Army Wives' Catherine Bell is a Mayor, a Mom and a Good Witch
JAG. Now, she's heading into season seven on Lifetime's super-soapy Army Wives.
And, this Saturday, she's returning to Hallmark Channel for the fifth installment of The Good Witch. The movie franchise began in 2008. Her character Cassie Nightingale was a mysterious outsider (with a cute twinkle in her eye) in the small town of Middleton.
In The Good Witch's Charm (Saturday, 9pm), Cassie is married to sheriff Jake Russell (Chris Potter), she's mom to a newborn daughter and she is the town's mayor.
Catherine spoke with TVFirstLook about The Good Witch's Charm, next year's darker The Good Witch's Destiny and, well, a bit about biomedical engineering.
TVFirstLook: So, over the years, Cassie's life has changed a lot, from a single outsider to a married mom and mayor. How do you maintain the essence of her character?
Catherine Bell: It's actually kind of perfect. We film these about one year apart. We all change and grow over the course of a year. So, it is nice that Cassie does, too.
In this movie, she's a bit more frazzled than usual. She has a new baby. She's a mayor and her stepchildren are teenagers with their own issues.
Yet, the core of Cassie comes through. She sees the best in life and and the best in people. That's what people tell me they like about her. And it is what attracted me to the role.
TVFirstLook: You mentioned that there are long breaks between The Good Witch movies. Do you find it easy to jump back into the character each time?
Catherine: It's funny, this time we jumped right in. Cassie has a special way of talking with layers of meanings. Now, playing Cassie is lot like putting on your favorite old jacket. I just get right into it.
This time, it was a longer break than usual. It had been almost two years since we'd done one. But I jumped right back in. It was a scene with a lot of what I call Cassie-isms, those witchy moments with a lot of phrases that have double meanings. It was fun. It came right back to me.
TVFirstLook: There is a lot going on in Cassie's life in The Good Witch's Charm. What's happening?
Catherine: Yeah, there is a lot going on. Her foster mom comes back. They don't have the best relationship. Cassie has a baby. And Cassie and Jake have their first argument - it's just a little one!
So, she's thinking, "Oh, my gosh, can I handle all of this - work and family and marriage?"
It has a slightly different energy from the others. I'm excited to see how people respond to it.
TVFirstLook: OK, so did I read right that The Good Witch's Destiny is already in production?
Catherine: It's actually all ready to go. It will probably air next Halloween.
We had a long break [between movies] because I was filming Army Wives. So, when we finally had a break, I filmed [The Good Witch's Charm and The Good Witch's Destiny] back to back.
It was a long time away from home. But we cranked them out.
Destiny is really exciting. It's a little darker than the others. It was even filmed in a slightly different way. What I can say, without giving too much away, is that Cassie thinks she may have lost her magic touch. Things don't go the way she wants. It's a little scary for her.
TVFirstLook: All right, last thing. If someone put you in a biomedical engineering lab, would you know what to do?
Catherine: Hell no! I was sort of majoring in biomedical engineering in college. But I was out of there pretty fast. It could have been my other life. But I very quickly was out of there, modeling and acting.