Interview With Actress Laci J Mailey, “Chesapeake Shores”

By Ruth on August 28, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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As a now long-time Hallmark viewer, I can recall the Signed, Sealed, Delivered pilot that first aired a few years back. As that series resonated with me on an intensely personal level, seeing one of the originals on the new Chesapeake Shores show on Hallmark was especially exciting for me. Recently, Laci J Mailey agreed to answer a few questions about how she got started in this business, her notable works, and her current role on this hit Hallmark series.

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RH: Why did you become an actress? What kind of training have you had?

JM: I became an actress because I simply just couldn’t not. Oh, and I think it was a little movie called… TITANIC. I was seven when I first saw it, and Kate and Leo had me so wrapped up in their story, safe to say I was obsessed. Since then, I’ve been madly in love with film and storytelling.

After drama class in high school, I went to Vancouver Film School. I have jumped around throughout studios in Vancouver and New York, some in LA, studying both theatre and film. I love theatre; it might be my favourite. I am a strong believer that the training never stops, so I currently study at Railtown Actors Studio in Vancouver – it is hands down the best studio I’ve ever been apart of.

Hallmark viewers may remember you from the Signed, Sealed, Delivered pilot.  How did you get chosen for that role? What was your experience with the cast?

I was in the SSD pilot, yes! At that time it was called Dead Letters and naturally, I auditioned just like the rest of them. My scenes were with the other guest star on the pilot, Ben Hollingsworth, and he was just lovely. We had such a good time telling that story. Funny enough, I only had one small scene at the end of the movie with the regular cast, so I actually spent more time with them at the Hallmark TCA party in Los Angeles this summer. THEY ARE AWESOME! We couldn’t believe it had been four years since we had shot the pilot. Emilie Ullerup and I ended up sitting at their dinner table because, of course, she is also a member of the SSD family.

I noticed you were in Falling Skies. What was your experience with that show? 

I loved working on FS. Will Patton played my dad, and we are still friends to this day. I am so grateful for that experience because it was my first series, and I learned so much. I was sad when I was killed off because I had so much fun – in the end, it was great storytelling for Will’s character in dealing with the death of his daughter…but still… I was pretty bummed that I didn’t get to hang out with WP every day and hear his awesome theatre and set stories.

Any other non-Hallmark notable guest spots that stand out you’d like to mention? 

One of the best shows I’ve worked on was Supernatural. Talk about a well-oiled machine. Those guys know what they are doing and it truly is one giant family with that cast and crew. I came on in season nine and then back again as a new (and even cooler) character in season eleven. Jensen {Ackles} and Jared {Padalecki} could not be more ego-free and down to earth. So much fun on that show.

wp-1472106766777.jpgSo how did you get the role of Jess in Chesapeake Shores? Did they pursue you, or did you audition like everyone else?

I got the role of Jess with one lucky audition. Auditions are definitely the worst part of the job (for me anyway) and I tend to get pretty nervous, and always feel a thousand pounds lighter after it’s over, but with Jess – I knew her so well already–it didn’t feel like work. I was hardly nervous at all because I just “got her.” There was no pressure because I thought “I’m going to play Jess the only way I know how, and if they don’t like it – then I’m not the one.” I couldn’t see myself trying to conform to whatever type they were looking for. I just wanted to do my thing – I suppose that’s a very JESS attitude-Ha!

How are you like Jess? How are you different? 

Ok, Jess and I have a LOT in common. I, too, am the baby of my family…and with that, maybe I tend to be a little bit of a brat sometimes–HeeHee! We both have Irish blood and are quite proud of it. Fiercely independent. Impulsive. Anxious. And lucky for me, I too have an older sister who has been known to swoop in and save my day.

We differ in the sense that I looooove a big city. Jess stayed in her hometown and is trying to make it work, which is awesome for her because I bet she would have a meltdown in a city like New York. That would be fun to see actually…. !

 wp-1472107304245.jpgAny fun behind-the-scenes stories to share from CS? Anyone you formed a special bond with during the filming?

Special bond? Oh one thousand percent yes! It’s safe to say that this entire family has become like a theatre company. It’s true. When the siblings all get together on set, I swear, I do not stop laughing. Brendan Penny and Andrew Francis keep everyone on edge trying not to bust out with laughter during filming. They really are like annoying (yet hilarious) brothers. Treat {Williams} is like the cool, wise actor vet who has all the awesome stories and loves telling them – also loves showing us his Danny Zuko moves from Grease when he starred on Broadway. Meghan Ory and Emilie Ullerup are pretty much my sisters for life now – no acting required when it’s the three of us. So much fun. The group texts between everyone while the show has been airing has also been such a special thing for us. It feels like we are still together even though we’ve wrapped and everyone has gone back to their lives. I miss them all dearly – flash to season six and we all hate each other 🙂

What do you like about working for the Hallmark network? Why do you think this show strikes such a chord with viewers?

I think our show is pushing the boundaries for Hallmark, and I’m really excited about it. Our showrunner, John Tinker has written absolute gold for us, and he really knows how to tell a good story and tell it very well. I know our show might be a little different than what the viewers may be used to, but I hope they stick it out with us and trust that we can maintain the medicinal and healing values Hallmark has embraced for so many years while still going deeper into human flaw – I think it will connect us with the viewers even more.

What can viewers do to hopefully ensure a season two?

Tweet your faces off!

Any other upcoming works you can mention? 

I am currently working on another series on CBC called The Romeo Section from the genius mind of Chris Haddock. It is a spy thriller set in Vancouver ,and it airs this fall.  This character is wildly different than Jess…wildly… I’ll leave you with that.

Any plans to eventually write or direct?

Yes. Yes. So much yes.

 If you could turn any book series into a film or movie, what would you choose, and who would you like to see play the principal roles? 

Pirate Queen the Life of Grace O’Malley by Judith Cook. She was a sixteenth century Irish pirate warrior woman and I most definitely should play her. Tom Hardy should be there too.

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There is no doubt that Laci is an integral part of the Hallmark family, and now that she is on Chesapeake Shores, we can hopefully revel in her work for decades to come. Laci has connected unequivocally with her fellow members of the cast, and she is making a significant splash with fans of the show as well. Laci is unreservedly candid, indulgently warmhearted, and willing to do whatever is necessary to regale and inspire the viewers, and that is exactly the way to become a categorically positive force in this industry. Furthermore, she has a delightful sense of humor, and she doesn’t take herself too seriously–two other admirable qualities that will ensure lifelong success. Be sure that you watch her and all of her “family” in Chesapeake Shores every Sunday night on the Hallmark Channel. Oh, and don’t forget to follow her below at all of the various links, as Laci is one who not only has a thriving career, but she is a person who will motivate you and make you smile on a regular basis.

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Allyson becker August 29, 2016 Reply

    I have never seen the show. But now I might just have to tune in.

    • Author
      Ruth August 29, 2016 Reply

      I hope you do Allyson!

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