Rena Sofer — who is most known for her roles on “Loving” and “Melrose Place,” as well as her comedic turns on “Coupling,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Monk” — is back on prime time to offer a story of love and second chances. She stars in the Hallmark Channel original movie, “Always and Forever,” which premieres Saturday, October 24 (9/8c).
“Always and Forever” is about a single mom and successful career woman, Grace, who begrudgingly attends her 20-year high-school reunion. Her angst turns to hope when she reconnects with her former high-school sweetheart, Michael, played by Dean McDermott.
Rena’s own 20-year reunion was nothing like Grace’s. Rena explains: “I wasn’t invited. It’s the funniest reason why: They couldn’t find me. You’d think out of everyone, they could have found me.”
But she wasn’t too keen on going to her reunion anyway. For her senior year, she was sent to public school because she “sort of had a fight with the rabbi, and they asked me not to come back. So I went to public high school for my senior year, and that’s the school I graduated from. I didn’t really know anybody. I was one of the newest kids in the school in my senior year, so I was friends with all the freshmen. I wouldn’t have gone even if they had found me.”
Rena’s decision to do this movie was all about the story. “It was the first movie where there was just no drama — running away from a murderer, covering up a vicious secret or somebody trying to kill me — it was just a lovely love story. I was excited to just have a nice time.”
Unlike Grace, Rena didn’t have a childhood sweetheart. “I didn’t experience the one-who-got-away kind of thing. I could empathize with her in the sense that she’s a woman who had a relationship that fell apart and her priority is her son and her career. All of a sudden this curve ball is thrown in of the possibility of opening your heart to something that could be crushing — or it could be wonderful.
“Do you take that risk when things are just fine? Are they great? Maybe not; they’re just fine. Is just fine what we expect in life, or do we look for greatness? She takes a great leap of faith.”
Working with Dean McDermott, aka Tori Spelling’s husband, was great. “We had a great time. We had a lot of fun. There were a few days where the cameras were following us for their reality show, which was not intrusive in any way. He wasn’t a big diva — he was really nice. I have no complaints.”
She also got to work with television legend Barbara Eden, who played her mom: “She is just lovely. What a lovely lady, really! She’s so sweet and so kind. We were all smiles every time she would come on set. I mean, here is this huge icon standing next to me playing my mom, and I was just like, ‘Wow!’”
A big theme of the movie is second chances, especially for Grace and Michael. So, does Rena believe in second chances? “Forgiveness is a great quality to have. When people take responsibility for their actions, then forgiveness should be given in most situations. I do believe in second chances.”
By Cindy Elavsky
October 19, 2009