Tag Archives: “Army Wives”

Kellie Martin Talks Being Married to a Movie Star, Hallmark Channel Style

Talk about being left up in the air! Kellie Martin, whose captain character was last seen on Lifetime’s “Army Wives” on a troubled plane that was bound for Afghanistan, not only doesn’t know if she has a future with the show, up until last month, she didn’t know wether the show itself would have a future.  “Wives” has been picked up — but will the plane go down?
“They suggest the plane went down, but we don’t know what happened,” points out Kellie, whose previous series include “Life Goes On,” “Christy” and “ER.” “
Whatever happens, as far as Kellie is concerned, “I did eight episodes and had a great time. I think the producers and writers are plotting out a lot of options, because I don’t know which of the regular cast members are going to be back. I think there is going to be a fair bit of shuffling going on.”
Kellie has been doing a fair bit of shuffling herself, between her busy work schedule and life outside Hollywood. The actress, who comes across genial, energetic and efficient in an afternoon’s interview, has much to think about besides acting: her husband Keith Christian and their five-year-old daughter Maggie; Keith’s Colorado cattle ranch; and Romp, the online toy store Kellie impetuously bought a year ago when she found out it was on the brink of going out of business.
She’ll next be seen starring in the Hallmark Channel’s “I Married Who?” romantic comedy — debuting tomorrow (10/20) — about a woman whose bachelorette party gets out of hand and she wakes the next morning to find herself married to a movie star who is a stranger to her. Of course.
“My character is definitely type A, someone I can totally relate to — someone who needs to loosen up. I had a good time making it, and I just watched it, it’s really cute. It’s funny. It’s a bunch of fun,” she says of the movie in which hunky Ethan Erickson plays the matinee idol.
Kellie’s character is anything but star-struck — which couldn’t help but bring back real-life memories for her. “I’m not a movie star, but I’ve been an actress forever, and the first time I went on a date with my husband, he said to me, ‘So I hear you’re an actress. I’ve never seen anything you’ve done.’ We were like, oh gosh, 21 when I met him, and I laughed, because I’d done ‘Life Goes On,’ and ‘Christy,’ and I mean, I’d been working forever. So I laughed and said, ‘Oh, really? You’ve never seen any of my shows?’ And he said, ‘No, I didn’t get the ABC affiliate in Montana, so I haven’t.'”
She admits, “I thought he was lying at first. I thought he was being funny. You know, at college — I went to Yale, and everybody’s very smart, and everybody has their thing that makes them special, and people at Yale would pretend they didn’t recognize me. Only after they’d had a couple of drinks would they start singing the ‘Life Goes On’ theme song,” she relates with a laugh.
“So I thought, ‘Oh, he’s doing that. He’s being too cool.’ But then I realized, ‘He’s just being honest. I loved his honesty, you know? I thought it was very refreshing and sweet. He had no preconceived ideas, no notions of anything about me. He just kind of took me as I am, and that was pretty great.”
Of course, it couldn’t have hurt that Christian himself obviously had a lot on the ball. An attorney and entrepreneur from a Montana ranching family, he readily went along with it when Kellie decided to enter the world of online sales with Romp, a store specializing in the kind of non-plastic, imagination-building playthings she buys for Maggie.
Now Maggie is her No. 1 test market, which both mom and daughter apparently find quite a hoot. Kellie doesn’t expect to make a massive financial killing with Romp, but says she’s enjoying making these sorts of toys available to parents in places where they’re not easy to come by.
As far as pursuing more series and movie work, Kellie says she’s open, but not actively seeking anything in particular — which has been her style throughout her career.
She notes, “The great thing about my relationship with Hallmark is, they’ve definitely invited me to bring them stuff, and they’ve been so great to work with for so long. I’ve worked with them since 2004, that’s when — I think that’s when I did the first ‘Mystery Woman’ movie, or maybe 2003. Unless I’m developing something, I kind of wait to see what comes my way. Right now, my daughter just started kindergarten. I finished up ‘Army Wives,’ in June, I flew back to L.A., we had our summer vacation here and in Montana, and the most important thing was, I got her ready and into kindergarten totally solid, no changes with mom. Mom was not working.”
Life with a cattle ranch, TV stardom, online toys, Yale and parenthood in it sounds pretty rich, to say the least.
Kellie laughs. “Right? We have lots of different interests. I’m pretty happy with it.”



