You might be used to seeing Brooke Burns cast as, in her words, “the apple-pie, blond-haired, blue-eyed, all-American girl.” Her various roles on TV shows and movies like “Baywatch,” “Shallow Hal,” “Miss Guided” and “Pepper Dennis” showcased her sweetness; the more recent “Melrose Place” incarnation allowed her to explore her dark side. Well, get ready for a whole lotta dark-side exploration on Saturday, April 26 at 8 pm ET/PT, when Brooke’s new movie, “A Sister’s Revenge,” premieres on Lifetime. I caught up with Brooke recently, and she told me all about her fierce new role as a woman (named Suzanne Dell) seeking revenge on the man she feels is responsible for her sister’s suicide.
Celebrity Extra: Since we are used to you as “the nice girl,” it was a shock to see you in this kind of role. Was that a big reason you wanted to do this movie?
Brooke Burns: There were a couple of things. Obviously, the longer you’re in this industry, certain roles start to recirculate through your life. And then certain ones are new and fresh, and it’s always fun to kind of sink your teeth into something a little more diverse than what you’re used to.
I love the thriller aspect of this movie, and at the same time, it’s always fun, especially in a bad-guy role, to find justification for a character. And I loved the fact that she has this deep love for her sister; I found a lot of truth in feeling sort of like her champion and being able to justify her being in a very dark place in the film. With a bad-guy role, you have to be able to find empathy for the character as well. She’s driven to madness because of the love that she has for her sister and feeling like somehow that her sister’s death will be avenged if she can pull this off.
CE: Obviously you aren’t a homicidal maniac, but in what ways can you relate to Suzanne?
BB: Her fierce loyalty to family. She lost her parents, and her sister is the only person that she has, that she feels connected to. My family is my most important thing, so I can’t even imagine if that were the last family member and she were taken from me in that kind of way. How those feelings of anger and sadness would be very potent, and could probably drive a person to some level of insanity — if you allow yourself to go there.
CE: Tell me about the filming process: Where did you film, and how was the cast to work with?
BB: We shot in Ottawa, Canada, which has some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen. And the cast was fantastic. I worked mostly with Tim (Rozon) and Ashley (Jones), and we had a ball. Tim is such a gentleman, and he actually owns a couple of restaurants in Montreal. And Ashley and I have seen each other in passing through different stuff out here, but we had never actually worked together before. And we just had a great time.
CE: You’ve done dramas, comedies, hosting duties, etc. Is there a certain genre you prefer, or are you happy to dabble in lots of things to keep it interesting?
BB: I just like to work. I think from growing up as a ballerina, I have some incredible discipline and work ethic that was deeply ingrained in me, so whether it’s acting or hosting, I’m happy. I enjoy acting because you get to dip your toe into the fantasy of a role like Suzanne in “A Sister’s Revenge.” And I enjoy the hosting because I love people, and that’s a natural kind of medium for me that I enjoy as well. I don’t really have a preference. It’s never boring; it’s not a nine-to-five job.
CE: Lately I’ve seen you in a lot of dramas, but I love you in comedies too, especially that comedy series “Miss Guided” from a few years back. Would you like to get back to comedy?
BB: Oh, yeah. Comedy’s awesome. When you get to go to work and have fun and play and laugh, there’s nothing better. It’s some of the hardest work to do, but it’s also the most rewarding. It really depends on the people you are with, and what your chemistry is with them. I would say that “Miss Guided” and “Pepper Dennis” were my two favorite comedic roles that I’ve gotten to do, for sure.
CE: What else do you have in the pipeline that you can talk about with me?
BB: I just shot a pilot for the Game Show Network. It’s a dating show called “Where Have You Been All My Life?” It’s kind of a 2013 version of “The Dating Game,” which I was obsessed with. It is super fun, and they’re using a lot of social media as research, and using it in an onscreen format. It’s been a blast, and we’re waiting to see if it gets picked up. I really hope it does, because it’s just perfect. It fits my lifestyle because it’s in LA. It’s close to home. I get to be with my family. I like that stuff.
So that’s pretty much what’s going on right now, except for I’m planning my wedding. So that’s exciting. It’s a summertime wedding. And I’m trying to get my kids out of seventh grade with honors. I love little things in life.