Reba McEntire talks joining the cast of ABC's 'Big Sky'

BySandy Kenyon via
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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Reba McEntire is one of the true queens of country music, but she also has a long list of acting credits stretching back all the way to 1990. Sandy Kenyon has the story.

Reba McEntire is one of the true queens of country music, but she also has a long list of acting credits stretching back all the way to 1990.

Her sitcom "Reba" ran for half a dozen seasons, but her return to primetime TV comes in a drama for ABC -- the latest addition to the cast of "Big Sky" for Season 3.

McEntire never took an acting lesson and never acted in a play or a musical until she played Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" in 2001, and yet she's quite capable of holding her own against any performer, as her latest role makes clear.

Despite her character's name, Sunny Barnes is actually a pretty shady character.

"She's trying to put on this front of everything's nice and good," she said. "And then it goes south."

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Barnes and her husband run a company that offers luxurious camping in Montana's mountains, better known as glamping, and all well and good until a hiker vanishes.

"Sometimes people just want to disappear," her character's husband laments.

"But then," notes the sheriff, "there's people who make them disappear."

McEntire was already a fan of "Big Sky," saying she watched and enjoyed the first two seasons.

Still, she was surprised when showrunner Elwood Reid approached her about the new season.

"(He) said, 'We have an idea for you to become a new character on 'Big Sky,'" she said. "And he told me it was a little dark."

She welcomed the chance.

"Mainly because I never have got to before," she said. "I think the darkest I've ever gotten to sing about, it was 'That's the Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,' so I was really looking for something like this. It's meaty. It's different, and it's something I don't think anybody would ever expect me to do."

McEntire has sold more than 75 million records in her career, but she has also had an acting career for more than three decades.

"When I'm singing the song, I'm acting out the song," she said. "So it came natural for me."

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It was early in her acting career that she had a moment of confidence where she believed it was something she could actually do.

"I think it was when they laughed when I said something funny," she said.

That's how her own sitcom came about, but there are not a lot of laughs under this "Big Sky."

Like so many before her, McEntire has found the fun in playing bad.

You can watch Season 3 of "Big Sky" on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on this ABC station.

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