Photos Joel Griffith | Words Tamara Rappa
Many people know Tiera Skovbye from the hit series Riverdale, as Betty Cooper’s older sister, Polly. This year, Skovbye adds a robust role to her resume, starring as Missy McMurray in Hallmark's Ride, a multigenerational family ensemble following the lives of a rodeo dynasty going back a generation, as they struggle to keep their beloved ranch afloat amidst tragic death. Tiera also recently starred in two seasons of NBC's Nurses. She was in season two of the critically acclaimed series Dirty John, playing the younger version of title character, Betty Broderick. With other parts on television, including playing Elizabeth Berkley in Lifetime’s nostalgic camp, The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story, Skovbye has segued between television and film, acting in films like romantic drama 2 Hearts, opposite Jacob Elordi, and the indie film, Summer Of ’84, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Having worked with Hallmark over the years, she's enjoying working with what she calls 'the new version of Hallmark'; being on 'a younger and grittier' show is really exciting, she says. Diving into what she deems 'Ranch 101' in order to play a rodeo trick rider, Skovbye discovered firsthand the hard work and long hours that ranch life entails, describing it as a 'never ending stream of things to do'. Recently moving in with sister, Ali, a fellow actor who plays the younger version of Katherine Heigl's character in Firefly Lane, we grabbed some time to talk to Tiera about Missy's misgivings, her restless relationships, and more.
When we meet Missy, she's enveloped in a sea of all sorts of doubt. She's got doubt around her husband; she's got doubts in more than aspect of her life. We start to see that she's such a part of the McMurray family, but there are some things that are causing her to ask questions. She's in a place of self discovery. Where is her place? What does she want do? Who is she without her husband? Who was her husband? As things start to come to light, she's starting to realize that there's a lot that she didn't know about him and a lot that he was hiding, There are parts of herself that she kind of hid, too, in order to be with him. She's very much in a place where she's wondering if she's a bad reminder for the family; a bad reminder of Austin, but she also has a spot on the ranch if she wants to be a trick rider. She's really forced to figure out who she is and what her life will look like now without Austin.
What continues to tie Missy to the ranch even though there are so many difficult memories there, and a husband that is no longer? It's this element of family. She's a bit estranged from her own mother, and her dad wasn't really a part of her life. For her, these people are her family. Isabel was her coach. They all helped her grow up. They're a big reason why she is who she is, and she almost feels indebted to them for taking her in and making her feel as welcome as possible. She's got so much love for them, it's hard to leave, especially when they're in a bit of trouble. She feels she owes it to them to help them; to save the ranch, and make sure they're doing everything they can to keep their home that they love so much.
Missy's relationship with Cash is a complicated one. They know each other better than anyone else. They're best friends. They grew up together. They've watched each other struggle and grow, and become these people who they are today. Austin was also a big part of the picture, and it's one of those things where I think they both kind of knew, but Cash never said anything. Missy had to move on with her life and make a decision. As the story goes on, she starts to realize that maybe Austin wasn't who she thought he was, and also, maybe he didn't know her as well as she thought he did. It's hard and it's complicated, because she's always been so connected to Cash.
What does Missy see and appreciate in Gus? He's her chance at a clean slate. He doesn't know her past, he doesn't know Austin, he doesn't know about her life. He's a chance for something new. She has the opportunity to be a new version of Missy, and to figure out exactly who that is. It's also a chance to not have all this baggage. She sees her relationship with Gus as a way to be loved for whomever she wants to be---not because she's a trick rider, or that she was Austin's wife, or that she's a McMurray.
We're introduced to Polly Kerns. She's this woman who, at one point, Missy thinks her husband cheated on her with, and we then learn that she's tied to the accident that caused his death. The question is posed: Why did Austin need to win this so badly? Missy starts to question why she put herself second. She says, 'Where was my heart at, during all of this in my life?' She's realizing that she has kind of spent her whole life in other people's shadows. She gave up her career as a trick rider and her title of Miss Rodeo Rocky Mountain, all in order to be Austin's wife. Yet in the end, he sabotaged his own career. It cost him his life and the relationship and everything she ever knew. Missy's at a point in her life where she realizes that she's not going to let herself just be someone's else's life. She has more to offer.
Missy's relationship with Valeria is another complicated one. They've been best friends for a really long time, and they're getting to a point now, where they're starting to heal some of the hurt that came from her disappearing when Missy needed her most. Underneath it all, they are like sisters. They know each other so well, they're childhood best friends, and they share the fact that they are outsiders to the McMurray family, and have each been taken in as if they were. They've bonded over that and in finding their place in the family and the world together. There is hurt, and there's trust that needs to be rebuilt. As things about Valeria start to come out it does take a toll on Missy because she wants to believe that there are no more secrets, no more hiding. When things keep coming up, it's hard to let that go.
+ shot on location in nyc at at 11 howard hotel
"I just moved to a new place. My current obsession right now is, 'What's my aesthetic? What looks good?' I ordered these chairs from Rove Concepts and I'm waiting for my couch to come, from Couch Haus. I bought Ikea's Malm bed and West Elm's Anton dining table. My current obsession is all things furniture. "
"I discovered Jones Road Magic Balm recently, when I was in New York doing a photo shoot...Magic Balm in Flushed. It's nice to have something that I can put on my lips and on my cheeks. It lasts so long and it hydrates my skin at the same time."
"I love a one piece, like a jumper, a dress, a matching set--- anything that requires as little effort as possible. I have a whole range of them. Matching sets give the look of an elevated outfit, without me having to actually think about it putting one together. I have a bunch from Reformation, like Reformation's Blake Two Piece, which I wore during our shoot. I also own Reformation's Lydia Two Piece. "
"My friend and I have been watching, The Sex Life of College Girls. We blew through the entire first season in like two days. I'm a huge fan of comedies. Life can be busy and stressful, and if I'm trying to watch something at the end of the day, I want it to be something that's like going to keep my attention but also make me laugh and kind of forget everything else. Another show I love is Firefly Lane, which my little sister's in. It's incredible. The third season just came out. I read the book and I know what happened, I know that it's heartbreaking, and I'm not ready."