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TV Movie Goodness Interview: Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas’s Kristin Booth [Exclusive] 

Photo Credit: Eike Schroter/Crown Media United States, LLC
Photo Credit: Eike Schroter/Crown Media United States, LLC

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas premieres tonight on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and on Friday morning, we chatted with Kristin Booth about the film, the series of movies to come, and a return to Orphan Black.

It turns out that this film helped the network convert the show to a film series when it was granted a renewal this fall. “We didn’t know we were going to do a Christmas movie until we were 3/4 through shooting the series. They loved the series so much they thought it would be perfect for a movie of the week for Christmas,” says Booth. “When they saw how amazing the film was, they made the decision [to go with the movie format] to give these stories and characters more time. So far, we know we’re doing three this year.”

Booth says converting from 13 episodes to three films evens out as far as the work goes. “The work is the same. For me, I’m happy either way. I love working for Hallmark and the cast and crew that we have. We really do enjoy working with one another,” she explains. “Martha [Williamson] is such an amazing woman, and writer, and leader for us. I’m just thrilled to be back and working with all these people again. I do think the two-hour format will give us more time to get into the characters and delve into our guest stars, Martha can condense it because she’s such a great writer but it’s better when you don’t have to.”

Booth’s favorite moment in the film came with the little girl who writes the letter to God. “She was so genuine and sweet. Both in shooting and watching the film, one of my favorite [moments] is she and I rehearsing the play…where she looked back at her mom. That hit home for me,” she says. She also enjoyed having guest star Rob Estes. “He really did a fabulous job. He was so subtle, yet so effective. And that’s when performances are at their best.” He has a scene with Mabius (that I mentioned yesterday and a rewind and rewatch moment) that also resonated for Booth as one of her favorites for him over the run of the series. “It was played so beautifully,” she says. “[In that scene, we find out] that there’s something out there that’s s much larger than us [and we’re relieved and happy about that].

There’s also a big moment for Shane and Oliver. Going forward, we can expect more big moments. “We will definitely see the evolution of Oliver and Shane’s relationship and where they’ll take it to in the next series of films,” she says. “Audiences will be happy to see that relationship and where it goes. It’s TV, so there will  always be little challenges. We’re definitely going to explore  that. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

One other bonus of the longer format is that we get to spend more time on each character, and a little more time in the nooks and crannies of the DLO. Booth says it’s a collaborative, team effort across the board. “[That’s one of] the reasons I love it so much. Our props depart, set decorator, and production designer, Renee [Read are] so phenomenal. I’ve been in this business 17 years and she is one of the best I’ve ever head the pleasure to work with,” she points out. “She’s so open to you coming to her, and she’s on [to find things] it if you have ideas. It’s like that with wardrobe designer, Rebekka [Sorenson], too. She’s so open to our input and suggestions. It’s a really lovely community to work with. We all have a say in everything.”

Photo Credit: BBC America
Photo Credit: BBC America

This year, Booth also appeared in the second season of Orphan Black as the super-dark Prolethian matriarch, Bonnie, and she shared that she will be back in season three. “Orphan Black is such a unique show. Being able to play Bonnie within the same year as playing Shane was a real gift for me as an actor. She is an exact opposite, and so is the show. I love both shows, and playing both characters,” she says. “As an actor, I had a bit of a dream year because I was challenged in getting to play both characters. Bonnie is not a nice woman. It’s fun for me to explore the darker side of characters and what motivates that. And for her it’s all bout her devout commitment to the Prolethians but her belief system comes before her own daughter. It’s so ingrained and visceral. I love that about Bonnie.”

Booth’s comedy film, Big News From Grand Rock, which features a who’s who of Canadian talent, including Gordon Pinsent, is currently on the film festival circuit.  “I was just at the LA Comedy Fest. I would love for it to be released in the States. It’s a very, very funny script and a great cast,” she says. “I could not get through scenes without laughing because Peter Keleghan is so funny. It was great watching him come up things. He’d try things and everything he tried worked. He’s hilarious. It’s a great mix of so many different, unique characters in this quaint little newspaper. It’s really, really a lot of fun.”

Before shooting resumes on the next SSD film, Booth is looking forward to the holidays. “I am kind of the opposite of Shane. She gave up on Christmas because of the disappointment in her family life. For me, Christmas is all about family. I get so excited that we’re all going to be together,” she shares. “Especially with my daughter now, enjoying all that. There’s nothing that warms my heart more. Family is why I get excited about Christmas. Getting those few days to relax and enjoy is such a gift because we’re all so busy, and everybody gets that time off. It’s really, really nice to stop and reflect on things and be with your family.”

Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas premieres tonight at 9/8c on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

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