Seeds of Yesterday, the fourth movie in Lifetime’s V.C. Andrews Dollanganger series, premieres Sunday, April 12 at 10/9CT on Lifetime.
What It’s Based On: The follow-up to Thorns hit bookstores in 1984 and marked a 15-year leap forward in the Sheffield family story.
Lifetime of a Lesson: Sometimes your brother is a really lousy keeper.
Seeds‘ most notable swerve from the novel is its omission of Corrine’s devious sibling Joel; instead, the now grown Bart (Big Time Rush’s James Maslow) remains deeply influenced by his zealot great-grandfather Malcolm Foxworth and turns his home into a re-creation of Foxworth Hall. Bart invites Cathy, Chris and the now married and expectant Jory (Anthony Konechny, Fifty Shades of Grey) and Melodie (Leah Gibson) there to celebrate his 25th birthday and hear the long-awaited reading of Corrine’s will, which Bart believes will give him the power over his family that his grandmother intended. When things don’t go to plan, Bart’s need for revenge reaches cruel new heights.
“I warn Rushers: It’s a little darker,” laughs Maslow of moving on from the Nickelodeon-created boy band’s mop-haired cutie James Diamond to the chilling Dollanganger scion. “Big Time Rush was very plastic and over the top — and awesome! But this is a cool opportunity to dive into something that required a lot more thought, a lot more emotion, a lot more difficult emotion getting into realms of betrayal and obsessions and even possession throughout the movie.”
We mined the mind of Maslow about what it was like to enter clan Dollanganger.
Channel Guide: The V.C. Andrews’ books were a huge part of my generation’s teenage years. Now these films are spreading that lore to a new era of fans. Cool to be part of that?
James Maslow: I didn’t realize just how cool it was until I mentioned to a friend of mine who is a little bit older than I am, and he goes, “No way! That was my favorite novel for years growing up!” It made me realize just how cool it was to have the opportunity to portray this character onscreen — but also it’s a little bit of pressure. I was like, “Oh, great! A lot of people have a lot of expectations of how Bart is. At the very least, I’m going to do my damn research and give this Bart a chance.” And I did.
CGM: This Bart has some seriously warped Jesus issues.
JM: He was basically raised by an evil person who based all of these almost sadistic beliefs on his version of the Bible — on Malcolm’s journal. It’s strange, because he’s such an intelligent character. He grows up and graduates from a wonderful college and inherits all this money. He’s articulate and he’s obviously smart. But Bart grew up in this very twisted family. He thought the remedy to all of the negativity was this extremist religious view — but it’s only based on one man’s crazy ideals.
JM: Er, he’s not a very good brother either.
The one battle that I had in playing Bart is that I believe Bart genuinely loves Jory. I do! I have an older brother so I was able to draw on some personal experience with this. There is always going to be a sense of jealously because, at least growing up, they’re the most immediate competition you have. I think it’s similar with Bart, but he takes it so much further because losing is simply not an option for him.
CGM: Did Bart follow you off the set when the film wrapped?
JM: I’m definitely not going to say that I’m a method actor, but throughout the process of the film, I did notice myself, on occasion, feeling a little bit entitled, being a little bit short with people. You spend so long diving into a character that believes he’s the best at everything and deserves everything and is impatient and has zero respect or regard for anyone else, and I don’t think that you can go around all smiles and hugs and then jump into that and give it the authenticity that it deserves. Throughout the movie I spent quite a bit of time by myself because I didn’t want to accidentally slip up and be a dick — because Bart, in large part, is a dick!
Seed of Yesterday premieres Sunday, April 12 at 10/9CT on Lifetime.