron Horman, is the only book about the
seven year old boy who vanished from his Portland, Oregon school on June 4, 2010. She spent three years interviewing his family and friends and trying to answer two questions: Where is Kyron, and why hasn’t the woman believed responsible for his disappearance been charged? The book helps make the case that no-body cases can be prosecuted.

Her first book, Ted and Ann, continues to be a bestseller on Amazon (and is also available as an e-book and audio book), and her e-book, Bad Apples – Inside the Teacher/Student Sex Scandal Epidemic, is the only book to look at the trend of female teachers having sex with underage students.

She is also the author of a true crime memoir, A Murder in My Hometown (2018), as well as
A Killing in Amish Country – Sex Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder (St. Martin’s, 2016) and If I Can’t Have You – Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children (St. Martin’s 2014). She and Gregg Olsen are the authors of the Notorious USA series, including The Boy Who Fired the First Shot, The Girl and the Horrors of Howard Avenue, and The Stranger and the World’s Bravest Little Girl.

Rebecca attended Oregon State University, received a B.A. in Journalism from Seattle
University, and has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brown University. She speaks about her work at libraries, schools, and writers’ conferences. She has taught writing, journalism, and playwriting at colleges and universities across the country. She currently teaches at Seattle’s Hugo House and at North Seattle College.

She appears frequently on network and cable television as a crime expert.

Lifetime Announces “Truly Unbelievable Movies” A Ripped From the Headlines Event – New Movies Every Saturday Beginning September 16

LIFETIME ANNOUNCES “TRULY UNBELIEVABLE MOVIES” 
A RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES EVENT WITH NEW ORIGINALS 
EVERY SATURDAY BEGINNING THIS SEPTEMBER  

BILL PULLMAN TO HEADLINE LIFETIME’S MILESTONE
500TH ORIGINAL MOVIE
MURDAUGH MURDERS: THE MOVIE
DEBUTING OCTOBER 14 AND 15 AS A TWO-NIGHT EVENT

SARAH DREW EXECUTIVE PRODUCES AND STARS
ALONGSIDE DELILAH HAMLIN IN
HOW SHE CAUGHT A KILLER
ON SEPTEMBER 16

EMILY OSMENT AND ANNA HOPKINS HEADLINE
STOLEN BABY: THE MURDER OF HEIDI BROUSSARD PREMIERING SEPTEMBER 23 

LUKE MACFARLANE EXECUTIVE PRODUCES AND STARS
WITH KIRSTEN VANGSNESS IN
AMISH STUD: THE ELI WEAVER STORY
SET FOR SEPTEMBER 30 

MEAGAN GOOD EXECUTIVE PRODUCES AND STARS ALONGSIDE
ARIANA MADIX IN BUYING BACK MY DAUGHTER DEBUTING OCTOBER 7

WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY EXECUTIVE PRODUCES AND STARS IN
BAD ROMANCE: THE VICKY WHITE STORY PREMIERING OCTOBER 21 

MELISSA JOAN HART EXECUTIVE PRODUCES AND STARS IN
WOULD YOU KILL FOR ME? THE MARY BAILEY STORY DEBUTING OCTOBER 28

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 6, 2023) – This fall, Lifetime unveils “Truly Unbelievable Movies,” a Ripped from the Headlines Event , a slate of seven new original movies featuring top talent. All produced earlier this year, the lineup includes Lifetime’s milestone 500th original movie, the two-night event Murdaugh Murders: The Movie starring Bill Pullman as Alex Murdaugh who, on the surface is a prominent and respected South Carolina lawyer, loving husband and father but behind closed doors, lived a drug-filled secret life that ultimately led to murder. The two-part movie will premiere as the tent-pole of fall slate, premiering on October 14th and 15th at 8p/7c. New original movies will all debut Saturdays at 8p/7c from September 16 – October 28.

AMISH STUD: THE ELI WEAVER STORY – Premieres September 30
Devoted to her husband, kids and faith, Barbara Weaver (Miranda MacDougall, The Flash) was content leading a traditional life in her conservative Ohio Amish community—with no modern conveniences.  Her husband Eli (EP, Luke Macfarlane, Bros), however, wanted the things that were forbidden to him as an Amish man. He gave into the temptations of women and technology, leading a secret life with the online alias “Amish Stud” to meet with women outside of his marriage bed.  Eli found his pick of curious women fascinated by the Amish lifestyle, and often spoke to his mistresses about his desire to kill his wife.  When Barbara is found dead from a shotgun wound, all eyes turn to Eli. But with his rock solid alibi, investigators had nowhere to turn, until they discover Eli had a secret cell phone. Their investigations led them to Barb Raber (Kirsten Vangsness, Criminal Minds), a married Conservative Mennonite who had been having an affair with Eli and who was plotting with him to murder his wife. Ultimately, it is up to the detectives investigating the crime to find justice for Barbara Weaver. Amish Stud is based on the book, “A Killing in Amish Country: Sex, Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder” by bestselling authors Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris.

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Luke Macfarlane and Miranda MacDougall as Eli and Barbara Weaver in "Amish Stud: The Eli Weaver Story" on Lifetime

 

Interview with Brec Bassinger, Donna Mills, Jesse Metcalfe, Joey McIntyre, and Khobe Clarke

TV Interview!

 

Panel with Brec Bassinger, Donna Mills, Jesse Metcalfe, Joey McIntyre, and Khobe Clarke of "V.C. Andrews' Dawn" on Lifetime

Interview with Brec Bassinger, Donna Mills, Jesse Metcalfe, Joey McIntyre, and Khobe Clarke of “V.C. Andrews’ Dawn” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/26/23

If you like V.C. Andrews’ books and Lifetime’s adaptations of them, you’ll probably like this one as well. I only saw the first episode, but it was enjoyable.  It was great to see these actors in the panel. Unfortunately, I don’t think Donna Mills and Jesse Metcalfe are in the later segments, just the first part. This particular book was not written by V.C. Andrews. She died in the 80’s. It’s written by Andrew Neiderman, who writes all of the “V.C. Andrews” books now, with permission from her trust.  There is a short introduction here from him.

 

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Key Art for "V.C. Andrews' Dawn" on Lifetime

Dawn follows the story of Dawn Longchamp (Brec Bassinger), who after growing up in humble surroundings with a very hardworking family including her devoted father Ormand (Jesse Metcalfe) and older brother Jimmy (Khobe Clarke), suddenly has everything she loves ripped away from her. After discovering the shocking truth about the people who raised her, she is thrust into a new family whose dark and twisted secrets change the course of her life forever.  As Dawn struggles to fit in, her wicked grandmother Lillian Cutler (Donna Mills) rules her life with an iron fist and inflicts cruel punishments when Dawn does not follow her strict orders.  When Dawn finds herself entrenched in the mysteries surrounding the family, it becomes clear that a dark and inescapable curse looms over the Cutlers.

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Dawn is escorted out by the local police detective while her grandmother watches, smugly.

 

Interview with Tatyana Ali, Alpha Nicky Mulowa and Ni’Cola Mitchell

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Tatyana Ali, Alpha Nicky Mulowa and Ni'Cola Mitchell of "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Tatyana Ali, Alpha Nicky Mulowa and Ni’Cola Mitchell of “Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/8/23

This was an interesting movie because it was based on a real story of a woman who went through poverty, traumaTatyana Ali stars in "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on Lifetime and loss, yet she was saved by her inner intelligence, strength and perseverance. She went on to use this drive and determination to help young girls who are at-risk, even though she was a single mother with very little funds. It’s truly an inspirational story. Ali did a wonderful job with the role, and it was great to not only talk to her about the movie, but also the film’s director, and the real-life Ni’Cola Mitchell, on whom the movie is based. You can learn more here about Mitchell’s organization, Girls Who Brunch.

 

 

MORE INFO: Trailer Official Site

poster for "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on LifetimeTatyana Ali stars in Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story, the emotional true story of best-selling author and inspirational speaker Ni’Cola Mitchell, who after experiencing sexual violence as a young girl, founded an organization dedicated to saving at risk girls from abuse and exploitation.

Ni’Cola Mitchell (Tatyana Ali), successful author, publisher and speaker, realizes at a book signing that her calling is to help disadvantaged girls. Ni’Cola understands what it is like to overcome huge hurdles in life including a difficult childhood and a cancer diagnosis, and after putting her own writing career on hold, she launches Girls Who Brunch, events designed to make young women feel seen and empowered. With the support of her sister Nene (Nadine Whiteman Roden) and daughters Diamond (Kudakwashe Rutendo) and Destani (Mikalah Reid-Beckette), she pours everything she has into the organization, including her own money and mobilizes volunteers, coaches and community leaders to help host events. Ni’Cola is named A Woman of Worth by L’Oréal and sponsorship opportunities begin to come in, helping Girls Who Brunch expand nationally and travel to dozens of cities across the country, reaching tens of thousands of girls in the process.

Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story is produced by Champlin Media. Executive producers are Barbara Fisher, Tom Berry, Suzanne Chapman and Ni’Cola Mitchell. Producers are Adam Gowland, Jordana Aarons and Cassandra Keenan. Alpha Nicky directs from a script written by Adam Rockoff.

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Tatyana Ali, Kudakwashe Rutendo and Mikalah Reid-Beckette in "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on Lifetime

 

Interview with Stephanie Mills, Keeya King, Thomas Miles and Erica Campbell

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cast from "Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Stephanie Mills, Keeya King, Thomas Miles and Erica Campbell of “Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” on Lifetime by Krista 3/28/23

Lifetime had a press day with the actors from this drama. It’s part of a series of movies about the Seven Deadly Sins. They previously had “Greed” and “Wrath.” You can find more information about the film in the press release below. I enjoyed watching it and being able to ask my question. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

 

MORE INFO: Trailer  Official Site

"Pride" press day poster from LifetimeLifetime Announces “Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” – The Next Movie Title in its “7 Deadly Sins” Movie Anthology

FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS T.D. JAKES,
DERRICK WILLIAMS AND SHAUN ROBINSON,
LIFETIME PRESENTS THE NEXT TITLE IN ITS
SEVEN DEADLY SINS MOVIE ANTHOLOGY

PRIDE: A SEVEN DEADLY SINS STORY
STARRING GRAMMY WINNERS STEPHANIE MILLS & ERICA CAMPBELL
THOMAS “NEPHEW TOMMY” MILES & KEEYA KING 

PREMIERES APRIL 8

Los Angeles, CA (February 8, 2023) – Following the immensely popular Seven Deadly Sins movies—LustEnvyWrath and Greed—Lifetime continues the anthology with a new sin and new movie, Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story. Executive produced by T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams and Shaun Robinson, and inspired by actual events, the movie centers on the story of a famous bakery owner and reality TV star Birdie Moore (Grammy-Award winner, Stephanie Mills) whose past secrets threaten the enormous success she has achieved.  Joining Mills are co-stars Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles as Birdie’s son, Gabe Moore; Keeya King as her granddaughter, Ella Boudreaux; and Grammy-Award winner Erica Campbell as Pastor Trey. Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story premieres on Saturday, April 8 at 8/7c.

The prior 7 Deadly Sins Lifetime original movies – LustEnvy, Wrath and Greed – attracted close to 7 million total viewers in 2022.

Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story tells the story of reality TV star Birdie Moore (Stephanie Mills), whose carefully constructed world starts to crumble — like the baked goods that catapulted her to fame — when her family secrets are brought to light. To salvage her legacy, Birdie must let go of the pride that estranged her from her daughter. Birdie’s pride also prevents her from seeing that her son Gabe Moore (Thomas Miles) is actually a thieving opportunist and that her granddaughter Ella Boudreaux (Keeya King) is just a lost twenty-something trying to build up her life after some missteps. While pride helped drive Birdie’s success, it also made her blind to what was happening around her.  Will Birdie finally be able to see and admit the truth, or face the consequences of her pride?

Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story is produced by Neshama Entertainment, T.D. Jakes Enterprises, DNA Media Group and RobinHood Productions in association with MarVista Entertainment. T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams, and Shaun Robinson serve as executive producers along with Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew for MarVista Entertainment, and Arnie Zipursky and Suzanne Berger for Neshama. Pride is directed by Troy Scott from a script written by Felicia Brooker. Award-winning composer and music director, Ray Chew, is the movie’s composer.

