Given the fact that she’s best-known for her roles as Paige Matheson on Knots Landing (from 1986 to 1993) and Edie Britt on Desperate Housewives (from 2004 to 2009), you might expect actress Nicollette Sheridan to take after the divas she so expertly played on television… but this is hardly the case. In real-life, Sheridan isn’t getting into soap-worthy drama. Instead, “I sit back, reflect on life and give gratitude constantly,” the beauty, who just celebrated her 60th birthday in November, tells FIRST for Women. Nicollette Sheridan latest role, in the deliciously nostalgic Lifetime Christmas movie, Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas still has the fabulous vixen vibes she’s excelled in portraying onscreen for over 30 years.
She plays Juliette Matheson, a conniving diva who slings sassy one-liners that cut like a knife. The movie premieres on Saturday, December 2 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST, and will be available to stream on Lifetime’s site the next day.
Read on to learn more about Sheridan’s newest Christmas movie and get a glimpse into her decidedly diva-free life offscreen.
What to expect from Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas
Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas provides a showcase for five actresses who came up playing ultra-glam women in ’80s prime-time soaps. In addition to Sheridan, the cast includes Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray and FIRST for Women‘s current cover gal, Donna Mills. Mills and Sheridan previously acted together in Knots Landing while Sheridan and Fairchild were both in the fashion world-set primetime soap Paper Dolls (1985), in which Sheridan made her screen debut.
In Ladies of the ’80s, Sheridan plays a former soap opera sensation who is learning to accept that she’s no longer an ingénue — yet still believes she’s a diva (and she’s right!). When she gets together with her former soap stars to share the spotlight and shoot the final Christmas episode of their long-running daytime drama, old rivalries resurface, threatening to cancel the entire production before it’s even been filmed.
Sheridan, who most recently played Alexis Carrington in the Dynasty reboot, is very excited to be a part of this project. “It’s always empowering being around strong women,” she says. Given her long history with her co-stars and their enduring connection to ’80s pop culture, “It was a sentimental and beautiful project to do,” she says. Though she’s quick to add “We aren’t all divas!” with a laugh.
Sheridan’s life offscreen
Sheridan has been in the spotlight for decades, but today, having just turned 60, she lives a quiet life that’s very unlike her chaotic characters. “It’s so important for me to have a serene environment,” Sheridan says. “Every window in my home looks out to green, tranquility, mountains, birds… It’s all very calming.
Sheridan continues, “I also think how you live your life determines the energy within your house.” She surrounds herself with animals, “and I even have a tractor!” she says, proudly. You certainly couldn’t imagine any of her signature characters saying that!
Sheridan describes herself as a spiritual person and says she works to fight stress by taking a step back and embracing the positive. When disappointments come up, “the one thing you have control of is how you look at it and how you handle it,” she says, and instead of getting into a catfight, as one of her characters might, she “constantly tries to think outside the boxes of my shortcomings or the way I approach something to see if perhaps there’s a better way. No matter what that is.”
Nicollette Sheridan getting real
While Ladies of the ’80s features some serious diva antics, it ultimately carries a message of hope and reconciliation, as the ladies discover they still have affection for each other — after all, this is a Christmas movie!
Just as the ladies in the movie put aside their drama, Sheridan believes there’s true value to be found in getting real. “There’s a huge amount of honesty in looking at what things really mean and not putting a spin on something,” she says. “So our nature is to protect and to, at times, wear masks. I think that our work in this life is to try to drop those masks and really see things for what they are.”
Many of Sheridan’s powerful, stylish characters may have worn these masks, but asked what she sees when she looks in the mirror, Sheridan gives a simple yet beautiful answer: “Someone I like and someone who is always striving to be better.”
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