Corri English was already a minor acting star at Parkview High School when she attended the school in the 1990s. She had two shows on TBS: “Kidsbeat,” a news break during the morning cartoons, and “Feed Your Mind,” in which she travelled the world.
And like many actresses, she said she was “kind of shy” in high school.
“I moved there and all these little cliques had already formed,” she said Friday to promote her new Hallmark film Saturday at 9 p.m. starring Cybill Shepherd called “Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith.” “They nicknamed me ‘Kidsbeat.’ I was totally embarrassed by that!”
She said she recalled how much angst she had between doing TV and, say, cheerleading practice. “Now it seems like a no brainer,” she mused. “Gotta scoot out of cheerleading!”
English, a University of Georgia grad, is one of those working actresses just trying to make an impression. Since moving to Los Angeles six years ago, she’s nabbed guest roles on “Joan of Arcadia,” “Without a Trace,” ‘CSI: Miami” and in her first regular gig, as a college student on the quickly forgotten WB series starring Matthew Modine called “Bedford Diaries.”
The twist of the show was that Modine was teaching a sex class and required the class to tape video confessionals about their sex lives. But as English admitted, the show was hamstrung by network queasiness about being “too” sexy. The show by its nature, she said, “was supposed to be edgy but in that environment, they cut a lot of scenes, which made some stories seem disjointed.” It lasted just eight episodes in 2006.
I had to ask her about what it was like working with Shepherd, who has a been known to have a bit of a diva complex when she was on “Moonlighting” and her own self-titled sitcom.
“There was a point I was teasing her of being spoiled,” English said. “She said, ‘Oh, honey. You should have seen me a couple of decades ago!’ She definitely makes light of her reputation. The great thing is she is who she is. She’s very self deprecating. She’ll be the first to tell you her flaws.”
Shepherd, during down time, was busy on the phone. “She was working deals left and right!” English said. “She’s really embracing the opportunities coming her way.”
Shepherd in the film plays a divorced woman with empty nest syndrome who decides to finish college and live in the dorms. She is joined by English’s rebellious, bitter character, who has her own mommy issues. Like a lot of these “Odd Couple” films, the two first clash, eventually become friends.
English is also a country musician who actually worked with Sugarland, Atlanta’s hot duo back when they were a trio. She even co-wrote a song on the band’s first album.
During the writers’ strike last year, she worked as lead vocalist in a band called Brokedown Cadillac with local Atlanta producer Jan Smith to create an EP. Several songs ended up in the film “Race to Witch Mountain” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
So she’s now of split minds. So she now does acting in Los Angeles and has bought a residence in Nashville as well.
“I’m in a transitional phase,” she said. “The music is becoming a bigger priority in my career. It’s something I’ve always wanted… I’m really embracing what’s happening. I’m in Nashville right now spending the summer setting up a home base there.”