In addition to Stephanie Mills, Thomas Miles and Keeya King, the movie also stars Lucia Walters (Virgin River) as Shanice; and Jaime M. Callica (Ruthless) as Khalil.

The Seven Deadly Sins movie anthology is inspired by novels from author Victoria Christopher Murray, who is a consulting producer on Pride.

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cast from "Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story" on Lifetime

 

Interview with Tamala Jones, Brian White and Jackée Harry

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Tamala Jones and Brian White star in "Every Breath She Takes" on Lifetime

Interview with Tamala Jones, Brian White and Jackée Harry of “Every Breath She Takes”Jackée Harry in "Every Breath She Takes" on Lifetime on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/8/23

This is from our Lifetime Press Day. This was my favorite of the 4 movies we saw. It’s very suspenseful! I love all of these actors, and they did a great job. Harry was not originally scheduled to be there, so it was a pleasant surprise!

 

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Key art for "Every Breath She Takes" on LifetimeOfficial Site

After suffering years of mental and verbal abuse by her husband Billy (Brian White), Jules Baker (Tamala Jones) thinks she is finally free when a fierce physical struggle ends in a massive fire that destroys their home and takes Billy’s life. As Jules begins to rebuild her life, dark rumors haunt her when she hears whispers around town that she is “the one that killed her husband.” Things take a turn for the worse when problems with insurance arise after it’s found that the fire was intentionally set, and all signs point to Jules. She’s pushed to the edge as a series of frightening events threaten her mental stability and she thinks she’s seeing Billy at every turn. When people around her begin to have mysterious accidents, Jules start to question everything… including her sanity.

Every Breath She Takes is produced by Poke Prod in association with MarVista Entertainment for Lifetime. Sean Dwyer and Elizabeth Cullen executive produce for Poke Prod, along with Tamala Jones. Deena Sternand Fernando Szew executive produce for MarVista. Mary Beth McAdaragh and Flo and Ken Chotiner also serve as executive producers. Darin Scott directs the screenplay from Amy Taylor and Jennifer Edwards.

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Tamala Jones and Lamon Archey star in "Every Breath She Takes" on Lifetime

Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam and Danika Frederick

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Keshia Knight Pulliam and Danika Frederick of "The Hillsdale Adoption Scam" on Lifetime

Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam and Danika Frederick of “The Hillsdale Adoption Scam” on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/8/23

I love these Lifetime Press Days that the network has periodically. I get to interview quite a few people.  This is your typical Lifetime movie where a woman and her family are terrorized by villains. It has some nice twists, though. I didn’t like just one thing about it: when two of the characters each went to confront the villain, alone, at her place…are people really that stupid in real life? I don’t know, but it seems like they should avoid that kind of bad plot device. Why wouldn’t they just call the police, or take someone with them (or take a gun)? Ah, well. It’s not the worst movie and the rest of it is pretty good. Keshia Knight Pulliam is always great. As I found out in our interview, she was very pregnant during the filming, which is kind of funny, considering the other actress was playing someone who was pregnant. Enjoy the movie and this interview!

 

 

MORE INFO: Official Site

Inspired by true events, Bethany (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Terrence have a thriving business, lots of friends, and a beautiful family. Unable to have more kids, Bethany thinks it’s a blessing when Georgia, who is pregnant, shows up on their porch looking for help. Though Terrence is hesitant about Georgia, Bethany dives in headfirst with the idea of adopting Georgia’s unborn baby. As the pregnancy progresses, it starts to feel like things don’t seem right, and they begin to discover unsettling things about Georgia and her cunning and unscrupulous motives.

The Hillsdale Adoption Scam is produced by The Cartel for Lifetime. Stan Spry, Eric Woods, Samantha DeGagne and Devan Towers serve as executive producers and Anthony Fankhauser served as Producer with Asia Youngman directing from a script written by Justin D. James.

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Keshia Knight Pulliam and Michael Strickland play husband and wife Bethany and Terrence in "The Hillsdale Adoption Scam" on Lifetime

Interview with Garcelle Beauvais, Linda Park, Iyana Halley, Taylor Mosby and Derrica Wilson

TV Interview!

Garcelle Beauvais and Taylor Mosby of "Black Girl Missing" on Lifetime

Interview with Garcelle Beauvais, Linda Park, Taylor Mosby Iyana Halley and Derrica Wilson of “Black Girl Missing” on Lifetime by Suzanne 2/2/23

This is a powerful movie about a woman losing one of her children, and the lengths she goes through to find her, and to make the police and press take her seriously. It’s fictional but based on many true stories. This is part of Lifetime’s “Ripped From the Headlines” press panels. It first airs Saturday, March 4th.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site and Trailer

Beauvais and other cast in "Black Girl Missing" on LifetimeWhen Cheryl (Garcelle Beauvais) gets into an argument with her daughter Lauren (Iyana Halley) over her desire to drop out of college, she initially thinks Lauren is simply ignoring her calls and texts, but Cheryl soon realizes Lauren is missing.  While she attempts to get help from authorities and the media, they quickly dismiss the case, labeling Lauren as a runaway while they are all too consumed with another case – that of a missing white girl. Desperate to find Lauren, Cheryl and her 15-year-old daughter Marley (Taylor Mosby) enlist the help of a dedicated community of amateur internet sleuths to try to find Lauren. Cheryl also discovers the Black and Missing Foundation and is horrified to discover the disparity in how missing persons of color cases are treated with significant lack of media attention and law enforcement resources.

The movie also stars Linda Park, as Elise, a local reporter who tries to help Cheryl, against the orders of the news director.

Derrica and Natalie Wilson, founders of Black and Missing Foundation, serve as consultants on the film. Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. (BAMF) has been established as a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring awareness to missing persons of color, provide vital resources and tools to missing person’s families and friends and to educate the minority community on personal safety. Garcelle Beauvais will also be featured in a new PSA in support of Black and Missing Foundation’s efforts.

Black Girl Missing is produced for Lifetime by Johnson Production Group in association with Motion Content Group.  Garcelle Beauvais, Tim Johnson, Stacy Mandelberg, Gordon Gilbertson, Jason Egenberg, Richard Foster and Chet Fenster are executive producers. Delmar Washington (Outsiders) directs from a script written by Kale Futterman (Samir).

As a companion to the movie, Lifetime will debut the special, Beyond the Headlines: Black Girl Missing, following true stories of black and missing women featuring interviews with their families and Black and Missing Foundations’s involvement in the cases. Produced by AMS, Andy Streitfeld serves as EP and Kim Clemons is the showrunner. Natalie and Derrica Wilson of the Black and Missing Foundation are also consultants.

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Linda Park in "Black Girls Missing" on Lifetime

Interview with Gina Gershon, Samantha Mathis, David Conrad and Harrison Thomas

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Samantha Mathis and Harrison Thomas star in 12 Desperate Hours, premiering Saturday, February 25th at 8/7c on Lifetime.

Interview with Gina Gershon, Samantha Mathis, David Conrad and Harrison Thomas of “12 Desperate Hours” on Lifetime by Suzanne 2/2/23

This is a very enjoyable movie that premieres Saturday, Feb. 25 on Lifetime (and I’m sure it will repeat many times). Gershon, famous for her many acting roles, directed it.  Well-known actress Mathis is the main star of this movie as Val, a mother taken hostage and then kidnapped by a deranged young man, Denny (brilliantly played by Thomas). Conrad plays her husband, Mark, who searches for her, along with the police. He’s most well-known for “Ghost Whisperers.” This is the last of the Lifetime Press Day movies from Feb. 2, but it’s certainly the only one where the villain was sympathetic.  Make sure you watch it!

 

MORE INFO: Official Site

"12 Desperate Hours" key art

12 Desperate Hours marks Gina Gershon’s long-form directorial debut and her return to Lifetime having previously starred as Donatella Versace in House of Versace in 2013 and in the LMN miniseries Everything She Ever Wanted in 2009, which was also based on an Ann Rule’s novel. Gershon directs Samantha Mathis (Billions), Harrison Thomas (Better Call Saul) and David Conrad in the film.

Adapted from Ann Rule’s Last Chance, Last Dance true crime collection, 12 Desperate Hours follows Val (Samantha Mathis), a mother who finds herself and her young children held hostage by Denny (Harrison Thomas) when he forces his way into her house after committing murder earlier that day.  In order to save them and her husband Mark (David Conrad), who was due home at any moment, Val offers to drive Denny wherever he wants and becomes his unwilling accomplice as he goes on a rampage of destruction. Despite the traumatic events, Val builds a rapport with her captor and uses the relationship to help save the lives of bystanders, herself and even the life of her captor.

12 Desperate Hours and A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story will both debut in 2023 on Lifetime and are produced by Allegheny Image Factory and Best On Best.  Conor Allyn and Benjamin Anderson serve as executive producers and Jeff Tinnell and Bob Tinnell serve as producers for both films.  Allyn and Anderson wrote the script for Desperate Hours and For A Rose From Her Grave. This marks the fifth and sixth Ann Rule adaptation Allyn and Anderson have Executive Produced, including Sleeping With Danger, Circle Of Deception, A Murder To Remember and A House on Fire, which the latter they also penned.

Gina L. Gershon (born June 10, 1962) is an American actress. She has had roles in the films Cocktail (1988), Red Heat (1988), Showgirls (1995), Bound (1996), Face/Off (1997), The Insider (1999), Demonlover (2002), P.S. I Love You (2007), Five Minarets in New York (2010), Killer Joe (2011) and House of Versace (2013). She has also had supporting roles in FX‘s Rescue Me and HBO‘s How to Make It in America. She portrayed Gladys Jones on The CW teen drama series Riverdale.

Samantha Mathis was born in 1970 in New York, to Donald Mathis and Austrian-born Bibi Besch, an aspiring actress at the time. Her maternal grandmother was actress Gusti Huber. Her first acting job was in a commercial for baby products with her mother. Since her parents divorced when she was only three years old, Samantha was very exposed to the acting industry from a very young age, which made her almost destined to become an actress. Samantha’s first feature film was Pump Up the Volume (1990) opposite her on- and off-screen love at the time, Christian Slater.

David Conrad (born August 17, 1967) is an American actor, born  in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. From 2005 to 2010, he starred in the television series Ghost Whisperer alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt. He’s also known for Men of Honor (2000), Wedding Crashers (2005) and Anything Else (2003).

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David Conrad stars in 12 Desperate Hours, premiering Saturday, February 25th at 8/7c on Lifetime.

Interview with Colin Egglesfield, Chrishell Stause and Laura Ramsey

TV Interview!

Colin Egglesfield, Chrishell Stause and Laura Ramsey in "A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Colin Egglesfield, Chrishell Stause and Laura Ramsey in “A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 2/2/23

This is a really good movie about a terrible and tragic real-life story. Some of it was very creepy. Colin Egglesfield has always been a great actor, in everything he’s done, such as “All My Children” and “Rizzoli & Isles.” He’s very handsome and charming, but he’s also got some great acting chops. Laura Ramsey is new to me, but she really reminds me a lot of soap actress Linsey Godfrey. The resemblance is amazing. They should play sisters. She does a wonderful job as Randy’s doomed wife. Chrishell Stause is also a talented actress who’s been on many soaps as well as reality shows.  I almost didn’t recognize her in this at first. I hope you enjoy this panel interview we did and the exciting movie tonight, February 18.

 

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key art for "A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story" on Lifetime

Official Site

Colin Egglesfield and Laura Ramsey in "A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story" on LifetimeFollowing the death of her husband, single mom Cindy (Laura Ramsey), finally finds love again with mechanic Randy Roth (Colin Egglesfield) but her wedded bliss soon turns dark when she discovers another side of Randy. Despite the pleas of her best friend Lori (Chrishell Stause) to leave her marriage, Cindy never gets that opportunity after she drowns during a trip to a lake with Randy and the kids. Emotionless following Cindy’s death, Randy orders her immediate cremation, takes custody of Cindy’s son and attempts to collect on her life insurance policy. Determined to find the truth and get Cindy’s son away from his deceitful stepfather, Lori uncovers more of Randy’s past, discovering that Cindy may not have been the first wife murdered at his hands.

