Soap Opera Digest: The first WEDDING VEIL trilogy was so good! You not only star in them, you also are the executive producer. Let’s start at the beginning: How did you get involved with this project?
Lacey Chabert: Well, Beth Grossbard, who is the producer on the project, brought it to me with Judy and Sandy Berg, who wrote the original ones. And it was an idea that I immediately fell in love with, and this was about four years ago now. I had been searching for a project that I could do with some of the other women from the network, like Ali [Sweeney, ex-Sami, DAYS] and Autumn [Reeser, ex-Taylor, THE O.C.], so this was just a perfect world for that. I loved the story, the romantic parts, of course, but what I really loved at the heart of it was the relationship between these women. And my favorite part about us getting to do three more of these movies is that we really get to see their friendship on a deeper level. Now that all of them are married, there are so many storylines that open up: What happens after you get married? Are you going to start a family or not? What are the challenges of relationships after you’ve been married? So it addresses a lot of things that I think are really relatable and that women will see parts of themselves in.
Digest: The first run of this trilogy was very successful. How did you feel about it doing so well and then getting another order?
Chabert: Whenever I’m a part of a project, you have the highest hopes and we all put our hearts into these things and hope that they’re gonna resonate with people. So when something does do really well, it’s just so gratifying, and I was so thankful that so many people tuned in and went on the adventure of the veil with us, and it’s really because of the fans and because people showed up that Hallmark gave us the chance to do this again. It’s really exciting for me because my first WEDDING VEIL ended with my character getting married and you typically don’t get to see what happens beyond that. And I feel like even for myself, as a viewer, that’s the part I want to see the most; I want to see them together as a couple now. So I was really thrilled that we were able to go back and revisit these characters and these stories because we get to see what happens after they got married. And we got to go to Greece to film! It was just such an incredible experience. I had never been there, and I’m thankful for that.
Digest: So did you, Ali and Autumn know each other well before these movies? How did you develop a bond to believably be best friends on camera?
Chabert: I knew them both beforehand, but I’m certainly much closer to them both now as I’ve gotten to know them on a much deeper level. I had wanted to work with both of them, and it was so lovely that it worked out and that Hallmark let us do the original WEDDING VEILs. And my favorite thing about these movies is that you really see these women in a closer way, and we really talk to each other the way that friends talk to each other, and we look out for each other, and that’s true on and off screen. We take care of each other. We’re honest with each other. We’re there for each other and we’re bonded in a way that is hard to articulate, but it’s just something very special. And doing a movie with other women who have done numerous Hallmark movies, it’s an interesting experience because they understand what it’s like to be in that position better than anyone else. So we shared so many stories about what it was like on set in the past experiences that we’ve had, and I really learned so much from both of them. And just watching them and seeing how they approach the work is inspiring. It’s really interesting how much we have in common and yet there are part of our personalities that are very different. I think we all really complement each other. I just love them.
Digest: The first installment, THE WEDDING VEIL EXPECTATIONS, aired on January 7. Where do we find your character, Avery, and her husband, Peter, when we pick up?
Chabert: Avery and Peter bought their dream home, but it’s a lot of work so they are knee-deep in home renovations. Avery has a wonderful surprise for Peter and is anxiously trying to find the perfect moment to tell him about this surprise. We really get to see them as a happily married couple and to see where they are in their careers and how marriage has helped shape their lives. And then it’s gonna follow with Autumn’s movie on the 14th and then Ali’s movie on the 21st.
Digest: Let’s talk about the wardrobe for these films. You all get to wear some pretty great outfits.
Chabert: The wardrobe in these movies is really special, and that’s thanks to our costume designer, Jaralin Detienne. Everyone comments on the wardrobe a lot with these movies, so it was really fun to step back in those shoes. Avery is incredibly feminine and girly, so there’s bows and ruffles, and I love the way that she dressed me for this. And we’re all so distinct and so different. It’s really elevated and the wardrobe really helps define who these characters are.
Digest: Where was the veil during the hiatus between films?
Chabert: One of our producers had it. I was responsible for bringing the veil back to Vancouver; I guarded that bag with my life. I was so worried I was going to leave it on the plane; I was so worried something was going to happen to it. But I was responsible for hand-delivering it to our wardrobe department.
Digest: The movies are certainly keeping you busy, but you’re also a mom to your daughter, Julia, 6. How is she doing?
Chabert: She is in kindergarten now. She’s just the light of my life, and being a mom is the most important thing to me. I just adore her and it’s a whole new season of life having her in school. She has her own friends now in a different way, and seeing her flourish is just beautiful.
Digest: That’s great. So, is there a potential for a third installment of these movies?
Chabert: You know what? We have so much fun making these movies that if we had the chance to make another one? I guarantee you we could. We were even talking about potential future storylines and where we’d like to see the characters go and where we’d like to see the friendships grow. So hopefully it does really well and we have the chance to continue on.
Digest: Now, you were 10 when you started on ALL MY CHILDREN before moving on to PARTY OF FIVE, then Mean Girls, Hallmark and everything else you’ve done. Could you ever have imagined the path your life would take after you did the soap and then moved on?
Chabert: I’ve always had big dreams for myself, but this business is challenging and you never know what’s going to happen. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t look at my life with immense gratitude. I am so thankful for all of the experiences, even the ones that felt disappointing or negative at the time, because when you look back, you realize that all of it, the good and the bad, has led you to where you are now, and now is a really happy place. I’m so thankful for all the blessings in my life, first and foremost my family and my friends, and all of the creative opportunities that I’ve had. I have so many ideas for the future and I hope this is just the beginning.
Digest: Do you have a message for your fans who have followed your career from the beginning?
Chabert: I just want to thank them for their support. It’s because they continue to tune in to all of our movies and continue to show up for us that we have all of these opportunities. So thank you.