Cable network CMT — as in Country Music Television — is making its first foray into made-for-television films this week with the movie To The Mat, starring GUIDING LIGHT alum Laura Bell Bundy (ex-Marah) and Rick Schroeder. Penned by Sweet Home Alabama‘s writer, To The Mat tells the story of a laid-back former wrestler trying to keep his clan’s wrestling school above water, and the high-strung Wall Street consultant hired by his mother to help save the family’s business.
“She gets this project in Georgia, thinks she is saving this prep school from financial ruin. She does it as a favor to her boss,” Bundy tells Soaps In Depth of her alter ego, Janice, who immediately clashes with Schroeder’s Aaron. “They have this animosity towards each other because he doesn’t think she needs to be there, but his mother does, and she’s getting married in three months and just wants to get out of there.”
CMT hand-picked the Nashville native for the project, based on her popularity as a country music career. “They realized that their viewership likes to watch movies and I was so honored that they asked me to be in their first one,” she shares. “According to some of their CMT statistics, my video “Giddy On Up” did very well for them. So they thought, our audience is familiar with her and she also happens to be an actress… I think that’s how it all came about. I have a great relationship with the folks over there.
“It was fun, and I was the lead in the movie which I had never done before,” she adds. “I am as literally in every scene. It was a lot of work. We shot the film very quickly. But Ricky is great. He thinks like a director because he has been in the business for so long. So it was really fun to kind of learn from him in that way.”
To The Mat debuts on Wednesday, August 17, at 8 p.m. EST.