A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story and 12 Desperate Hours are both produced by Allegheny Image Factory and Best On Best. Conor Allyn and Benjamin Anderson serve as executive producers and Jeffrey Tinnell, Robert Tinnell and John Michaels serve as producers for the films. Allyn and Anderson wrote both scripts. A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story is directed by Maritte Go and 12 Desperate Hours is directed by Gina Gershon.

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Chrishell Stause in "A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Kara Robinson and Elizabeth Smart

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Survivors Kara Robinson and Elizabeth Smart

Interview with survivors Kara Robinson and Elizabeth Smart about “The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 2/2/23

Katie Douglas of "The Girl Who Escaped" on Lifetime.This was from a Lifetime Press Panel about 4 “Ripped From the Headlines” movies coming up. This part of the panel was odd because, rather than talking to any of the actors, we spoke with Kara Robinson (on whose experiences the movie is based) and producer Elizabeth Smart. Both of these women were kidnapped in 2004 when they were young teens. Frankly, I would have preferred to speak to the actors (like we usually do). The actress who plays Kara, Katie Douglas , did an amazing job in this movie. It’s kind of spooky how much she looks like the real-life Kara, too. Cara Buono, whom I know from “Mad Men” and so many other shows, plays her mom. I don’t set these panels up, though!  I would like to say one thing: there is one scene where Kara is running and running, in a housing complex where everything looks the same, trying to get help. I have had a nightmare like that so many times! It’s an interesting movie, although a bit hard to watch. Of course, they do play up the uplifting parts, rather than anything too lurid or depressing. At any rate, you should watch the movie, and this panel is very interesting. Note that they call themselves “survivors” and not “victims.”

 

 

MORE INFO: Lifetime Official Site

Poster for "The Girl Who Escaped" on Lifetime

15-year-old Kara Robinson (Douglas) was watering plants in her best friend’s front yard in South Carolina when she was approached by a man who put a gun to her neck and forced her into a plastic storage bin and drove off.  He took Kara to his apartment where he held her captive and sexually assaulted her for 18 hours. With her survival instincts kicking in, Kara memorized as many details as possible throughout her ordeal and when her captor finally fell asleep, she escaped the restraints and fled his apartment. Kara was able to lead the police back to the apartment’s exact location and identify her captor as Richard Evonitz (Bruun), a serial killer who was also responsible for the unsolved murders of at least three other young girls. Cara Buono portrays Kara’s mother Debra.

Smart returns to Lifetime after narrating and executive producing the network’s highly rated 2018 film I Am Elizabeth Smart, and hosting the doc specials Elizabeth Smart: Finding Justice and Smart Justice: The Jayme Closs Case which featured Smart leading a roundtable discussion with other well-known victims of abduction including Kara Robinson.

The Girl Who Escaped:  The Kara Robinson Story is executive produced by Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley of Marwar Junction Productions, Howard Braunstein and Elizabeth Smart.  The film is produced by Juliette Hagopian.  Simone Stock directs from a script written by Haley Harris.

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Cara Buono and Katie Douglas of "The Girl Who Escaped" on Lifetime.

Interview with Steve Guttenberg, Cybil Shepherd, Jennifer Grey, Jaime King and Celina Sinden

TV Interview!

thumbnail for Lifetime's Notorious Women Panel

Interview with actors Steve Guttenberg, Cybil Shepherd, Jennifer Grey, Jaime King and Celina Sinden and Executive Vice President of Scripted Programming Tanya Lopez of 4 films on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/6/23

There are four movies coming up on Lifetime that they held this panel for. Each movie focus on a the real-life story of a woman who committed some crime(s). Cybil Shepherd stars in “How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story.” Steve Guttenberg plays her husband, a chef. Nancy is a frustrated novelist.  In another movie, Celina Sinden plays the infamous murderer Jodi Arias in “Bad Behind Bars.” However, the star of the movie not really Jodi/Celina. It’s told from the perspective of one of her prison friends, Donavan Bering. Jodi manipulates her and another woman into doing her bidding as she awaits trial. I think these two movies were the best of the lot.. Jennifer Grey stars in “Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation.” Shamblin started a weight-loss program in her church, which became its own church and cult.  Jaime King stars in “Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini.”  Papini faked her own kidnapping and conned people out of a lot of money, playing the victim. She seems to be the most sympathetic character among all of these women.

It was a very fun press call. Usually, Lifetime will have a series of panels that go on for a few hours in a day. For some reason, they decided to have us interview all of the women from these movies together. It made it a bit more fun. Cybill Shepherd and Steve Guttenberg were particularly entertaining.

There was a problem with the video at the very beginning.

 

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Cybil Shepherd as Nancy Brophy and Steve Guttenberg as Daniel.
How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story
Saturday, January 14 at 8p/7c

Based on a true story, Nancy Crampton-Brophy (Cybill Shepherd), seemed to have a knack for writing about murder. The Portland-based romance-thriller novelist authored books about relationships that were tumultuous, while using seductive men on the covers to lure in her readers. Often, her books featured women protagonists who fantasized about killing their own husbands or fleeing their husbands and faking their own deaths. And then, in 2022 in a shocking turn of events, Brophy was convicted of killing her own husband (Steve Guttenberg).

How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story is produced by Front Street Pictures and is being distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Judith Verno through Peace Out Productions serves as executive producer. Stephen Tolkin directs from a script which he penned.

Celinda Sinden, Tricia Black and Lynn Rafferty in "Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias."

Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8/7c and Stream Next Day

In this follow-up to one of Lifetime’s most successful true crime movies, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, we will see a whole new side of the infamous murderess and the story that has captivated the world for nearly a decade. Celinda Sinden stars in the new movie, Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias as Jodi, who has just been arrested and sent to prison while she awaits trial for murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. When she arrived in jail, Jodi charms her way through prison and befriends a couple, Donavan Bering and Tracy Brown. The three inmates became inseparable, Donovan and Tracy doing anything and everything Jodi asked — even letting the murderess tattoo her name on one of them. Donovan was released from prison as Jodi’s trial drew near and agreed to be Jodi’s mouthpiece, posting on her social pages and defending her friend to the world. But when the details of the case and Jodi’s story were no longer adding up and Donovan refused to continue to do her former friend’s bidding, Jodi’s vengeful side emerged. Stars Celina Sinden, Tricia Black, Lynn Rafferty, Karl Campbell, Adesola Adesina, Michelle Haffey, Christine Noble, and Maggie Cassella (2023).

Jaime King, Matt Hamilton, and the actors who play their kids in "Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini."

Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini
Saturday, January 28 at 8p/7c

Jaime King stars as Sherri Papini in the film about the nation-wide, shocking story of a young mother of two, who disappears while jogging near her home, leading to national headlines as concerned citizens searched for her whereabouts. When she reappeared three weeks later on Thanksgiving Day, Sherri claimed she was abducted by two Hispanic women who chained and repeatedly abused her. While Sherri’s return was celebrated, the state never stopped searching for her kidnappers. Four years later, Sherri’s world came crashing down as evidence revealed her kidnapping was all a hoax perpetrated by Sherri herself to spend time with her ex-boyfriend. Sherri was arrested and ultimately sentenced to 18 months in prison for lying to federal agents, creating hysteria in the community and wasting police time and funding with her nearly successful, elaborate scheme. Matt Hamilton (Girl in Room 13) stars as Sherri’s devoted husband, Keith.

Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini is written by Katie Boland is executive produced by Tim Johnson, Stacy Mandelberg and Jocelyn Freid and directed by Marta Borowski

Jennifer Grey as Gwen Shamblin and Vincent Walsh as Joe Lara in "Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation"

Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation
Saturday, February 4 at 8p/7c
Jennifer Grey stars as the controversial religious leader and Christian diet guru who positioned herself as God’s prophet and preached the virtues of being thin in the new Lifetime original movie, Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation. As the founder of the Tennessee-based Remnant Fellowship Church and the Weigh Down Workshop – a massively successful Christian-based diet program that preached the virtue of a slim waist and the power of prayer for weight loss – Gwen Shamblin Lara was a rare woman to lead a Southern megachurch. As her church grew across the nation, so did her iron-fisted grip as its leader— accumulating power and money, while creating a larger-than-life public persona with dramatically teased and towering hair. At the peak of her power and influence, Gwen demanded that church members alienate themselves from anyone who was not a member, banished those that became overweight, threatened legal action against dissenters, and advocated for strict punishment of those who failed to follow church tenets. But Gwen’s reign suddenly came to a tragic end in May 2021, when the plane that her husband Joe was flying crashed shortly after takeoff, killing Gwen, Joe, their son-in-law, and four other Church leaders.

Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation is produced by Muse Entertainment production for Lifetime and is executive produced by Nancy Bennett and Jesse Prupas. John L’Ecuyer directs from a script by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney. Muse Distribution International handles foreign sales.

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Lifetime press panel

Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam, Brad James, Tim Reid and Angela Tucker

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Keshia Knight Pulliam, Brad James, Tim Reid and Angela Tucker of "A New Orleans Noel" on Lifetime

Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam, Brad James, Tim Reid and Angela Tucker of “A New Orleans Noel” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This was a fun panel with these actors for a really nice holiday movie. The movie is set in New Orleans, of course, and the character of Loretta, played by Patti LaBelle, is based on a real person, Loretta Brown, who started the successful business Loretta’s Authentic Pralines. She was the first black woman to start a confectionery company in New Orleans. She passed away earlier this year.  Keshia Knight Pulliam, whom you may remember as Rudy from “The Cosby Show,” or her many other series and movies, stars as an architect, and her real-life husband Brad James plays a competing architect, former school rival and, of course, love interest in this rom-com Christmas movie. The legendary Tim Reid plays Loretta’s flame Marcel. It was fun to speak with them, along with writer/director Angela Tucker. Just be prepared to have your mouth water when you watch this movie! Pralines are delicious, and Lifetime kindly sent us a holiday gift basket that included some of Loretta’s yummy pralines. I was inspired to make some of my own this Christmas as well (although they’re not nearly as good).

Enjoy the video interview!

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"A New Orleans Noel" key art

Trailer and Lifetime Official Site

Grace Hill (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Anthony Brown (Brad James) could not be more different. Despite having gone to college to study architecture together, their lives took them on completely separate paths. However, when they’re both hired to work together on the home of Loretta Brown (Patti LaBelle)—a New Orleans praline icon —the two find themselves working together at Christmas…and butting heads over more than just architecture. When Anthony and his family discover that Grace will be celebrating Christmas alone, they invite her to take part in their traditions and their celebrations. Soon, fiercely independent Grace begins to learn the importance of family and community, while modern Anthony learns to embrace tradition and the magic of Christmas. But when Grace is offered a new job far away from New Orleans she’ll have to decide if she’ll leave, or follow her heart.

Tim Reid stars as Marcel Lirette, a handsome, retired friend who moves back to town after years away and catches the eye of Lorretta.

A New Orleans Noel is produced by Evergreen Films with Daniel Lewis, Rick Carter, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and Keshia Knight Pulliam serving as Executive Producers. Script by Angela Tucker and Alys Murray and directed by Angela Tucker.

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Scene from "A New Orleans Noel" on Lifetime

Interview with Kelsey and Spencer Grammer

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Interview with Kelsey and Spencer Grammer of "The 12 Days of Christmas Eve" on Lifetime

Interview with Kelsey and Spencer Grammer of “The 12 Days of Christmas Eve” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

It was truly an honor to speak with Kelsey Grammer because he’s such a great actor. As I told him, “Frasier” is one of my favorite shows. I was in college when he was on “Cheers,” and then I kept watching him on “Frasier” (which was even funnier than “Cheers,” in my opinion), until the end. He was also amazing later in the drama “Boss.” His daughter, Spencer, who stars in this with him (as his daughter, natch), is also a really good actress in her own right. Daytime fans may recognize from when she played Lucy on “As The World Turns,” before she went on to primetime success. Anyway, this is a really good holiday movie. It’s a sort of mash-up between “Groundhog Day” and “A Christmas Carol,” but it’s got a modern spin and a lot of humor. Grammer plays Brian, the head of a Radio Shack-like company who has to mend fences with his daughter, Michelle, and granddaughter, and find the true meaning of Christmas, in 12 days.  Grammer handles both the drama and comedy in the movie easily. Uschi Umscheid plays Spencer’s daughter, Harkin, who’s just precious and a good actress (especially for her age). Diana Toshiko is a lot of fun as a zany startup woman, Nina, who wants to buy Brian’s company. Mitch Poulos does a wonderful job as Santa. I hope you enjoy the movie and this interview! You can’t help but be touched by the affection displayed by Kelsey and Spencer Grammer for each other.

