Lea Thompson Surprised by Size of ‘Switched at Birth’ Success

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.

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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  1. Pingback: UpcomingDiscs.com » Blog Archive » Mayor Cupcake

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