Steve Guttenberg has made Cybill Shepherd cry.

What brought on the tears is Guttenberg talking about working on the new Lifetime movie “How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story.” The latest ripped from the headlines made-for-cable movie debuts at 8 p.m. Jan. 14.

In the film based on a true story, Shepherd plays Nancy Crampton-Brophy, a romance-thriller novelist and author of the essay How to Murder Your Husband. The Portland-based writer’s knack for killing goes beyond the numerous books she has penned that often feature women fantasizing about murdering their spouses.

Crampton-Brophy ended up being convicted in 2022 of killing her husband, Daniel. Guttenberg is discussing the task he had of playing a husband in such a way that his wife would kill him but never make the character so unlikable that the viewers would have no sympathy for him.

“What I try to do the first week is read the script 10 times so I understand what the writer’s, the director’s, the studio’s point of view. What the whole piece is trying to say,” Guttenberg says. “I have played true life characters a few times and I have found it is easy for me because I have photographs. I have video. I can sort of get inside their heads.

“I just wanted to honor the guy. But, I was really here to support Cybill.”

The comment gets a very emotional reaction from Shepherd. She thanks Guttenberg for the lovely comment and calls him a generous actor with which to work.

Shepherd wipes away the tears and jokes “old grandma cries at everything.”

“How to Murder Your Husband” marks Shepherd’s return to Lifetime as she previously starred in “The Client List” and guest starred on “Drop Dead Diva.” The Cable channel has produced numerous movies where women get revenge and Shepherd was anxious to be part of that world.

Shepherd says, “I have never played a murderer before – as I recall. I was fascinated by this story. When I heard Steve was doing this, I couldn’t think of a nicer person to have to murder.

“It made it so much more difficult to play the murderer of this guy I love so much.”

Guttenberg sarcastically responds to Shepherd by telling her that killing him was acceptable because it was done out of love.

As hard as it is for Shepherd to recall, she is correct in that she never has played a murderer. The Tennessee native has put together a diverse and lengthy TV and film career dating back to her debut in the 1971 feature “The Last Picture Show.”

Since then she has appeared in “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Yellow Rose,” “The Long Hot Summer,” “Moonlighting” and her own self-titled situation comedy.

No matter the role, Shepherd has approached each project the same way.

“The way I look at acting, 50% of how I come up with the character is what I look like,” Shepherd says. “So when I had my first look at myself in that gray wig, I started to become that character.

“By the time I see this film, I don’t know who that woman is in there. I am no longer that person.”

Shepherd admits that she didn’t really see her performance in the Lifetime movie because as soon as she started watching, she got upset by how awful the character ended up being. She found herself “horrified” by the character.

The look of the character along with the direction and script by Stephen Tolkin (“The College Admissions Scandal”) gave Shepherd most of the pieces she needed to portray her first murderer. Before filming started, Shepherd’s research for the role filled in the final pieces. She discovered that there was abuse in the family, a factor she is sure made Crampton-Brophy go from writer to killer.

She again mentions how much she loves Guttenberg and his presence was a major factor in why the role worked so well for her.

Guttenberg’s career started in 1977 with “Something for Joey.” His credits since then include “The Boys from Brazil,” “Cocoon,” “Three Men and a Baby,” “Community” and a handful of “Police Academy” films.

Lifetime movies such as “How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story” are intriguing to Guttenberg.

“From a man’s perspective, I’m fascinated by the power of these women,” Guttenberg says. “A matriarchal society is always more successful than a patriarchal society.

“Women are smarter. Women are able to survive much easier. Whenever I watch the network, I am always compelled to understand women better.”

And with Lifetime, that understanding often deals with deadly consequences. That theme continues with “Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias” scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Jan. 21 on Lifetime.