South Carolina Native Andie MacDowell Absolutely Loves Playing Del In “The Way Home”

Reading the first script gave the veteran actress “cold chills.”

Andie MacDowell

Mike Coppola / Staff/Getty Images

If you’re not already watching Hallmark’s new original primetime series, The Way Home, you absolutely should be. This show is unlike anything that's aired on Hallmark before. It's a riveting, rich, layered story that grabs you right from the start and won't let go. Week by week layers of this mystery unfold all while we get a glimpse into the raw emotions of this broken family still searching for answers. The series is centered around three strong female characters of three different generations of the same family who find themselves living under the same roof. 

After a divorce and losing her job as a reporter, Kat Landry (played by Chyler Leigh) moves back home with her teenage daughter, Alice (played by Sadie Laflamme-Snow). They head to a farm in Canada to move in with Kat’s mother Del (played by Andie MacDowell), despite the two having been estranged for many years. Del hasn’t even met Alice before the two show up on her doorstep. But coming home is complicated for Kat and so too is having Kat home for Del. The two have not processed the loss of Del’s husband and Kat’s father Colton (played by Jefferson Brown) and there has never been any closure to the still unsolved mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jacob (played by Remy Smith), the younger brother of Kat who has been missing since he was a little boy. Tensions are high when Kat and Alice arrive but then add in something else totally unexpected; a pond that doubles as a time travel portal to the past. That’s right, Alice stumbles upon, or rather into a pond on the family’s property that transports her back to the past, to the time period surrounding Jacob’s disappearance. 

This story has so many elements and each week, the viewers get a little bit more and a little bit more, with lots of twists and turns. And it was this unique story that really drew in Andie MacDowell who plays the Landry matriarch. She recently spoke to Southern Living and told us how she was hooked after just reading the script for the pilot episode. 

“I loved the mystery. Everything that you see in episode one fascinated me. I was so surprised when my granddaughter was able to go back in time and that just came out of  nowhere for me. When I was reading that it was just, it gave me cold chills. I love that idea of being able to go back in time and experience life. That really appealed to me. It’s just something that goes on in your head, that idea of being able to go back. So that was a huge appeal for me.”

The South Carolina native also told us that Del is not your cookie-cutter grandmother character so often portrayed on screen. “I tried to make her a little offbeat. I love the sadness in her. That’s something that I enjoyed playing because then also it shows the journey from who she was and how happy she was in her earlier days. I know as a mature woman, how hard life is. So I like being able to use that, what I understand about life and give it to Del and finding that in her. I love being able to use what I understand and giving it to her.”

Andie MacDowell The Way Home

2023 Hallmark Media/Peter Stranks

Because there is also the element of time travel in this show, we also get to see what Del was like 20 years earlier. MacDowell plays Del then and now which adds to the appeal for her as an actress. 

“I enjoy playing the present day Del much more than I do going back but it’s nice to be able to make myself go back. Because then you can see who she was. And I think that was a great opportunity to show the complexity of my character. That there was a time where she was happy. And that life was much lighter. And the heaviness to present day Del I think that’s going to make everything more complex in her life. Friendships, romance, whatever. I think because she carries so much pain. So that was the interesting part for me to discover.”

MacDowell credits the all female writing team for creating a brilliant script that is unlike anything else currently on television. 

“These writers are so good. [They] do a great job of surprising you. I was surprised until the very last episode. I didn’t see things coming and I’m working on it. I’m there. They wouldn’t tell me. I would wait. Then I would get the script and we would all just be blown away with what they would come up with. And it’s slowly letting things out.”

Andie MacDowell and Chyler Leigh The Way Home

2023 Hallmark Media/ Peter Stranks

If you haven’t watched yet or you aren’t caught up, we highly suggest you do. Check your cable’s on demand offerings or stream the season on Hallmark Movies Now or Peacock. But trust us, this is one not to miss. And this Sunday’s episode is a dramatic one where many details are revealed. In 1999, the carnival where Jacob disappeared is quickly approaching and in present day the town is discussing whether or not to resume holding the carnival, which they haven’t done since Jacob disappeared. Del and Kat learn more details about the timeline of the day Jacob went missing. We won’t say too much more, other than just to quote MacDowell, “You just have to watch.”

The Way Home airs Sunday nights on Hallmark Channel.

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