MORE INFO: Lifetime Site

"The 12 Days of Christmas Eve" on Lifetime key art

The 12 Days of Christmas Eve is the story of Brian Conway (Kelsey Grammer), a successful businessman whose relationships with those around him have really suffered.  While this Christmas season has been the most successful for his business, he’s divorced, his relationship with his daughter Michelle (Spencer Grammer) is strained and he doesn’t have a meaningful connection with his only granddaughter.  After Brian gets into a car accident on Christmas Eve, Santa gives him twelve chances to re-do the day and repair the relationships in his life to find the true meaning of Christmas. For Brian, these twelve days are a journey of self-realization about life, love and happiness as he attempts to right the wrongs of his life in pursuit of the Christmas spirit.

The concept for The 12 Days of Christmas Eve originated from Kelsey Grammer’s production company, Grammnet NH Productions, and developed in house by Lifetime.  Grammnet NH Productions produced alongside Johnson Production Group.  Kelsey Grammer, Tom Russo (Frasier, Light as a Feather, The Game) and Jordan McMahon (The Game) are executive producers. The script is written by Eirene Tran Donahue (A Sugar & Spice Holiday) and directed by Dustin Rikert (Two Tickets to Paradise).

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Kelsey Grammer, Spencer Grammer and Uschi Umscheid in "The 12 Days of Christmas Eve" on Lifetime

Interview with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer

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Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer of "Steppin' into the Holiday" on Lifetime

Interview with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer of “Steppin’ into the Holiday” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This is a fun Christmas movie with a lot of dancing. I’ve spoke with Jana before, but not Mario. It was nice to chat with them both, of course. This is a better movie than the last one I saw him in. I didn’t realize that he got his start dancing when he was very young. I also didn’t realize that he’s from Chula Vista, which is right near where I grew up! It sounds a little bit like he had a cold during the interview because he was sounding congested and drinking a lot of water. I hope he feels better!  Anyway, you should check out this festive movie. Two trailers below and then the interview.

MORE INFO: Trailer

Steppin' Into the Holiday key art

Former Broadway star Billy Holiday (Mario Lopez) returns to his hometown for Christmas after being abruptly fired as the host-producer-judge of the hit TV series “Celebrity Dance Off.”  While there, he encounters Rae (Jana Kramer), the charismatic owner of the local dance studio, where Billy’s 12-year-old nephew is her standout student. This Christmas, Rae is planning a dance recital fundraiser with the goal of taking her students to see a Broadway show in New York City. Billy volunteers to help Rae with the recital by reviving the town’s traditional Christmas Eve show, which was once a showcase for local talent. With Billy’s knack for producing and Rae’s knowledge of all things local, their collaboration clicks and romantic sparks start flying!

Cheri Oteri stars as Dallas, Billy’s high-powered, fast-talking, Hollywood agent. Dallas scrambles to find Billy work after he is fired by his boss, Wayne, played by Mario Cantone, a network executive who is equal parts charming and ruthless! Courtney Lopez , Mario’s real-life wife, also appears in the film as Joanna, the charismatic host of “Celebrity Dance Off,” who is tapped to replace Billy (her former fling) as executive producer and head judge after his popularity hits the skids.

Steppin’ Into the Holiday is produced by Via Mar and Roberts Media, LLC. in association with Motion Content Group.  Jeff Stearns, Mark Roberts, Mario Lopez, Jana Kramer, Richard Foster and Chet Fenster serving as Executive Producers. David Kendall directs from a script by Aliza Murrieta and Peter Murrieta.

Mario Lopez is an American actor and television host. He has appeared on several television series, in films, and on Broadway. He is known for his portrayal of A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and the 2020 sequel series. He has appeared in numerous projects since, including the third season of Dancing with the Stars and as host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine shows Extra and Access Hollywood. He has also hosted America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV. In 2012, he co-hosted the second season of the American version of The X Factor with Khloé Kardashian, and was the sole host for the third and final season.

Jana Rae Kramer is an American country music singer and actress. She is known for her role as Alex Dupre on the television series One Tree Hill. Kramer began her musical career in 2012 and has released two albums: Jana Kramer (2012) and Thirty One (2015). The albums produced seven charted singles on Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay, including the top 10 hits “Why Ya Wanna” and “I Got the Boy”. She competed on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fourth place. (These two biographies are from Wikipedia)

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Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer dancing in "Steppin' into the Holiday" on Lifetime

Interview with Melissa Joan Hart, Emily Kinney, Justin Gaston, Rita Moreno and Marissa Jaret Winokur

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Melissa Joan Hart, Emily Kinney, Justin Gaston, Rita Moreno and Marissa Jaret Winokur of "Santa Bootcamp" on Lifetime

Interview with Melissa Joan Hart, Emily Kinney, Justin Gaston, Rita Moreno and Marissa Jaret Winokur of “Santa Bootcamp” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This was a very fun movie and more original than your average Christmas movie. It was a great honor to speak with Rita Moreno because I grew up singing along with the “West Side Story” Broadway album, and I loved the movie. She played Anita in the movie and won an Oscar for it. She’s the only EGOT I’ve ever interviewed. It was also nice to speak to the others, of course, especially Justin Gaston, who was on “Days of Our Lives” and is married to Melissa Ordaway (Abby on “Young and The Restless“). They were all fun, but Rita was hilarious in her answers.

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Santa Bootcamp key art

Lifetime Site and Preview When event planner Emily Strauss (Emily Kinney, The Walking Dead) is hired by mall magnate Ed Mancini (Patrick Cassidy, Castle) to stage the ultimate Christmas Gala for his most important investors, Emily finds herself being sent to bootcamp – Santa Bootcamp – to find the perfect Santa and the inspiration she will need to make the evening a success. While there, Emily meets Belle (Rita Moreno, West Side Story), the bootcamp’s drill sergeant with a heart of gold, who helps Emily rediscover the magic of Christmas and find romance along the way. Additional stars include Tony® award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, Justin Gaston, John Schuck, and deaf actors Deanne Bray and Zyra Singleton.

Santa Bootcamp is directed by Melissa Joan Hart, who also serves as executive producer, long with Irene Dreayer, Gina Rugolo Judd, and Paula Hart. The film is produced by Hartbreak Films Inc with a script written by Michael J. Murray.

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Emily Kinney and Rita Moreno in "Santa Bootcamp" on Lifetime

Interview with Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro

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Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro

Interview with Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro of “A Country Christmas Harmony” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This is an enjoyable movie, but I really hate the title. The big song in the movie is called “Sweet Sixteen Christmas,” so that should have been the title. Perhaps they thought it would be confusing, since there are no teens in the movie? I don’t know. But please don’t let the forgettable title deter you from watching this. It really has very little to do with country music, even though the main character, Chrissy (played so well by Brooke Elliott) is supposed to be a Nashville star.  The music doesn’t sound very countrified to me.

It was great to speak to the actors. You may remember Brooke from her previous Lifetime series “Drop Dead Diva,” or her current show, “Sweet Magnolias” on Netflix. Her co-star in the latter, Brandon Quinn, also stars in this movie with her as Luke – the guy she left behind.  Danny Pintauro is most known for his role as a teen on “Who’s the Boss” years ago. In this new movie, he’s going back into acting. He does a fine job, but it’s a fairly small role. It was interesting to hear him talk about his life and how it led to this movie.

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A Country Christmas Harmony key art

Lifetime’s Site

Before Chrissy Kessler’s (Brooke Elliott) meteoric rise to fame, the country music superstar was just a small-town girl with dreams of the big time. Now, with her record sales on a rapid decline, Chrissy is strong-armed by an unrelenting record executive to return to the hometown she left behind to perform a live Christmas concert. Accompanying her on this journey is her longtime supportive assistant Eugene (Danny Pintauro). Luke Covington’s (Brandon Quinn) quiet life is suddenly disrupted when he runs into Chrissy, his ex-girlfriend and former country music duo partner, who disappeared on him to pursue her solo career all those years ago. After a tempestuous rainstorm forces the ex-sweethearts to seek shelter in Luke’s ranch home, the two realize that the only way they’ll survive the holidays is with the other’s help.

A Country Christmas Harmony is produced by MarVista Entertainment and The Ninth House.  Megan Ellstrom, Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew Executive Produce for MarVista Entertainment, and Autumn Federici and Jake Helgren Produce for The Ninth House. Brooke Elliott also serves as Executive Producer. Gary Entin and Edmund Entin write and direct.

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A scene from "A Country Christmas Harmony"

Interview with Michael Consuelos

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Jennifer Irwin and Michael Consuelos of "Let's Get Physical" on Lifetime

Interview with Jennifer Irwin and Michael Consuelos of “Let’s Get Physical” on Lifetime by Krista 10/6/22

It was great to speak to these two actors from this movie. Michael’s parents are actors/talk show hosts Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, who met while working on “All My Children” years ago, so it’s nice to see their grown son also as an actor. This was a panel that Lifetime had for the movie, where those of us in the press asked questions. The movie airs Saturday, 10/15 on Lifetime! Watch the trailer below before the interview…

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Jenna Dewan, star of "Let's Get Physical" on Lifetime key art

Lifetime Announces Two New Ripped From the Headlines Movies from EPs Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Jenna Dewan Set to Star and EP

KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
TWO NEW RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES FILMS
THROUGH MILOJO PRODUCTIONS BANNER

JENNA DEWAN TO HEADLINE AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
ORIGINAL MOVIE
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
WITH JENNIFER IRWIN AND MICHAEL CONSUELOS
 

LEA THOMPSON, ZACH GILFORD, AND ALICIA WITT STAR IN
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CARI FARVER

BOTH FILMS WILL DEBUT THIS OCTOBER

New York, NY – August 11 – Lifetime announces two new Ripped from the Headlines movies, Let’s Get Physical and The Disappearance of Cari Farver from executive producers Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, under their Milojo Productions banner as part of the previously announced partnership with Lifetime. Let’s Get Physical stars and is also executive produced by Jenna Dewan via her Everheart Productions with Kyle McNally, and features Jennifer Irwin and Michael ConsuelosThe Disappearance of Cari Farver stars Lea Thompson, Zach Gilford and Alicia Witt. Both films will debut this October on Lifetime.

Michael Consuelos of "Let's Get Physical" on LifetimeInspired by actual events, Let’s Get Physical is the story of fitness instructor Sadie (Jenna Dewan, The Rookie) who by day, taught fitness and dance to soccer moms, but by night led a double life running a sophisticated prostitution ring with a customer list that included very prominent men in the community. After an anonymous tip, authorities raided her studio, leading to Sadie’s indictment and ignited a firestorm in the small town leading everyone to ask, who exactly was on the client list.  Dewan executive produces and stars alongside Jennifer Irwin (The Goldbergs) and Michael Consuelos (Riverdale). Let’s Get Physical is set to premiere Saturday, October 15 at 8/7c.

Let’s Get Physical is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Johnson Management Group, Inc., and Everheart Productions. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as executive producer for Milojo. Jenna Dewan and Kyle McNally executive produce for Everheart Productions. Robin Hayes directs from a script written by Margaux Froley and Kelly Fullerton.

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Jenna Dewan, star of "Let's Get Physical" on Lifetime

Interview with Alicia Witt

TV Interview!

