What Haylie Duff Can't Live Without

The "Napoleon Dynamite" actress talks about her new role in Hallmark's "Love Takes Wing" and what inspires her in her career.

Haylie Duff in Love Takes Wing

Actress Haylie Duff, best known as the snotty, popular girl Summer Wheatly in "Napoleon Dynamite" and for her supporting role as Sandy Jameson on "7th Heaven," is tackling a new role as a 19th century doctor on the frontier prairie--a time when female physicians were rare--in Hallmark's "Love Takes Wing," based on the popular "Loves Comes Softly" Christian book series by Janette Oke.

Duff recently spoke with Beliefnet entertainment editor Dena Ross about what drew her to this new role, what she loves most about the pioneer days, and which modern technology she couldn't live without.

"Love Takes Wing" premieres April 4 (9 p.m./8 p.m. Central) on the Hallmark Channel.

You've been involved with a lot of projects that appeal to Christian audiences, "7th Heaven," "Joan of Arcadia," and now Hallmark's "Love Takes Wing" and "Love Finds a Home." What is it about projects like this that appeals to you?

I don't know if it's necessarily the fact that their story lines have to do with Christianity or believing in God. I don't think that's really what attracted me to the project as much as it was that I felt like they were positive stories. I think those are hard to find, stories like that.

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Were you raised Christian?

Yes, I was. I am a Christian, but I also don't really see myself as a religious person. I see myself as more of a spiritual person. There are things that I do agree with in Christianity and things that I don't agree with. I'm not a regular churchgoer, but I do think that I have my own beliefs that I feel strongly about.

In the "Love Comes Softly" series, you play a female doctor at a time when it wasn't very common and they experienced a tremendous amount of adversity. Was it empowering to play such a strong character?

It was. That was one of the things that made me really excited about the project and about playing that role. I'd never had the opportunity to do a role in a period movie. And then to find a character that I thought was such a positive influence and was really smart and just different than the majority of the people around her, as was Belinda's character, I liked that a lot.

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