Exclusive Interview: Alison Sweeney dishes on ‘Murder She Baked,’ ‘Days’ Fans and More!

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alison sweeney interview 2016

Alison Sweeney returns to Canadian television screens tonight when Bravo airs Murder She Baked: A Deadly Recipe, the fourth instalment based of Joanna Fluke’s novels.

This movie finds Hannah (Sweeney) reaching her boiling point as she’s had a scary encounter with a car thief, her expecting sister is ready to deliver, and her brother-in-law is in a heated sheriff election. Oh, let’s not forget that there’s love triangle between Hannah, Norman (Gabriel Norman) and Mike (Cameron Mathison).

We got the chance to speak with Sweeney about the latest Murder She Baked mystery, HBO’s EJami reunion, what she’s learned about picking sides in a love triangle and more!

alison sweeney interview 2016

This is the fourth mystery in the film series, for those tuning in who haven’t seen the first three films yet, what should they know going into this movie?
I believe this is our best one yet! For those who haven’t watched the first you three, you should know that Hannah loves to solve a mystery and this one is no exception. She’s in the trenches and she’s more determined that ever to solve this crime. Plus, you can always come to expect some burgeoning romance in true romcom fashion!

What are some of the differences between Hannah and Sami that we should know?
That’s a great question. Hannah and Sami have a lot of similarities. They both have a never-give-up attitude and are very curious. The biggest difference between them is that Hannah isn’t nearly as conniving!

alison sweeney days of our lives

There’s a love triangle, which is something you must be used to playing by now. Is it hard for an actor to remain partial and not root for one side or another?
Obviously the fan response makes it hard to root for one side or another, but as the executive producer and star, I’ve learned to create the ultimate love triangle that hopefully has fans unsure of which man they want to win Hannah’s heart.

Were you impressed with how loyal the “Lumi” fan base was at Days of our Lives — especially after your character had moved on from Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) with EJ (James Scott) for so long?
I love the fans of DAYS for their commitment and their loyalty. There has always been a special place for Lumi in daytime history and I hope that doesn’t change.

alison sweeney interview 2016

Hallmark was smart to capitalize on having two former soap stars as leads with yourself and Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, All My Children). Was this strategic? What has it been working with Cameron on these films? How well did you both know each other before? I’m sure it’s a nice treat for soap fans to see you guys together.
Cameron is awesome! We knew each other before but these movies but not that well. Now that we’ve spent so much tie together, I have such a greater appreciation for what a great person he is and his talent as an actor.

You’ve got a cat as a co-star! That can never be easy. What was that experience like? You’ve also had to act opposite a lot of children on DAYS. What was the hardest? The kids or the cat?
Ha! I’m not allergic to kids so they have that going for them. Both obviously present challenges but are also so much fun to have on set.

murder she baked

Days of our Lives is losing two strong young female leads with Kate Mansi (Abigail) and Jen Lilley (Theresa). Lilley recently stated that the show’s production schedule was a factor in her exit — a few years since your own exit for a similar reason. As someone who has been in the industry for so long, not only as an actor but as a producer and director as well, should DAYS and other soaps being doing all they can to keep familiar faces around, especially when they are young leading women who are playing characters tied to the canvas?
I can’t speak for their choices or the role of the show, but I do wish Kate and Jen well in their next chapters.

If DAYS does change its production schedule, would you be open to returning full time again? It was great seeing you again during the 50th anniversary celebration last year. Timing would be about right as Lucas is about to marry Adrienne (Judi Evans).
I love that fans are always asking me to return and while I’ve learned to never say never, for now my attention is focused on making great romcom movies, writing novels and attending to my other projects, as well as time with my family.

murder she baked

If you had your say, what would Sami be doing right now outside of Salem? Perhaps reunited with a very-much alive EJ and Will? Both yourself and Bryan Dattilo echoed the audiences’ and critics’ sentiment that killing Will off was a big mistake.
I have been vocal about not being a fan of the storyline, but I couldn’t begin to image what Sami would be doing right now.

DAYS got some big exposure when HBO reunited you and James Scott on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. What was that experience like?
Getting to know Noujain Mustaffa [the young Syrian refugee]was one of the highlights of my career. She’s such an inspiration and to be able to give her a bit of happiness was incredible.  

murder she baked

You had the chance to come up to Toronto for the CTV Upfronts earlier this month, what was it like being greeted by the Canadian fans who made it down to that red carpet?
The Canadian fans have always been so awesome throughout my career and this trip was no different. I love being in Canada. We shoot the Murder She Baked movies in Vancouver and I love spending time with my Canadian friends.

What are some of your other projects that you are working on? Can we expect a book tour with a couple of stops in Canada for your new novel, “Opportunity Knocks”?
I’m about to start production on my next romcom movie for Hallmark that will be airing in September, but I’d love to do a book tour at some point because the fans have been so great in their feedback after reading “Opportunity Knocks.”

Murder She Baked: A Deadly Recipe airs tonight (June 30) at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo in Canada.

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About Author

Jeevan Brar is a digital content producer and freelance entertainment writer based in Toronto. Jeevan has managed The TV Watercooler since 2008, the Canadian blog has focused on daytime soaps, primetime hits and reality TV guilty pleasures. The blog has also connected Canadian soap fans with exclusive interviews with the cast of enduring daytime dramas The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. 'Like' The TV Watercooler on Facebook. You can also follow Jeevan on Twitter and Google+.

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