If you're looking for the next movie to watch while staying home, we think we have just the thing. Kathie Lee Gifford just released a romantic comedy that she wrote, produced & stars in (with Craig Ferguson!) called "Then Came You" — and we couldn't be more sold.
In the movie, which is available to stream now, Kathie Lee plays a traveling widow who meets an engaged innkeeper in Scotland, played by Craig — and well, you see where we're going.
Kathie Lee, who also just released a new children's book called Hello, Little Dreamer, opens up to Rach about how losing her husband, Frank, five years ago inspired the film, what it was like working with comedian Craig Ferguson on a rom-com and more.
On what inspired her to write the film:
"After I was a widow, five years ago, I was told that there were 17 million widows in America and five million widowers, and that 49% of all American women live alone, they're either single or they're divorced or they're widowed. I was stunned by that. That's an awful lot of people that Hollywood doesn't make movies for, I don't think."
On working with Craig Ferguson:
"When I hosted 'The Today Show' with Craig for a week, when Hoda was on maternity leave, it was the most explosive television I'd done in my life. I mean I've worked with Reg, I've worked with Hoda, beautifully — had a great, great time — but Craig is explosive. You don't know what he's going to say, you don't know where he's going to take you, he is like a whirlwind. He's brilliant, and he's so sexy in this movie; people don't realize what an incredible dramatic actor he is.
We went to lunch afterwards, after we had worked together and he goes, 'You know, Kathie, if we wait for our agents to get us a job in television, we're going to die waiting.' So, I said, 'You're right.' He said, 'So, why don't we write a movie together?' I said, 'Okay.' He got on a plane, went home with his wife and child to California, I went to bed that night, woke up at 2:00 in the morning and went, 'Oh my gosh, I know what the movie should be. Oh my gosh,' I couldn't get dressed fast enough, get downstairs.
I started writing. Around noon that day, I had six scenes. I called him up, I said, 'Craig, you know that movie that 'we' were going to write together?' He goes, 'Yeah.' I said, 'I think I wrote it.' He goes, 'What? I haven't even sat my Scottish a** down on my sofa and you've written the film?' I said, 'Well, not the whole thing, of course. But I think I like these people and I'd love to know if we should keep going with it.'
So, he said, 'Send it to me.' So, I sent it to him and the next day he calls me back, [and] I will never forget exactly what he said, because I just screamed and they heard me in the Highlands, I know. He said, 'Kathie, this is your baby, I stand ready to serve.' And so then I finished the script."
On casting Elizabeth Hurley to play Craig Ferguson's fiancée:
"I had written the role of Clare with her in mind, never thinking we could maybe get her, we got her. She loved the script."
On what to expect from the film:
"It's a little movie with big things. Yes, it's funny, it's hysterical in some places, but it's heartbreaking, too, because people get to a certain point in life, there's heartache. A lot of us have a whole bunch of baggage about that."
On releasing the film during Covid:
"It's not the way we would have dreamed to have had our big-movie opening and all of that, but timing is everything, Rachael, and I really think it's extraordinarily timely that a little rom-com is coming out right now, with beautiful Scotland as one of the stars of the movie, and new music, all brand-new music I co-wrote with a brilliant writer, named Brett James, here in Nashville. It's a romantic comedy, but it's a romantic comedy for people who have given up that there will ever be romance in their life again and they don't find much very funny anymore. So, there are millions of people like that. The older we get, the more invisible we become."
On her new children's book, Hello, Little Dreamer:
"I like to write children's books. I started writing them when my children were little. I've lost count of how many I have now. But this one is about our dreams. I think we, as parents, ask the wrong question, and people in general in our culture ask the wrong question of children, they go, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I think a better question is, 'What has God always planned for you to be as you grow?' I do believe that what we love as a child, there's a reason for it."