As Hallmark’s hit series The Way Home heads into its second season, fans have been anxiously awaiting answers to the questions brought up in the Season 1 finale. (What did happen to Jacob? Why are Del and Kat still on such bad terms? Are the Landry women witches?)
The show’s stars have been out and about promoting new episodes but we’ve decided to focus on the actress who plays Del Landry, the family matriarch. Andie MacDowell is a fan favorite on the Hallmark Channel, having played Judge Olivia Lockhart on the short-lived series Cedar Cove (2013-2015). She’s also a writer, producer, model, mom, and lover of the simple life. Read on for a list of fascinating facts about Andie MacDowell.
1. Her first name is Rosalie
MacDowell was born in 1958 as Rosalie Anderson MacDowell. In an essay for Guide Posts, MacDowell talked about how people in her hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina still use that name for her.
“Folks in Gaffney would stop me on the street. ‘Rosie, how are you?’ ‘Rosie, tell me about your mother,’ ‘Rosie, are you and your sisters going up to Asheville again for the summer?’ they would say.”
2. She’s a Southern gal at heart
Though MacDowell left South Carolina to pursue a modeling career in her early 20s, she returned often to her hometown of Gaffney to visit. When she had her own children — Justin, Rainey, and Margaret — she chose to raise them in Asheville, North Carolina.
Some fans may have trouble catching a hint of a Southern accent on MacDowell these days but when she began acting, directors didn’t know what to do with her South Carolina drawl. When she booked her first movie gig in 1984 playing Jane in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, the producers ended up dubbing her voice using Glenn Close because they felt MacDowell’s Southern accent was too pronounced.
3. She loves small-town living
In her Guide Posts essay, MacDowell talked about identifying with the town of Cedar Cove when Hallmark offered her the role.
“The first thing I thought when I read the script for the Hallmark Channel series Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was, ‘I know this place,” she wrote. “…My hometown of Gaffney, in upcountry South Carolina, with its blossoming peach trees and Southern drawls, is thousands of miles from the mist-shrouded coast of the Pacific Northwest, where the fictional Cedar Cove sits, but they have that same small-town spirit.”
Of small towns, she wrote, “I know, deep in my heart and soul, the wonders and blessings of such places.”
4. From a young age, MacDowell was a caretaker
MacDowell has been open about her mother’s struggle with alcohol. In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, the actress talked about getting up in the middle of the night when she was 10 years old just to check that her mother had extinguished her cigarettes.
“There were burn marks all over the floor and on the couch; it’s amazing we didn’t burn down,” she says. “…I think I’ve felt responsible all my life. But I’m good at it. I’ve been in training for a long time.”
5. She almost gave up on her career as a model
MacDowell was spotted by a scout for Wilhelmina Models when she was only 20 years old. But in her early days in New York City, the Gaffney girl almost quit. She found herself in the 1979 world of Studio 54 and was extremely uncomfortable.
“There was a lot of cocaine around,” she told the Guardian. “…I actually went into my agency and said I wanted to go home, and they said: ‘You need new friends. You’re around the wrong people.’”
John Casablancas, the founder of Elite Model Management, flew with her to Paris and introduced her to a new companion, a young man who didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.
“…And it was like, I had a boyfriend,” she said
The young man in question was Olivier Chandon de Brailles, the heir to Moët & Chandon. From there, MacDowell went from strength to strength.
“I don’t know if they prearranged the whole thing, but it sure did work out well for me. I started working non-stop and my whole life opened up. I was about to go home for a few seconds there.”
6. She was one of the first models to make the move successfully to acting
These days there are scores of actresses who got their start in modeling but when MacDowell made the transition in the 1980s, it was practically unheard of. But she blew critics away with her Golden Globe-nominated performance in Steven Soderbergh’s 1989 movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
“Everything changed when that movie came out,” says Andie. “That’s the way it goes in this business. Nobody believes in you but then if you get the right job, everyone believes in you. You’re the same person but the perception changes.”
7. She has a soft spot for Hallmark
MacDowell has made it clear that she appreciates the stories Hallmark chooses to tell.
“We have got so used to extremes of horror, terror, and darkness on TV,” she said in an interview with The Express.
Hallmark, on the other hand, chooses to tell real stories.
“Cedar Cove is warmer and fuzzier than most TV and that’s why we are successful,” she said. “I also think that makes us one of the most creative things around, because we’re different. And there are enough reality shows – I don’t know why people watch them. Who wants to see women yelling at each other?”
Season 2 of The Way Home will air on Hallmark Channel on Sundays at 9/8c.