I do love when my TV worlds commingle, and this Saturday night, Amanda Schull, one of our 12 Monkeys favorites, makes her Hallmark Channel debut in Love, Once and Always. Starring opposite A Gift to Remember‘s Peter Porte, Schull plays Lucy, a London museum curator on the cusp of elevating her career when her beloved aunt dies and she returns to Rhode Island to settle the estate, only to find out her inheritance has a catch that involves her first love, Duncan.
Last week, I spoke with Schull about working on the film, and she was kind enough to talk 12 Monkeys, too. I’ll share some of that now and the rest closer to the beginning of Season 4, which is still TBD for a premiere date as of press time. Schull was offered the part outright and was happy to join the Hallmark family. She made her formal debut, if you will, at the Television Critics Association event in January, and enjoyed seeing the network’s powerful female presence firsthand.
“I was offered the role in December and I read the script and thought it was very sweet and different from what I’d been doing. It was quirky and you had a chance to be playful, which you don’t get a chance to do very often,” she explains.
“I think Hallmark is the network a lot of people go to to exhale. I think people need that now, especially with the 24-hour news cycle. In a way, it’s really beautiful to be a part of something that brings people hope. You know that at the end of the two hours, you’re going to feel uplifted. You don’t need to be kept in suspense for that.”
“I got the role and she’s strong and she’s fun, and seeing the people involved on the project encourage that and my perspective and feedback…it was really nice to be part of that. They call it a Hallmark family and it really did feel that way.”
“[At the TCAs], it was amazing to be in [that] room. Women are mostly the leads of these movies. I have a handful of girlfriends who do these movies fairly regularly. I realized they’re part of the family and they’re becoming producers and I think that’s interesting and exciting.”
“All of these strong, confident women being in charge of content that’s going to empower other women to be strong and confident…it’s a very interesting concept in Hollywood, where that’s not always the case. Knowing that they’re now going to be in control of what they make and they do is really hopeful about the future of content.”
Schull says she experienced that spirit of inclusiveness and positivity across the entire journey of making the movie. “It’s sort of a trickle down. The people who worked on the film were positive and uplifting and supportive and it was a really encouraging and happy environment,” she recalls.
“Film sets aren’t always that. Somehow they managed that. The producers involved, Ivan [Hayden] and Kim [Arnott], were so positive and encouraging. While they, and the director, Allan [Harmon], kept the ship on the right course, everything got done without anyone’s feelings being hurt. You then are comfortable to bring that on the screen as well.”
Schull says the stars aligned in the casting of the movie, too. “Peter Porte is…I can’t say enough wonderful things about him. From the minute I met him, I adored that man. [It] was so much fun to go to work. From the second you stepped into hair and makeup, it was a barrel of monkeys. He sings. He dances. He has an incredible sense of humor,” she shares.
“There were times when it was almost too much fun. I needed to focus and I also kind of wanted to hang out with my friend. He’s really enjoyable. And I think the characters had that chemistry as children. It was really fortuitous casting that we clicked as well as we did to bring that backstory into it. It was easy for me to imagine having been so close to him as a child.”
“Literally every singe day I found myself laughing to the point of tears. We shot in some really incredible locations and he was always doing silly things or getting me to do silly things that he videotaped. He’s probably go things on his phone he could blackmail me with.”
Schull also enjoyed another co-star, a sheep who strolls around the grounds and through the house during the film. “She had a personality. My final shot of the entire film was with her, and she was done,” she laughs. “It was late. She’d been there all day. She relieved herself in the house and walked on out. That was it. She was done.”
The third season of 12 Monkeys aired on Syfy in the U.S. as a whirlwind three-day binge last May, and Schull felt our pain. “Live Tweeting for me was frustrating because I wanted to see how the scenes turned out that I wasn’t in and see what my friends were doing,” she recalls. “[Among the fans], not everyone has the time on the weekend, and I know some people had trouble recording it and then [it didn’t reair].”
Here at TV Goodness, we’re big fans of Cassie, and Schull explained that the role led her to the Hallmark opportunity. “One of the reasons I was considered and asked to do this was because of Cassie, which seems strange,” she says. “But one of the producers told me that the strength and determination and intelligence of Cassie made her think of me for this role. It’s really interesting when someone with that vision would see that connection and I really appreciate that she did.”
While she enjoyed the change of pace with the Hallmark movie, she said she loves the opportunities that come her way. “I like it all. It’s fun to be other people every once in a while and step in somebody else’s skin and wardrobe,” she points out. “I do love me an action sequence, though. I have grown to love doing a fight scene.”
One of the really special moments in the third season of 12 Monkeys came in Episode 7, when Cassie met her Mom, played by Signed, Sealed Delivered‘s Kristin Booth. It was an episode I wept through, and it impacted Schull as well. “It was wonderful to be able to shoot that. Kristin showed up and was just spot on. She was just amazing,” she says.
“Even just in the rehearsal when it was just her words, I started crying just watching her. She was so beautifully naive but invested in the woman’s story and case but then also kept tin the back of her portrayal this sort of quizzical confusion about what was happening and, ‘Do I know you?’ It got me in a way that I hadn’t expected.”
“Kristin as a person was so lovely and I had never met her before that day. It was really nice to have that opportunity especially for Cassie to have that opportunity.Â I think a lot of what drove her as an adult were the moments that she had and didn’t have with her Mom and [that was] one of the reasons she got into medicine and science and became a doctor.”
“It was a really nice full circle moment to be able to have that. For an action drama show to use time travel in such a gentle beautiful way and step out of the mission and have that was really special. That I got to have that story really meant a lot to me.”
Love, Once and Always premieres Saturday at 9 pm/8c on Hallmark Channel. Here’s a sneak peek. And below it, because it really is just that good, is that 12 Monkeys scene.
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