Lea Thompson, just wrapping the first 10 episode season of her hit ABC Family Channel “Switched at Birth” series, reports she’s going to get in some quality rest and relaxation time before diving back into work.
“My daughters and I going to rush off to Europe. I’ve been planning it for hours and hours,” says Lea, whose 20-year-old daughter, Madeline, just graduated with honors from The New School university in New York. “We’re going to Spain, France and England. We’re really excited,” she says.
It’s been an intense stretch of work for Lea over the last couple of years. She’s done a string of big and small screen movies — including a role in Clint Eastwood’s forthcoming “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and her own Hallmark Movie Channel original, “The Cabin,” a romantic comedy coming up July 30.
And then there’s “Switched at Birth,” with its record-breaking premiere and subsequent high ratings. “We were really surprised by how well it did,” she admits. Despite what could have been a campy or cheesy premise — rich and poor teenage girls discover they were given to the wrong parents when they were born — Lea stresses, “It’s not pandering. There’s a class struggle. There’s a racial struggle. There’s a struggle with a child who has a disability, who is deaf — and people are really signing on the show. People have to think a little bit more than they might have expected.” And they must like it. Fancy that.
About the finale segment they’re just finishing now — she says it’s a cliffhanger.
MEANWHILE: Lea also has her “Mayor Cupcake” comedy coming out on DVD next month. She executive produced the romp, in which she plays a homemaker who becomes the mayor of her small town. “It really is cute. My daughter Maddie gets to sing in it, a song from ‘The Breakfast Club,’ actually.” The scene became an unplanned tribute to late “Breakfast Club” creator John Hughes, she says. Lea’s leading man is none other than “Breakfast Club” alumnus Judd Nelson. She and her husband, director Howard Deutch, met on another Hughes movie, “Some Kind of Wonderful.” The day of Maddie had to sing the song, Hughes had just died, “and we were all crying,” Lea recounts. Lea’s 16-year-old daughter, Zoey, is in the movie as well.