Brendan Penny Talks A Dash of Love, Chesapeake Shores, and Motive [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
In the last year, Brendan Penny has become a staple in the Hallmark rotation, appearing in three films over the last 14 months and as a regular in the first season of Chesapeake Shores. That third film, A Dash of Love, premieres Saturday night at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel. I chatted with Penny today about his projects for the network, and the (unexpectedly) last season of Motive.
A Dash of Love came around last fall after Penny had filmed Autumn In the Vineyard and he says he’s developed a nice rapport with the team at the network. “It’s a working relationship. I did a movie for them a while ago, and then did [‘Tis The Season for Love] with Sarah Lancaster, and that one did really well,” he explains.
“I got on Chesapeake Shores. After that, they offered me [Autumn In the Vineyard] with Rachael Leigh Cook, who’s phenomenal and one of the nicest people in the world. I’ve got a good relationship with Bill [Abbott] and Michelle [Vicary] and we enjoy working together and it kind of worked out.”
“I’ll do Hallmark movies for the rest of my life if they let me. It’s always some of the nicest people you could ever meet. Everybody is there to have a good time and do a good job and to make something that makes people feel good. I laughed so completely on every single one of those movies.”
In A Dash of Love, Penny plays executive chef Paul Dellucci, who has a meet cute with aspiring chef Nikki Turner (Jen Lilley), the BFF of his restaurant’s new server, Angela [Hemlock Grove and Battlestar Galactica‘s Kandyse McClure], when he asks for, and gets, an honest critique of his cooking without telling her who he is. From there, they settle into a budding friendship as colleagues, which evolves into more, surprisingly without any competitive tension, something that Penny appreciated.
“I liked that the relationship started off as a nice thing and didn’t start off with any kind of confrontation. I did enjoy the confrontation [later with Paul’s boss] Holly (Peri Gilpin) because that allowed that storyline to progress and [for Paul and Nikki to develop] different opinions,” he says.
The movie was filmed last November, when Vancouver was walloped with winter, and Penny says that made for some cold nights. “I didn’t enjoy how cold it was. [When we shot the basketball scene], it had just snowed, and was -3,” he recalls. “They had to open up the double doors for the big lights to make it look like daylight. We were freezing.”
Aside from that, he had a blast shooting with Lilley, and you can see that on her Instagram feed. “Jen was so sweet and was the perfect Nikki,” he says.
In Chesapeake Shores, which wrapped its first season last fall and was renewed for a second season last month at the TCAs, Penny plays Kevin O’Brien, an Army Medic who’s injured by an IED after a return toÂ duty in Afghanistan. It’s one of the triggering events that reunites a long-estranged extended family of adult children and their divorced parents. Penny is looking forward to returning for another season when they resume shooting in April.
To get ready for his character’s journey as a veteran and combat survivor, Penny consulted one of the friends of first-season showrunner, John Tinker. “He had been [in Special Forces] and done multiple tours in Afghanistan. I [didn’t want] to impose. He was super kind,” Penny recalls. “We had a conversation, and he answered my questions. He opened my eyes to the job that the character of Kevin did and I filled in the blanks on the kinds of experience he would have seen.”
“There’s some stuff on You Tube about Army surgeons, and it’s intense. I play a character who’s gone through so much, I wanted to be as accurate as possible and have as much information as possible, so that if it came up [on the show], I could tap into it. I got to show a lot of great things with Kevin and I hope to get to do [more].”
He says the cast, which includes new friends, as well as old friends Jesse Metcalfe and Andrew Francis, has a lot of mutual respect for each other and a lot of fun. “We all get along very well. Laci [J. Malley] is incredibly talented and her performance [as sister Jess, who suffered her own PTSD from an accident] is subtle with a lot going on. I enjoyed working scenes with her,” he says.
“I’ve worked with Andrew a lot. He’s a buddy. He’s such a ding dong in a good way. We laugh all the time. I didn’t have any scenes with Jesse but I did a movie with him ten years ago, so it’s nice to be reunited with him and hang out.” In season 2 he hopes to work more opposite Treat Willims to flesh out their father/son story, as well as Emilie Ullerep.
Last season, he learned first hand about fan interaction as he live Tweeted the episodes, which he says was sometimes challenging as it was the first time he was watching the episodes. “It’s nice to hear people are enjoying what we’re doing. If they don’t like it, that’s OK too,” he says. “There’s plenty of stuff out there.”
“The thing I love about doing a series–it’s my fourth one now–is that you can get into the character so deep. Every single episode that’s written for you, there’s one more thing that you learn about your character or that you do a bit more fluidly. You can tap into what your character would think and the dialogue comes so much faster when you start knowing your character because it all makes sense.” Next time around, Penny says his dream would be to segue into a really dark drama or a sitcom.
He’s very fond of his time on the Canadian “whydunnit” procedural with a twist, Motive, which wrapped last year after four seasons. He was thrilled to get to change up the arc of his character, detective Brian Lucas, in the final season.
“It was a great show. It was a tricky show at times because there was so much going on. You had to service the [story of] the killer, the victim, and the [the regular players],” he points out. “I felt like there could have been a lot more going in for Lucas [so it] was refreshing to be able to spread my wings and do something different with him.”
“Early on, he was always trying to please Angie and Vega and it was nice to see him take a turn. Angie and Vega were always so open to listening to both sides and [we thought] it might be good to make him more black and white. I talked to [showrunner Dennis Heaton] about him going on the dark side. It was nice to do that and play those scenes with Louis [Ferreira] in the office. There was a lot of depth to them even though there wasn’t too much being said.”
“We all wanted that fifth season and we felt like we deserved it. Everyone from the producers to Dennis to the PA in charge of garbage was 100% committed to that show. Everyone was so great. No one wavered. The proof was in the final product. It was a beautiful-looking show and it was a lot of talent. I’m really, really proud of it.”
Directed by Christie Will Wolf (So You Said Yes) and written by Judith and Sandra Berg (Summer Love) and Sib Ventress (Mech-X4), A Dash of Love is a terrific, warm pre-Valentine’s Day romance. It premieres Saturday at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel. Penny will be live Tweeting both coasts Saturday night. Here’s a sneak peek.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
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, which US audiences still have not been able…
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…
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
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…