She was my favorite Blake on “Guiding Light,” she played David Caruso’s ex-wife on “NYPD Blue,” and she saved lives and romanced Dr. Greene as Dr. Susan Lewis on “ER.” But this month we get to see a different, softer side of Sherry Stringfield when she stars in the Hallmark Channel original movie “Beverly Lewis’ The Confession,” which premieres Saturday, May 11 at 9/8c.
This heartwarming, perfect-for-Mother’s-Day movie has Sherry reprising her role of Laura Mayfield-Bennett, a terminally ill wealthy heiress who is searching for the daughter she gave up for adoption many years ago. Katie Lapp, played by Katie Leclerc, is Laura’s long-lost daughter, who was adopted as an infant by an Amish family, who in the first movie of the “The Heritage of Lancaster County” series, “The Shunning,” has been “shunned” from the Amish community for her refusal to marry Bishop John.
Celebrity Extra: “The Shunning” ended with Laura looking for Katie, but they don’t end up finding each other. Was that loose end a reason you decided to return to this series in “The Confession,” and what were some other reasons you agreed to reprise your role?
Sherry Stringfield: Obviously I thought that this story is just so compelling. There’s a general fascination with the Amish, I think, so that was intriguing. And I just love a girl’s coming of age tale and what it’s like to have to leave home and to set your sights on the future for the first time as a young woman. I just don’t come across scripts like this too often that are positive and in depth about young women and relationships between mother and daughter.
There was a little more intrigue in the first movie, wondering if Laura and Katie will meet. The movie itself is just gorgeous. All the locations in the first one were rural and just so beautiful and refreshing. So yes, I was compelled to do the second one having done the first one.
CE: How was it for you to play this role of Laura, who’s desperate to find her daughter, and who also has a time limit, since Laura is dying of cancer?
SS: Oh God, it was hard. This second movie was so emotional because Laura was dealing with her illness and dying, and just trying to make sense of their life knowing that it is coming to an end. She so desperately wants to know that part of life and her daughter — the part that made her vulnerable to the machinations of her husband. She needed to have her life make sense before she died.
CE: Both movies were directed by Michael Landon Jr. How was he to work with, as well as the rest of the cast?
SS: Hilarious. He’s such a doll. He’s just a sweetheart. The cast was great — real fun. I also loved North Carolina, where we shot the movie. It’s funny too, because shooting in North Carolina, it felt healthy. It was like clean drinking water, everything about it. The air and the nature around us, and it was a nice vibe, and the actors were so nice and talented.
CE: What is it about the Hallmark Channel that made you want to work with them again?
SS: I like that the stories are straight-forward; they are a little more family-oriented. There’s no violence, which I hate. I’m so tired of violence. And now violence is really in our lives in a real way, and I just can’t go there. I just can’t. I like that things aren’t violent.
CE: After watching the movie, what message do you hope viewers take away with them?
SS: This is a reminder about what’s really important in life, and how life’s so fragile. We’re all just here. I hope the movie will make people think about what they’re doing with their life and what their priorities are, and do they have love in it.