A conversation with
“Though None Go With Me”
star Cheryl Ladd

By David Martindale  

 Many actresses view aging as an enemy, as a career killer.

      But not Cheryl Ladd. The former “Charlie’s Angels” star, now in her 50s, says she has never savored her life or her work as much as she does today.

      “I don’t want to be 20 again,” says the star of “Though None Go With Me,” a Hallmark Channel Original movie. “I like being the age I am. I have a wonderful, fulfilling life and I’m enjoying my craft more now than I ever have.”

      In fact, Ladd finds acting so satisfying now BECAUSE she’s older. “I’m more comfortable with the roles I get,” she explains. “Everything doesn’t have to be about looking young and beautiful, about being the ‘hot’ one. The things I’m offered now, there’s much more depth to them. Of course, maybe there’s more depth to me too. I have lived a lot of life, after all.”

      This is why Ladd - who also has a recurring role as James Caan’s wife on the hit NBC series “Las Vegas” – was immediately drawn to the role of longsuffering Elizabeth Bishop in “Though None Go With Me.”

      “It was an interesting opportunity to play a woman from 50 to 75 years old,” she says. “It was an interesting acting challenge, for the first time in my life, to play a character of that age, as well as a physical challenge to completely alter how I look.”

      Ladd endured three hours of makeup and prosthetics applications every day for two weeks to transform herself into a 75-year-old. “I had no idea it was such a complicated process,” she says. “And then, after a hard day’s work, in which I’m every scene, it took 45 minutes to take it all off. You can’t just rip it off or wash it off. You have to use special solutions; otherwise you damage your skin. I’m not sure I would have signed on had I known what I was getting myself in for. ... No, that’s not true. I was happy to do it. I was thrilled.”

      Ladd’s character is a woman whose spiritual faith is often tested, but never broken throughout a lifetime of loss and heartache. The tragedies in her later years include the death of her only son (after which Elizabeth must raise her granddaughter) and her husband’s agonizing battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

      “One of the things that I admired and related to is how she lifts herself up by her

bootstraps,” Ladd says of her character. “I mean, she would be in difficult situations and, instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for herself, she got on with her life. She pulled through and tried again.”

      Ladd says she related because, although the parallels aren’t exact, she too has weathered her share of setbacks and loss. “Been there, done that,” the actress says. “We all have. Loss is an inevitable part of living a life.”

      Ladd also related to Elizabeth because “I share an abiding faith in God. I think it’s unfortunate that, in our industry, it’s not widely perceived as cool or hip to admit that. But I’m not worried about being cool and hip any more.”

      Another actress, Amy Grabow, plays Elizabeth in her early 20s, when she must choose between two adoring suitors. It’s a meaty storyline in which Grabow gets to shine. “She’s a darling girl,” Ladd says of her younger counterpart, “and she’s just lovely in the movie.” But Ladd never once wished she could get her hands on that love-triangle plot. “I’ve already done that plot in more than a few movies,” she says. “So I figure, ‘Let Amy do that story this time.’ ”

      Contrary to many actresses who say there are fewer parts after 40, Ladd feels there are plenty of good ones to go around. In fact, she believes she has detected a recent trend of more good parts going to “mature” actresses.

      “I think some networks and studios are figuring out that there are 40 million women in menopause in this country,” Ladd says. “And there are men of that age too. That’s a big audience. And they don’t all want to sit and watch 22-year-olds in everything they see. So the networks are finding there’s an audience for performers who are over 40. I think that’s refreshing.”

Though None Go With Me
airs Saturday, April 8th  on the Hallmark Channel
@ 9pm; 10pm and 1am.