It’s not easy holding a marriage together, even on TV. Just ask Tara Spencer-Nairn, who co-stars with JR Bourne in the Lifetime television film The Preacher’s Sin, which premiered on Nov. 14. She plays Lauren Tanner, whose husband Evan (Bourne) puts pressure on their marriage when some of his secrets come out. LA Fan Cultures Examiner spoke with Tara on Monday to ask her about her character’s journey in the film and making that marriage resonant with audiences.
“I started shooting this project soon after wrapping a comedy – Corner Gas: The Movie – so it was exciting to jump into something so very different,” she told us. “I also shot Corner Gas: The Movie while seven months pregnant, so this was my first time back on set after giving birth to my second son.
“It was important for me to prove to myself that I could still balance the demands of being a mother and a working actor. I loved that The Preacher’s Sin script offered so much to play with, in terms of the character relationships and the depiction of a woman struggling to stop her family from being torn apart.”
If the marriage between Lauren and Evan really works on-screen, it’s because the two actors playing them were able to get onto the same page easily. “I actually studied acting with JR back in the day in Vancouver, Canada at the very beginning of our careers,” Tara revealed, “but this was the first time we’ve had the opportunity to work together as professionals!
“Because of that history, the chemistry was very much there as soon as we picked up the script and I think [we] were able to mine our personal past to bring more truth to the on-screen relationship.”
Like her co-star, she appreciates that The Preacher’s Sin also brings some relevant issues to the table. “Of course I hope that people enjoy two hours of escapism while watching the movie, but I’m so happy that this script chose to tackle the topics of depression and suicide,” she said. “It’s very important that these issues that are finally being discussed in the open [and] continue to be a part of our dialogue.”
The movie is just the latest role on Tara’s resume, so we asked her what other parts from her previous resume she’d recommend to audiences who catch her in the film. “I’m still getting back to full working speed after the birth of my second kid, but I shot a great guest star role as a junkie on the new season of Saving Hope,” she told us. “You can also always catch me as Sandy in reruns of The Listener.”
She also guest-starred on Flashpoint, which over its run proved to be a fantastic showcase for Canadian talent, including the likes of Ben Bass (Rookie Blue) and Peter Outerbridge (Nikita), to name just two of the many. What was her experience like on that series?
“The show shot in my home base of Toronto, so it was a great opportunity for us Canadians to book good roles on a show that was amazingly successful on both sides of the border,” Tara explained.
“There are so many great Canadian actors that primarily work out of their home country. With so many American TV and film projects shooting in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, you’re probably seeing more Canadians on your screens than you ever realized!”
What are the shows and movies on her watchlist? “My husband and I love to watch documentaries,” Tara told us. “In terms of episodic TV, I’m a big fan of The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Office (both versions), Nurse Jackie, Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black and Bloodline. My favourite films are the Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and After Midnight trilogy.”
The Preacher’s Sin will re-air this week on Lifetime. For air dates and times, click here.