Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun Friday: Interview with Kelly Rutherford

Labor Day weekend tends to be synonymous with the end of summer. It's the final weekend before school starts (for those who haven't already returned), it's the last chance to hit the water parks before the season ends, and it's almost time to retire white pants for another nine months. Over on Lifetime, it's time to get back to business and serious TV movies.

On Saturday, September 7th, Lifetime will premiere A Sister's Nightmare. The thriller centers around an intense sibling rivalry and dark family secrets. After being hospitalized for fifteen years for being criminally insane, Cassidy (played by Natasha Henstridge) is released. She reenters the life of her younger sister, Jane (played by Kelly Rutherford), who must take matters into her own hands to protect her family when Cassidy seems to still be harmful to society. Jane is a police officer (seen below) who keeps her sister's secrets from her children.
Photo by Darren Hull Copyright 2013
Rutherford, recognized widely for her role as Lily van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl now, but whom older fans will remember as Megan Lewis Mancini on Melrose Place, took a few minutes to talk a little about the movie. 

TheTalkingBox: Being that the situation in the movie really is a nightmare, is there a specific moment in the script that you had a particularly difficult time with with the intense situations taking place?

It’s interesting. In reading the script, I was just going along thinking "oh this is great, this is great," and all of a sudden there was this huge twist. Oh my god, you just don’t see coming, which is what I liked about the script itself. I didn’t see it coming for my character so I just thought it was a really fun thing to play – where you think one thing and then it ends up being something else. And certainly, I think we all, somewhere in our lives, can relate to that – there’s twists and turns. I just thought it was a really well written script that way, and there’s a bit of a surprise ending. And to play a very different character than I’ve played was interesting.

Did the intersection between knowing that the movie is based on some truths and being a parent affect the way you approached the project?

Yeah, and I think I was able to play a parent differently than I would have if I didn’t have an understanding of the bond with a child. Also, a woman’s desire to have a child, in this case, her sister has a child and her not, I think was devastating. And I think for some people it is. Other people it’s not. Everyone reacts differently. I think that everyone psychologically is in a different place, so it’s interesting to play characters that aren’t always completely balanced. I played a lot of characters that are very balanced but it’s interesting to take a walk in those other shoes sometimes. 

TheTalkingBox: This is your first TV movie in quite a few years, but you have quite a few in your dossier. How did you appreciate the return to the form after working on Gossip Girl for so long? 

Rutherford: It’s nice after working on a regular series because I didn’t do a lot on my hiatuses because I had little kids the whole time. So I just really took that time off to be with my kids and enjoy them. It was fun to work for a short period of time, relatively, and have a wonderful experience. It was fun to kind of walk in, do some work, and be able to step away from it, versus [how] I’d been on a series for so long. Sometimes you need to do that before you’re ready to jump back into another long-term thing. 

Rutherford may have another long-term project coming her way, as she will be on a few episodes of the new CBS show Reckless, which is filming in Charleston. Though she's only "doing a few episodes," she also noted that "we'll see what happens," so perhaps she will be on the mid-season drama for a while after all. Another possibility for her future is writing a book, as it has been on the table but she is waiting for "the right time" and "to see how things play out." 

Watch for Rutherford acting alongside fellow Gossip Girl alum Matthew Settle in A Sister's Nightmare, premiering on Lifetime at 8pm ET/PT on Saturday, September 7th.
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