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TV Movie Goodness Preview: Lindsay Hartley Talks Hallmark Channel’s Perfect on Paper [INTERVIEW]

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

[Warning: General spoilers in the images, article, and preview clip.]

Hallmark Channel’s newest original film, Perfect on Paper, premieres this Saturday night, and we chatted with Lindsay Hartley about the film and working with TV icon Morgan Fairchild.

In the film, Hartley plays Natalie, an idealistic book editor who reluctantly relocates from Portland to Los Angeles for a job with her BFF, Avery (Haley Strode), to edit the romance novel of Beverly (Fairchild), a famous bestselling author. She struggles to maintain her integrity and identity while battling the diva’s demands and juggling budding romances with two very different men.

Many viewers will recognize Hartley from her roles on Passions and All My Children. “I’ve always wanted to do a Hallmark movie,” she says. “And I’m very grateful [that I had the opportunity to do one]. Everybody there is super kind.” Hartley was originally asked to play Avery, and shot initial footage in the role. A few months later, when the entire cast was assembled, she was offered the part of Natalie instead.

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Although she’d had her own spin on Avery, Hartley says it was fun to play opposite the character and see how Strode took on the role. “I had my version and Haley had her version. She’s so talented and her strength is comedy. She loves comedy. Her version is fun and funny,” she says. “My version was a little more serious. It’s always neat to see how people perceive the character they’re going to portray.”

Hartley explains that Natalie’s journey in the film has two tracks. “She’s trying to find ‘the one’ and her best friend tells her she keeps finding the wrong one. She’s also passionate about what she does for a living,” she explains. “She really, really wants to influence the world historically [by working on an important book]. Once she gets to LA, she finds out she’s editing a romance novel. She doesn’t understand [the genre or] how those even sell.”

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

The balance of the professional and personal in the story was particularly appealing to Hartley. “I really enjoyed playing the role because it wasn’t just about the job, it’s also about her journey toward finding the love of her life,” she points out. “It’s a cool journey through those two struggles for her, and what happens when she opens her eyes to certain things she never would have before. She [learns] not to judge a book by its cover. Not only is she trying to perfect the book for Beverly, she’s also trying to find the right man who looks perfect on paper.”

Hartley adds that it was a great environment. “It was an amazing cast. Everybody was really happy,” she recalls. “The director, Ron Oliver, has the best sense of humor on the planet and made the experience super enjoyable [and] fun.”

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Working with Fairchild was a particular treat. “She’s incredible. As an actress, watching her work, she does it with such finesse, and she’s so natural. She’s so good, and funny,” says Hartley. “She’s really great at those roles–the women who are above and over and it and everyone is beneath [them]–she does it so well. I sat there and watched her the whole time. I didn’t know how she did it with a straight face. She’s a very kind person, and she had a lot of great stories that she shared [between takes]. She’s not only talented, it’s important that people know how kind she is. She’s very open and wants to share her journey. It’s a gift.”

Hartley’s favorite scene in the film comes toward the end. “I’m a sucker for happy endings and there’s a scene at the end where everything [has gone wrong] and Natalie has decided to leave and Beverly comes to talk to her,” she says. “The walls come down and they’re just two girls having a conversation about making a difference in the world with their writing. That was my favorite moment in the script and I wanted it to be [as good onscreen] and for people to feel it and believe it.”

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Crown Media United States, LLC

Hartley also recently took the stage for a cabaret night at House of Blues in Los Angeles, and will return to the stage next month on October 17th. “They’re all different experiences and different sides of you. I haven’t performed in a while, and that happened naturally,” she says. “Some of my close friends were encouraging me to get back out there and sing. I do like performing. I like affecting people and having them walk away feeling moved and touched. That’s special. That’s living.”

Perfect on Paper premieres Saturday at 9/8c after a new episode of Cedar Cove. Here’s a sneak peek  (that’s already had a whopping 48,000 views!):

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