Bethenny Frankel makes acting debut in ‘Danger in the Dorm:’ ‘I think I’m pretty good!’

Unexpected is one way to describe Bethenny Frankel starring in Sunday night’s Lifetime movie “Danger in the Dorm.”

Frankel, 53, is known as an entrepreneur with her Skinnygirl brand and many stints on “The Real Housewives of New York City.” Acting never seemed a possibility.

“I was called,” Frankel explained in a Zoom press conference, “by this manager who said, ‘Would you want to do a Lifetime movie?’

“I used to watch Lifetime as a kid. I didn’t know the extent of the part. I just said yes to this role which seemed like such an outlandish request.”

“Danger in the Dorm” is based on Ann Rule’s first true crime book where a serial killer has murdered an honor student.  Frankel is the mother of college coed Kathleen (Clara Alexandrova) who feels she has to catch the killer roaming the campus.

“It was a true story,” Frankel noted. “I’m such a protective mother and as a mother of a 14-year-old daughter that protective instinct felt so close. What was unusual for me, I had an adult daughter in the movie, someone with her own opinions. My character’s job is to control her and be that parent.

“That was uncomfortable because when kids are older, they do make their own decisions. As a parent you can’t pick every battle. You can’t make everything an emergency.

“I’ve had my daughter criticized in the media — and that’s when I will get real intense, real fast. I pulled from that Mama Bear for this character.”

As for her own performance, “I’m the first one to say if it’s not good. I got the chills when I watched my trailer. I was like, ‘I think I’m pretty good!’

“It was a journey. And a quest. Now I have so much respect for actors and crews. There is so much work you do not see.”

“Acting is interesting. You’re in a trailer all day. Then, it’s hurry up and wait. Other people control everything. I was in the trailer thinking, ‘What am I doing? Am I being productive? This is so unlike me to sit anywhere.’

“So, would I act again? That would depend on the opportunity. I am a free bird and run my own program. I work very hard.

“It depends on the situation and the role. If it’s Meryl (as in Streep, she has a sense of humor) and I get to play her gardener, then yes.

“Acting is a lot of work and it’s a lot of pressure. You don’t want to make a fool out of yourself. I love that Lifetime made such a courageous decision not knowing if I could do it.”

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