Lifetime's newest original movie The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom premieres tonight, with a title and trailer that have already generated plenty of buzz. But what's hype and what's the film really about? To find out, BFTV checked in on Thursday with star and producer Ashley Jones, who plays titular single mom Delaine Morris, the character based on the real-life Delaine Moore.
How did she wind up attached to this particular project? "A lot of the people who have seen the trailer are asking me the same thing. The trailer looks much more risque than anyone who knows me believes I am," she laughed. "I had worked with the writer and the producer and Lifetime before. And the producer, Pierre David, brought it to me and wanted to know my level of interest in it and thought that there was a chance I could bring something relatable.
"What I realized is this isn't a movie about sex," she continued. "It's simply a movie about a woman trying to find herself. Figure out who she really is. That's really what the movie is about. I was intrigued by the real person behind the title, and that's what I ultimately decided I could do. I knew I could portray a real person that just went through an extraordinary circumstance."
Inspired by the memoir of the same name, Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom follows the newly divorced Delaine as she navigates the world of online dating, exploring a series of varying relationships until she meets a man she knows only as The Duke (played by CSI veteran Alex Carter; read our interview with him here). How much did Ashley's approach change when she was tasked with portraying a real person?
"It's a very different process and a more intimidating process. Especially meeting her and seeing a real human being, a real person behind the story, you suddenly feel a greater responsibility," she told us, praising the real Delaine. "She was very, very cool and really so lovely on set and to work with. [She] wanted me to have my own process and was there to help if I wanted to ask her questions...but never wanted to impose. She made the process much less intimidating than it normally can be. She's an extraordinary woman."
Despite the trailer, Ashley cautioned audiences that this is not a lurid sex tale. "That's not at all what the movie's about on any level. If anyone watches it for that reason they'll be very disappointed," she commented, telling us she'll consider the flick a job well done "If people think that I'm relatable and it's worth their time. And maybe if it opens some discussion about things in life that aren't normally discussed. If it can just open up the dialogue about sex not being so intimidating especially after divorce, maybe that's a good thing."
Bringing to life Delaine's journey of self-discovery is the latest chapter for Ashley, who's done a lot of memorable work on television over her career, which began in the world of soaps. "I think if people want to go back and look at season two of True Blood, I'm proud of my work in that. It's an exciting season, I played a totally different kind of character and worked with some amazing people," she told us. "I used to be on The Bold & The Beautiful; that character, Bridget Forrester, is dear to my heart and of course the reruns of that you can see.
"I've done other Lifetime movies [Dead At 17 and Secrets From Her Past] that I think were great and they rerun those quite a bit," she added. "I'm really proud of an independent movie caleld Angel's Perch that you can get now on demand. It's a labor of love. People worked really, really hard and it's a beautiful film."
But tonight you can see this charismatic actress - whose own favorite shows include The Blacklist, her "guilty pleasure" The Bachelor and Dateline NBC - front and center as she creates a role many women can likely identify with: the woman in the middle of her life, searching for a new direction. If The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom helps us look at life post-divorce in a different light, it should also give us a greater appreciation for the talent of Ashley Jones, too.
The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom airs tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on Lifetime (check your local listings for specific channel). For more on Ashley, follow her on Twitter (@AshleyAJones); she'll be live-tweeting tonight's premiere, as well.