Sara Rue to sing with Reba on ‘Malibu Country’

The actress stepped outside her comfort zone to croon a tune with Reba McEntire

Sara Rue to sing with Reba on ‘Malibu Country’
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ABC's "Malibu Country" stars Sara Rue as Kim.

It isn't often that an icon from the music world and a comedy legend join forces on a TV show. But when Sara Rue heard that Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin had signed on to the sitcom "Malibu Country," she jumped at the chance to be involved. In a recent exclusive interview, the actress talked about working with the two megastars.

Rue wasn't intimidated to work with McEntire and Tomlin

Less experienced actresses might have been taken aback at the thought of working with the Grammy winner and the Tony, Emmy, and Grammy winner. But the 33-year-old actress is a seasoned pro. She started working when she was just 9. Her first series, "Grand," ran for two years in the time slot after "Cheers." And she headlined the sitcom "Less Than Perfect" between 2002 and 2006.

So Rue went into "Malibu Country" somewhat at ease. She admitted, "I didn't find it intimidating. I was very excited to get to know them as people. They both make you feel very comfortable on set and off. They're both very down-to-earth and kind women… It was always like, 'Oh this is really exciting to get to work with women that I have a lot of respect for.'"

Rue stepped outside her comfort zone to sing with Reba

But her new gig hasn't been stress free. Rue confessed that in an upcoming episode, she was pushed beyond her comfort zone. As she recalled, "The only thing that's been sort of intimidating, truthfully, was the Christmas episode that's airing Dec. 14. Reba and I both sing in it. And I have to say that was a little bit intimidating at the table read."

Rue can certainly hold her own when it comes to acting, but she had entered into McEntire's area of expertise. She recounted, "She starts singing, and it's beautiful, and then all of a sudden I realize, 'Oh my God, I have to follow that now and sing.' And that was kind of terrifying. But other than that, both Reba and Lily make everybody feel at home and welcome, so there was never an intimidation or anything like that."

Rue found a way to get laughs for her song

While it might seem like Rue would hire a vocal coach and prepare for big debut, she explained that she didn't do anything unusual. Rue remarked, "Luckily my character's not supposed to be the best singer in the world. I always think it's funny when people add a lot of runs all over the place, so I do a lot of that and just tried to make it as funny and entertaining as possible. No, I did not do any preparation. When you see the episode, you'll understand why."

Those music-filled moments of anxiety aside, all is right in "Malibu Country." As Rue acknowledged, "It's always just been a very open-armed, we're-all-a-team, let's-do-this-thing kind of thing."

Watch "Malibu Country" on Friday nights at 8:30 PM EST on ABC.

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