Getting to Know CEDAR COVE’s Andie MacDowell
Andie MacDowell and I left no stone unturned when we spoke recently about Cedar Cove.
Hallmark’s first scripted series is a hit and, with an average viewership of just under four million, it leads the way on Saturday night, primetime cable television.
A Likeable Series
Much of the credit for the show’s success goes to its star, who liked the series from the start. She told me, “I liked the way it felt. It was just a really warm feeling script. It made me feel good. Plus, I thought my character was intelligent, and I liked that she was a pillar in this town. People looked up to her. And, this was a woman, not a man, in a really strong position. I really liked the central character of the show, a strong woman.”
Since MacDowell hails from Gaffney, South Carolina, I thought it might be fun to compare Cedar Cove to her hometown. When I asked her about the comparison, with a laugh she said, “Gaffney is a character of its own, but its not exactly Cedar Cove, I don’t think. Gaffney would be funnier if it were a story. If I were to direct a story about Gaffney, it would be a little bit more colorful. I think Asheville (NC) is a little more like Cedar Cove.”
A Reserved Character
Ok, hometown aside, I was curious how much of herself MacDowell saw in Judge Olivia Lockhart. “I’m different in a lot of different ways,” she said. “I think I’m bigger, bolder, funnier. I’m louder, more colorful. I mean, there’s a lot of reserve in Olivia because of what her job is. I think she has to hold back a lot because of the position that she’s in. I think a lot of times I can relate to her because I don’t have to worry about doing that. I know what it feels like to be like that, though. I think I’m a little wilder.
“But, I like it. I think it’s perfect for her. It’s right for her. She’s a judge. She’s very respectful. I like that. I like being that person. I always come from that position – what would Olivia do – when I’m trying to make decisions on what’s being given to me in the storylines – not so much, what would I do, but what would Olivia do?”
A Different Path
MacDowell’s many roles over her career have not taken her down a path of anything close to Lockhart. She said, “I think part of that is I’m at a different place in my life. There’s a maturity in this character, I think, that is not in other characters I’ve played. She has a truly grown child. I don’t think I’ve played very many characters that have truly grown children. It affects how you make certain decisions.”
A Caring Community
Cedar Cove also seems to send a message. I wanted to know what MacDowell thought about that. “I think that’s why people like it so much – the message. And, I think there are little messages within each show about trying to help each other, being a good neighbor. What does it mean to be in the community and care about that community, to care about other people, to take the time to be thoughtful? All these things you just don’t see on any other show. I think that’s why people are liking it, because I think people relate to it.
“You know, there’s so much chaos on television. There’s a lot of darkness, and there’s a lot of chaos. You see a lot of people acting peculiar. And, there’s these reality TV shows, but none of them are real. People just don’t act like that. After a while, people are going to get sick of seeing other people making jerks of themselves on television. I can’t watch it. I don’t want to waste my life watching something like that. I guess that’s basically what the message is. There are a bunch of people out there with integrity and intelligence. You can see these people in Cedar Cove. And you can relate to them, because that’s who you are. We aren’t all those crazy people.”
A Break of Sorts
So, what’s next for MacDowell? “My agents are reading scripts. I’ve only been free (since Cedar Cove wrapped) for two weeks. I’m not super anxious to work right away. I need to catch my breath. I’m a little bit tired. It (filming the show) was exhausting. It took a lot out of me. I was working 12-14 hour days for five months. It’s the first time I’ve done a television show where I had to work that long. Movies are not that intense and not that time consuming. I haven’t even had a chance to be a mother.
“I have to do some publicity for Hallmark. I’m going to Europe for them to sell the show over there. And, I’ve got a trip for L’Oreal to Berlin. It would be nice to get something in maybe a couple of months, but I wouldn’t want to go to work right now.”
Time for MacDowell, like all of us, is precious. We are happy and thankful that she took some of that time to share with us.
CEDAR COVE airs Saturdays on The Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.