Interview with “Hart of Dixie” actress Maree Cheatham

It’ s time to visit the Bluebell gang as “Hart of Dixie” is back with new episodes on Friday nights at 8 pm on Atlanta’s CW. Maree Cheatham plays Lemmon’s busy body Grandma Bettie Breeland. I had the good fortune to ask Maree a few questions about her Grandma Breeland role and the upcoming season.

Jaimie King, Claudia Lee, Maree Cheatham - "Hart of Dixie"

Photo courtesy of Maree Cheatham

What do you like about playing Grandma Breeland?

Maree: I love playing outrageous women! Bettie Breeland says the antisocial things that Southern Ladies are taught NOT to say, but she’s girded by her wealth, so she can get away with it. Being the matriarch of a leading family gives her a platform from which to tell everyone how the cow ate the cabbage and get away with it.

She seems to live to make Lemon’s life way more complicated. Do you think she has Lemon’s (Jaime King) good interests at heart or just likes to stir the pot?

Maree: She wants Lemon to have a good life . . . but Grandma Breeland’s version of a good life with wealth and position which equates to power in her community. She does not want Lemon to throw away her chances of this kind of life on the wrong choice of husband.

Creator Leila Gerstein seems to have created a wonderful set. I see the cast and crew having a blast through the tweets of cast members like Scott Porter (George) and Jamie King (Lemmon). What’s it like on the set?

Maree: It’s been a charmed set. Leila created a vital town, peopled with interesting characters who have fascinating foibles. Taken as a whole, they make a very interesting community. The actors who portray these characters are hardworking, down-to-earth people who come in prepared, ready to work and contribute to the story and character development. I always look forward to my scenes with them.

Tim Matheson, Maree Cheatham - "Hart of Dixie"

Photo courtesy of Maree Cheatham

Who has been your favorite cast member to be in a scene with?

Maree: Tim Matheson is a joy to work with. He’s always prepared and inventive in the moment, which is hard to do, but he makes it look easy. He directed the first show I did and was in the room when I auditioned for the part. There were some very well-known actresses reading for the role, and I was astonished that I was chosen. Later, I mentioned that I loved playing his mother even though I was only seven years older. He said, “Hooray for Hollywood!”

Can you tell us anything about the upcoming season?

Maree: Oh, now, if I told you they’d have to shoot ME!

Maree Cheatham is an actress who has appeared in long-standing roles on “General Hospital,” “Days of Our Lives” and” Search For Tomorrow.” She also appeared in featured films such as “Beetlejuice” (1988), “The Wedding Singer” (1998) and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (2005). Recently, she had a recurring role as Nana on the Nickelodeon TV series “Sam & Cat”. For more on Maree’s career, go to www.mareecheatham.com .

“Hart of Dixie” is on Atlanta’s CW on Friday nights at 8 pm. 

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