Stephen Collins courtesy Hallmark Channel
Reverend Camden saddles up in
Every Second Counts
(premiering Saturday at 9 pm/ET), a Hallmark Channel original about a retired rodeo champion who wagers more than he should on his daughter's (
's Magda Apanowicz) own success at the sport. TVGuide.com spoke with Stephen Collins about this latest foray into family-friendly fare, ruling the Broadway stage in
, and the prospects for a
Matt Webb Mitovich
TVGuide.com: Most people chill out in the summer, but you seem to be keeping busy....
When Mike Nichols calls and says, "Do you want to come to Broadway?," if you're me, you go, "Uh, yeah." It's very exciting. And as it happens, the movie is coming out now, too.
TVGuide.com: Was being "out on the range" a big draw of Every Second Counts?
When I read the script I just loved the character. He's flawed, but his heart is in the right place. When I read a script, a big "yes" starts to form in my gut... or not. I had an immediate sense of what I might do with it. It's so different from anything I've done lately. There was just a truthfulness in the writing.
TVGuide.com: Every father-daughter relationship doesn't have a neat little bow tied on it.
Yeah, and he's also kind of a wreck, this guy. His body is broken-down, he doesn't have a lot of education, but he cares tremendously about his daughter. He's doing things wrong that he doesn't
are wrong. The movie is about him coming to grips with the fact that his daughter has grown up. He doesn't realize that yet.
doesn't realize that yet.
TVGuide.com: I feel like Hallmark Channel should get some "lifetime achievement award" for specializing in these family-oriented projects.
Nobody else is doing it. It's interesting what they've done. It's harder and harder in the TV landscape to have a voice.
TVGuide.com: Yet they've held firm to the "Hallmark Presents" brand that we grew up knowing.
Family stuff, it's not sexy, it doesn't tend to get people's attention, but boy, Hallmark Channel is one of the most successful stories in television right now.
TVGuide.com: They actually would make a logical host for any 7th Heaven reunion movie.
That actually is probably where it'd be most likely to happen....
TVGuide.com: I don't see the CW freeing up an hour or two for you guys.
I don't think the CW really "got"
. I don't think they understood what they had, because they sort of inherited us. But you're probably right, that if there were to be a reunion - which it'd make all the sense in the world for there to be - Hallmark Channel would be a great place for it.
TVGuide.com: Has there been any talk of a follow-up movie? Have you heard anything from [series creator] Brenda Hampton?
We talked about it before the series ended, and I think had the WB stayed in existence they probably would have made those deals before the show ended. I hope it happens. It'd be fun to go back there.
TVGuide.com: How did you prepare to play King Arthur in Spamalot?
For the first time in my life, I learned the words and music before rehearsals started. I dared not try to learn the part, the music
the staging in two weeks. But if I know the words and music, I have a chance. Arthur's on stage almost the whole play.
TVGuide.com: Is Python humor in your wheelhouse?
You know, many, many years ago, I ran into Chevy Chase I had worked with him on the
National Lampoon Radio Hour
and it was just a few weeks after
Saturday Night Live
premiered. He said, "We thought of you for doing the news on [
]. But we heard you were doing
All the President's Men
, so we thought you would never do it." [
] You never know how the chips are going to fall.
TVGuide.com: But you came out of All the President's Men with a similarly special experience.
Oh, that was amazing. But what happens and even though I've done nothing but comedy on stage - is you get tagged as a serious actor. But I've always loved Monty Python humor.
TVGuide.com: Does Arthur get a big showstopper?
He sings in a bunch of songs, but there's one number, "I'm All Alone," which he sings... alone. The brilliant thing about that number is he doesn't realize he's
alone. It's poignant and funny at the same time.
TVGuide.com: Your Spamalot run ends in mid-September, freeing you up for plum prime-time TV guest-star roles.....
Who knows! I've found that all attempts to plan a career are thwarted. You have to just roll with the punches.