For actress Alexandra Breckenridge, having children completely transformed her career. She went from starring in countless horror shows with some fairly gruesome onscreen deaths to opting for more family-friendly content like Hallmark and Netflix's Virgin River. Her current projects couldn't be more different from the roles she used to gravitate towards but it's incredibly sweet that she's starring in things her kids can actually watch!
Breckenridge was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but moved to California with her mother as a young child. As a teenager, she decided to try acting so they headed out to Los Angeles. Having an uncle as an actor probably helped get her started -- she's related to NCIS actor Michael Weatherly. Early on, the actress appeared in numerous TV shows, including Dawson's Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, JAG, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She even landed lead roles in a couple of short-lived TV series playing Willa McPherson in Dirt and Michele Weinberger in Romy and Michele: In the Beginning. Breckenridge has also appeared in multiple films, such as teen comedies She's The Man, Big Fat Liar, Orange County and D.E.B.S. Over the years, she's even formed a strong working relationship with Seth Macfarlane, appearing as numerous voices for years on his cartoons Family Guy and American Dad.
But Breckenridge has always been an avid horror fan, so as soon as she got to the point in her career where she could pick and choose, she started to gravitate towards projects that she would want to personally watch. In a conversation with Interview, the actress explained that she had always been a big fan of horror classics like Rosemary's Baby and The Shining.
"Any time a new horror film comes out that looks appealing, I'm always excited to go see it."
She eventually was able to land a recurring role in the fourth season of the HBO vampire series True Blood. She also appeared in the first season of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story: Murder House and showed up in its third season, Coven, playing a witch. Breckenridge even appeared on AMC's The Walking Dead as Jessie Anderson, who (spoiler!) dies a horrific death getting mauled by zombies. Needless to say, she was appearing in a lot of projects that weren't exactly child-friendly so she began to change gears as soon as she became a parent.
Breckenridge married Katy Perry's guitarist Casey Hooper in 2015 after meeting at a Grammys after-party. Baby boy Jack came the following year and daughter Billie the year after that. The family decided that they didn't want to raise their family in the big city of Los Angeles so they completely relocated to the relaxing suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
"The rural areas of Georgia have an amazing sense of community we were lacking in L.A.," Breckenridge told Atlanta Magazine. "We wanted our children to grow up in a place where they could play and ride their bikes that didn't feel like a big city."
The actress's career really skyrocketed when she was cast as Kevin's ex-wife Sophie on the beloved NBC television series This Is Us. She appeared in the first two seasons with guest roles in seasons 3 and 4. Recently, she's been known for starring in the Netflix drama Virgin River, which feels like it came right off the Hallmark Channel. She plays the role of Melinda Monroe, "Mel," a nurse practitioner who relocates to the small town of Virgin River looking for a new start. We're currently anxiously awaiting the second season!
As further proof that Breckenridge had officially moved over to feel-good content, she appeared in her first TV Christmas film for Lifetime in 2018, Christmas Around the Corner. This year, the actress made her big Hallmark debut opposite Robert Buckley in Love in Store, which was released in February. We are really hoping we see more of Alex Breckenridge on Hallmark. Ahe's definitely a great fit!