Heather Locklear on Her Emotional Turn in ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’

Heather Locklear © 2021 Lifetime. Courtesy of Clarke Tolton

It’s early September and Heather Locklear’s got a lot going on. Her parents — Dad 92 and Mom 88 — are at the top of her priority list as she juggles their needs, while making time to talk about a project that is especially dear to her heart.

With a resumé that boasts plenty of iconic TV characters — Melrose Place’s Amanda Woodward, Dynasty’s Sammy Jo, Spin City’s Caitlin Moore, T.J. Hooker’s Officer Sheridan — Locklear now puts God and family and friends at the top of her priority list. When Locklear was given the script about bestselling author Dr. Richard Carlson, whose books have inspired and elevated the lives of millions (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff being one of them), and his writing partner and wife Kristine, she knew she wanted to be involved in sharing their story.

“I read the script, and I’m like, ‘I love this,’” Locklear shares. “I want to do something that has to include God because I’m so God-driven. … [During] the pandemic I didn’t know if I wanted to act, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. … With Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, that book was out in the ’90s. And it was a happy thing. It was a happy book. And it’s so clear, so simple.”

The Carlsons’ bestselling self-help book series has helped so many people reduce stress and achieve happiness. The Lifetime original film Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story (Saturday, Oct. 16, at 8pm ET/PT) dives more into the love story between Richard and Kristine and what happened after Richard’s sudden death.

“I’m going to cry,” Locklear says, reflecting on their story and playing Kristine. “I think it’s special because we all meet people, but not all of us meet people who are our soulmates.”

Kristine still has Richard’s leather jacket hanging on the back of his chair in his home office. Her story is one of profound loss and strength in rebuilding her family and life. In addition to their love story, it’s the message this couple shared and professed that Locklear hopes enriches others.

“It’s so touching of what we all need to do. And I especially believe, because of what’s going on, whether it be political, whether it be the environment, all of the changes that are going on, [the message is] just be present — be with your people, be with your animals, be with your Earth. … We do stuff to make ourselves go further, make money, stuff that’s really, in the end, not important. That rose to fruition to me. That’s what it’s all about.”

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