Lindsay Hartley is showing off her kick-butt maternal side in the new Lifetime original film Dying to Be Loved, which premieres this Saturday, Apr. 19. The actress is one tough mother in the movie as her character Jill sets out to avenge daughter Emily (Paloma Kwiatkowski) after it appears Emily and her dangerous new boyfriend have committed a double suicide. LA Fan Cultures Examiner spoke with Lindsay last week to talk about how the film appealed to her and the cult popularity of Lifetime movies.
Dying to Be Loved gave Lindsay the opportunity to turn over a new leaf character-wise, one that has more in common with her than some of her past characters. “I loved playing someone closer to my real age,” she told us. “This woman is much closer to how I live my life in real life. Obviously there’s a story, hopefully my daughter doesn’t get killed and I have to go after the killer, but the idea of how I would stop at nothing to protect my child.”
In real life, she is a mother and someone for whom family is incredibly important, so it was interesting for her to look at the film’s script having that perspective, particularly in conversations with her co-star Kwiatkowski. “We would talk about the character and she’s like oh, I’m doing this?” Lindsay recalled. “But to be young and in love, [with] that first love, we don’t have all the brains to figure out what’s right and wrong.
“We can definitely relate to that first love and we would do the stupidest things,” she continued. “I talked to a girl yesterday and she was telling me that she had this idea of what she wanted to do with her life and her career at a young age and she didn’t go back to that because of a guy. For a man, she changed her whole life plan.
“Sometimes that first love, we don’t see things clearly. We don’t have the knowledge. So I can look at this and go when I was such and such, what was I thinking?”
While audiences will enjoy getting to see her flex her acting muscles as Jill refuses to back down from setting things right for her daughter – in one of the great “woman on a mission” type performances in a Lifetime flick – Lindsay’s favorite part of the movie was simply the process of making it.
“I loved the company that we worked for, I loved the cast we worked with, I loved the crew, I loved being in Canada,” she said, “and I just loved the experience. I’ve never played a mother with a child that age before. Just to go through an experience and to play a woman who’s doing whatever she can to avenge her daughter’s death.
“She’s broken and then comes back. She fights through it and breaks down again and then she fights again. All these obstacles keep happening to keep her from moving forward and she’d like to just give up and die, but she moves forward,” she continued. “I think that in life we are faced with so many difficult obstacles where it’s sometimes we want to give up. It’s okay to give into it every once in a while, as long as you get back up and move forward.”
The timing of Dying to Be Loved is a little bit hilarious as just last month Lindsay was seen in another Lifetime movie, Nightmare Nurse, starring as a completely different character – someone Jill would probably hit with a shovel. What was her reaction when she realized the two films were airing on the same channel so close to one another?
“It is pretty funny,” she laughed. “I was like oh my God, they came out at the same time. It’s nice. It’s exciting. I felt very blessed.”
And she’s continuing to mix things up with her next role. “Right after this airs I go to work on Death House, which is this horror film that has all these other iconic characters from other horror films,” she told us. “It’s about this prison where the bad people go and they’re being brainwashed so they’re not bad or good, they just are.
“There are nine levels in this prison and my character is one of the five evils locked up in the ninth layer, the highest level you can be locked up in, and we’re supernatural and we’re the scariest people.”
For now Lindsay is keeping things firmly down to earth with her current movie, and Dying to Be Loved gives her a showcase for a wide range of talents. Audiences will get to see her as a character that isn’t too far removed from the actress we’ve come to know and love, with plenty of great scenes as she plays a character that everyone can root for. She puts on a memorable performance, which is excellent because this is a movie that’s going to keep people buzzing for awhile.
“I do know that when people are into Lifetime, it’s something that they watch round and round. They love them,” she said. “I didn’t realize that they have this own cult following. What’s really crazy is that when your movie first comes out, they play it over and over. It’s not a one and doner. They probably air between fifteen to twenty times in two weeks!”
That’s good news for audiences, because it means more opportunities to enjoy Lindsay’s work – and appreciate how much butt-kicking she does both in this role and as an incredibly cool individual in real life.
Dying to Be Loved premieres Saturday, Apr. 19 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.