Chyler Leigh is a well-established TV actress, famous for her roles in popular series including “Supergirl” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” but that didn’t keep her from showing up to the set of Hallmark Channel‘s new show “The Way Home” full of nerves. Leigh has admitted in new interviews that she was so nervous to film with Hollywood “icon” Andie MacDowell that she kept forgetting her lines. But MacDowell put her and their young co-star Sadie Laflamme-Snow at ease, ensuring they all became a family both on-camera and off.
Chyler Leigh Says She Couldn’t Stop Staring at Co-Star Andie MacDowell
“The Way Home” — Hallmark Channel’s first new original series in nearly seven years — premiered on January 15, 2023, to stellar ratings with 2.4 million unduplicated viewers, according to Deadline. That made the series premiere the second most-watched entertainment cable show on Sunday, and the third most-watched show of the week.
But filming the multigenerational family drama got off to a rocky start for Chyler Leigh. In interviews before the show launch, Leigh admitted she was incredibly nervous to film with MacDowell, who plays her mom in the series.
“To be honest, I was so intimidated meeting her because she’s such an icon,” Leigh told New York Live.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Leigh said her nerves caused her to keep forgetting her lines on the first day of filming.
“My first scene with her, I could not remember my lines because I just kept staring at her face and I’m like ‘I’m in love with you’ and I didn’t know what to do,” Leigh said. “She made me feel much more comfortable because she dropped a few lines, but I think she might have done that on purpose to make me feel better about myself. She’s that kind of gal!”
Leigh revealed that her nerves took over even though she and MacDowell, who’s in her fifth decade as a successful film actress, had instantly connected on set.
“I was so nervous about it, to be honest, but she’s just the loveliest,” Leigh told Access Hollywood. “She’s so welcoming. Like, the moment we saw each other, she just came up and gave me this huge hug. I’m a hugger, but you never really know what to expect from people. But she just came up and it was this wonderfully smothering hug.”
Leigh continued, “We just talked and, you know, we had so much to relate to each other about and…our biggest thing that we had said to each other was ‘This is such a gift.’ It’s an opportunity for us to work really hard to tell a tremendous story, but also to have a lot of fun.”
Andie MacDowell Was Impressed By Both of Her ‘The Way Home’ Co-Stars
Though Leigh may have been incredibly nervous, MacDowell didn’t pick up on it upon first meeting her.
“I found Chyler, when I first met her…I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, this woman’s powerful. She’s a really strong woman,'” MacDowell said during a Facebook Live session with the cast before the show’s premiere.
And while Leigh couldn’t stop staring at MacDowell, it turns out MacDowell couldn’t stop staring at Laflamme-Snow, who plays her granddaughter in the series.
“I looked at Sadie’s face and just couldn’t stop looking at her,” MacDowell said. “We would need to do read-throughs and I’d just be, like, staring at her. I mean, she’s very talented, I don’t want to take away from her gifts as an actress. But she’s so beautiful.”
When Leigh chimed in that the young actress has “a light” to her, MacDowell agreed, “Yeah, she’s has a light! That’s it. That’s what it is. She has a light and she just glows.”
Meanwhile, Laflamme-Snow, who plays 15-year-old Alice Landry, said during the Facebook Live session that she was “incredibly excited” to film with MacDowell and Leigh, but didn’t realize how close they’d become on set.
“I don’t think I really understood how much we were going to be a unit,” she said. “In this job, you’re going to meet your heroes, you come across people you look up to, but you don’t always become a family unit. And I think that was, like, a really, really special opportunity.”
She continued, “As someone who’s relatively new to this, to be in a family with Chyler and Andie — because we were always talking about the story, talking about our relationships, talking about the process — and I just felt very, very welcome and reassured and supported.”
Laflamme-Snow reiterated her gratitude for that connection in an interview with Yahoo.
“They have been amazing friends and mentors to me throughout the process and the Landry family dynamic is strong between the three of us,” she said.