Kristin Booth plays the fiesty postal inspector Shane McInerney in Hallmark Channel's new original series Signed, Sealed, Delivered. We checked in with Kristin recently to chat about being part of the freshman program alongside Eric Mabius - and which critically acclaimed TV show she's also gracing with her presence.
What attracted her to the role of Shane? "There are several reasons," she told us. "The two biggest reasons are one, the fact that Martha Williamson is the creator and writer of the show. She's a phenomenal writer, and the words that she has us say are poetic and witty and brilliant and everything all at once. And as an actor there's nothing better than a great script.
"She's written this multi-layered great character for me to play. In the course of the show I get to be comedic, I get to be dramatic, there's a mystery angle as well. I get to do kind of everything all in one show," she continued. "And then certainly after taking the part, learning that we are working with some of the biggest icons in TV history." Those would include Carol Burnett, Dick Van Dyke and Valerie Harper, just to name a few.
But hold on a second. A new TV series from the executive producer of Touched By An Angel? And it's airing on the Hallmark Channel? Aren't we in for something preachy and overly feel-good? "I would say that would not be a surprising assumption to make. But Hallmark is really rebranding itself. It's not your mother's Hallmark anymore," Kristin told us. "This show has romance and comedy and mystery. It really isn't a show that's going to preach to you.
"It's a show about four really interesting multi-layered characters that have a fantastic chemistry together. Anyone tuning into the show will be surprised by how much they laugh. Yes, there will be touching moments, but it's this great blend of comedy and drama and mystery. And on top of that, you can share it with your family."
"I would have to say episode two thus far is the real standout," she continued, referring to tonight's installment. "The episode itself is so well written, but the great thing about it for me is we get to see a softer side of Shane. Shane is this 21st-century power woman who is a technophile and all this kind of stuff but the letter and the people who the group come in contact with as a result of the letter [affect her]. It's about an Army vet who served in the war, and his homecoming."
So we know what the tone of the show is on-screen - but what's it like behind the scenes? "Honestly, it is a treat for me to go to work every day," Kristin enthused. "Eric Mabius, when I heard he was in the show, I was like 'Sign me up.' He's a fantastic actor, but he's also so much fun to work with. We have so much fun on that set - and sometimes our directors get frustrated with us because we're having too much fun!"
Aside from her starring role on Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Kristin is pulling double duty as she can be seen on another cable TV series of the more serious variety. "I also have a recurring role in the second season of Orphan Black. Fans can see me playing an almost polar opposite character of what I play in Signed, Sealed, Delivered," she told us. She's also particularly proud of "The Kennedys, which aired on Reelz Channel in 2011. I played Ethel Kennedy and it was a dream job as well. I got to work with Barry Pepper, Katie Holmes, [and director] Jon Cassar."
Given the subject matter of her newest project, we asked her if she still writes letters to anyone. "It's funny, because my grandmother, she used to write letters to me all the time," she revealed. "She's no longer with us, but in homage to her I often will pick up a pen and on some pretty stationery will write a thank-you to a friend...I love the art of letter writing. There's nothing really like receiving something in the mail. It's exciting. And there's something so intimate and personal about a handwritten letter."
Except for maybe playing a quick-witted postal inspector who uses that mail to change peoples' lives. "I think something that people don't ask so much anymore [is] the question 'Why do you do this? Why are you an actor?' And the biggest reason for me is because I love storytelling," Kristin enthused. "Martha is one of the best storytellers out there. I'm so excited and blessed to be able to say her words every day."
Signed, Sealed, Delivered airs tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on Hallmark Channel (check your local listings for specific channel). Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9 PM ET/PT on BBC America. For more on Kristin, you can follow her on Twitter (@KristinTBooth).