Cable-movie staple stars in modern-’Cinderella’ romance
Q: Since your “Fit for a Prince” character is a dress designer named Cindy who meets and falls for a member of royalty, was the movie pitched to you as a contemporary “Cinderella”?
A: A little bit, actually. This was done by a team that I love and that I work with often in Canada. I absolutely wanted to be a part of it, since I love any sort of fantasy world that you get to play in.
Q: “Fit for a Prince” involves some ballroom dancing for you. Did you already know that style, or did you learn it for the film?
A: I was in “Wicked,” so I did some ballroom work in that. With a lot of the musicals I did in New York, you have to pick up any skills that the choreographer is giving you. Jonathan (Keltz, who plays the prince in the movie) was great; I was really impressed with him. I have to remember sometimes that the man always leads, which is hard for me since I’ve been dancing since I was 3, so I have to give in to that.
Q: You are an actual descendant of royals, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland and the also-Scottish Lord James Douglas. Did that factor at all into your thought process in making “Fit for a Prince”?
A: I’m sure we’re all descended from someone amazing and wonderful, but when I was in Scotland, I discovered that Robert the Bruce is my 26th great-grandfather. I know that’s also the case with Hilary Duff and Meghan Markle, so maybe I’m related to them!
Q: In your cable-movie roles, you generally play a career woman who has just enough room for romance. Do you seek that common thread in your projects?
A: I was doing a lot of darker shows, and after I did the movie “Only the Brave” — which was sort of a heavy film — I told my team that I’d love to do something light and fun, and people love Hallmark Channel. People will come up to me in the supermarket and go, “Oh, I loved ‘You’re Bacon Me Crazy’!” They want to feel good and just sit down and unwind with their families, and I always keep my eyes open for this kind of movie. And I’m always so grateful when I get to work for Hallmark.
Q: Most of your movie characters inevitably end up in a closing-scene kiss with the lead actor. How is your husband with that?
A: He’s not in the business at all. I don’t think he’d ever dated an actor, but he’s very open to all of this stuff. He was a Marine officer who went to Afghanistan and Iraq before I met him, so he’s a pretty independent kind of guy. Now, he works in finance, and he’s just super-easy.
He always jokes with me, “Fine! Go fall in love!” At the end of the day, he’s so supportive, he just wants to see me working and doing what I love. He’s always excited to see the films, and I just feel so lucky.
Q: Those who know you from your runs on “All My Children” and “Pretty Little Liars” may not know that you’re a member of New York’s prestigious Actors Studio. Is it safe to assume that’s a source of special pride for you?
A: A couple of years ago, I auditioned for it just off the street. I’ve always had a lot of passion for stage work, and (veteran Actors Studio members such as) Estelle Parsons and Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino … it’s really crazy who you’ll see there. I’ll be sitting between two Oscar winners, and I just feel so grateful to be a part of it. There’s so much history involved, and as an actor, I never want to stop learning. It means so much to have access to that studio and those plays.