Lifetime pulled in major ratings for its recent V.C. Andrews' Casteel Family movie series, so it's forging ahead with more content based on stories by the author who penned classics like Flowers in the Attic. The network recently announced its plans for a V.C. Andrews' Landry family series, and The Young and the Restless' Lauralee Bell (Christine Blair) has signed on.
The first of the five new original movies, Ruby, will feature the daytime veteran alongside previously announced stars Raechelle Banno and Karina Banno, Australian twins who will play Ruby and Giselle, respectively.
According to Deadline, the series will focus on Ruby Landry, who is watched over by her loving Grandmere Catherine as love blooms between her and her high school sweetheart Paul Tate. But lingering thoughts of her mysterious father and her mother's death often creep into Ruby's mind. Dark family secrets begin to reveal themselves when Paul's parents forbid him from seeing Ruby, and she is further devastated when her beloved Grandmere passes away. Forced to flee to New Orleans from the Bayou, Ruby searches for her estranged father, one of the richest men in the city, as she clings to her memories of Paul and their forbidden love.
Bell will fill the role of Daphne Dumas, the wife of Ruby's estranged father, who isn't thrilled when Ruby shows up and disrupts her perfect life. TV Line reports that she will also return to the role for the second film in the series, titled Pearl in the Mist.
"I read the scripts and I was hooked," Bell says of the Landry family movie series. "This is such as wonderful introduction for those who haven't already read the books and I am looking forward to portraying such a manipulative character."
Bell also took to Twitter with news of her new acting gig, enthusing that she can't wait to get started filming her two installments.
Three additional films in the Landry family series will follow the two that will star Bell, including All That Glitters, Hidden Jewel, and Tarnished Gold. At this time, it's unclear if the actress will be participating in any more of the films or if she'll only be appearing in the first two.
V.C. Andrews' Landry family movie series is being produced by Reel One Entertainment with Tom Berry, Dan Angel, Jane Startz, and Ric Nash set to executive produce. Screenwriters for the films include Richard Blaney and Gregory Small, with Gail Harvey attached to direct the first installment.
Bell's inclusion in the Landy series serves as a reunion between her and producer Reel One Entertainment. As fans may recall, she starred in the company's 2018 film Mistress Hunter and played the lead in 2019's Nightmare Tenant, for which she also served as an executive producer. To read more about that, check out Soap Central's interview with the actress here.
Bell has a unique connection to the soap opera world, as her parents, William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, created The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. She joined the cast of Y&R as Christine "Cricket" Blair in 1983 and has starred on the daytime drama since that time.
Bell recently won an Emmy for mI promise, a digital series that she wrote, directed, and produced. mI promise tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who makes the horrible mistake of texting and driving. Some of the actress' other projects include the web series Family Dinner and Just Off Rodeo.
V.C. Andrews' numerous novels revolve around family secrets and forbidden love, frequently involving themes of consensual incent, most often between siblings. Her best-known novel is the 1979 bestseller Flowers in the Attic, which tells the story of four children who are smuggled into the attic of their wealthy estranged grandmother and held prisoner there by their mother. The book was made into a Lifetime film in 2014, starring Kiernan Shipka, Ellen Burstyn, Mason Dye, and Heather Graham.
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