Brigid Brannagh: ‘Army Wives’ Kind of Preparing for the End

Brigid Brannagh, Christine Scott Bennett, Sean Patrick Flanery Hallmark Channel photo

Even though Lifetime has reupped “Army Wives” for a sixth season, wife Pamela Moran — Brigid Brannagh — admits, “At this point, we’re kind of preparing for the end, because we never know what’s happening.  Everyone is sort of seeing their own end of it.”

The beautiful red-haired actress has decidedly mixed feelings about that.  She’s proud of the show and happy doing it, but for her, it’s meant long spells of time apart from her  husband, Justin Lyons.  He comes to visit her on South Carolina location a week at a time during production, she says.  “I actually don’t travel back and forth too much, because we’re essentially on call.”  Still, she’s traveled enough to be familiar with the Charleston airport, “which is such a small airport and subject to so much weather, there are a lot of delays.  I’ve sat out at a curb in not a great mood too many times.”

Brannagh is clear that when “Wives” does get decommissioned, “I’m definitely interested in doing things somewhat locally for the sake of quality of life, peace of mind and sanity.”

Over her last hiatus, she doubled up making the independent comedy “Not That Funny” and the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, “A Crush on You.”  The latter, airing Saturday (6/11), has Brannagh in a genial romantic tale involving mistaken email identities.  Sean Patrick Flanery, Michael Clarke Duncan and Christine Scott Bennett round out the cast of the romp, directed by Allison Anders.

Brannagh’s single mom character leads a fairly chaotic life and is a bit on the disheveled side — until a makeover sequence.  She says she was right at home in the “before” parts.  “One of the first things I appreciated about this character is that she’s a disaster, emotionally as well as on the outside,” she says.  “I’m not sure every actress on the planet would be willing to just go there — ‘Make me dowdy, frizz out my hair, make it awkward.’  But for me, it was a nice break.  Especially now with HD, people are constantly primping you, because every detail is so noticeable.  Quite honestly, that stuff drives me nuts.”

Brigid Brannagh Lifetime photo

MEANWHILE:  Their series focuses on those who keep the home fires burning while their mates are off to war, but Brannagh and “Army Wives” cast mate Terry Serpico just came back from visiting the front lines themselves.  “We did a USO tour of Afghanistan.  It’s amazing,” Brannagh declares.

“These soldiers were so incredibly grateful we were there.  It’s actually surprising.  Their wives watch the show.  They’d hand me a phone and say, ‘Say hello to my wife.’  It was really a connection from home.”

The actress found Afghanistan tougher than she’d imagined, she says, “sleeping less than you think, everyone walking around with M16s.”   She was impressed by “how much they care about educating people and making a difference.  They have a lot more savvy, a lot more thought, a lot more conscience than people realize.”

Brannagh says, in fact, “The best thing I’ve gotten out of all the last five years is a much better understanding of those who serve our country, who they are and why they do it.”

Catherine Bell Glad Adulterous Love Scenes Over

Catherine Bell

Catherine Bell

Catherine Bell is relieved that her “Army Wives” extramarital affair is behind her – though viewers will certainly be seeing repercussions of her character, Denise’s indiscretion becoming public knowledge in the third season of the hit Lifetime series, which gets underway June 7.

 “There’s been so much to play it’s been challenging in a great way,” says Bell.  The adultery storyline has been tough, she admits.  “My husband and I just had our 15th wedding anniversary, and I’m a proponent of all the things that make a marriage work – faithfulness, trust and honesty – so this was definitely unfamiliar territory.” 

Even shooting the sexy scenes gave her pause.  “To kiss and be semi-naked with someone else on the set?” she says.  “I’ve been forced to dig in and try to be a better actress.”

