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Taylor Gildersleeve (right) in ‘Sugar Daddies.” (Credit: Courtesy Photo)

Lifetime’s new movie “Sugar Daddies” examines the regrettable relationship between a wealthy older man and a struggling college student. But the film’s star, Mattituck’s Taylor Gildersleeve, said it is ultimately a tale of warning and one of redemption.

“It really teaches you to be careful every time you make a decision,” said Gildersleeve, a 2009 Mattituck High School graduate. “There’s also the theme that you can learn from your mistakes and come out a better person.”

The recent Columbia University graduate, who majored in film studies, said she enjoyed working alongside Emmy-winning actor Peter Strauss and portraying the movie’s female lead, Kara, her biggest TV role to date.

Gildersleeve began her acting career in 2005 as Sydney Harris on “All My Children” and has appeared in popular television shows such as “Person of Interest,” “Gossip Girl,” “30 Rock” and “Law and Order.”

We caught up with her on Tuesday to talk about her new film, which originally aired this weekend.

Catch Gildersleeve in “Sugar Daddies” when it re-airs on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. and on MTV’s new series “One Bad Choice” this spring.

Q: What was the best part of working on “Sugar Daddies”?

A: I would say the best part of working on “Sugar Daddies” was just feeling like I had a lot of responsibility and that’s very exciting as an actor, because in the past it can be frustrating when you get on a big show and they’re like ‘here’s your three scenes’ and you want to do more and show [that you can do] more.

Q: What drew you to the role?

A: I like how the script is a cautionary tale. It really teaches you to be careful every time you make a decision—don’t risk the chance of losing important relationships in life to get ahead. It’s also a story of redemption, which I really like.

Q: Are you similar to your character, Kara, in any way?

A: It’s funny, but not at all. I think at the core we’re both nice people who are ambitious; we both have good hearts and mean well. The thing about Kara is that she is a little bit more naive and more trusting of people she shouldn’t be so trusting of. I think we’re very different.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you got the role?

A: I was extremely stressed out! They called me two days before filming began, told me I had to jump on a plane [the next day] and be out there [LA] for a month. I had to figure out where I was going to live for that month, and I didn’t have much time to prepare with the script.

Q: What is your advice for young girls who want to get into acting? 

A: It’s a really, really challenging business … and you have to be going into it for the right reasons. Do it for the love of the work, and not to try to be famous. Otherwise, you’ll be miserable.

Taylor Gildersleeve stars in 'Sugar Daddies.' (Credit: Courtesy Photo)
Taylor Gildersleeve stars in ‘Sugar Daddies.’ (Credit: Courtesy Photo)