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Q&A Interview with GOOD WITCH's Catherine Bell & Videos of Bailee Madison, James Denton + More

Maj Canton - February 27, 2015




Seven years ago, Catherine Bell brought Cassandra Nightingale to life in THE GOOD WITCH, the first of seven Hallmark Channel Original Movies. With GOOD WITCH, the new Hallmark Channel Original primetime series, kicking off Saturday, February 28 (8 pm ET/PT, 7CT) with a special two-hour world-premiere event, Bell reflects on Cassie and her own life. Plus, in a series of videos, Bell and the rest of the cast discuss their characters and the series.





GOOD WITCH goes on a magical journey with Cassie and her bright, young teenage daughter Grace (Bailee Madison), who shares her mom's special intuitive charm. Shortly after the tragic death of her husband, Chief of Police Jake Russell, a doctor, Sam (James Denton), and his teenage son, Nick (Rhys Matthew Bond), move in next door to Grey House in the quaint town of Middleton. Sam is having trouble acclimating to the small-town way of life, especially after encountering the scoffing eye of Middleton's mayor, Martha (Catherine Disher). In her magical way, Cassie attempts to help him settle in, but when he finds out the residents of Middleton have forgone doctor's visits in favor of Cassie's peculiar brand of elixir and herbs, Sam clashes with Cassie. At school, Nick, a misunderstood teen, is already trying to make his dad ship him back to the city -- by causing trouble. But when Grace gets entangled in one of Nick's rule-breaking schemes, she has to decide if she'll take the fall for his offense. Meanwhile, Cassie welcomes her stepchildren, Lori (Hannah Endicott-Douglas) and Brandon (Dan Jeannotte), home, but when Brandon gather the courage to tell his family about a meaningful change in his future, he upsets the who family just as Middleton prepares a special memorial to honor Jake. While Cassie uses her special charm to conjure up a plan to end her stubborn stalemate with Sam, Lori unexpectedly intervenes to save Brandon's new job. Also stars Noah Cappe, Peter MacNeill and Anthony Lemke.

Catherine Bell as Cassie in the original movie THE GOOD WITCH.

Photo Credit:Crown Media / Brooke Palmer

Question: You have lived in Cassie’s skin for a long time. How do you describe her?

Catherine Bell: I love Cassie Nightingale. I aspire to be more like her. It is really fun playing her because she does affect a scene. When I am helping my daughter – maybe she is in L.A., and I am in Canada – I get on the phone and impart some Cassie-isms. She is very positive and sees the bright side of life.

Photo Credit: Crown Media / Brooke Palmer

Question: Cassie has a wonderful ability to understand people and animals. What are her powers?

Catherine Bell: Her powers are left to the viewer to decide. It is never fully clear: Is she a witch or isn’t she? Does she just have more abilities than other people have? People who perceive something, some awareness that somebody has -- an ability to make you feel better. She is certainly very perceptive. She can see through their façade and she can see past that and where they are coming from. She also has the knack for giving someone the right thing at the right time and that changes their life in that way.

Bailee Madison with Catherine Bell in GOOD WITCH.

Photo Credit:Crown Media / Brooke Palmer

Question: She is the good person we all wish we were all the time. Where does she draw her strength?

Catherine Bell: One of the things I love about the series, without changing the movies, is the vulnerability. She has a teenage daughter now [played by Bailee Madison], who definitely throws her, and maybe when she tells her daughter something it doesn’t have quite the same effect. We can all relate to that more. Maybe she gets thrown off or disappointed or something throws her for an hour or a day, then she does come back and she does have a core belief that people are good and people can change and she always goes back to that.

Photo Credit: Crown Media / Brooke Palmer

Question: Who teaches Cassie?

Catherine Bell: She traveled a lot in her youth all over the world and studied different philosophies and religions and learned from everything in her life and was on her own a lot. She quotes great thinkers all the time.

Question: How has Cassie evolved over time?

Catherine Bell: Quite a bit! When I go back to the first movie, she is quite different from the seventh movie. She came to town and didn’t know anybody and grew to be such an integral part of the community. She has changed a lot and grown up in that way. She has had moments of fear and vulnerability and wondering if things will work out and coming back to her strengths at the end.

James Denton & Catherine Bell for GOOD WITCH.

Photo Credit: Crown Media / Nino Munoz

Question: Where do you want to see her go?

Catherine Bell: I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s been a while since Jake passed away. She is not totally over it yet but at some point I would like to see her have her own relationship.

Question: With her new neighbor, the doctor, played by James Denton?

Catherine Bell: That does not suck! He is the nicest man, such a gentleman.

Photo Credit: Crown Media / Nino Munoz

Question: What was your first time ever on stage?

Catherine Bell: It was kindergarten. I think I was a daisy and singing, “You Are My Sunshine.”

Question: When did you know you wanted to be an actress?

Catherine Bell: I didn’t actually know until later in life, I was 19 or 20. I was very shy and I was modeling. I picked modeling because I didn’t have to speak and I could hide behind clothing and that was fine. I took an acting class to help me overcome by shyness and I really enjoyed it and I learned to express myself better, and then I was hooked.

Photo Credit: Crown Media / Brooke Palmer

Question: Who influenced you most?

Catherine Bell: My grandparents because they helped me raise me. My grandfather had so much integrity. He was a man of his word. If he said he would be somewhere, he was there early. My acting teacher helped me develop and expanded my way of looking at art.

Photo Credit: Crown Media / Brooke Palmer

Question: You’re a self-described tomboy, what makes you so?

Catherine Bell: Ever since I was little I was always riding skateboards and dirt bikes and at skateboard parks and trying to do jumps. I learned to ride a motorcycle at 17.

Question: What are your favorite things to do with your children?

Catherine Bell: We do everything from making an art project to baking and Legos.

Catherine Bell as Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie on JAG.

Photo Credit:CBS

Question: You’re starring on your third show. Is this what you envisioned?

Catherine Bell: I would never have guessed that when starting on JAG. I was fortunate the first lasted so long. I love to do movies. I think a lot of actors go, "TV is temporary until I get my break." Look how many movie stars are coming to TV. I always appreciate what I am doing, and I am doing a job I love.