Alicia Witt, star of The Disappearance of Cari Farver on Lifetime

Interview with actress Alicia Witt and producer Linda Burnham of “The Disappearance of Cari Farver” on Lifetime by Krista 10/6/22

This was an enjoyable press call. Alicia is a really great actress. I’ve only seen her before in “That 70’s Show,” but she’s an underrated dramatic actress, as she proves in this film.

MORE INFO: Preview

The Disappearance of Cari Farver key artThe Disappearance of Cari Farver is based on a true story and the subject of Leslie Rule’s bestselling true-crime book A Tangled Web. Dave Kroupa (Zach Gilford, Good Girls, Friday Night Lights) is shocked when his new girlfriend, Cari Farver (Rebecca Amzallag), starts sending him demanding texts. When Dave ends the relationship, he finds himself on the receiving end of an onslaught of twisted messages from Cari, who has abruptly disappeared. Dave’s ex-girlfriend, Liz (Alicia Witt, Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead), also begins receiving harassing texts from Cari, resulting in a dangerous situation for them both. Meanwhile, Cari’s mother Nancy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future, Switched at Birth) continually searches for her, keeping the pressure on the police who eventually uncover a shocking discovery. The Disappearance of Cari Farver premieres Saturday, October 8 at 8/7c.

The Disappearance of Cari Farver is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Howard Braunstein Films, and Media Nation. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as producer for Milojo. Howard Braunstein and Linda Berman also executive produce. Danishka Esterhazy directs from a script written by Tawnya Bhattacharya and Ali Laventhol (Bel Air, My Life with the Walter Boys).

Producers Kelly Ripa and Mark ConsuelosLifetime Announces Two New Ripped From the Headlines Movies from EPs Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Jenna Dewan Set to Star and EP

KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
TWO NEW RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES FILMS
THROUGH MILOJO PRODUCTIONS BANNER

JENNA DEWAN TO HEADLINE AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
ORIGINAL MOVIE
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
WITH JENNIFER IRWIN AND MICHAEL CONSUELOS
 

LEA THOMPSON, ZACH GILFORD, AND ALICIA WITT STAR IN
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CARI FARVER

BOTH FILMS WILL DEBUT THIS OCTOBER

New York, NY – August 11 – Lifetime announces two new Ripped from the Headlines movies, Let’s Get Physical and The Disappearance of Cari Farver from executive producers Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, under their Milojo Productions banner as part of the previously announced partnership with Lifetime. Let’s Get Physical stars and is also executive produced by Jenna Dewan via her Everheart Productions with Kyle McNally, and features Jennifer Irwin and Michael ConsuelosThe Disappearance of Cari Farver stars Lea Thompson, Zach Gilford and Alicia Witt. Both films will debut this October on Lifetime.

The Disappearance of Cari Farver is based on a true story and the subject of Leslie Rule’s bestselling true-crime book A Tangled Web. Dave Kroupa (Zach Gilford, Good Girls, Friday Night Lights) is shocked when his new girlfriend, Cari Farver (Rebecca Amzallag), starts sending him demanding texts. When Dave ends the relationship, he finds himself on the receiving end of an onslaught of twisted messages from Cari, who has abruptly disappeared. Dave’s ex-girlfriend, Liz (Alicia Witt, Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead), also begins receiving harassing texts from Cari, resulting in a dangerous situation for them both. Meanwhile, Cari’s mother Nancy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future, Switched at Birth) continually searches for her, keeping the pressure on the police who eventually uncover a shocking discovery. The Disappearance of Cari Farver premieres Saturday, October 8 at 8/7c.

Inspired by actual events, Let’s Get Physical is the story of fitness instructor Sadie (Jenna Dewan, The Rookie) who by day, taught fitness and dance to soccer moms, but by night led a double life running a sophisticated prostitution ring with a customer list that included very prominent men in the community. After an anonymous tip, authorities raided her studio, leading to Sadie’s indictment and ignited a firestorm in the small town leading everyone to ask, who exactly was on the client list.  Dewan executive produces and stars alongside Jennifer Irwin (The Goldbergs) and Michael Consuelos (Riverdale). Let’s Get Physical is set to premiere Saturday, October 15 at 8/7c.

The Disappearance of Cari Farver is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Howard Braunstein Films, and Media Nation. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as executive producer for Milojo. Howard Braunstein and Linda Berman also executive produce. Danishka Esterhazy directs from a script written by Tawnya Bhattacharya and Ali Laventhol (Bel Air, My Life with the Walter Boys).

Let’s Get Physical is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Johnson Management Group, Inc., and Everheart Productions. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as executive producer for Milojo. Jenna Dewan and Kyle McNally executive produce for Everheart Productions. Robin Hayes directs from a script written by Margaux Froley and Kelly Fullerton.

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Alicia Witt as Cari Farver in "The Disappearance of Cari Farver" on Lifetime

Interview with Ashley Jones

TV Interview!

Star Ashley Jones of "What Happened to My Sister?"

Interview with Ashley Jones of “What Happened to My Sister?” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/16/22

This was a fun interview last week with Ashley! I interviewed her 9 years ago for another Lifetime movie (Gosh, where does the time go?).  She’s always very kind and beautiful. Don’t miss her new movie as well as the LMN marathon of her previous movies all day Friday, September 23! She is most known for being on the soaps, such as “The Bold and The Beautiful,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and The Restless.”

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

Star Ashley Jones of "What Happened to My Sister?"

LMN Favorite Ashley Jones Returns With New Thrillers

LMN FAVORITE ASHLEY JONES RETURNS WITH NEW THRILLERS

SECRET LIVES OF COLLEGE ESCORTS
MARKS ASHLEY JONES’ DIRECTORIAL DEBUT
AND STARS PILOT PAISLEY-ROSE, LAURIE FORTIER AND BRIANA CUOCO
FOR AN AUGUST 19 PREMIERE

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SISTER?
STARS ASHLEY JONES, LAURYN SPEIGHTS AND MONIQUE STRAW
AND PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 23

NEW YORK, NY (August 4, 2022) – LMN favorite Ashley Jones returns to the network with a two pack of films this summer including the premiere of Secret Lives of College Escorts starring Pilot Paisley-Rose, Laurie Fortier and Briana Cuoco on August 19 at 8/7c  which marks Daytime Emmy Award nominee Ashley Jones directorial debut, and What Happened to My Sister? on September 23 at 8/7c which Jones, Lauryn Speights and Monique Straw star in.  Additionally, LMN will run a marathon of movies featuring Jones on September 23 leading into the premiere of What Happened to My Sister?

What Happened to My Sister?
Friday, September 23 at 8/7c

Drea (Lauryn Speights, The Good Place), a freshman at college, decides to rush the same sorority her sister Gabi (Heather Harris, Broken Mirror) died rushing two years earlier in hopes of finding out the truth about her death.  Monique Straw (Fast Color) and Ashley Jones also star.

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Star Ashley Jones (Bridget, Bold and the Beautiful) of "What Happened to My Sister?"

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Star Ashley Jones of "What Happened to My Sister?"

Review of “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin”

TV Review!

"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" key art

“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime Review by Suzanne 7/20/22

“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” This is the prequel miniseries to the classic movie “Flowers in the Attic,” which I’ve never seen. It apparently involved a stern religious grandmother who locks her grandchildren in the attic. There is incest and rape in that drama. This shows how the grandma got to that point. Both are based on novels. “Flowers in the Attic” came out in 1979 from the pen of V.C. Andrews. She wrote many sequels, but only the first book was filmed (twice). This new miniseries is based on “Garden of Shadows” by Andrew Neiderman, who is now taking over V.C. Andrews’ characters.

I’ve only seen the first part so far, but I enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of prequels because we know how the characters are going to end up (and it’s usually not good). There are many great actors in this. Most of them, such as Kelsey Grammar and Harry Hamlin, play small parts and aren’t on screen very long. Kate Mulgrew (“Star Trek: Prodigy”) and Paul Wesley (“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”) also play small roles. I wasn’t familiar with any of the main stars of the miniseries, but Max Irons, who plays the husband, is the son of Jeremy Irons. He does a good job.

The main star of the show is Jemima Rooper, who plays Olivia (the aforementioned Grandma). She is excellent as the woman who starts out as the bookish maiden but becomes first a victim of horrible circumstances and then gets steely and strong (but ultimately, not very nice, I’m afraid).

You should check it out whether or not you like the “Flowers in the Attic” books or movies as it’s compelling drama (if a bit lurid at times).

Interview with Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and Paul Sciarrotta of “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime 6/22/22

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Flowers in the Attic: The Origin tells the story of the headstrong and determined Olivia Winfield (Rooper) who is working alongside her beloved father (Hamlin) when she finds herself unexpectedly wooed by one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors, Malcom Foxworth (Irons). After a whirlwind romance, Olivia finds herself as the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall, where she soon discovers that the fairytale life she expected has quickly become a nightmare.  Under Malcolm’s debonair exterior lies a dark heart, and a twisted evil lurks inside Foxworth Hall that will threaten Olivia’s happiness and that of her children. Her attempts to keep them all safe ultimately push Olivia to become to most terrifying version of herself, leading to her inevitable—and notorious—decision to lock her grandchildren in the attic…

Dodd stars as Olivia’s daughter, Corinne; while Williams takes on the role Foxworth Hall’s longtime staff member and Olivia’s observant housekeeper, Nella. Mulgrew plays Mrs. Steiner, Malcom’s loyal house manager and head of the Foxworth Hall staff. Grammer portrays Malcom’s illustrious father Garland Foxworth, who is married to new wife Alicia, played by Boden. Wesley stars as John Amos, Olivia’s cousin whose revelations change her life forever and Callum Kerr stars as Christopher, a close relative of the Foxworth family whose life will be eternally intertwined with Corrine’s from the moment they set eyes on each other.

Additional talent starring in the four-part miniseries event includes Luke Fetherston, Buck Braithwaite, Jordan Peters, Evelyn Miller, Rawdat Quadri, Emmanuel Ogunjinmi, David Witts, Carla Woodcock and Peter Bramhill.

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is an A+E Studios production in association with Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Paul Sciarrotta serves as executive producer. Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein serve as executive producers for Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Zoë Rocha serves as executive producer for RubyRock Pictures, Gary Pearl executive produces for Aquarius Content and Dan Angel executive produces. Declan O’Dwyer also executive produces and directed part one and part two of the miniseries. Robin Sheppard serves as director for parts three and four. Scripts are from executive producer Paul Sciarrotta, as well as Amy Rardin and Conner Good. Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is based on the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows by Andrew Neiderman. The miniseries was made with support of the Romanian Government.

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Irons and Rooper in "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" on Lifetime

Interview with Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and Paul Sciarrotta

TV Interview!

 

Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T'Shan Williams, Alana Boden and EP Paul Sciarrotta of "Flowers In the Attic: The Origin" on Lifetime

Interview with actors Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and EP Paul Sciarrotta of “Flowers In the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/22/22

This was a Lifetime event where we watched the first episode of this series and then asked the actors and executive producer questions.  It was unusual that we watched the episode first, live, right before the Q&A. Usually they put the episodes up on their press site for us to watch on our own time. It was nice to chat with these nice people, most of whom are British! The characters they’re playing are all Americans, though. I enjoyed the show and the panel. I hope you like the show! It’s a four-part miniseries that airs every Saturday starting tonight, July 9, on Lifetime.

 

Here’s the transcript, but it’s not edited yet. Check back to see it!

Please welcome our panelists for today’s Q&A with stars Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and executive producer Paul Sciarrotta. Hi everyone.

Thank you for being here today. Paul, our first question is for you. You both executive-produced and co-wrote “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin.” We understand that you were in close contact with VC Andrews ghost writer, Andrew Nierman. Can you please tell us a little bit about that process?

Paul: Sure. Yeah. We started about four years ago when the project was brought to me, and I, of course, had read Flowers in the Attic,” you know, maybe a long time ago. and I wasn’t, at the time, even aware there was this prequel book… and when I found out it existed and that Andrew wrote it, I was very excited. So it’s actually the first book that he wrote in the VC catalog…The first of, I think over a hundred, now, that he’s written. So it’s been a valuable resource to have him on speed dial all the time. I would call him, always. I still do for any questions I might have, if I’m ever unsure about story point or if something is totally correct. Or, you know, of the world. I can just check with him, and he has his finger on the pulse of all things VC. So it was…I was very lucky to have him be a part of the project.

