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Interview: Courtney Thorne-Smith

On Sunday, June 4th at 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will premiere the movie Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery. The movies stars Courtney Thorne-Smith and James Tupper.

Courtney Thorne-Smith has established an impressive career in film and television. She may be mostly remembered for her performance as Allison Parker on the hit series Melrose Place. She quickly followed that success with appearing in the David E. Kelley series Ally McBeal and then starred opposite Jim Belushi in According to Jim.

The talented actress has also appeared in series such as Two and a Half Men, L.A. Law, Fresh Off the Boat and Spin City. On the big screen she starred opposite Mark Harmon in the cult classic Summer School as well as Lucas and Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.

We sit down with the busy actress to talk about Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery, how she prepared for the role and what it was like working with Jake Tupper.

Pop Culture Principle - What was it about the script for Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery that made you want to sign on to the project?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - Our producer, Joel Ricke, sent me the first few books about a year ago, and I was hooked. I immediately adored the smart, eccentric Emma Fielding.

Pop Culture Principle - Upon doing research for the role, did you know much about archeology and what did you learn about it?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - Pretty much everything I know about archeology I learned from Dana Cameron's books. She is an archeology professor in her non-writing life, so her books are a treasure trove of knowledge. The production also had an archeologist on set for the dig scenes, so I wouldn't embarrass myself-- or them!

Pop Culture Principle - Can you tell us the basic plot of the story and a little about your character Emma Fielding?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - Emma Fielding is an archeology professor who goes back to the town where she spent summers as a teen to supervise a search for a colony that her beloved father believed was settled before Jamestown. He had been unable to find it before he passed away, so Emma is driven to prove him right, and honor his legacy. While reconnecting with her stepmother, and a past love, she angers some locals who feel she is trespassing where she doesn't belong.

Pop Culture Principle - How much input did you have with creating and developing the character of Emma Fielding?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - The character was really already on the page in Dana Cameron’s books, so I was happy to come along for the ride.

Pop Culture Principle - Your co-star in the film is James Tupper. Can you tell us what it was like working with him on this project?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - James Tupper was an absolute joy. I was a huge fan of his performance in Big Little Lies, so I was thrilled that he wanted to be in Site Unseen. He's a smart, surprising actor, which kept our scenes really fresh and alive. I think the Emma/Conner relationship will be great fun for the audience. It was fun for me!

Pop Culture Principle - Since the movie is based on a book, how close does the movie stick to the source material?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - It's close. Obviously, we needed to condense quite a bit, but I think the spirit is definitely there.

Pop Culture Principle – This is your first time working with the Hallmark brand. What was your experience like?

Courtney Thorne-Smith - I loved working with Hallmark. Hallmark is a network that knows and loves women. It was a treat and an honor to be a part of their family.

We hope you enjoyed reading our interview with Courtney Thorne-Smith. We would like to thank Courtney for taking time during the production of the movie to talk with us. You can catch Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery this Sunday, June 4th at 9/8c exclusively on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.

**Photos Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer**

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