‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ has big meaning for Heather Locklear

Meghan McCain is an executive producer of new Lifetime movie

Heather Locklear (left) portrays author Carlson in Saturday’s new Lifetime movie “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story.”

For Heather Locklear and Meghan McCain, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is more than a catchphrase.

It’s a mantra for how the former “Melrose Place” and “Dynasty” star and the ex-co-host of “The View” live, gleaned in no small part from a series of bestselling inspirational books by Kristine Carlson and her late husband Richard. Kristine’s challenging journey as a mother-of-two, sudden widow and solo writer after Richard’s death is dramatized as Locklear portrays her in the new Lifetime movie “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story” Saturday, Oct. 16. McCain is among the executive producers of the film, along with ABC and Hallmark Channel programming veteran Maura Dunbar.

In preparing to star in her first project in several years, Locklear flew to meet Carlson. “We spent a night with our friends, who happened to know each other, which is all synchronicity,” the actress notes. “And I had read the book before and I had talked to her a lot, saying, ‘I can’t get through your book right away, because it’s making me cry.’ Which happens every time I talk about it. Meeting her was such a joy and such a light in my life. I would like to be on her level, but I’m not quite there.”

McCain’s involvement in the movie came out of Lifetime’s interest in partnering with her on ventures. “This is only the second thing I’ve ever executive-produced,” she says. “The last one was a very serious political documentary, so I’m delighted to be doing something that everyone in my life will want to consume. Obviously, politics is incredibly divisive, and this is something that is meant to be feel-good. It’s going to bring people together.

Heather Locklear stars in Saturday’s new Lifetime movie “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story.”

“I had read ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ at different incarnations in my life,” adds McCain. “It was a book that my mother had on her nightstand in her bedroom when I was growing up, and I can remember just the very distinctive title. Then, after my dad (Sen. John McCain) died, I went on Amazon and just looked up books that were good for grief, and the book came up again. And when Maura came to me with ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,’ I felt like it was incredibly serendipitous.”

Locklear reflects that on the film’s set, “I would say, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s a movie. The sun will go down. The sun will come up.’ I used to do that on other things that I worked on, but it’s a beautiful movie and it’s a beautiful story. I kept trying to say, even in my fears of what I was doing. ‘Heather, you’re going to be OK.  Everything’s going to work out.’ ”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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