Awesome. I will take some questions from the audience. Just a reminder. If you can, please make sure you have your first and last name so I can call upon you correctly. Our first question is from Suzanne at TVMEG.COM. Please unmute yourself to ask your question.

Suzanne: Hey, how are you all? I really enjoyed that. That was a good movie… or, it wasn’t a movie, I know, but it was. Let me ask you, Max: What did you do to prepare yourself for this role of being this horrible, horrible person?

Maxi: Hi, Suzanne. Well, I think for me, firstly, I had to get past the fact that he was horrible quite quickly. I had to look and find why he was the way he was, how he had learned to cope with the world as the world presented itself to him. So, the formative things I think in Malcolm’s life were his mother and father. His mother was the center of his universe was taught him about emotions, about love, about, you know, everything. They coexisted for the first few years of his life almost entirely. And then, all of a sudden, she left, and his father wasn’t around to help him process that or make any sense of that. You know, there was no modern psychology to come to his aid. He had tutors. He was sent away to a boy’s school, and he had to make sense of that. And so he did, and he hardened himself to the world and where his father had been through his, you know, through Malcolm’s understanding headness and not particularly capable. Self-serving Malcolm discovered duty and, and, you know, rigid a rigid work ethic and, you know, uh, where Malcolm had shame, he, he sought to, to, to elevate the Foxworth name and his business and make himself triumphant and powerful. And so, yeah, it was just looking at his younger self and yeah, and, and going from there.

All right. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Our next question is from my cues. Yeah, this is a question for Elena. Um, this is a really unusual role for you. Um, it’s, it’s not pretty unusual to have a romantic scene with someone who’s 43 years older than you are, but it’s not the cliche kind because you warmly like the man and he warmly liked you.

So it’s, it’s not any kind of cliche. So tell us a little bit about playing it, getting in the mood. And were you really familiar with Kelsey grammar ahead of time? To what extent did this become kind of a, a, a big challenge. Yeah. Um, I mean, Kelsey is absolutely fantastic and he made me feel so comfortable for some of the, some of the scenes, because like there is, there is like that really, um, really big age gap.

Um, But I think in terms of getting prepared, you know, we, we just took some time to, we worked with an intimacy coordinator. We took some time to figure out, um, how we think their relationship would be, how, what we were comfortable with. Um, and yeah, it was, it was actually really, really interesting to sort of work on that.

And, um, you know, I think for me, it’s, it is genuine love between the two of them. So to make sure that was, that was how it, how it was, you know, Perceived as the audience was, was really important. Um, but yeah, it was, yeah, it was really, it was really interesting Dean, like I say, he’s fantastic. And he was, you know, always making sure I was feeling comfortable and, um, just really worked with me and we worked together to hopefully create something that, that comes across really genuine.

Okay. Thanks. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Hanta Smith.

Please unmute yourself to ask your question. Oh, okay. Is there, um, video on here? No video, just audio and we can hear you. Oh, okay. Perfect. Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your time. I’m so excited for everyone and it’s exciting series. I would love to know what was it like, you know, interacting with everyone on set and also what can the viewers expect when watching this awesome series?

Anyone can take that question, right? Uh I’ll I’ll go. I’ll go. I’ll jump in. Um, uh, it was, we shot the series, um, sort of in the height of the pandemic. We all relocated to Romania for four months. Um, and we became, uh, a lovely family, not quite the twisted family of the show. Um, and I think, uh, You know, I, I adored working with every single person on set and, uh, what was amazing is that as we were there after more time, the episode that you’ve just watched is very much just sort of the beginning, but from episode two and three to four, the whole thing opens up the children grow up.

Um, they come into it, um, the, the whole sort of premise six fans and, um, the whole S. Expands. And, uh, that was what it was like for us. Uh, in Romania, we suddenly got this injection of, uh, new minds and hearts and then while we were working and, um, and it was just. You know, gorgeous in, in every respect and despite, you know, how dark some of it gets.

Um, it, it was always a very happy set. I think sometimes when you’re doing things that are a bit darker or a bit more serious, you kind of find the fun a bit more on set. So it’s more enjoyable. Um, I think people are sometimes more miserable during comedy . Um, we had, yeah, we just had, uh, a beautiful time with, uh, a lot of really amazing people and we all just felt really happy to be working at a time.

Uh, it definitely felt like a luxury. Awesome. Thank you so much. thank you so much for your question. Our next question is from Jared Horton.

Hi, can you guys hear me? Yes. I am. Well, first of all, congratulations on the series. I thought it was great. Um, when I’m watching movies and TVs, I’m really big on dialogue and I thought you guys had some great dialogue within the series. I was wondering it was something that you picked up within your character that you took from, um, Um, afterwards in your own personal life, like she made the comment that a mother said forgiveness and revenge.

And I was just wondering, did is anything that you guys picked up far as wisdom or life lessons that you picked up from your character or just in general? Great question. I’ve started doing voiceovers in my everyday life. I now describe everything’s doing I’m going downstairs in the morning. Um, uh, no, I really, um, that’s a great question.

Um, No, I don’t think I, I sort of, sort of hope I haven’t taken anything of Olivia into my day to day life, but I tell you what I was thinking about this earlier today. Um, playing, playing that part, playing that kind of a role, um, playing this character that. I, I feel like it’s very far removed from who I am as a person, but she was so vivid on the page.

Uh, Paul’s writing what he did. Um, I sort of never had any questions as how to play her. And, uh, there’s something about playing Olivia. That for me was incredibly empowering and I sort of feel like that element of it I’ve taken. I hope that’s great. That’s great. Well, I think you did do a great job with the role.

Thanks. Um, I think it’s a great series. I look forward, um, to watching it more and congratulations to you guys, especially pulling it off during the pandemic. I just think you guys did a great job, pulling it off. KU kudos you guys over there. Thank you. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Dominique Clark from Ben worthy media.

Hello, all. Congratulations on this series. I mean, the trailer gave me goosebumps and I’m so excited that we’re finally getting the origin story of the grandmother who locked our children in the attic. Um, Seeing the story through Olivia’s eyes shows how evil isn’t born, it’s made. Right. And specifically for the ladies here, how did Olivia’s transformation throughout this series transform your individual characters?

How did you change as she did? I think, I will say with, um, Nell’s character, I think as she was a, a longstanding staff member at Foxworth hall and was quite used to, as max was saying, like the rigid rules of how it works. Um, I think meeting. Olivia and seeing that she had a bit of bite and spark really kind of opened up their friendship a little bit and it made it grow, which was really quite interesting to discover with Jemima.

Um, yeah, cuz I think, yeah, I think she, her character really like challenges him and um, and yeah, and I think with N working there for so long, um, and I guess. Conforming in, in a way until she kind of meets Olivia. I think it’s, um, I think she definitely, um, like made an impact on her arrival for vanilla.

Thank you. Any other other ladies or folks wanna share? No, that was too

Okay, great. Thank you guys so much. And congratulations again. Thank you our next, oh, thank you so much. Our next questions from Pauls.

All right. Hello? Hello. Thank you so much for being with us today. And, um, congratulations, uh, on this, this is fantastic. Uh, I gotta note because these characters are so different from you personally, um, everything about them, where they’re from, you know, and different time, everything, uh, what kind of Headspace do you have to for each of the actors?

Do you have to put yourself in to, to play these really dark roles? Cool. My personal experience, which may well be very different to the others. So, um, they, they must say as well, um, uh, the, the sort of amount that Olivia had dialogue wise, um, and scene wise, especially sort of at the beginning, it kind of eased up a little as we got into it.

Um, Sort of so full on. Um, I remember I just had to be, I just to get one foot in front of the other and to know my lines and turn up on set was what I could manage at the time. Um, which in a way is really liberating and kind of makes it easier because otherwise you can. Get, I very often get stuck in my own head and think too much about everything.

Um, and sometimes, you know, after the event, you look at things and think, oh, I wish I wish I’d thought about this, or I wish I’d done that differently. Um, but. Such a sort of big undertaking in so many ways is actually in some ways easier and, and, uh, yeah, more, more freeing, more liberating, um, than sometimes not having so far to go with a character.

Um, it’s, you know, I find it easier to be further away from myself, I think, but, and normally I do lots of research, but, uh, in this. I, and I, I think with regards to Malcolm, um, you know, a lot of credit goes to Paul for, for, you know, when, when the writing’s good, it helps those neurons connect sort of effortlessly, and you don’t have to.

To force anything, but sort of, it returns to my first, um, thing I said at the beginning that, you know, when, when you are evil, when a person’s evil, they don’t wander around thinking they’re evil. You know, they, they wander around thinking what they’re doing is right and proper. And just, but I, I do know, um, I spent quite a lot of time in the early days trying to convince people that I wasn’t an asshole.

There was a, there was a picture of me in the production office. You know, all the actors have their faces up in the production office. And my everyone elses was lovely. My picture, I looked like an asshole, like really smug. And then I thought, oh shit, they’ve seen that. Now I’m cast as this, this asshole.

How is your so I, I, I dunno if I can say anyway, I spent a lot of time giving people cups of tea, that sort of thing. And, and trying not to be an asshole. Um, yeah. Yeah. Sorry. Todd was one thing there too. Um, like Jeremiah was saying we had a lot to do in a limited amount of time. And, um, I, I can’t necessarily speak to what everyone did individually creatively to prepare for that, but I certainly can speak for when they showed up, everyone was on point, smiling, prepared, professional, lovely.

Um, and that is, you know, that’s pretty special when that all comes together. So I felt like the lucky recipient of all that on my end. So thank you to you guys. Thank you so much, Paul and max, that was a great answer. And you are allowed to curse here, so it’s okay. oh really? Oh, great. Let’s go away. OK.

Thank you so much. Thanks, Paul. Our next question is from women for the culture.

Please unmute yourself to ask your question. There you go. Okay. Hi. Thank you guys for having me. My name is Natasha and I’m with women for the culture. My question is for, to Sean. Um, I just wanted to ask you, so from the moment we meet your character, Noah, we can tell just by looking in her eyes that she’s compassionate, caring and knows something that everybody doesn’t know right now, especially when we see the scene from your daughter.

But I just wanted to know why do you think black women’s first instinct is to go into protective mold, even when we barely know, um, their person. Well, I think if you think about the time that this is set in, um, it’s a very, very good question. And I found myself asking that question in my process as well.

Um, especially in scenes where I found myself helping, um, Olivia and. Because in some ways, she’s very much the more compass of, of, um, the story when all of this madness is going on. And sometimes I find myself asking that question as well, um, for my process, but, um, I think is she’s a rock for her family and she’s also a very fiercely loyal friend and, um, And I think if, if we look at the time, as I was about to say, if we look at the time that this is set in, it would be very unlikely that her and Olivia would probably even strike up a friendship with one that’s lasting anyway.

So it’s just a, a very specific circumstance that they have kind of built their friendship on. And I guess you’ll see more, more about that when the other episodes come out and more be clear, um, about, um, maybe ask, answer your question more, but, um, yeah, I can say that. She’s got a really good heart, I think.

Yeah. Thank you so much for that answer. And I can’t wait to see Noah’s, uh, story unfold more throughout the series. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Karen Mo from sci-fi vision. Hi everybody. Um, thanks for doing this. My question is for Paul, I’ll try to keep it short. Um, flowers in the attic has been adapted before.

I think the last time lifetime did so was in 2014 and 15. Um, in the, since then audience standards and industry standards for how you adapt and present some of this really sensitive, uh, material rape incest abuse. Um, Has really changed. And I wonder if you could speak for a minute about your approach and lifetime’s approach and how it may have evolved in the last few years.

Sure. Um, I can’t speak to how their other, um, flowers movies were produced. I wasn’t a part of those back then, but I do know that from the very beginning of my working with them, they were, um, incredibly supportive, incredibly collaborative. Um, and what we had was this, um, this source material. Where so much of the main character story was based on this sexual assault.

