Chrishell Stause Was 'a Little Rusty' in 'Intense' Acting Return Post-Selling Sunset: 'It Was a Balancing Act'

The star of Lifetime's A Rose for Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story also tells PEOPLE about the fun (and relief) of reteaming with longtime friend and former All My Children costar Colin Egglesfield

Chrishell Stause attends the American Heart Association's Red Dress Collection Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center on February 01, 2023 in New York City.
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty

Chrishell Stause is making a return to her acting roots with a riveting new Lifetime movie — and while it ultimately proved to be a rewarding experience for the soap vet, it still came with its challenges.

Though she's become well-known for her ties to Selling Sunset, Stause initially gained recognition through her work as an actor on soap operas including All My Children and Days of Our Lives. But she stepped away for a bit to pursue outside opportunities and forge an all-new path for herself.

"I pursued my real estate license when they were basically getting new writers at Days of Our Lives, and I was looking for something that was a little more stable," the actress, 41, exclusively tells PEOPLE. "Instead of sitting, letting someone else be in charge of my career, I really wanted to take charge of it a little more. And so, I found real estate, and obviously, now that's taken me on a whole nother journey."

But according to Stause, everything has now come "full circle." She now has a new project premiering on Lifetime this Saturday titled A Rose for Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story. It's based on author Ann Rule's book of the same name, which is also inspired by the real-life crimes committed by Roth, a convicted criminal who murdered his first wife for life insurance money.

The film sees Stause as Lori, a woman who stops at nothing to prove that her best friend Cindy (Laura Ramsey) was killed by her husband, played by Colin Egglesfield.

Chrishell Stause Lifetime Movie - A Rose for Her Grave
Courtesy of Lifetime

Given the film's dark subject matter and depiction of abuse, it was imperative for Stause to find balance and reset between takes.

"I feel like it is hard if you're bopping back and forth between super happy and making jokes and jovial, and then constantly having to jump back into this super intense space," she explains. "And so, for me, just to make it easier on myself, I would go to my room a lot and just, because normally, of course, I'm a very social person, very happy. But it does make it harder on just your brain and body to jump in and out, back and forth."

She adds, "I just found it a little easier in between to just really focus on the next lines and the next scene. And then, when the day's over or before the day started, I would have those moments with the cast members who I adore, and all the people that we've stayed in contact with since. But during a filming day, I did try to limit that a little bit."

Chrishell Stause Lifetime Movie - A Rose for Her Grave
Courtesy of Lifetime

The other hurdle Stause had to overcome was getting back into the practice of using her acting chops. And though she says it felt like riding "a bicycle," it still wasn't an easy feat. But this was still something that she "missed" doing, overall.

"Of course, there are certain things that it takes just a little bit of reminding your brain about. As far as just memorizing the lines, I felt a little rusty at first," says Stause, who worked on this film while shooting the upcoming season of Selling Sunset. "I worked in soaps for 15 years, so I used to be able to almost have a photographic memory. That's not the case anymore. It goes away when you stop using it."

"There were things that I could feel were a little rusty, where I'd have to spend a lot more time on an amount of lines that normally I would be able to memorize in five minutes or something. There were little technical things like that," she continues. "But as far as when you're on the set, we did have to fit in a lot under a small amount of time. You really don't have multiple takes to get this right. There was a time constraint, so there was that part, that I remembered how much I loved it. I remembered feeling like."

Chrishell Stause Lifetime Movie - A Rose for Her Grave
Courtesy of Lifetime

For Stause, there were several perks to being a part of this project, one of which included having the opportunity to reteam with Egglesfield, 50.

"I'd worked with Colin on All My Children before, and I knew how talented he was. We've been friends ever since," she shares. "I've followed him and been supportive of his whole career. And so, I knew the second that it would be me and him that it was something I had to try and make work logistically, because I really know how talented he is. And also, just having that trust back and forth, to feel like you can really play off of someone."

"I loved working with Colin. I feel like it was one of those things that we both were just so excited to be able to do because, imagine. It's been so many years, and when we played opposite each other before, our characters were friends. Now, we've been friends for so many years, to be able to go toe to toe with each other. I was excited," she adds.

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A Rose for Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

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