Are sugar plum fairies dancing in your head this holiday season? If not, they will be if you tune in to the second installment of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' successful film franchise, Murder She Baked, starring Days of our Lives' Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady) and All My Children's Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan Lavery). Titled A Plum Pudding Mystery, the film delves deep into a mysterious holiday murder that puts free-spirited Hannah (Sweeney) and her new love, Mike (Mathison), at odds. The holly jolly film with a cup of murderous cheer premieres Sunday, November 22, and Soap Central spoke with Mathison to get all the yummy details on the latest chapter of the successful holiday series.
soapcentral.com: Everyone is so happy to hear that you and Alison Sweeney are back together again for Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery. How do you feel about being part of the sequel?
Cameron Mathison: I absolutely love this series of movies. So many things about it... the story, this character, working with Ali and the entire cast, and, of course, Hallmark. They are such an incredible company to work for. After I finish shooting one of them I'm basically just waiting for the next one to start. I can't wait.
soapcentral.com: What can you tell us about the latest drama being baked up for the film, and how does Mike fit into this new story?
Mathison: Well, it's Christmastime, and who doesn't love Christmas with Hallmark! There is another murder in town, and my character, Mike Kingston, is on the case. Ali's character, Hannah, continues to try and get in there and solve it for him, which makes for an interesting obstacle in their relationship. With that said, of course, Norman is also in the picture for Hannah, which clearly is another obstacle for Mike. But at the end of this movie, one of us is making some progress with a kiss.
soapcentral.com: What about this film sets it apart from the original Murder She Baked, if anything?
Mathison: I think in the original, we were just getting to know everyone. I like how this second installment allows the audience to get to know everyone on a deeper level. Also, some different direction and more mystery.
soapcentral.com: You, of course, got to reunite with Alison Sweeney. What was that like?
Mathison: Love love love working with Ali. She is such a pro and cares so deeply about every step of this process. Of course, we have lots of fun behind the scenes, but what I'm most impressed with is her work ethic and how invested she is. I enjoy working through the scenes with her, and our director, Kris Tabouri, to figure out the best possible way to bring it to life.
soapcentral.com: What are some of your favorite things about working with Alison?
Mathison: Just that... her work ethic, her honesty, her sense of humor, and how you can totally and completely count on her as a friend and colleague.
soapcentral.com: I'm not sure if you know anything about her Days of our Lives' character, Sami Brady. If you do, I'm wondering what kind of character, if any, you'd love to play in Salem so that you could have scenes with Sami?
Mathison: I don't know much, but from what I understand, no matter what type of character I could play on DAYS, Sami would give me a run for my money!
soapcentral.com: That she would! Speaking of working on a soap, if you were offered a role on one of the remaining soap operas, would you take it?
Mathison: I probably would take a role with a short story arc, depending on the character. I don't think I would sign on for anything more than that. I loved being on AMC for all those years, but it's been a while now, and I'm really, really enjoying this phase of my career.
soapcentral.com: This next installment of the Murder She Baked series also stars One Life to Live's Farah Fath. What was it like working with her? Did you know her from your ABC soap days?
Mathison: I do remember her from OLTL. I only had one short scene with her on this Murder She Baked, so mostly we caught up behind the scenes. It was very nice to see her, and she did a great job in this film!
soapcentral.com: The first Murder She Baked film garnered the highest debut numbers of any film on Hallmark Murders & Mysteries. Did you expect those kinds of numbers?
Mathison: I am always hoping for good numbers, but I try to never expect anything. I had a good feeling for this series. In my very first scene with Ali, I knew people were going to love Hannah, and that is key for this to work. It really did come together better than I could have hoped.
soapcentral.com: How does it feel when a project you're in is such a huge success?
Mathison: Man... it feels great, like all the hard work paid off. Hallmark really puts a lot into these movies, and we all really want the viewers to enjoy them, so when the numbers come in so high, it feels good on all levels.
soapcentral.com: What do you think contributed to the film doing so well?
Mathison: I think it's a combination of things. Alison Sweeney is extremely popular, the book series on which these are based is also very popular, great script, great all-around cast, the production value was fantastic, Ali and I did quite a bit of publicity... so many things all came together.
soapcentral.com: If given the choice, would you rather play the victim or the murderer in a murder mystery?
Mathison: Well, the murderer, so I can stay alive, I guess!
soapcentral.com: What would be your killing method of choice?
Mathison: Love them to death...
soapcentral.com: Of course you'd say that! A Plum Pudding Mystery is a holiday film, so I've got to ask about your holiday plans this year...
Mathison: It's going to be a beautiful Christmas in Vail, Colorado, with my entire family. Skiing, skating, sledding, and everything else wintery.
soapcentral.com: What are some of the things about the holidays that you look forward to the most?
Mathison: Definitely the excitement for the kids. Although, I feel like a big kid myself around the holidays, it's all about the kids. I love setting up the tree, decorating the house, playing Christmas music... all of it!
soapcentral.com: What are your favorite holiday films and holiday desserts?
Mathison: Elf, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, and sugar cookies.
Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery debuts on Sunday, November 22, at 9/8C on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Are you looking forward to seeing Mathison and Sweeney reunite for Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery? Do you wish Mathison would return to soaps? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, on our message boards, or by submitting Feedback.