Examiner’s Amber Claire recently spoke to TV star Kelli Williams about her new role on UPTV Channel’s “Ties that bind” coming out Wednesday, August 12th. She was happy to give us the insight on her character Alison McLean and playing such a strong female role. Hi Kelli, it is great catching up with you to talk about “Ties That Bind”, which is UP’s first original scripted drama series. It also stars Jonathan Scarfe, Dion Johnstone and has guest appearances by Beverly Hills 90210 stars Jason Priestley and Luke Perry. You have also starred in the popular TV shows “The Practice and “Army Wives”.
AC: What made you take on the role in this particular series? What stood out to you the most about the script?
KW: The idea of doing a hybrid show really appealed to me. It’s both a procedural and a family drama. I really liked Sheryl’s script, it had a strong point of view. One with a strong female role model like Allison and a good moral center.
AC: The show was created by Sheryl J. Anderson who was also a writer/producer for three seasons on the hit TV series Charmed. How exciting is it for you to be a part of this?
KW: I love Sheryl. We had an instant connection, which made the idea of doing 10 episodes that much more compelling to me. Sheryl is a fantastic show runner, open to collaborating while keeping a strong clear sense of tone.
AC: This series is a Police drama, based out of Seattle, where you also play the part of a detective along with being a wife and mother. What type of preparations did you do beforehand to get into character?
KW: I got the opportunity to shadow Cpt. Lillian Caranza at the Van Nuys Police Department. We talked a great deal about what it is like for her to be a mom as well as a cop. The day to day of being in dangerous situations, how that affects her home life. I got a chance to sit in on their crime meeting of the day as well. It looked a lot like “The Wire.” I didn’t have to do research about playing a mom. I have 3 kids and have been trying to balance the whole work/parenting chaos for over 17 years.
AC: One of the biggest challenges for your character is when the script calls for you and your partner to arrest your own brother, played by Luke Perry for aggravated assault. This must have been quite a shock to see this as part of the script. What did you feel was the most difficult part of these scenes and the most important message in all of this?
KW: I was excited to see such a complicated relationship between Allison and her brother, Tim. The arrest was added after we had filmed all of Luke’s scenes, so it added another layer that we hadn’t seen before. It was a very emotional scene.
AC: What was it like working alongside Luke Perry and Jason Priestley, who have also had very successful acting careers?
KW: They’re both nice guys and good actors. It was a pleasure working with them.
AC: What do you think sets this series aside from any others on TV?
KW: It’s a show the whole family can watch. That’s increasingly rare today.
AC: What do you think audiences will enjoy and connect to the most after seeing “Ties That Bind”?
KW: I hope the characters, that’s why people watch TV, isn’t it? To see the characters they love (or hate) each week.
AC: Thank you so much for your time Kelli and we can’t wait to check out “Ties That Bind.”
For more info on “Ties that bind” and Kelli Williams, check out: