Interview with Chyler Leigh of Lifetime's "The 19th Wife"
The Lifetime Original Movie, "The 19th Wife," will premiere on Monday, September 13 at 9PM EST/PT.
I had an opportunity to watch a preview of the movie and chat with the star, Chyler Leigh, whom we all have gotten to know from the hit show "Grey's Anatomy."
The movie is based on David Ebershoff’s New York Times best-selling novel that takes an inside look at the secret world of polygamy, and the story of “The 19th Wife” is set in Utah in a First Church of Latter Day Saints community. The story is part murder mystery, part a peek into lives of people living in polygamy, and part story of a women who finds herself. In the movie, BeckyLyn (Patricia Wettig) is accused of killing her husband. Another wife in the sect, Queenie (Chyler Leigh) and BeckyLyn's son Jordan (Matt Czuchry) are convinced BeckyLyn isn't the killer and they go on a quest to find the real killer - one of the biggest surprises in the movie is when the identity of the killer is finally revealed!
Read what Chyler Leigh had to say about the movie and about being a real-life wife and a mom.
How did you first get involved with "The 19th Wife?" Did you audition for it?
Chyler: I wasn’t thinking of working at all this summer. Last summer I had my baby, it was a busy season with Grey's, and I was planning on relaxing, and my family and I went to Hawaii on a vacation. But my agent emailed me and told me I had been offered a part in the movie, and asked if I wanted to do it. Basically after a round of golf, a trip to the pool, and swimming with dolphins, I read the script. I immediately fell in love with this role and after talking to my husband about it, I said yes. It was a lot of arranging, I had to be gone for a month.
What did you first think when you heard about the movie?
Chyler: The character is an incredible, strong woman who had strong faith and values, and I found we had a lot of similarieties, especially when it comes to her child. It was so different than what I had ever done before, it was great to step into it.
What did you find interesting about polygamy?
Chyler: It’s interesting to see how far people carry it out, their faith. It’s really interesting and sad in a way to stay mellow and keep producing. It’s incredibly compelling - the strengh of these women.
Which one was more interesting, playing the murder mystery part or playing Queenie?
Chyler: Good question, but I think it was the murder mystery, it was so much fun with Matt (Czuchry) to act those parts. I know it sounds weird that we had fun shooting a murder mystery, but we did.
It looked like you and Matt had good chemistry. Had you met him before this movie?
Chyler: I can’t say enough good things about him, he is incredible, we had so much fun on the set. I hadn’t even met him before going on the set, but we were instant buddies and were having a lot of fun.
In the movie and in the world of polygamy, it is the women are supposed to raise their children – is it the same in your own life, or are there any other similarities in your own life?
Chyler: No, it’s very 50/50 between my husband and me; family is the most important thing to us. We work very hard for our family, we focus on our family and the kids and also we work very hard for our marriage. Community and being surrounded by people who love, and share the same faith as us is important, and taking care of each other as a family.
You have three children, right? Tell us about your kids.
Chyler: Yes, three kids. My son's first day of first grade is today, he cares about his family and has very thought provoking questions, he is a good big brother. Noah loves the ocean and is all boy, he is going to be seven in November. Taelyn is four; we just did a Disney World trip where she got to be a complete Princess. Annie is 16 months, she is hilarious, she is our talker. The first two had speech delay and we went through speech therapy with Noah, and here is Annie, she talks constantly.