I recently had the privilege to interview Kristin Booth. She is a talented actress best known for her performance as Shane McInerney in “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
Kurt Manwaring: Welcome! Before we begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first got started with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered?
Kristin Booth: Well. . . I’m an actor, have been now for 21 yrs, gulp! That seems like an awfully long time. I’m a wife and a mother. Last year I became a certified Pilates instructor and executive produced my first movie. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for almost as long as I’ve been an actor. I believe it’s so important to talk about mental health and share our stories of struggle so others know they’re not alone, slowly chipping away the stigma.
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” came about through a producer I had worked with on “The Kennedy’s” and “Star Spangled Banners.” He asked me to audition via self tape. I think I must have taped at least four times before I was flown to LA to screen test and meet Martha (Williamson). After meeting with Martha I was cast as Shane. I was the first POstable to be cast.
Kurt Manwaring: Who is one person from Ryerson Theatre School whose influence still permeates your approach to acting?
Kristin Booth: Theatre school was challenging for me, I never quite felt like I fit in. But despite that, I would say that there are tools I acquired there that I still use with every job. I loved working with director Jeanette Lambermont and the sense memory work with Cynthia Ashperger.
Kurt Manwaring: The #MeToo movement has brought to light some horrendous situations—including your own negative experience—and at times makes one wonder if there are any good men left in the entertainment industry. Are there any male directors you have worked with who set good examples of treating female actors with respect?
Kristin Booth: I’ve been blessed to work with some incredible male directors of enormous talent that have been nothing but respectful, supportive and inspiring. In fact the majority of my experiences as an actor have been positive. Jon Cassar, Martin Gero, Scott Smith, William Phillips, Kris Booth, Kevin Fair…..just to name a few.
Kurt Manwaring: You performed on “The Kennedys” as Ethyl Kennedy. Did you do any research for the role? Is there anything from her life that inspires you?
Kristin Booth: Portraying Ethel Kennedy has been one of the highlights of my career. I did endless research, read biographies, watched documentaries and scoured the internet for photos and video footage of her life. It was fascinating.
I admire Ethel, such a strong woman of faith and conviction. She and Bobby had a very progressive relationship for that time. Bobby consulted Ethel, valued her opinion and it’s one of my favorite aspects of their relationship. Working with Barry Pepper and recreating that authentic relationship was incredible.
Kurt Manwaring: How would you described “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to someone who has never seen it before?
Kristin Booth: A little bit of everything!! Drama, mystery, comedy, suspense. Four postal detectives work together to deliver lost letters to the right recipient at just the right time all while forming an unbreakable bond that will tear at the heartstrings of even the toughest cynic. The show tackles themes of love, loss, hope, faith, joy and postal passion, lol!!!
Kurt Manwaring: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” has appeared in two formats: TV episodes and TV movies. What is something unique about each format you like?
Kristin Booth: Both formats worked for us though I prefer the two-hour movies. The movie format gives us more time to let the story unfold while honoring the trajectory of the characters. By that I mean with the movies we’re given more time to explore the relationships between the POstables which I think is the real meat or heart of the show.
The letter story is always touching and important but what I love is seeing how each letter and its situation mirrors something or sparks something in one of our four heroes.
Kurt Manwaring: What character do you play on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and how has she evolved over time?
Kristin Booth: I play Shane McInerney. Shane is a technophile and when she is first assigned, accidentally, to the Dead Letter Office she has very little faith in the universe and even less in God.
As the show has evolved and taken Shane through many different letters with an even more eclectic group of penman behind them she has opened her heart and her mind to the possibility of love, trust and the divine. It’s been an incredible journey to navigate.
Not to mention all the different hair styles she’s tried out over these four years, lol!
Kurt Manwaring: What do viewers have to look forward to in “To the Altar”?
Kristin Booth: “To The Altar” is the best yet!! Surely not to be missed. I’ve really loved all the movies, but this one has touched me more than any of the previous have. The subject matter dealt with here is so important and topical. I don’t think there is one person out there that won’t relate to this story on some level. And of course there is a wedding!!!!! So that in itself is something to celebrate 🙂
Kurt Manwaring: What is one trait you admire in each of your “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” co-stars?
Kristin Booth: Well I don’t know if I can name just one, especially for Crystal Lowe who plays Rita.
Geoff Gustafson (Norman): I admire Geoff’s talent and comedic ability so much! There are so many times that I’m not able to keep a straight face in scenes with Geoff, he’s just so damn funny!! He often reminds me of Steve Martin who was one of my favorite actors while growing up.
Eric Mabius (Oliver): I admire Eric’s work ethic and his ability to learn all the massive speeches he has as Oliver. I struggle with a learning disability and sometimes the memorization is the hardest thing for me, especially when it’s names, places or dates. I have the emotional stuff down, it’s the expositional dialogue that throws me. Eric is so good at it!
And last but not least…..
Crystal Lowe (Rita): I admire Crystal on so many levels it’s hard to just name one or two. She has become my sister and one of my very best friends.
I admire her willingness to learn, the rabid curiosity she possesses and if she doesn’t know something she’s not afraid to ask. I admire her determination to grow as an actor, a director and a producer, and that she doesn’t shy away from hard work. Lastly, I admire her kind heart. She’s one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure to know.
Kurt Manwaring: One of your fans won the chance to ask you a question. Denise Taylor asks about how you played different evolutions of Shane when filming out of sequence.
Shane experienced tremendous growth between #HomeAgain and #TheRoadLessTraveled. Since RLT was filmed first, did you, as an actor, do anything special to prepare to take Shane "back" so to speak for Home Again, to who she was at the end of #HigherGround?
— Denise Taylor (@GospelGramma) May 3, 2018
Kristin Booth: This is a great question Denise! We don’t usually shoot in chronological order but in this case it was even more challenging because it was a whole movie that we had yet to shoot.
To be honest I relied on Martha, the creator and writer, to guide me. I asked her a lot of questions about Shane’s state of mind and how much “Home Again” had made her grow.
I relied on our director Kevin Fair, I trusted that if I started to veer off course that he would set me right and I made a chart. I mapped out the significant events that were to happen in eight and related them to the events in nine.
And then I just closed my eyes and trusted, lol!
Kurt Manwaring: If Hallmark asked you to identify replacement cast for each of the main roles on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” in the event the cast died from eating bad ice cream, who would you cast in the roles of Oliver, Shane, Rita, and Norman?
Kristin Booth: Oh my goodness! Well I know I’d still be alive because I don’t eat dairy!
Hmmmm……I love this question, in fact I often play a game on set and cast the entire crew and cast as if we were shooting the “making of”.
Ok, let’s see…..
Norman – I would say Steve Martin but I need someone younger, um, oh I’ve got it! Paul Rudd
Oliver – Benedict Cumberbatch
Rita – Rashida Jones
Shane – Reese Witherspoon
Ha! Ok now I want to see a SSD movie actually made with this cast!! I wonder what Martha would think?!
As the network hasn’t made a decision on whether or not to renew Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I want to take this opportunity to thank our incredible fans! Your support, your commitment and your love is like no other. Thank you for coming on this journey with us and I hope the journey will continue beyond “To The Altar”. Much love!! 😘