There are feelings I have now that the woman I've been dating told me she only wants to be "friends." A hurricane of pain rips through me as insecurities I've harbored since junior high school swell in my head, crippling my ability to focus and function. I can't sleep. I'm tossing and turning, replaying my errors on a tortured loop in my brain. I want to start over, to handle things differently, to finally learn from my mistakes. But it's too late. Her decision has solidified. Now, there's an emptiness in my chest as I pace around the house, drowning in my thoughts and getting nothing done. This state of being isn't good, but it's the shape I'm in as I prepare for a conversation with Hollywood actress Lacey Chabert to discuss her upcoming Hallmark Movie Channel original movie The Color of Rain, the moving, true story of two devastated families who come together as one after unimaginable tragedy strikes.
In The Color of Rain, Lacey Chabert plays a mother of two boys who loses her husband to cancer on Christmas Day and, a few weeks later, meets a father of three who has lost his wife to cancer. The Color of Rain, which premieres on The Hallmark Movie Channel on May 31, tells the story of these two families as they join forces in the face of horrific loss and help each other heal. It's a touching movie with a beautiful message.
I'm researching Lacey Chabert, preparing for our interview by surveying her Hollywood credits. She's acted alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt on the 90s TV gem Party of Five, played Gretchen Wieners opposite Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried and Tina Fey in the 2004 comedy classic Mean Girls and voiced Meg Griffin (pre-Mila Kunis) on the first season of Seth MacFarlane's animated riot Family Guy. Lacey has a knack for being at the right place at the right time and, for the time being, I'm pushing aside my emotional disturbance to speak with her. The "friends" pain will hit me again later -- and probably camp out a while -- but, for now, Lacey will offer me temporary solace.
I ask Lacey what drew her to The Color of Rain?
"I was really interested in the story," Chabert begins. "I read the book and the script and was so moved by their experience with tragedy and how they were able to pull themselves together and move on. It really seemed like fate that they ended up finding each other and being together. The journey of them moving on with their lives is something that was just very inspiring."
I ask Lacey what part of the story moved her most?
"The fact that they end up finding another family who has gone through the same tragedy," Lacey answers. "To me, that was the most moving part, that they were able to love each other through their healing. I, myself, was preparing to get married while I was filming this movie and I began to really think about what it would be like to lose your partner in life, to be a young mother and lose your husband."
Mean Girls crosses my mind, and I ask Lacey why she thinks the film is still relevant and still popular 10 years after its release?
"It's a really funny movie and I'm so glad to be a part of it," she says. "It's a film with universal themes. Everyone can relate to being bullied. Everyone can relate to wanting to fit in and being part of a clique. People relate to it. And it's genuinely funny. It's still funny. The comedy in it is timeless."
Suddenly, thoughts of my "friends" debacle return and explode in my head. My focus shatters. I'd hoped to get through the interview okay, but I'm starting to unravel. I wonder if Lacey Chabert ever told a romantically interested guy that she only liked him as a friend, and then I ask her if she has?
"I had to tell someone that I was friends with, who asked if I had romantic feelings for him, that I didn't," Lacey says, thrown by my question, but cool enough to roll with it. "I couldn't lie about it. I knew him well enough to know that I didn't share the feelings he had for me, and it was a horrible thing to have to say to someone because no one wants to hear it. I wouldn't want to hear it. It's a completely awkward conversation, but I feel like honesty is the best policy."
I realize my interview has gone off the rails. I've jumped from Mean Girls to asking a strange and personal question out of the clear blue sky. I have to get a grip, and steer things back to The Color of Rain. Before Lacey has a chance to ask why I asked the "friends" question, I ask her what she thinks people will get out of watching The Color of Rain?
"I think people will hopefully get the message that there is always hope," she says. "You can overcome anything. Unfortunately, this is a story that a lot of families can relate to, losing a mother or father to cancer. It's something that happens every day. So, I hope people will find strength in the story."
When my conversation with Lacey Chabert ends, I think about the families in The Color of Rain and give myself a swift kick in the ass, and then another one.
There are problems in this life worse than heartbreak and, if we choose the right attitude, we can valiantly survive all of them.