Heather Locklear on Her New Lifetime Movie and Making Mistakes in the Public Eye
by Joel Keller, posted Mar 4th 2011 1:00PM
But something about Laura seems a bit... off. And in a movie that takes a lot of twists in turns, it's up to Locklear to let viewers in on Laura's very complicated psyche.
Locklear is used to playing complicated characters, not the least of which was Amanda Woodward of 'Melrose Place,' number 37 on our list of the 100 most memorable female characters in TV history.
I spoke to Locklear earlier this week about the movie, what's so juicy about playing bad characters, and if she's been able to take any cues from some of the very public problems she's gone through in recent years. Oh, and I also asked her about Charlie Sheen; her response to that question was posted on Monday.
The movie is a a little bit of a departure for you, but only a little bit.
Probably because there's always a craziness about me.
What drew you to this role? Because this is definitely more than a little soap opera crazy.
You know what? It was the script. It was that it tricked me. That I didn't expect that ending, and that I had to re-read the script and go "Now what? What's going on?" So I didn't really get it on the first read. And then I realized they had to shoot certain things certain ways. So it was really the script.
What do you mean when you said that they had to shoot certain things certain ways?
Well, when I would wave to my husband, and wave and he wouldn't see me, and trying to get his attention. And later on it would just be me and him. Then you would see the other woman far away, and then they'd reshoot it to where I'm the one on the outside.
Is it harder for you as an actor when you know that there's twists and turns like this movie has?
You know, at first I thought "Oh my gosh, this is so much trickery." There's going to be so much that I'm going to have to do. But really, I just played it straight. I think you just always have to be in the character's mind, instead being like the actress watching the character. I just have to be the character. She doesn't really think she's doing anything wrong.
I think she knows that she has been wronged when she was younger and there might be a reason that she's feeling anxiety and not trusting her husband and all kinds of stuff. So she feels more like the victim.
What was the biggest challenge in playing this part?
You know, the part that I liked best is that really that (with) Laura, it felt like I was playing true to the character myself and believing everything that was going on. I think the challenge was not to give anything away, to ruin anything for the audience.
Do you think there are people out there that go through life like Laura?
You know what, apparently there really are. But there really are people like this, that they splinter off. It could be like a split personality or something like that. They come from a weird place that they -- yes, being raped, or being paid for sex, or whatever it is when (Laura) was younger, and her parents not really caring -- that to deal with that, they do strange things. I think a lot of people do it on a much subtler level.
And this is definitely not subtle, what she's doing.
No! (chuckles) Ba dum bum. (drum noise)
Way back in the '80s, didn't you play a good and a bad role at the same time? You played a good role on 'T.J. Hooker' and a bad role on 'Dynasty.'
Yes, yes! Right. It was so black and white.
What is it about each that you like and you don't like?
To play the straight man is never as fun, even in comedy. It's more fun to be the flamboyant one. Because in real life, we really have to keep it together and be responsible, and we have things to take care of. But when you're playing these outrageous characters, it gives you the freedom to do so much that we could never do in real life. And it's just more fun to be bad.
While playing Laura, was there anything that you were able to tap into from some of what's been going on in your life the last couple of years?
Absolutely. I mean, I've got stuff for years that I can tap into. (chuckles) Yeah, there's definitely, there's always that.
What's a good example?
Oh I'm not giving examples. (chuckles)
Do you just chalk these examples up to life experience, or is it more that you can relate to the character via specific experiences of yours?
I think a little of both. It's life experience. I think it's a little of both. At 40-something (with the) stuff going on with me, my mom's like, "You know, Heather, life isn't supposed to be easy." And I'm like, "I'm learning so late in life?" (chuckle) Now I think of some of the stuff my daughter [13-year-old Ava] has gone through and has had to deal with, and also, that's not so great for her, except that it's going to give her some tools to deal with stuff later on in life, I think. When you have been given situations like that, you're in shock.
And now are you talking about stuff that she's dealing with directly, or stuff she dealt with in relation to what happened with you?
I think with me, and all kinds of things.
Is it tough to see these incidents publicized like they were?
You know, I don't really look. I just don't look. Before, I would look at things, and then you look at what bloggers write, and then you go on and go "Oh my God." People write bad stuff about people no matter what. If they do something that's right or wrong, they still write their opinions about people. And I encourage her not to look.
And she stays away from that stuff?
Oh I think she sometimes visits and then gets out quick. (chuckles)
As you said, of these bumps are happening in your 40s, when before you were OK. Is that something that surprised you at all, or no?
You know, I think there's so many different stages in life, whatever you're prepared for, whether it for a child at a certain time, and that kind of throwing you for a loop. I think that so many women change in their 30's. Like if they get married in their 20s, they go "oh, no..." The man has no clue that at 30, there's going to be a change. No matter what he wants to think, they're going to change. Whether it be a young man with a younger woman, it's going to be different.
We go through all kinds of cycles, and then there's the mid-life cycle that you go through, and that's kind of spooky. And nothing can really prepare you for that. So with hormones and with so much other stuff, women go through a lot.
'He Loves Me' premieres March 7 at 9PM ET on Lifetime.
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