Cheryl Ladd is diplomatic when it comes to ABC’s new “Charlie’s Angels,” which has been tagged with terms from “lackluster” to “dreary bore,” “depressing” to “Fall’s Most Mediocre New Drama.” Says the actress once known as angel Kris Munroe, “I watched the first episode and it was very different — totally different from the original series. It’s more like the movie, I think, in the feel of it. I thought the girls were terrific.”
Ladd doesn’t have much time for scrutinizing her successor angels, however. She just finished filming an “NCIS” episode in which “I play kind of a love interest for Ducky,” she says of David McCallum’s character. Soon she’ll head up to Canada to make a Christmas-themed movie for television. And Saturday (10/1) marks the premiere of her Hallmark Channel Original Movie, “Love’s Everlasting Courage.”
She and Bruce Boxleitner play the parents of Wes Brown’s character, Clark, who is central to the hugely popular “Love Comes Softly” series of movies based on Janet Oke’s best-selling 1800s period novels.
“When I read the script it took me exactly 30 seconds to say yes. I loved the story, the characters,” says Cheryl. “And then when they told me they were casting Buce — I can’t tell you how long we’ve known each other in the industry, but he and I have never had the opportunity to work together before.”
She also “loved the idea of playing the grandmother” she says. Other actresses in Hollywood avoid the g-word assiduously, but Cheryl freely notes, “I am a grandmother now. My stepdaughter, Lindsay, has two children and one on the way.” She liked playing the relationship between her character and child actress Morgan Lily’s. “She wants to help and protect her granddaughter, but at the same time, she knows she needs to grow up fast.”
Production on location outside L.A. was hot and dusty. “We filmed out on the ranch where they filmed ‘Little House on the Prairie. We were there five or six weeks,” Cheryl reports. “It was pretty rough, but not nearly as rough as a real farm family in the 1850s. It’s hard to imagine, these people getting through their day — no aspirin or Motrin if they had aches and pains. This family and their determination to band together come what may made me think a lot about our ancestors,” she adds. “Times are tough right now, and this is a good message about family ties and pulling together to get through.”