Reba McEntire is laying down the law in her new Lifetime movie The Hammer and working with some of the people she loves most. The country icon stars alongside boyfriend Rex Linn and former Reba co-star Melissa Peterman in The Hammer. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Rex and Melissa about teaming up with Reba onscreen. For Rex, getting the opportunity to work with his love is something he cherished.
“It was great, and I’ll tell you why,” Rex began. “From an acting standpoint, we got to rehearse all the time. Reba doesn’t need to rehearse as much as I do. She can look at a page of dialogue and have it down in two minutes. I’m all about repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, but it sure makes it more fun to have your significant other rehearse with you for hours and hours, and then go to the set and be in front of the camera and have fun. And that’s exactly what we did. It was great.”
Rex gushed that The Hammer made his relationship with Reba stronger. “You know what, the great thing about it is Reba doesn’t suffer fools. Her work ethic is moving forward. I love her work ethic, and it matches mine for the most part, so it just made it fun,” Rex said.
Melissa added, “Rex is one of the most prepared actors of all time. I think that his work ethic is something that I love to be around, and I got to be the third wheel. We were all at one house, so just getting I got to take advantage of Rex as an acting coach and run lines. I wish I could always stay at their house and run lines.”
She also noted that Rex and Reba are a “wonderful example of being able to work together. And then when that’s done, you can turn that off. But when it’s time to work again, I just feel like you balance it really well. You don’t bring work into everything else that you’re doing. When it’s work time, it’s work time. When that’s over, it’s your time.”
Rex stars in The Hammer as Bart Crawford who has a “genuine liking” for Reba’s Judge Kim Wheeler “in a romantic sense. But he also has a son who is about to be sentenced and perhaps for a long time by Judge Wheeler. He’s got a little extra ulterior motive to be nice to her. But he also could perhaps early on be a part of the bad things that are happening around that little county.”
Melissa plays Kim’s sister, Kris. While Kim is a judge, Kris runs a brothel. “They are similar as far as they both are fierce women who have learned to take care of themselves, and they don’t suffer fools,” Melissa told HollywoodLife. “They had a childhood that wasn’t necessarily great. I think Kris has a little bit of sometimes guilt about maybe she didn’t protect her sister enough.”
The Hammer marks an onscreen reunion for Reba and Melissa, who co-starred in the beloved comedy series Reba from 2001 to 2006. Melissa revealed that she and Reba always talked about reuniting onscreen. It just had to be the right time. “I think when you find somebody that you work so well with, and you have that sort of chemistry, you want to work with them all the time. It was just a matter of when and where and how,” Melissa said.
The actress admitted that when she first read the script for The Hammer, she felt that the character of Kim sounded like Reba. “I could hear her voice in it because it was a character that had a backbone. She was fierce, she had a lot of heart, and I loved the script. In the end, when I first read Kris’ stuff, I just knew I wanted to play her. And then when it was going to be both of us, there was no way I was going to not do it,” Melissa told HollywoodLife. Reba McEntire’s The Hammer premieres January 7 at 8 pm on Lifetime.
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