Cameron Mathison Talks Murder She Baked and Flipping the Mic [Exclusive]
Cameron Mathison is a familiar face to Hallmark viewers, and he leads a double life in front of another camera as a successful celebrity news correspondent. We chatted with him exclusively about the charming Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery, his latest movie for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which premieres Saturday night, and shifting gears to work as a journalist.
The latest film follows a handful of successful pairings with both networks, which began with a holiday movie called Window Wonderland. He followed that with The Christmas Ornament opposite Kellie Martin, My Gal Sunday, and last fall’s Along Came a Nanny. He enjoys his partnership with the network, and is about to start work on another film that blends mystery and Christmas.
“I’m a big fan of all the people at Hallmark and the product that they put out and the fact the whole family can sit around and watch what I’m doing,” he says. “We’re going into production on a mystery film that’s a seasonal film, called Plum Pudding. If I had to choose [between mystery and seasonal], I don’t know if I could. I really enjoy the mysteries. Having a mission, to have something to overcome, is very important as an actor, and I love that aspect of the mystery and the detective [stories].”
The film is based on Joanne Fluke‘s novel of the same name, and is the first in a planned series of movies based on Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series of books. “A Chocolate Chip Mystery is [based on] the first book,” Mathison explains. “We’re going to go a little bit out of order from the books as the seasons [warrant].”
Mathison stars opposite Alison Sweeney as Mike, a city detective called to town to investigate a double homicide. He has a very specific look, tailored in three-piece suits, and Mathison says that came together in wardrobe. “I got to the fitting and I had a different image in my head,” he says. “I wasn’t sure whether to go scruffy, almost to messy. I got there and put on the three-piece suit and it just looked right.”
When he’s not acting, Mathison is busy as a newly minted correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. It’s the latest iteration in a career path that started back during his tenure on All My Children. “ABC had me start reading these weekly summaries of what was happening on all the soaps. You had to memorize massive amounts of info,” he recalls. “Extra saw it and started using me as a correspondent in New York. That led into I Wanna Be A Soap Star. Then I started working with GMA about six years ago. That was when it really, truly solidified as something I enjoyed. I grew and became better. I started working with ET about a year ago and became official about a month ago.”
Mathison enjoys balancing scripted personas with his real-life persona. “It is a little bit of a challenge. I really think being on both sides of the camera helps me on do both. I’m so used to doing both,” he explains. I’m used to ignoring the camera and diving into the character, and then on the other side, embracing the camera and playing with the camera. It’s very liberating.”
“It’s totally other-centric. You’re focused on who you’re interviewing. It’s easy to get hyper self-centric [as an actor]. That’s one of the things I like about it. You can forget about yourself and focus on others. The more time I’m on camera and relaxing and being spontaneous, it helps.”
Mathison is on Twitter but says he has a way to go to get to a comfort zone. He won’t be live Tweeting the film Saturday, but he will be online throughout the evening to answer fan questions.
Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery is a sweet (plot-wise and full of baked goods, too), fun film with a few dramatic moments thrown in (the plot spins around two murders, after all). And I’m a sucker for any film where the lead carries on conversations with their animals–Sweeney’s character has a gorgeous little cat named Moishe.
Here’s what to expect: Hannah Swensen (Sweeney) owns The Cookie Jar, where much of the town’s gossip percolates along with the strong coffee. When a mysterious murder occurs, Hannah turns into a culinary detective and finds herself trying to solve the crime while getting caught in an unexpected romantic mystery of her own.
The cast also includes Cedar Cove‘s Barbara Niven, Susan Hogan, who recently starred in The Christmas Secret on the network, Gabriel Hogan (who is Susan’s son and I just nerded out because somehow I didn’t know that before), who was in Christmas at Cartwright‘s last December, and a host of familiar Vancouver faces (the movie was filmed in Langley) like Rebecca Toolan, who will forever be Mulder’s mama.
Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery airs Saturday at 9/8c Saturday on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Here’s a sneak peek.
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