The Singing Angel from '7th Heaven'
The actress who plays Lucy opens up about a best friend's death, her new country CD, and what it means to be a 'good girl.'
BY: Interview by Sherry Huang
For 11 years,Beverley Mitchell
has portrayed the middle child, Lucy Camden, on the longest-running family drama, "7th
Heaven." On the show, Lucy is the wife of a former cop, Kevin Kinkirk, and the mother of one daughter, Savannah. She is also an associate pastor at her father's, Eric Camden's, church. Off screen, Beverley Mitchell is passionately involved with various charities, particularly Mercy Ministries, "a wonderful organization" that "uses faith and the foundation of the Bible as a way of healing women" through God's love. She recently fulfilled her life-long dream of recording a country music album, which is now available onher website
What drew you to country music, and what inspired you to record this album?
I grew up with country music, so it was the perfect fit because country music has always spoke to me. It's music with a lot of meaning, great stories, and great depth. And every great country song can be turned into a movie, and being an actress, that definitely speaks to me.
The first song you performed nationally on "7th Heaven" from your CD was called "Angel." Who or what inspired you to write this song?
|On who inspired the song "Angel"|
I lost one of my best friends when I was 16 years old, and "Angel" came from a poem that I wrote when I was dealing with her death. I truly believe that she was an angel, that she came down to teach us how precious life is and to appreciate every moment that you have here on earth. That's how the whole song was written. It was a wonderful and scary experience to have the first song that everyone heard be something that was so emotional and so intense for me. It was pretty scary, but I was so overwhelmed by the response that I got because this song that meant so much to me also meant so much to other people. I never thought that my song would touch everyone from women who had miscarriages to people who were upset about a dog that they lost. It's such a gift to be able to write a song that touches people.
You mentioned how the song touched women who had miscarriages, and this season Lucy had a miscarriage. How do you think she finds the strength to handle the sadness? And how do you usually handle sadness, especially since your experienced tragedy when you were 16?
I handle sadness by throwing myself into work, and keeping busy. I'm also the person that is always looking out for everyone else and trying to make sure everybody else is okay. As for Lucy, she dealt with her sadness in a different manner. She was just trying to get by; she had her ups and downs and was just being her crazy self.
Is there a particular angel in your life now, someone who inspires you?
Well, I think my friend who passed away still affects me. I only knew her for four years and she's been gone for almost 10, but I still think about her every day. Also, my grandma died 11 days before I was born. I was named after her, so I truly believe that she's definitely my angel up there, looking out for me.
Another song on your CD is called "Good Girls." Do you ever struggle with that image, since a lot of Hollywood actresses seem to be going through a phase where they're trying to shun their good-girl image?
|Being a "good girl" in Hollywood|
I wrote "Good Girls" because I've definitely been called a good girl, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think it's perfectly fine, and I'm proud to be a good girl. I'm proud of the things that I do, and the person that I am. But I do think that there's a stigma that anytime anybody makes a mistake, they then become a "bad girl," which is really hard to deal with because this is our first chance here at life. I'm only 25 years old. I don't know what I'm doing. I make mistakes. I'm not perfect. I don't want to be perfect. So, I wrote "Good Girls" to show that sometimes good girls just want to have fun, but it doesn't mean we're going to go do anything crazy and stupid. We like to have a good time too, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Do you feel Lucy is a good girl as well?
Oh, absolutely. Lucy is like the ultimate good girl. What's funny is that it's hard to figure out where I end and where Lucy starts, because for 11 years, we've been together. I definitely feel like we're both good girls, because we're people pleasers. We're trying to be the best that we can be, but sometimes we fall off and make little mistakes. But, in the end, our hearts are always pure, and we're always trying to be the person that, at the end of the day, we can both be proud of.
I know that "7th Heaven" is one of the longest-running family dramas on primetime. Why, do you think, the reason that the show has lasted for so long? And do you ever feel like you're ready to retire from show business?
|Why "7th Heaven" is still popular|
Oh, no, no. I'm never going to retire. No way. This is who I am. It's in my DNA. I don't know how to do anything else. I think the reason why the show has been so popular and has lasted so long is because it's something that is totally missing on television today. We are one of the only family shows where kids, parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles can all sit together and individually get something out of each episode. In today's society, families have been so broken up. Kids go into one room and the parents are in another room, and nobody sits together anymore and has family time. It's amazing to bring people together to watch a show that talks about the greatness in humanity, a show that's more uplifting and encouraging.