New mom Neve Campbell graces the small screen again in Lifetime’s murder mystery, An Amish Murder. Based on the book Sworn to Silence, the film – costarring Neve’s brother Christian Campbell and E.T.‘s C. Thomas Howell – tells the story of a woman who grew up Amish and returns to her small town as Chief of Police trying to solve a string of horrible murders.
Neve opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the film and her role in Grey’s Anatomy. While she says there are no plans for a Party of Five reunion, Neve says she’ll consider doing a cable series in the future. The new mom, 39, talks about the joys of motherhood, being “madly in love” with her 5-month-old son Caspian, and juggling work and family life.
On balancing motherhood and the post-production work for An Amish Murder?
NC: “It hasn’t been that difficult, but having a newborn is challenging in the sense that you don’t get a lot of sleep [laughs]. Otherwise, it hasn’t been that bad. I think the biggest challenge was actually when we shot the film, as I was five months pregnant at the time. Dealing with some of those scenes and dealing with the cold was an interesting challenge.
I am absolutely loving being a mother! Caspian is such a beautiful little soul and we are madly in love. Anything that is exhausting is well worthwhile. It’s been a beautiful experience, and, at the moment, the work hasn’t been too overwhelming. I am lucky.”
On how has motherhood has changed her.
NC: “I am not sure…being a mother, I feel that I have come into my own in a way. I think any woman will be a little nervous about whether they are capable of raising a child. I am really glad I waited until the age that I am at. I feel very confident with him, very comfortable with what we’re doing, and with the decisions we are making. It has been such a beautiful experience, and it makes other things far less important. I think that’s a great thing.”
On how she came to this project and how much she knew about the Amish world and lifestyle before the movie.
NC: “Lifetime actually approached me with the project. I think they had discussed it for a little while, and I am not quite sure why they decided to choose me, but I was flattered. I thought it was an intriguing concept. I’ve always been interested in the Amish lifestyle, as I think it is so foreign to how most of us live and it is intriguing to most people. I was definitely interested in learning more about them.
Coming from Canada, we have the Mennonite communities living near us in a town called Guelph, and next door to Guelph. I would see them at the farmer’s market and I remember as a child being really intrigued and curious about the idea that they live without electricity and without cars. I wondered, ‘How do they do that?’
Also, their faith, community, and kindness fascinated me. My uncle actually built a house by hand without electric tools. He is a wonderful artist, and he decided to build a house in the old Amish way. It was interesting, because the Mennonite teenagers from the nearby community were sent over by their parents to help my uncle build the house. So I knew a little about the community, but not a great deal. It was a very interesting project to take on.”
On how shooting Lifetime movies is different than shooting the larger screen movies.
NC: “It wasn’t extremely different. I’ve jumped between television, film, and theater my entire career, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. This movie had a decent budget, so there weren’t really any big sacrifices made. We had a great cast; I got to work with my brother, which was wonderful.”
On acting with her brother Christian.
NC: “We produced a film together about fifteen years ago that we also acted in. He starred in Showtime’s Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, and I did a song and dance number with him for that. This is our third time working together, and it was great fun. It was the first time that we played brother and sister, and it was a very interesting experience. I love working with Christian; he’s very talented and it was great to work with him on this project.”
On whether she brought anything to the character that wasn’t previously written in the script.
NC: “I think that with every character you take on, you create the history for it in your own way. You pick it up off the page in the best way that you can. Things are added in on a daily basis as you work with your fellow actors and find what they find. You see how you communicate and how you work together. In that way, I think that we found some decent energies between the characters. It was great fun!”
On whether she based her character on a specific person.
NC: “No, the character is based on a book called Sworn to Silence, so she had already been created. I didn’t base the character on anyone that I knew. I was really all about understanding her history and realizing that this is a person who lives with one energy and one world in another.
Her upbringing is obviously very different from her life now. That was a great challenge to play, and I think that to live in such an innocent and different way and be sort of flung into our society that we consider to be normal would have been very shocking. I basically looked at the book and at the story that we were telling, and that was obviously the most important thing. It was all about getting an idea and using my imagination as to how it is to live in that way, and bringing that to the character. There was a lot of stuff to play with.”
On whether the Lifetime movie might be turned into a series.
NC: “It is a possibility…I think this movie has really great potential. It is a very interesting character and it is an interesting concept. I’ve been talking to them about how I want to know if there is somewhere to go with it, that there is enough there within this community and within this concept that we can tell years worth of stories.”
On her role as McDreamy’s sister on Grey’s Anatomy.
NC: “My character does get along with her brother Derek, to an extent. She is a doctor. There is not a great deal I can reveal; her storyline has to do with Derek’s hand surgery.”
On reuniting with Scream co-star Patrick Dempsey.
NC: “It was really fun! I hadn’t seen him since Scream, so it has been at least a decade. He’s a great guy and has been on that show for nine years, so they definitely know what they are doing. It was fun to be around all of them.”
On whether she gets nervous when she steps onto a set like Grey’s Anatomy, which already has such an established family of actors.
NC: “It was terrifying [laughs]. I think that being a guest star of anything is one of the scariest things you can do, because everyone knows each other so well. They have great history and they know how they work together well. It’s like going to a school where everyone knows each other well, and you are stepping in for the first day. It’s nerve-wracking. However, everyone was really great, generous, and welcoming. I feel confident as an actor, but I think there is always going to be something that will make you have butterflies a little bit.”
On whether there is anything that she hasn’t done yet that she wants to do.
NC: “I think there is always a lot ahead, hopefully [laughs]. The industry has changed a great deal. I lived in England for eight years and now I’m back here, and I am lucky enough to have three different passports. I get the opportunity to work in Europe, Canada, and America, and I hope to continue to be able to do that.”
On whether she plans to continue to produce projects.
NC: “Absolutely. I’ve produced a couple of times before this; I did a project with my brother a long time ago. I also produced Robert Altman’s film The Company, which I also created. This project was not my idea; Lifetime came to me with it and I definitely found it to be very interesting.
I like to be hands-on, and I am very lucky to be in a position where people trust me to do that sometimes. As an actor, oftentimes you want to be able to have some say in the creative process and in the product that you are helping to make. So it was a really wonderful thing, and I do hope to continue doing it.”
On how she fits into the entertainment industry that is constantly changing.
NC: “It is definitely more challenging when you want to create projects. It is obviously still possible, but because there is far less money in the industry now, even the film that I made with Rob Altman ten years ago would be virtually impossible to make today.
Unfortunately, most of the casting today comes down to box office drawers, numbers, money crunchers, financiers, and money people. Many casting people have to look to the money people to make the decisions. I think that is so unfortunate, but I don’t think it is impossible; it is just more challenging.
For me, like I said, I am lucky to be able to work in different countries and in television, in film and in theater. As long as I am able to keep my feet in all of them, then I will be able to continue working. I am trying to navigate the industry as best as I can, as most people are.”
On whether she wants to be in another TV show.
NC: “If I do a TV show again, I would definitely want it to be cable, only because I am a mom now. I did a network show for a long time, and it takes up your entire life. I am not willing to do that with Caspian. If I do another show, I want it to be interesting, intriguing, and different, but not take up all my time.”
On whether she plans to join social media in the near future.
NC: “Not at the moment. There were like 11 Twitter sites claiming to be me, and I had to have those removed. I know that there can be a real advantage to social media and I haven’t wrapped my head around it yet. but it doesn’t mean I won’t. At the moment I am just enjoying my life, enjoying the work I’m doing, and enjoying being a mom. I have enjoyed my privacy for a long time.”