Nicollette Sheridan

Nicollette Sheridan stars in "Honeymoon for One" Saturday on Hallmark Channel.

Not all actresses would be thrilled at the prospect of a role that's mostly shot outdoors in the countryside and requires wearing sturdy boots, riding a horse and falling over -- more than once.

But for Nicollette Sheridan, those were the things that attracted her to her latest TV movie (OK, maybe not the falling over part, but the rest of it).

"I just love the romance of the Irish countryside," Sheridan says. "We were actually in Dublin, and then we'd go out 45 minutes to an hour away from our main hub and shoot at the beautiful castles and the countryside, the forests and the water holes.

"We were on location the entire time."

In "Honeymoon for One," premiering Saturday, Aug. 13, on Hallmark Channel, Sheridan plays Eve Parker, a Los Angeles advertising executive who finds her comfortable world upended when her handsome fiance, Greg (Patrick Baladi), turns out to be a cad.

Having already spent the money on a honeymoon, Eve decides to head off on her own to an Irish castle that her now-ex-fiance's company plans to turn into a golf course. Left without her suitcase of shoes, Eve heads out for a stroll in inappropriate yet stylish footwear and runs into the estate's manager, rugged outdoorsman Sean (Greg Wise), who has a precocious daughter, Kathleen (Katie Bannon).

Just about as soon as Eve decides to give her Irish fling a whirl, Greg shows up with plans both business and matrimonial. Eve then must decide whether to return to her old life or risk it all for the possibility of a new one.

"I was attracted to Eve's struggle with her immersion in the business world," says Sheridan, "and the blinders she had on to the importance of self and being present and life and relationships. Sometimes it takes something traumatic to change.

"I find that people get stuck in familiarity, be it negative or positive, and there's so much out there. It's at your fingertips if you just open your eyes and heart and walk through your fears. That applies to all of us.

"I like that Eve leaves her comfort zone at work, which she hides behind, and ultimately finds deeper meaning to life."

The story line called for Eve to hop aboard a horse for the first time and wind up galloping out of control across the countryside. For accomplished rider Sheridan, this was a bit of a challenge.

"I have four horses," she says. "I've had horses on and off throughout my life. Of course, the galloping across the wild Irish countryside on a beautiful white steed was magnificent. "I had to pretend that I couldn't ride. I could do all my own stunts because I could ride very well, if I do say so myself."

But this sort of derring-do didn't come without consequences. "I did get a fairly large bruise on my leg that didn't go away for about three months," Sheridan says. "(It happened) when I'm riding the horse, and I end up falling off near the waterfall.

"In the middle of the scene, I slipped and got a pointy rock in my thigh. The show must go on, so we kept doing it. It is actually the take that's in the movie. But the rock was huge. It was bigger than a grapefruit and black."

Asked if the director and producers were concerned, Sheridan says, "At times, they don't want you to, because they fear for your life. No, no, I should say, they fear for their production time. If it's the last scene, and they've got it in the can, they would probably say, 'Go ahead, do your stunt,' but not in the midst of shooting.

"I did have a lovely stunt double, and I made sure she did some stuff so that she'd get her pay. You've always got to look out for the fellows you're working with."

Sheridan also became a great admirer of young Katie Bannon.

"Oh, my goodness," she says, "she is so talented. She's a singer, she plays musical instruments, she's an artist. She is something to behold. It was the first thing she'd ever done.

"But she had this natural, free-flowing, unaffected truth that came out of her. We had a lot of fun together. She's an inquisitive, bright, beautiful little thing. Quite adored her."

Sheridan also became fond of Victoria Smurfit ("Ballykissangel"), the Irish actress who played her best friend. "She is such a lovely human being," says Sheridan. "She's so special and so full of light and love. She's very humorous. I thought she did a wonderful job. She's a very talented actress.

"She, since then, has come over here (to Los Angeles), and I think she might stay for a while. ... Of course, the summer is romancing the Smurfit family."