How does her husband, actor-writer Adam Beason, feel about her doing those love scenes?  “He’s great.  I can’t imagine anyone being better about it,” she says.  “He doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body.  He’ll be like, ‘Oh, you had a love scene?’  Very casual.  If the situation was reversed, I would be interrogating him: ‘You touched her where?  Did you like it?’  All those things,” she admits with a laugh.

 Bell doesn’t foresee the changes in military policy under President Obama – topped by his planned withdrawal of troops from Iraq – affecting the series’ stories much.  She notes, “Our show has always really been about the families.  That doesn’t change.  There are still those issues of families parting, marriages breaking apart and getting back together, of adjustments having to be made, whether the husbands and wives are going to Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Denise now will be seen facing the fact “everyone thinks she was a terrible person.  There are going to be a lot of scenes with Frank this season,” Bell notes, speaking of her series spouse, Maj. Frank Sherwood, played by Terry Serpico.  “We’re having to face the reality of what this (affair) has done to us.”  

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:  With a string of films awaiting release, “Hollywood Dreams” actress Tanna Frederick is “looking forward to a dynamic shift” in audience perception about her.  Her “Hollywood Dreams” character, the issue-riddled, anything-to-be-a-star actress Margie Chizek earned her critical acclaim and armloads of festival awards.  But it had its down side, too, she admits with a laugh.  “That was kind of difficult, kind of ballsy now that I look at it — to come out of the gate with a character so abrasive, off putting and intense.  People thought that’s who I was.  Men jumped three feet backwards when they saw me.  I had people say, ‘Oh, you scare me,’ and I’d say, ‘No!  I’m not like that.'”

The red haired beauty’s association with filmmaker Henry Jaglom continues with “Irene in Time,” due for limited release June 19, with Victoria Tennant, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Black and David Proval.  “I play a much more contained, more grounded girl in that.  Her history is that she lost her father when she was 13, and she has problems trying to find the right man.  No one can measure up.  It’s really interesting to watch the women watch it.  They go crazy for it.  They leave the theater bawling.” 

However, Tanna is back to Margie form with the “Hollywood Dreams” sequel, “Queen of the Lot,” due later this year, in which she stars opposite Noah Wyle.  He plays a sleazy Hollywood reporter.  “It gets even better,” she says, adding that her character is now trying to go by Margery.  Tanna admits that one scene gave her quite a challenge: “a scene where Noah comes into the kitchen and I’m chewing and spitting Mallomars …It’s hard to be somewhat charming, alluring and sexy while regurgitating.” 

Yep, that would be hard.  Luckily, she says, “Noah is so great he makes any woman look good.”

 GLASS ACT:  It looks like Fox will have a bonafide hit in the fall with its refreshingly funny and entertaining show “Glee,” which premiered its pilot episode last week to 10.7 million viewers.  Its version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” also soared to number two on iTunes before the night was even over.  The biggest smash hit came from the big voice of Broadway star Lea Michele, who is reminiscent of a young Idina Menzel from “Wicked” fame.  But at least Michele was smashing things with her voice and not her car this time around.  She recently revealed that on her way to her callback she got into a car accident right in front of the Fox studios.  She left her crashed car in the middle of the street, ran to her audition, and shook glass out of her hair as she prepared to sing.  Now that’s what we call dedication! 

SECOND TIME AROUND:  Vivica A. Fox tells us it was a big boost in the confidence department when she was asked to host TV Land’s “The Cougar,” especially since, “This was my second hosting gig.  Before that I hosted ‘Glam God’ on VH1.  I actually got ‘The Cougar’ right after that got cancelled, which was really good for my ego,” says the actress with a laugh.  “I thought ‘Glam God’ was a good show but we came out during the Olympics and the Democratic National Convention so how could you compete with that?”  When not in front of the camera, Fox says she’s trying to spend more time producing her own projects.  “I love producing the product that I present to my audience.  It makes me feel really good what my name carries.  That I can get the investors, that I can get the cast, that I make projects that I’m proud of, is really important to me.” 

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster