After years of playing the heroine on TV shows and TV-movies, Austin Highsmith enjoyed a chance to be bad.“The Captive Nanny” — airing at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30, on Lifetime — is part of the channel’s 30th anniversary celebration of TV-movies.
The story revolves around a young woman hired as a nanny for a security-obsessed wealthy family. Highsmith, a Winston-Salem native, plays Emily, the mother, who claims the security is to protect the family from an obsessed ex. But it turns out Emily has more sinister motives.
“This is something I have always, always looked forward to!” Highsmith said. “I’ve never gotten to play the villain. ... It was one of the most fun roles I’ve ever done.” It’s also her first time having a movie premiere on Lifetime Television, though she has been in several that were shown on the Lifetime Movie Network. “I’ve been watching Lifetime movies as long as I can remember,” she said.
Filming the movie last winter, she said, “was super intense because it was freezing in Detroit, but the director and I worked super-well together and tried to make Emily more than just ‘evil,’ but hopefully someone people could hopefully empathize with.”
Highsmith said that she and her husband, actor Teddy Garces, are doing as well as possible during the pandemic. “Luckily my husband is my literal best friend, so we’ve actually had a wonderful time being trapped inside together. I’ve been writing several scripts, working on a king-sized quilt, and I’ve sewn 94 masks for doctors/nurses as well as friends and family.
“This is such a crazy time we’re living through, but I’m choosing to see everyone’s efforts to stay home and keep each other safe as the greatest expression of love that the world has ever collectively shown one another. ... It’s been nothing short of amazing seeing L.A., which can frequently be seen as selfish and self-absorbed, showing just how deeply we care about our neighbors.”