As soon as she read the first script for “Men in Trees,” Anne Heche knew she wanted to play relationship coach and author Marin Frist.
“She was a woman who was taking a fall but had an optimism about her, where she could rise out of the ashes of her life and discover herself again,” says Heche, who has had her own experiences being better known at times for high-profile relationships and tabloid exploits than for her acting. “Of course, I related very much to that journey.”
Another perk was that “Men in Trees” was funny — principally as a romantic comedy, though the show also gives Heche a chance to do physical humor, such as when Marin and her best friend/editor Jane (Seana Kofoed) were trapped in a house with a bear.
“It’s so great to be given the opportunity to do comedy with another woman, and to have (creator/exec producer) Jenny Bicks writing us stuff that is so funny,” Heche says. “But for me, I think the challenge is to be able to keep the comedy in check with the reality of the show. Marin needs to be a grounded person.”
Heche feels the interaction among the fictional town’s self-made family has helped draw viewers to the series.
“It really is about human beings loving each other and helping each other through their difficult, funny, awkward, beautiful life moments,” she says.
Another key is that the series is shot in snowy Squamish, British Columbia — a logistical headache for some, perhaps, but something Heche considers “very important” for the program.
“One thing I love is the show is about a woman falling in love with nature, against her will,” she says. “So it wouldn’t be the same show if we were shooting on the back lot of a studio.”
Favorite scene: “The walk-and-talk scene between Marin and Jane from ‘New York Fiction.'”
Where you’d like to see your character go next season: “I think it’ll be interesting to see how she’s changed from the first time we saw her in the pilot — from the snappy talker onstage to a fuller woman who has more knowledge and understanding of men and women in the world.”
TV guilty pleasure: “I just watched several episodes of ‘Extras’ the other night — I couldn’t watch just one. It was super, super fun. I was laughing so hard.”