It’s mid-morning in Los Angeles, and Diane Ladd is talking about her latest project, the Hallmark series Chesapeake Shores. She’s also driving to an appointment. And reminiscing about favorite her scenes in the TV series that has spun off of the movie. And she’s musing on her many interests beyond acting. And being the way she is, she’s also asking questions herself. And she’s engagingly nice for an Oscar-nominated star who is navigating traffic and a spotty cellphone connection, in addition to navigating a resume that goes back to live television. And oh, that southern accent of hers.
"I really like the people at Hallmark," she says. "I think they're trying to make films for audiences who are sick of violence. And I think they're doing a pretty good job of it. That's what attracted me to them, and made me want to be part of this project."
In Chesapeake Shores, based on author Sheryl Woods’ bestselling novels, Ladd plays the esteemed Irish grandmother in a family saga focused on high-powered career woman Abby O’Brien, a divorced mother of two, who returns to her small town home from New York City and confronts a past that changes her life. The cast includes Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalf and Treat Williams.
"We loved working together," says Ladd, 80, and a grandmother to 10 in real life. "The writing, the acting - it all worked. You can tell. It started off with a 2-hour movie and progressed into a series."
Though a fan of the 2-hour movie that launched the series last August 14, Ladd's favorite scenes come this month in the 5th and 6th episodes (September 11 and 18) of the weekly TV series. "In one of them, Treat Williams and I are sitting out on a bluff, looking out at the lake and discussing the possibilities of our lives. And in the other, Treat and I are talking late at night in front of the fireplace. Both are beautiful scenes."
What makes them her favorites among so many in Chesapeake? “They’re real,” she says. “They’re full of truth – and my big search in life is truth.”
“As an actor, I’ve always considered myself a teacher, and whether I’m on screen or the stage or writing a book, the work is my blackboard and my job is to teach.”
Hers is a truth worth watching on Chesapeake Shores. Find previews and set a recording here.