Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson in OPERATION CUPCAKE | ©2012 Hallmark Channel

Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson in OPERATION CUPCAKE | ©2012 Hallmark Channel

Dean Cain is well-known to a lot of people for a lot of different things. He is still a hero to many for his role as Clark Kent/Superman in the 1993-1997 series LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. He is also famed for hosting RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT from 2000 and 2003. Cain is also a strong supporter of theU.S. military, working to help both active-duty personnel and veterans through various endeavors.

In the telefilm OPERATION CUPCAKE, which premieres Saturday June 16 on the Hallmark Channel, Cain brings his support for soldiers to his role as U.S. Army Col. Griff Carson. On a weekend in the midst of filming on OPERATION CUPCAKE, Hallmark throws a party at Tournament House inPasadena,California. Cain, in attendance, takes time to discuss his foray into the genre of family comedies about pastry strategies – as well as his encounter with new Superman Henry Cavill.

ASSIGNMENT X: So here you are at a party thrown by Hallmark …

DEAN CAIN: Well, I do a lot for Hallmark. It feels like I’m doing another [Hallmark project] every day. I’m doing a film right now called OPERATION CUPCAKE, thus the short hair. I play a military officer who’s home on leave, contemplating a retirement, so he could be with his family, or a promotion, which would pretty much send him away for another four years. He’s home for a couple of months and has to sort of fit back in with his family and everything’s a little different, and his military ways don’t fit so good. It’s a sweet, funny family film and I’m proud to be a part of it.

AX: Presumably someone in the family is involved in baking?

CAIN: His wife, who is played by Kristy Swanson, who is fantastic, is the one who has started the Four Star Bakery, and it’s doing fantastically well, and his daughter is sixteen and starting to date – that’s a problem – and his eleven-year-old son is running around, growing up without a daddy, so it’s a little tough. But like I said, he has some adjustments to make in his very stringent life, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a very funny show and I think it’s very heartwarming.

AX: You’ve played a number of military officers. Is that something you gravitate towards or is that simply the kinds of projects that turn up?

CAIN: I gravitate toward it. I have great respect for our men and women in uniform. I love those kinds of projects, so if I have that opportunity, I will certainly go and play that kind of a character, especially if it portrays them in a very positive light. They’re our guys who are doing so much for our country, these men and women. Sometimes their human stories aren’t being told – this character could have been anybody, but the fact that he’s a military guy fitting in, it makes it quite fun. There’s a lot of fun to be had with the very strict military policies of his [professional] life and the home life. But he’s not a colonel at home.

AX: Have you done any research on the Army, Navy, Marines …?

CAIN: Yes, I’ve done a lot of research. My grandfather was a commander in the Navy, my uncle was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and I do tons of projects currently now supporting our vets, Wounded Warrior Project and things like that. So I’m always around them. I went toIraq in 2005, I was there for a few weeks and I saw more than I expected, and my respect for them just grew.

AX: Was that a research trip, or was that with the USO?

CAIN: Anything an actor does in his life is a research trip. It wasn’t with the USO – it was a smaller group of us. We were the Ambassadors of Hollywood, that’s [the name of the group]. It was myself and a girl, there to boost the morale of our men and women and let them know that we were thinking about them back home. Toby Keith is a great supporter of our troops. He comes and does a big show [via the USO], there are a lot of people with him, and they go to a big base, like Bagram inIraq and they do a big show somewhere in the Green Zone. With us, it was two of us. So we were in all of these forward operating bases, because we were with a small contingent. So I saw a lot more than I anticipated. I thought I was going to be on the big bases, but that wasn’t the case. It was a tough trip, but it was also very, very rewarding for me.

AX: Apart from the troops being happy that somebody – anybody – would come out from home to see them –

CAIN: Anybody, exactly.

AX: Do they mostly recognize you still as Superman?

CAIN: Probably, yeah. I mean, there are a lot of RIPLEY’S  fans out there and there are a lot of people who watch Hallmark movies. So there are a lot of [people aware of different aspects of Cain’s work]. I would say certainly Superman is what I’m professionally known for, even with the young ‘uns.

AX: Have you been paying any attention to what’s going on with the Superman films and television projects?

CAIN: Not much. A little bit. I mean, I met Henry Cavill [who plays Superman in the upcoming MAN OF STEEL] at the IMMORTALS premiere. That guy seems like a big, strapping, good-looking kid, good actor, certainly can fill the Superman shoes. I’m sure he’ll be fantastic. I’m aware that he’s playing the character, but that’s about as far as I know.

AX: Are you directing anything for Hallmark?

CAIN: Not right now. Directing is hard work.

AX: But you’ve directed a few projects …

CAIN: Of course, but I can make five pictures as an actor within the time my father [Christopher Cain] makes one as a director. So when you’re raising a kid and you’re a single father, you tend to go for the more frugal time piece.

AX: Anything else you’d like to say about OPERATION CUPCAKE?

CAIN: Please watch. It’s really a lot of fun.


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Article: Exclusive Interview: Dean Cain deploys for OPERATION CUPCAKE

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