I recently had the privilege to interview Crystal Lowe. She is a talented actress known for her roles in popular shows such as “”Supernatural,” “Smallville,” and “Stargate: Atlantis.” She currently stars as Rita Haywith on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
Kurt Manwaring: Welcome! Before we begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first got involved with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”?
Crystal Lowe: I have been in the film industry for 20 years. I started as a teenager with one desire. I have wanted to act since I was in kindergarten. About six years ago I fell in love with storytelling as a whole and I desperately wanted to tell an entire story as opposed to just one characters.
So now I do both. I’m fortunate enough to act in an incredibly well written show that gives people hope and preaches love and kindness. And I am directing and writing my own material.
SSD was a beautiful blessing. I was actually up for another series and had to choose between the two and I am so glad I chose SSD. Martha Williamson has given me a such a gift with Rita. Both Rita and I have grown so much because of this show.
Kurt Manwaring: You wanted to be an actor since you were a teenager. Did you perform in any high school productions before you got your start as a professional?
Crystal Lowe: I did. “Noises Off” and “The Dark Side of the Moon”
Kurt Manwaring: What are the first memories that come to mind when you reflect on filming the “Harmony” episode of “Stargate: Atlantis”?
Crystal Lowe: Hmm I love that you asked what the first thing that comes to mind is….. THAT CORSET! It was tied SO tight I almost passed out three times.
The rest of the cast was lovely on that show and I always have a great time playing the villain.
Kurt Manwaring: What are the highs and lows of your audition experience? Have you ever had auditions about which you felt very confident — and auditions about which you feel embarrassed?
Well let me tell you…. lol! HIGHS and LOWS are an understatement.
It’s a tough gig, the audition process. You walk into a room and pour your heart out and perform your art and more than often you will get ‘Thank you’ from a dead pan casting director or producer and that’s the signal that your audition is over.
Then you sit in your car and repeat the audition by yourself like a crazy person and recall all the things you should have done and then you go home and you wait.
If you got it, you get a call. But if you didn’t, you will hear nothing. Then you have to find a way to just let it go and move onto the next one.
It’s hard, but when you do get that ‘yes’….. it’s a high like no other.
Kurt Manwaring: How would you describe “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to someone who has never watched before? Why should a new viewer tune in?
Crystal Lowe: It’s a beautiful family friendly show about a unique group of postal detectives who still care about the written word and will do whatever it takes to reconnect people at just the right time.
For those of you who haven’t seen the show, please tune in. If you are anything like me then you are probably exhausted by the gloom and darkness that seems to be taking over our televisions. SSD will remind you that humans at their core are good, kind and brave and there is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel.
Kurt Manwaring: What character do you play on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and how has she evolved over time?
Crystal Lowe: I play Rita Haywith. She has evolved in so many ways but I would have to say it’s her confidence that stands out the most. When we first started filming Rita was extremely self conscious and scared to admit her feelings for Norman.
Over the last four years she has blossomed into the confident, strong bold woman she always was inside.
And what I love the most about her is that she is still herself. Funny, unique and beautifully naive to the dark side of humanity. She always looks for the best in everything.
Kurt Manwaring: Are the writers open to your input about Rita—or even the show as a whole? Have you ever influenced your character’s storyline behind the scenes?
Crystal Lowe: Yes. That’s the thing I love the most about working with Martha. When I was cast we sat down and she told me that I was not who she had in mind when she wrote the role. But after my audition she knew I was the right fit. So she sat with me and worked out how to make Rita work for me.
We knew Rita was smart and shy but I think together we figured out just how bold she was.
Kurt Manwaring: Rita is so innocently naïve. Have you ever pulled pieces from her character and used it in real life to get out of trouble or feign ignorance about something?
Crystal Lowe: You know, Rita sees people in the best light. I am always trying to see things from other peoples points of view. I believe in empathy, discussion and hopefully understanding in every situation.
If glass half full is naive then I pull that from Rita on a daily basis 🙂
Kurt Manwaring: What do viewers have in store when they watch, “To the Altar”?
Crystal Lowe: Ohhhhhhhh it’s the best!! I am just so happy with this episode. I feel like Rita and Norman get married in the perfect way. It’s beautiful, touching and will make everyone cry.
And the Letter story is my favorite of all the episodes and films combined.
Kurt Manwaring: One of your fans won the chance to ask you a question. Amy Anderson asks, “How has ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ influenced your life?”
How has Signed Sealed Delivered influenced your life? #POstables
— Amy Anderson🎄 (@amy_piano) May 7, 2018
Crystal Lowe: Well lets first talk about the POstables. Man, oh man, have they ever shown me what faith and love can do. I have watched these strangers bond, listen and rally behind one another like never before. They have created a community of love even if and when there is difference of opinion or belief they still offer an umbrella of acceptance and kindness. They have given me hope for humanity.
SSD also gave me the push I needed to continue with creating my own stories. When you work with the caliber of people that I work with you begin to see that anything is possible. I have learned so much from watching my boss and my peers and I cannot wait to continue storytelling.
I have also made some incredible friendships. Ones that will last a lifetime.
Kurt Manwaring: Let’s say you are asked to write the next “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” movie and the plot involves a letter from your grandfather sent to an aunt you never knew you had. How would the story unfold, which of the main characters would be most invested in the outcome, and who would you cast as your aunt and grandfather?
Crystal Lowe: I think it would be a letter from my grandfather asking his daughter (my aunt) to forgive him for leaving her mother. It would explain that he met her mother during the war and fell in love with her when he was stationed in Japan. That he was young and stupid and he didn’t have the courage to do the right thing and bring her mother back with him to the US and be proud of the fact that he fell in love with a Japanese woman and had a beautiful biracial daughter.
The Postables would go to Japan to meet her and learn about what letters meant to people during that time over there.
I think Norman might be most affected. Coming from a foster family I don’t think he could fathom why anything or anyone would lead you away from a family you love.