And it was a balancing act that I worked with with my, um, my, my producing team in Los Angeles and all the great executives at a and E in lifetime, trying to figure out just how much of that assault do we show and how do we show it. Um, and in order to tell the story best, uh, and I hope we struck. A good balance.

Um, I was very grateful to have such, um, open partners with it. And the other piece of it was Jemma for the, um, on set. We talked, um, a lot with the intimacy quarters and everyone else, but even about certain lines, you remember, we were talking about a line in the fourth movie, um, with Paul Wesley and, and Jemima.

And it was something about how she didn’t wanna, like, I think the line I had written was allow someone to control me again. And we talked a lot about that in that tent of all the mosquitoes. I remember that. Um, we changed the line. Um, and I think it’s that kind of conversation, um, that I hope helped tell Olivia’s story in a thoughtful and sensitive and productive way.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Mr. Dark eye podcast.

Please unmute yourself to ask your question. Thank you. Yes. All right. Can Y. Yes, we, yeah. All right. So my question is for max, um, in your role, like with you having to be evil and, um, you know, play that role so well, what was your inspiration to be so into the character the way you was and how did you really tap in?

Oh God. Um, I, for fear of repeating myself, um, You know, there there’s, there was a few, obviously the cast, uh, helped enormously. Um, you know, also as an actor, when you have wonderful costumes and you have wonderful sets that also helps a great deal. Um, but yeah, I just, I like, like I said, I sort of just had to tune into the, the child inside of Malcolm.

That was the tapping in, uh, and, and, you know, these days we, we are so there’s so much modern. There’s therapy available. There’s psychology and there’s, you know, the way parents work with their children. Now it was these things were unheard of in those days. Um, and we, we take these things for granted, modern parental thinking and, and trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder and all these sorts of things.

Um, Malcolm was just left to figure it out and it didn’t, he didn’t figure it out. He didn’t. Do a good job, but he, he, he did so in a way that enabled him to survive. Um, and that’s how I have to look at Malcolm. Uh, and, and out of that way of thinking comes his evil. And, and that for me is, is a byproduct of that, that interior life think.

Thank you for that. And you did a very convincing job, so that just means you’re good at what you do. thanks. You guys also very kind and put a lot of people on set at ease with his kindness with, with, with that kind of material. Um, and it takes a very special to person to do that. And we had that in that, so, yes.

Oh, thanks. Cool. I’d like to add as well that, um, I know probably a lot. Male actors who would just a approach it as is wouldn’t, wouldn’t struggle playing this sort of a role would probably quite enjoy it. And max is, you know, the opposite of Malcolm. He is, um, such a lovely person. And for him to get to those places was a struggle.

And the struggle is what makes the character more interesting and more layered. And so it’s only better for that. I. I agree. Nice guys go. This is nice. Thank you so much for your question. Our next question is from Towanda Blake.

Hi. Um, my question is what was it like filming inside of a, the pandemic? And did, do you think that offered you more? I’d say it stretched you more to bring perfection to your characters.

Yes, I think, uh, in a way it did, it was this sort of quite surreal bubble. Um, I think for us all to be away from home for as long as we were, um, normally people, if you are filming, you know, outside of home, you are in and out or, um, You’re not really with each other. And it was such a shared experience, the whole thing, onset and offset, and, uh, Yeah, I think there was such a, a lovely feeling because you did, everyone felt really grateful and really privileged to be working.

And it was also really interesting work and everyone really looked out for each other, the, the credo all the way through the crew from the top to the bottom, um, it, it felt very collaborative and very supportive. And I think that’s quite rare to that extent. And, um, and that made. Very special. Um, it wasn’t just another job, I think.

Thank you. Awesome. Thank you. We have time for one more. Our last questions from Aries, urban bridges.

Hi, everybody. I’m gonna echo everybody else. You guys did a great job. I love the movie. I’m gonna address my question to Taan. Besides it being an epic book. First, what made you want to be a part of this role and play Nella and flowers on the. Oh, because, because she’s not part of the books because, because I could, because I could, um, Paul really gave me the reigns to like build on her from the ground up and I kind of just got to implement her story, um, where it wasn’t there before.

And, um, yeah, so I just got to bring this completely fresh character to such a huge franchise of, of a book. Um, Book series and I just, and I thought her character was really interesting, um, and layered and, um, Yeah. And quite exciting and important as well to the story. Yeah. Um, as I said, like her being, um, like the moral compass of, of the story for a lot of the, a lot of this, um, episodes, um, and her family, which you’ll get to meet in the other episodes and, and yeah, you get to see a bit more of her when you see her family as well.

And that’s all really exciting and they’re all brilliant actors as well. And yeah, so it, I mean, it. It wasn’t hard. That’s, that’s an easy, it wasn’t very hard. yeah, it makes a lot of sense, but you brought the character. Great job again. Continued success. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you everyone for such great questions.

Thank you to our panelists. You guys were amazing as always. And thank you all for joining today’s advanced screening of part one. If we did not get to your question, I know we dropped this in the chat as well.

MORE INFO:

Official Site and Preview

"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" key art

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin tells the story of the headstrong and determined Olivia Winfield (Rooper) who is working alongside her beloved father (Hamlin) when she finds herself unexpectedly wooed by one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors, Malcom Foxworth (Irons). After a whirlwind romance, Olivia finds herself as the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall, where she soon discovers that the fairytale life she expected has quickly become a nightmare.  Under Malcolm’s debonair exterior lies a dark heart, and a twisted evil lurks inside Foxworth Hall that will threaten Olivia’s happiness and that of her children. Her attempts to keep them all safe ultimately push Olivia to become to most terrifying version of herself, leading to her inevitable—and notorious—decision to lock her grandchildren in the attic…

Dodd stars as Olivia’s daughter, Corinne; while Williams takes on the role Foxworth Hall’s longtime staff member and Olivia’s observant housekeeper, Nella. Mulgrew plays Mrs. Steiner, Malcom’s loyal house manager and head of the Foxworth Hall staff. Grammer portrays Malcom’s illustrious father Garland Foxworth, who is married to new wife Alicia, played by Boden. Wesley stars as John Amos, Olivia’s cousin whose revelations change her life forever and Callum Kerr stars as Christopher, a close relative of the Foxworth family whose life will be eternally intertwined with Corrine’s from the moment they set eyes on each other.

Additional talent starring in the four-part miniseries event includes Luke Fetherston, Buck Braithwaite, Jordan Peters, Evelyn Miller, Rawdat Quadri, Emmanuel Ogunjinmi, David Witts, Carla Woodcock and Peter Bramhill.

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is an A+E Studios production in association with Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Paul Sciarrotta serves as executive producer. Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein serve as executive producers for Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Zoë Rocha serves as executive producer for RubyRock Pictures, Gary Pearl executive produces for Aquarius Content and Dan Angel executive produces. Declan O’Dwyer also executive produces and directed part one and part two of the miniseries. Robin Sheppard serves as director for parts three and four. Scripts are from executive producer Paul Sciarrotta, as well as Amy Rardin and Conner Good. Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is based on the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows by Andrew Neiderman. The miniseries was made with support of the Romanian Government.

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Irons and Rooper in "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" on Lifetime

Interview with Catherine Bell and Tom Stevens

TV Interview!

Tom Stevens and Catherine Bell of "Jailbreak Lovers" on Lifetime

Interview with Tom Stevens and Catherine Bell of “Jailbreak Lovers” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/1/22

This was from a LIfetime press day covering three different movies. It was great to speak to Catherine Bell, who has been on so many series and in many movies. I’ve spoken with Tom Stevens a few times before. They were both great in this movie. Even though the movie is about two felons, it has a humorous side to it that improves on the story. I enjoyed it. Also, there are many dogs, which elevates it even further.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Well, thank you all for coming to our Summer 2022 Virtual Press Day. Please join me in welcoming the stars of “Jailbreak Lovers.” We have with us today executive producer and star Catherine Bell along with her costar Tom Stevens. First up is Tamara.

QUESTION:  Hi, how are you?

TOM STEVENS:  I’m good, Tamara, how you doing?

QUESTION:  I’m good. Thank you. So Toby always followed the rules and did what was expected of her. Can you guys identify with the character’s desire to be carefree, coloring outside the lines, not being perfect, or simply being wild and free for once?

CATHERINE BELL:  Well, I think probably anyone could relate to that.  Hopefully, people don’t resort to this sort of a, (laughs) craziness but, you know, I think there’s always that idea of, like, “Ooh, what if I, you know, broke the rules and did something wild for a moment.” I think that’s what – I wanted to at least give a sense of like – People are always going why would someone do this? Why would someone break the law and do something like this and, hopefully, we give you guys a little insight into where that comes from.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, and I agree. I think that every person needs to kind of check in on their life at some point and go am I coloring too within the lines, o do I need to go outside of my comfort zone, because I think out of your comfort zone, outside your comfort zone is where you really learn who you are.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you. Up next, we have a question from Suzanne. Suzanne, you may feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Hi. Catherine, since you were a producer on this movie, did you have any influence over the tone of the movie? It’s a little less serious than most Lifetime movies I’ve seen.

CATHERINE BELL:  You know, Katie Boland is our beautiful director. She brought her vision to this, which was this playful and high-energy and sexy and fun spirit. You know, I really — I think Tom and I both really enjoyed making this movie because it had all of that in it. It was just this fast-paced and just wild adventure that these two were on and, you know, definitely you have some say as a producer, but I got to say it all just kind of came together magically. There wasn’t a whole lot to do except become this character on my end, you know.

QUESTION:  And that same for you, Tom?

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, no, I mean, I didn’t have the same kind of hand in it as Catherine did, but I mean it was what we brought kind of fit exactly what Katie wanted, what Catherine and I were doing, and it was just so fun to just — Like we shot so many scenes kind of like back to back to back to back and we always found like a fun way of connecting as these two people, because in the prison it was like a secret love, and then when we were out in the cabin it was more spontaneous and free, and every single time Catherine and I brought like a really strong connection and, yeah, it was just always fun. You know, every scene was always fun to shoot.

QUESTION:  Well, thanks. It was fun to watch.

CATHERINE BELL:  We joke we want to do a sequel. I don’t think it’ll happen. They’re not together, but we had too much making it.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  As long as you have dogs. That’s the good thing.

CATHERINE BELL:  Right, exactly.

TOM STEVENS:  Prison pen pals and dogs.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you, Suzanne. Up next we have Jamie. Jamie, you may feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Hi, thanks for talking to us today.  So can you kind of talk about when you’re doing something that’s based on real people, like, how — Can you talk about balancing kind of what you pull from that versus what you’re able to creatively add from yourself, for both of you?

CATHERINE BELL:  Tom, you go.

TOM STEVENS:  Oh, you want me to go.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, Jamie, good to see you again.

QUESTION:  You too.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, it’s I think with John, he — like with Maynard, uh, there wasn’t a lot about him.  There’s kind of the story.  There’s a lot of Moll and like of everything that she went through, but for John it was kind of more free for me to just bring the foil to her husband, do you know what I mean? Like I had to represent something that was something that she was missing in her life, and it was a more free experience to build the character rather than actually like, you know, having interviews that I could bounce off of, like Catherine obviously had.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. I, on the other hand, had a lot of interviews, and I watched all the ones that I could find of Toby.  Obviously, I don’t look anything like her so I gave that up quickly.  But there’s an essence to her that I tried to get.  You know, there’s just she’s got that little bit of the Kansas accent and, yeah, just this sweet woman who really just was totally taken by surprise by this guy, and it just completely altered the course of her life.  But, yeah, it was a lot of fun trying to become this woman who is very different than myself.

QUESTION:  Thank you so much, both of you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  Thanks, Jamie.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Jamie.  Up next is Mike Hughes. Mike, feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Okay. There we go. Okay, cool. Probably shortly after you finish this another real-life case like this came up in Alabama where someone escaped with (inaudible). I was wondering did this give you like special interest in it? Did you kind of follow that news story extra special? Do you may root for them or anything like that?

