Are you a tad bit overwhelmed by all the feel good Christmas movies popping up this year? Then this Friday, December 8 at 8/7c, it’s time to rejoice because Lifetime Movies is premiering a twisted thrill ride of bittersweet revenge called You Killed My Mother! This wondrously wicked plot has all the classic elements you crave from a Lifetime vengeance tale, plus a few surprises including lethal booby traps and a kitten.
“It’s a little fantastical, you may not ever find yourself in this situation, but it’s fun to suspend disbelief and go on that journey with these characters,” veteran actor Ashley Jones (The Bold and the Beautiful, True Blood, General Hospital), told Entertaining Options.
Ashley stars as Miriam Preston, a hospital administrator at Township Medical Center who is forced to make a life-or-death decision that leaves a disturbed teenager motherless… and crazed for revenge. Carlena Britch is the captivating newcomer who plays the troubled teen, Jo Flay.
“Sometimes, you have to make a decision,” Ashley explained. “It may be the right one at the time or it may be what your job makes you do, but you make that decision based on facts and what you’ve been trained to do your whole life. Jo’s mother was an alcoholic and Miriam denied her a liver transplant. That was a choice that came back to haunt her. There are these choices that we all must make in our day-to-day lives and we never know how they will affect someone else.”
As noted, Ashley is a veteran in this business. Previously, she has worked with the production company, the producer, and the director on this movie. Additionally, she has worked with the Lifetime Movie network on several occasions, so they were the ones who initially reached out to her by sending the script.
“Right away, the character intrigued me,” Ashley informed. “I had just given birth to a son and Miriam’s whole point is she’s trying to live her life and let her son make his own decisions and live his life as much as she possibly can. But she is also a lioness who would fight to protect her son, and that just resonated with me. I had such an instinct for that character because she made a lot of sense to me.”
Another element in the movie hit close to home for Ashley. The stalker aspect dredged up some chilling memories from her early years of working on The Bold and the Beautiful.
“There was someone who used to write me a lot,” she began. “This person knew all kinds of details about my life… what time I left the studio, what car I would be in, just everything. Honestly, at the time, I was so young that I didn’t really get how dangerous that was. Not until CBS security brought me in and said they didn’t know where this person was, but they were definitely watching me. After that, I had to have a security escort to my car and I had to take a different route home every day, and they told me they needed to follow me. That was my first wake up call. I am too trusting, my husband is always wanting me to be a little bit smarter about those kinds of situations.”
When asked if her past experience came up while filming, Ashley replied, “Yes, that particular story did come up a couple of times when we were on set. It’s inevitable that you start talking about these kinds of things because there is a lot of waiting around. But Carlena has way more intense life stories than I do.” [Note: Carlena tells Entertaining Options about her childhood in an upcoming interview. Stay tuned.]
Even though Ashley and Carlena’s characters don’t appear in any scenes together until the climactic confrontation, the two actors did frequently cross paths while on set.
“We saw each other a lot on set,” Ashley confirmed. “You never know when they are going to film the climax, but they happened to do it a little later for this movie. That was great for us because it gave us a chance to get to know each other.”
“We went out to dinner almost every night and we built quite a bond,” Carlena reminisced. “Ashley is such a sweetheart.”
“Carlena has a great instinct about her,” Ashley returned. “Even though she hasn’t done this particular type of lead role before, she is a dancer, she’s been on stage, and she is very aware of her body. She is very aware of the camera and she understands the concept of coming to set prepared. Actually, because of her background in dance, she is very disciplined and she is always prepared. She had a lot of the qualities you would want someone you work with to have. I loved what she did because all she did was listen and react — she was always in the moment. Watching her was like a lesson for me, reminding me to go back to the basics, come prepared, have a motivation, then just listen and react.”
“I think it was a strong choice to build and develop the story and not have the two characters exist in the same space until the very end,” Carlena offered. “Jo is very empathetic. She’s got a heart. I don’t know if she would have been able to follow through with her plan if she had created a friendship with Miriam.”
“Filming that climax, where the two characters finally meet, was incredibly intense… not that anyone’s life was actually in danger while filming,” Ashley laughed. “We drove up through these dark woods to this isolated cabin that looked like a place where you would go to kill someone. It was dark and raining and it was freezing and no one could get Wi-Fi on their phones! But those unsettling elements made the scene work really well.”
In closing, Ashley revealed that she’s been trying on a few new hats recently.
“I’ve been delving into writing and I’m updating my blog on my website [ashleyajones.com],” she informed. “It’s not really a website that reflects my acting, it’s more of a fun family-oriented entertainment website. But I will also be contributing to Soap Opera Digest, so if anyone would like to ask me anything, please visit my site and leave a comment about what you’d like me to write about.”
Ashley’s writing is very much her. She communicates with charm, personality, and insight. Her words are an extension of her open and kind heart.
Be sure to watch You Killed My Mother on Lifetime Movies this Friday, December 8 at 8/7c to see how Jo’s devious plan to dismantle Miriam’s life piece by piece unfolds. Will Miriam be able to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late?!