Lifetime Television’s new original movie “He Loves Me” (airing tonight 9 ET/PT), brings “Melrose Place” alum Heather Locklear back to the small screen with a bang. Heather plays Laura, who believes she leads the idyllic life: She’s a successful Seattle real estate agent, presumably happily married to one of the city’s leading cardiologists and mother to their darling 6-year-old daughter. When Laura begins to suspect her husband is cheating on her, she is devastated by his infidelity, despite having a torrid affair of her own. Desperately trying to save her marriage, Laura’s mysterious past begins to emerge. I spoke with Heather recently to learn more about her role in this dark, psychological thriller.
Celebrity Extra: When you first read the script for “He Loves Me,” were you excited to play the dichotomy of a woman devastated by her cheating husband who is also an adulterer herself?
Heather Locklear: Absolutely. First of all, her idea, the idea that she knew what Sam (her lover) was about and what her affair was about — she knows it’s not an emotional connection. But now, knowing that her husband has been unfaithful, and not knowing what it’s about, you go: “Well, I know what I’m doing, but I don’t know what his is about. Is his even about love? Does he want to leave me, or is it just about the sex?”
CE: I like that even though your character is far from perfect, you are able to elicit sympathy from the viewer. How did you go about portraying that?
HL: I tried to make her, and her situation, as real as possible. It’s all happening to her, and she has to deal with it, especially when details of her past emerge. I just tried to make it as real as possible.
CE: You have quite a few sizzling scenes with co-star Max Martini (Sam). How was he to work with?
HL: He’s such a man. It’s so funny — just hearing his voice, I’m like, “Oh my god, he’s so masculine.” He’s also very sexy and adorable, and also very sweet and funny.
CE: The subject of this movie is pretty heavy. How did you lighten the mood on set?
HL: Just by laughing a lot. We laughed at the absurdity of some of the things we had to do. It wasn’t absurd for the movie, but just for us in real life. His wife and kids were there. I met his wife. She’s really sweet. But it was also weird. You always trust an actor that they will take care of you when you feel so naked.
CE: I know that you are a mom yourself, so it was fun to see you playing a mom in this role. How was Megan Charpentier, who plays your daughter Emily, to work with?
HL: She was adorable. It is so easy now for me to squeeze and hug and kiss and be all over kids. I’m thinking, “Oh, I hope the mother doesn’t care.” Because my daughter is 13 now, and it’s harder to kiss her these days. It’s just not cool. But it’s really fun when they are little and sweet, and they talk to you, and they’re just really adorable.
CE: You’ve done a few movies for Lifetime now — what is it about the network that keeps you coming back?
HL: Lifetime always has good stories. They are trying not to call it a woman’s network, but women love this stuff, and I think if your man sits down with you, he would be interested too. The networks don’t make movies of the week so much anymore, so this gives us actors a chance to do something different rather than just a series or hoping to get a feature film. What comes to me from Lifetime is always good.