CATHERINE BELL:  I mean, you know, yeah, it was unbelievable that that happened. It was like, okay, life imitating art imitating real life, you know. It’s interesting that this happens a fair amount, you know, that these guys are in this unusual situation in a prison and fall for each other. The idea for me of crossing that line and going, “Yeah, let’s break out of jail,” I mean, really, you’re never going to get away with it, you know. That one ended very tragically but, yeah, it’s just fascinating.

QUESTION:  You didn’t root for them —

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  What’s that?

TOM STEVENS:  Were you rooting for them, Catherine?

CATHERINE BELL:  Was I (laughs), I mean, I don’t think — no, I wasn’t really thinking about it either way. It was very, very sad, of course, how it ended but, yeah, I would have preferred a happier ending than that, for sure.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah. And we kind of tell – we kind of tell the fictitious fun side of this, and I mean the true story between Toby and John is, you know, a little darker than this like in reality than the story that we told, and I’m sure that that story was darker, too. So, I mean, we can have with this because we’re making a movie about it but, you know, these people were going through something.  Yeah, it’s more serious when it’s real.

QUESTION:  Okay. Thanks.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you, Mike. Up next we have Jay Bobbin. Jay, feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Hi, folks. Hi, Catherine. How are you?

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi, Jay.

QUESTION:  Hi, good to see you.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, Jay.

QUESTION:  Catherine, question for you. You’ve done non-edgy for so many years now.  To step back into something that is decidedly edgy, an actor acts, obviously, that’s their profession, but was it an easy thing for you or did it take working up to this a little bit having done Cassie for so many years?

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, you know what? It’s always challenging to me, which is probably why I love acting so much.  It’s never just like, oh, a piece of cake.  Like it’s like, oh, who is this person, and in the beginning you don’t know who they are or how to become them and watching her interviews and kind of just trying to work on that was a beautiful challenge. I really loved it – really, really love stepping into this. And, yeah, edgy, edgy and also a very kind of withdrawn, like kind of toned-down person as well, someone who’s not so confident or whatever. So it was just a lot of fun for me to play all of those things.

QUESTION:  Thanks a lot.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, it was fun to witness, actually. It was fun to watch you build the character, yeah, yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you. We had so much fun together.

TOM STEVENS:  I know.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Jay.  Up next we have “Starry Constellation Magazine.”

QUESTION:  Well, Tom, they say you should never work with ids and animals onscreen, and you worked with a number of dogs. Talk about the training you went through for dog training.

TOM STEVENS:  So I’m an advocate for Cesar Mila and everything that he does with behavioral science and dog science, and I have a dog of my own that I have put through a rigorous training, and it comes naturally to me to be around animals and to be like an alpha or like a calm sort of presence with them. So that wasn’t hard for me.  What was when the dogs didn’t care that I was a calm presence or authoritative presence, and they were like my trainer’s behind the camera, and I could do whatever I want right now for the next thirty seconds while the cameras are rolling, and he starts eating a toy in the middle of our scene.  So there’s like there’s certain things that you can’t control when like a dog’s just on the side, and he just kind of starts doing his own thing, but there’s like a lot of things that you can do to just be like the calm presence for the dogs that they respect. They say don’t work with animals because animals are in the moment, and the audience will always be drawn to them, so it kind of forces you to be in the moment with the dog, and then it’s interesting for the audience to watch.

MODERATOR:  Awesome. Thank you. Up next we have Cynthia Horner.

QUESTION:  Hello.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, hi, hi.

QUESTION:  I would like to ask both of you this question what is a memorable behind the scenes moment that you can tell us about when you were filming?

TOM STEVENS:  Hm.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hm.

TOM STEVENS:  There were a lot, there were a lot.

CATHERINE BELL:  I instantly thought of the car chase stuff.  That was just so much fun.

TOM STEVENS:  That was so much fun.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. Actually, driving and then on the top of the truck where they’re towing you and you’re pretending there’s so much going on. We had some good laughs.

TOM STEVENS:  And getting arrested. I think I loved the feeling as when we got out of week one, when we got out of the prison. I mean we were shooting a prison movie so a lot of it had to be done on location in this corrections facility, and it felt very much like repeated scenes, like we were doing like similar scenes over and over and over again in this box, and then when we got out of that week it was like this freedom just opened up, and it really felt like the characters got to like go and see new places, and go to different restaurants, and do all this stuff. It was very much what the character is going through. So I love that like transition into the Toby and John being free period.

CATHERINE BELL:  True. I also really loved all the stuff in the cabin. It was just such a tiny, little cabin and our whole crew really bonded. Just it was, you know, just — It was Halloween, too, right, and the crew came in with the crazy costumes on and we were in our Toby and John costumes —

TOM STEVENS:  In our little, yeah — And it like nearly drowned us in rain. It was pouring rain so hard. It was like flooding around the cabin, it was crazy. And then our DP is in a Sumo suit, and it was hilarious.

QUESTION:  Wow, you guys had great stories to tell. Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  No worries, Cynthia.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you, Cynthia.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you, Cynthia. Up next we have Rick Bentley. Rick?

QUESTION:  Hi, can you hear me?

CATHERINE BELL: (Inaudible @ 00:14:32).

QUESTION:  Great. I’m sorry. Hey, Catherine, I’m just curious. This sort of ripped from the headlines, it’s something that’s been going on for years, and obviously there’s a big audience for that out there, do you think it’s a situation of people being sort of living vicariously through these wild moments or is it there by the grace of God goes me?

CATHERINE BELL:  Oh, man. You know, I’m sure it’s just that natural curiosity that all humans have of like what is going on in someone’s else world, you know. And, yes, this is a crazy world. It’s something that, hopefully, most people will never experience, and then there’s that other, you know, the concept of what were thinking? Why would somebody do that? So, hopefully, they get a little taste of that with what Tom and I did, you know, just the how they fell in love and what led this to this crazy idea that they might get away with running away together, you know.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Awesome. Thank you, Rick. Up next is Luaine Lee. Luaine.

QUESTION:  Yeah, Catherine, you were talking about the challenge and how you really adore the challenge in acting, and you’ve been doing it a long time, so what is it that you like best about acting and television, and what do you like the least?

CATHERINE BELL:  In television as opposed to film you mean or just in general, acting?

QUESTION:  Well, just in general acting.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. I think I love so much about it. I love the process. I love the finding the character, and as I mentioned, the challenges of that, it keeps me on my toes and always wanting to improve and be better and even up until the scene is over, you’re still okay, “Well, the next take I want to try this. I want to do that. I want to make this better or different.” I love the camaraderie, and there’s just such a sense of family on these shows that you do together, movies, shows, whatever. You just meet such beautiful people, and so much I love about it. I love the effect it has on people when they’re watching it. I think probably I love the adventure of travel and going to different locations, but sometimes that’s challenging for my family, you know, just to be away so much, so that’s probably, if I could say here’s something I don’t like about it, sometimes that gets challenging. But, again, you just — I’ m so grateful for what I get to do, so I got no complaints.

QUESTION:  So what’s the worst part of it?

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, I think that, you know, being along in a hotel room for weeks at a time, especially in COVID.  There was one stretch I took my son to Toronto for “Good Witch”. It was thirteen weeks away from home. I couldn’t go back and forth because of the travel quarantine. That was intense.

QUESTION:  Oh, wow. Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Luaine. And then we have Steve (Gitmo @ 00:17:26). Steve?

QUESTION:  Hey, how are you guys?

CATHERINE BELL:  Hey, good.

TOM STEVENS:  I’m good.

QUESTION:  Good. I just wanted to ask how familiar were you or at all familiar with this story? Was it all kind of news to both of you when you got the script?

CATHERINE BELL:  I haven’t heard of it at all. When I started telling people about it a lot of people remembered seeing it on the news. It was on “Dateline” and “Anderson Cooper” and all of that, but I hadn’t heard of it at all. You, Tom?

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, no, same. The escaping out of prison in a dog crate. I think it maybe a rang a bell but maybe I’m like, yeah, maybe that’s just a logical way to sneak out of prison.  But the case itself I hadn’t heard anything about it, then I started reading the script, and it was just so fun.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  And, Tom, can you actually fit in a dog crate?

TOM STEVENS:  Easily, easily. That dog crate was too easy to fit into. I wanted a smaller one. I wanted to do contortion, you know.

QUESTION:  Thanks so much.

TOM STEVENS:  Thank you.

QUESTION:  Awesome. Thank you.  And we’re going to be wrapping here momentarily but I see two more hands are up. Jamie from SciFi Vision, did you have another question?

QUESTION:  Yeah, I can go again. I was going to ask about the dog crate, but so what did the two of you learn about yourselves from working on this show either as performers or just as people in general?

CATHERINE BELL:  Ooh.

TOM STEVENS:  Ooh.

CATHERINE BELL:  Wow. Tom, do you want to answer? I want to think about that.

TOM STEVENS:  I think what I learned about myself was it’s — With all the challenges that came with this there’s a lot of layers to John and playing John, and when I ever felt like I was kind of lost in it all I knew I had to do was connect with Catherine, and I don’t know if I learned that about myself, but I did learn that I can trust in Catherine whenever I feel like I’m lost in a scene. Is that me learning something? I don’t know. I learned that about Catherine.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hm, thank you. Yeah, I had such an incredible time working with you and our connection. It was just really, really special; really, just like you said, you just look in your eyes and it was like all there, and I don’t know.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  It was probably just a great realization that I can do this sort of a role, which was so different for me and being able to trust in you and just making that happen. It was so magical.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Well, thank you and I enjoyed it, so.

TOM STEVENS:  Thank you, Jamie. We loved it, too.

MODERATOR:  Awesome, and now our final question is from Mike Hughes. Mike?

QUESTION:  Yeah. I’ll just ask real briefly, all your impressions of working when you were in the correction facility there, it looked like it wasn’t a high security one. It looked like it was maybe medium or a low-security facility. Nothing struck you about it there and did you get a chance to interact with the prisoners at all? Were they friendly to you? Just give us your overall impressions.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. Well, it wasn’t an active prison, so it was actually shut down. So, but still I, for me, it was very — And, Tom, you were the one in the cell, but so cold, so impersonal. I can’t even imagine being in a cell like that for years or for life. It’s just wow, where I really just realized what that experience could be like, just a little taste of it.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah. Again, it’s an old youth center, so it’s a youth correction center in Burnaby that we were shooting in and all the other prisoners were background so, you know, not actual prisoners, but I did get a chance on my other show in Halifax I got to talk to a lady on our crew who had spent four months in prison that year on a charge that she was serving from years prior. It just all caught up with her, and she’s a good friend of mine and we sat down and just like hatch — She gave me as much insight on what living in prison was like, and I just asked for words that would come up in her mind every day, like what’s something that you would think every single day, and frustration is a big one, and you can feel frustrated places like that because it, like Catherine said, it’s so confined and so isolating, and there’s no time, and you just — It’s very plain and uncomfortable. Like there’s no cushions. So you can imagine a human being whose mind needs stimulation become completely frustrated in a situation like that.

QUESTION:  Okay, thanks.

MODERATOR:  Thank you. And thank you, Catherine and Tom for joining us today. “Jailbreak Lovers” premieres Saturday, July 2nd, at 08:00 p.m., seven Central only on Lifetime. Stay tuned for “He’s Not Worth Dying For” in a moment.

MORE INFO:

Official Lifetime Site and Preview

Inspired by a true story, Jailbreak Lovers follows Toby (Catherine Bell), a woman who always played by the rules. Toby never ran a red light, married the only boy she ever dated, raised a family and went to church. She did everything she was supposed to do. When Toby loses her job and starts a non-profit to rehabilitate abused, rescued dogs at the local prison no one could have anticipated that she would end up on the run, shacked up with her younger lover John (Tom Stevens), a convicted murderer. The star-crossed lovers hatch a plan to break John out of prison by smuggling him out in one of the dog crates, sparking a federal manhunt.

Jailbreak Lovers is produced for Lifetime by Crate Productions Inc. Catherine Bell, Angela Mancuso, Stacy Mandelberg and up-and-coming director Katie Boland are executive producers. Supervising producers are Oliver DeCaigny and Tom Stanford. Boland directed from a script by Anne-Marie Hess and Jodie Burke.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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poster for "Jailbreak Lovers"