LOS ANGELES – For LeAnn Rimes, shedding a positive light on blended families is very important.
Speaking to Fox News, the 36-year-old singer explained her decision to appear in her first-ever Hallmark movie, “It’s Christmas, Eve,” this holiday season – with part of the reason being, she was able to create stories she was passionate about.
“We knew we wanted to work together,” Rimes shared. “We knew a Christmas movie would be the perfect time. Clearly, Hallmark is 100 percent Christmas, and I’ve recorded three Christmas albums in the last 10 years, and I’m embarking in my 6th Christmas tour this year, so we just knew it would be a perfect match, but they were really open and receptive to ideas that I had as a producer.”
The actress — who also co-wrote three of the film’s songs — stars as Eve Morgan, an interim school superintendent who feels her neighbor (and the school's music teacher) Liam Bailey’s program needs to be cut.
“There's music involved. We talked about music in schools and how important that is, and how it’s the first thing that really gets cut... [Music] is a huge part of my life... and I did want to talk about that,” Rimes noted, adding that they also talk about the blended family aspect as well.
“I have a stepdad in the film, and my love interest Liam (Tyler Hynes) has a daughter. I have two stepsons that are 15 and 11," explained Rimes, who has two stepchildren – Jake and Mason – with husband Eddie Cibrian. Cibrian was previously married to “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” alum Brandi Glanville.
"It’s something that’s important for me to shed light on – the blended family environment in a really positive way because it’s not something that gets talked about very often," she continued. "So those are two things I really wanted to highlight and they were 100 percent down.”
As for if the movie hits close to home? Rimes admitted that “some” of the holiday film did. However, she really didn’t want it to be “too on the nose.”
"So obviously with having the love interest have a daughter, but like I said it’s not on the nose," Rimes explained, adding that she can still "definitely relate."
"I know how that first kind of meeting and having a kid kind of involved in your life – it can be a little bit of a juggling act.”
When asked if she faced any challenges blending her family in real life and if she drew on her own personal experiences to play her character in the Hallmark Channel movie, Rimes noted that she thinks “it’s a very individualized situation and it can also be a delicate one.”
“So I think knowing that, it definitely helped as a character and played into that relationship – meeting this young girl for the first few times,” she explained to us at the 2018 Hallmark Channel Summer TCA in July.
“I think challenges, yeah," Rimes continued. "There’s always been challenges. There’s always challenges whenever you’re trying to blend any kind of family dynamic, but my husband and I have been married for seven years now, and we seem to have done okay. I think we’re doing alright. Things are pretty calm.”
Rimes and Cibrian – who starred in the 2009 TV movie “Northern Lights" together – tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in 2011.