EXCLUSIVE TV Goodness Q&A: Kristin Booth Talks Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Booth is an award-winning veteran of film and TV who has appeared in series like Saving Hope,Â The Listener, and Haven, and but she hasn’t had a regular series role since MVP (opposite Haven‘s Lucas Bryant) back in 2008. Martha Williamson, who created CBS’s global mega-hit Touched By An Angel, is the heart and soul of Signed, Sealed, Delivered and her involvement was the big draw for Booth in commiting to a series role, as were the characters.
“[Williamson] has an unbelievable track record and is really a top-notch writer, and that appealed to me a great deal,” she says. “I also have two-year old with my husband and I thought ‘what a great concept,’ and that this would be something I’d be proud to show my daughter when she’s older [as an example of what] mommy does.”
Booth had been looking for a series role, and the stars aligned when this project came up. “I think, for a lot actors, a series is very tempting and I’ve wanted to do one for a while. Sometimes it takes a while for the right material to fall into your lap,” she says. “[With this series], I can be in one place and not all over the map. The characters are well-developed and well-written and interesting. I love that it’s a mix of comedy and drama and mystery. It’s kind of dream job.”
When the cast came together to shoot the two-hour film (which aired last fall), they knew it was a backdoor pilot for a potential series and they were thrilled when it was greenlit. “We were all hoping it would get picked up and we were ecstatic when it did,” she recalls. They’re wrapping production now in Vancouver on the 10-episode first season, and they’ve had a parade of fan-favorite guest stars–many from Williamson’s ouvre–Valerie Bertinelli, Della Reese, Valerie Harper, Marilu Henner, and Carol Burnett, who ‘s just been announced for the season finale.
“We have these roving supervisors, and I believe [Burnett] is filling that sort of role, but I can’t reveal anything else,” Booth teases. She did share that’s she’s been awestruck by the guest cast. “It’s amazing…the list is extraordinary and it’s amazing for me as an actor to be working with these iconic performers. Carol Burnett takes the cake,” she says. “She’s one of my comedic icons. It’s very exciting and a lot of fun, and we all have to up our game [when they’re on set]. I’m working with these great people, so I better be on it.”
The series has a timeless quality to it–with PCs and phones present but not omnipresent. Booths says her character is the one who brings the Dead Letter Office (DLO) into the 21st century without overtaking what’s worked for the team. “Shane is really the technophile and when she comes into the DLO, it’s like walking into a time capsule because they work in a completely different way–with their hands and brains–than technophiles,” she explains. “When Shane is introduced to them, they’re turned upside down because she brings in the 21st century technology that they lack. It’s a mix of the two–it’s timeless but with enough technology for it not to be too far in the past.”
Booth and Eric Mabius, who plays Oliver, have undeniable chemistry, so weÂ asked if we’re supposed to root for Shane and Oliver (who’s still married to his estranged wife) as a couple. “We definitely want our audience to root for Oliver and Shame. One of my favorite aspects of the show is theÂ tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte Shane has with Oliver,” she points out. “He’s old-fashioned and she’s the shiny thing that comes in and tests him and pushes his buttons, and he challenges her in a way that she hasn’t been challenged before, either. They have a great relationship. There will be moments [this season], for sure, where you’re rooting for them together.”
The series is set a few weeks after the movie and Booth says for folks who missed that the set-up, the key takeaway is that Shane is new to the group. “The most important thing to know is that Shane ended up in this office by accident,” she says. “So there’s a little bit of fate involved in her reassignment to the DLO.” Each episode will be self-contained but Booth tells us the throughline for the season will be “these four people, and how each letter affects them throughout the series.”
The cast and crew are active on Twitter and Booth says they’ll all be live-Tweeting the premiere Sunday night. Social media has already introduced them to Williamson’s longtime fans, and for Booth, the response has been lovely. “Because we have Martha Williamson at the helm of things, we already have this really, really amazing fan base because people were such fans of Touched By An Angel and they’re excited to see what she can bring to TV in 2014,” she says. “We’ve been getting a lot of love from them, and Hallmark fans too. That’s been really nice.”
Booth is doing double duty this spring. Before she started production on the series, she filmed a recurring role in the second season of Orphan Black,Â which begins Saturday night on BBC America, but she couldn’t tell us who she’s playing. We’ll have to tune in to find out.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered premieres Easter Sunday at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel.
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