Dylan Neal and Brooke Burns Tease Death Al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery [Exclusive]
It’s been a little over a year since we’ve had a new Gourmet Detective film, and Sunday night, the third installment, Death Al Dente hits Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Dylan Neal and Brooke Burns jumped on the phone with me for a quick chat about Henry and Maggie, and what to expect in the new film.
Death Al Dente follows Maggie and Henry on a new case when a restauranteur couple who are friends with Henry are targeted by a series of robberies that turn deadly. The movie also finally moves the romance forward with the investigative duo, in a pace that will be refreshing for fans of some of the other series who are still waiting.
Neal says the progression works twofold for Gourmet Detective, and it’s something he pushed for. “That’s always been an ongoing discussion–how fast or slow to move the personal relationship. What was supposed to be the third movie became the second, so with this third one, it was Becky [Southwell]Â and me pushing that we wanted to see the relationship get going,” he explains.
“What are we accomplishing by dragging it out? Some of the handcuffs will be taken off creatively for me as a writer and we’ll have even that much more fun with them down the road now that they’re open and honest with their feelings for each other. We’ll still have the exact same love/hate chemistry but there will a little more creative freedom between the two. If this is the last one, there is some resolution. It works as a send off, or what fun we could have if we do more.”
The timeline within the series is that the action in this film takes place about six months after the story in A Healthy Place to Die, and Henry and Maggie have an easier rapport with each other.Â “There’s less surprises now,” says Burns. “We’ve accepted each other’s idiosyncracies, if you will.”
Another evolution in Death Al Dente is that Maggie is softened a bit, and Burns and Neal say that was something they were asked to work in. “I think the all-business Maggie, for Hallmark, was sometimes difficult to swallow. They liked seeing her softer side, her more emotional, feminine qualities,” says Burns.
“What better way to do that than to bring in an ex-love that brings up questions of, ‘Was it the man that was off or was it the timing that was off?’Â [We see her] feeling hurt, feeling rejected [and she’s asking] what does a relationship look like in her life? She has a very busy, complicatedÂ life with her daughter and her mom, and her work and Henry, of course. I think those aspects are real and relatable to a Hallmark audience.”
“It was also very purposeful that the third one was more Maggie-centric. As we continued to experiement with the franchise, we wanted to put Maggie a little more front and center,” explains Neal. “All Hallmark movies are generally female-centric. Gourmet Detective was the first one that wasn’ts specifically female-driven.Â It was really nice to see much more of Maggie and to follow her on this particular case.”
Getting romantic in the film didn’t come without real-life risks as Neal was sick for much of the shoot. “Dylan had a mad cold and had snot dripping down his face,” laughs Burns. “I had this cold from hell. I had Kleenex in all my pockets,” adds Neal. “There was no way around it. I was smearing snot all over her. She’s such a Mom, capitalize ‘such a Mom,’ she was [‘whatever’ about it].’ It was disgusting. We had to reshoot sometimes. Not one of the most romantic scenes ever.”
Neal and Burns are particularly fond of the offscreen rapport that happened with each movie, and look forward to creating that again on another film, whether it’s a Gournet Detective or not. “My best memories are what happens off set. We have hallway parties with the cast and crew in our hotel, and we bring out drinks and desserts and hang out in a hallway or in my room,” says Neal.
“We hang out all the time in a way that I never have with another productions. That’s something that Brooke and I care greatly about–that everyone around us having a really good time. We feel like we’re the mom and dad to an extended family of 100 people and we try to make sure that everyone is taken care of and has the best time while they’re working.”
Neal says he’d happily write another project for them “The fun that we have in real life clearly shows onscreen. You can’t orchestrate that,” he shares. “That kind of magic just happens, and you’re really lucky when it does.”
Neal has a few projects in various states of production–some he’s writing and producing and others he’s acting in. Burns is focused on aÂ project closer to home. “I’m having a baby, so the beginning of my next year is a little baby infant,” she reveals. “This is the time to go back to working on my book and jewelry line.”
Death Al Dente: A Gourmet Detective MysteryÂ premieres Sunday at 9/8c on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Here’s a sneak peek.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Dennis Heaton Talks The Imperfects
Longtime readers at TV Goodness will know that Motive is one of my ride-or-die series, and as such, I am fiercely loyal to its creator, Dennis Heaton. He followed up that fantastic reverse procedural with Netflix’s The Order and is back on our streaming screens with The Imperfects, which dropped…
Kelly McCormack Talks Favorite Moments in A League of Their Own
[Warning: Mild spoilers for season 1.] Now that you’ve had a chance to watch A League of Their Own, here’s the rest of my chat with Kelly McCormack about her favorite moments of the season. Seeing the iconic Peaches uniforms for the first time wasn’t just a goosebump moment for…
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People [streaming on Global TV in Canada and Roku…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…