Reba McEntire Warns Sunny’s in ‘Deep Trouble’ on ‘Big Sky: Deadly Trails’

Reba McEntire and Rex Linn in 'Big Sky: Deadly Trails'
ABC/Michael Moriatis

In her accomplished 32-year acting career, country music icon Reba McEntire had never played a villain until Big Sky: Deadly Trails. “That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” she says. “I’m really loving it.” And it shows.

On the Montana-set crime drama’s third season, she beams as perfectionist Sunny Barnes, who runs Sunny Day Excursions with her slightly cowed husband, Buck (McEntire’s real-life beau, Rex Linn). Her tightly controlled life is rocked when a hiker and then a Sunny Day camper named Paige (Madalyn Horcher) go missing. (Paige’s situation was revealed on October 19.)

Fearing the involvement of her disturbed secret son Walter (Seth Gabel), who is hidden in a nearby cabin, the mama bear shows her claws. As private detective Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) closes in — and fellow country singers Lyle Lovett and Darius Rucker pop up as trackers in the November 2 episode — Sunny and Buck are increasingly desperate to misdirect her.

Here, McEntire dishes on what to expect from the whole ordeal.

What are the consequences of Sunny’s dangerous cover-up?

Reba McEntire: Trying to protect Walter gets Sunny into deep trouble. Buck fights for his son, Cormac [Luke Mitchell], to get more attention from her and for Sunny to kick Walter out. We’ll see a darker side in their relationship.

And how will she react to Cormac and Cassie getting close?

Cassie is the thorn in Sunny’s side. Sunny has to be careful what she says around Cormac.

Do you think Cassie’s life is in danger?

Not yet. Not that I know of. The fun part about this show is we say, “Where’s this going?” And sometimes [producers] say, “Well, we don’t know yet. We’re waiting to see what you guys do, how you react.”

You and Rex are also costarring in a January Lifetime movie, Reba McEntire’s The Hammer, in which you play a judge. Then you’ll conclude your spring concert tour by headlining Madison Square Garden for the first time. How does that feel?

My father competed there at the rodeo, as did his father before him. I am so excited!

Big Sky: Deadly Trails, Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC