[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Hallmark Channel premieres the first of its pair of new June movies Saturday night with Cindy Busby and Christopher Russell in Love in the Forecast. I chatted with Busby this week about the movie, her Leo Award nomination for Web of Dreams, and a couple of other upcoming projects.
Love in the Forecast stars Busby as Leah, a local TV “weather girl” who commits to finish her meteorology degree and take a Year of Leah on her own after she’s passed over for a forecaster slot and ditched just ahead of a date. Her plan’s just getting started when she moves in next door to Mark, a city transplant who’s a born-and-raised farm boy.
He has homegrown ideas of predicting the weather that are odds with Leah’s science but they still strike up a warm, easy going friendship. Then emotions start to change and communication gets muddy and you can see where this is going…
The film marked Busby’s first time working with director Christie Will Wolf but it reunited her with A Puppy for Christmas co-star Russell and The Killer Downstairs co-star Donna Benedicto. She had a fantastic time with Wolf at the helm and with the ready-made cast camaraderie.
“I love collaborating with women in general [and] it’s still a work in progress sometimes in the movie industry. [Christie] is kind of a pioneer. She has been in the industry for decades. She is so young and yet has so much experience and just knows exactly what she wants and just goes for it,” says Busby. “She just loves working with good people and wants to kind of keep giving opportunities to people who deserve them and who work hard and show up. And that’s pretty cool.”
“And everyone on set respects her and works really hard for her and she knows what she wants and she gets it. I love seeing people who just walk in and they’re prepared and that’s one of the things that I loved about her and also because she was also really fun and we laughed all the time.”
“It’s nice to work with people that work hard, but then also have fun at the same time. And that’s how I choose to work as well. And anytime I have an opportunity to catch up, to collaborate with people like that, it’s just easy. Even though the days are long and we all work hard, if we can have fun doing it…I mean, isn’t that the point?”
“[Donna and I] bonded so much on The Killer Downstairs and just kept in touch even though we don’t really live in the same city a lot of the time,” she explains. “We just have a real affinity for one another and we’re super supportive of each other and it’s just really nice when you meet like minded people.”
“There are just some people you meet along the way that it just clicks immediately. And I am so loyal in that when I meet those people, I keep them really close because I want to see my friends thrive, even despite us doing the same thing in the same business. It’s all about lifting each other up and I’m just as successful as the person next to me. I want everyone to do well.”
“And I was really excited to work with Donna again, because she’s such a riot and she’s super professional and so much fun. And it was just easy and you know what you’re going to get. It’s always exciting to meet new people, but when you know that it clicks with people you already know, then you don’t even have to think about it.”
“[Christopher] is very, very handsome, but [he’s] the opposite of that kind of guy, he’s so down to earth, so funny, so grounded, and has a great head on his shoulders,” she says. “[On the first film, we just worked] a couple of days together, [so] we didn’t really get to know each other that well. On this movie, it allowed us to just really connect on a deeper level and we had so much fun. It was great. I just feel really lucky.”
If you follow Bubsy on Instagram, you know that as awesomesauce as Russell is, her heart belonged to another man–Kevin–the furry canine who plays Mark’s dog, Brodie. “I feel like my voice goes up like five levels [when I talk about him]. His owner and trainer Stephanie is such a a great wrangler [and we worked together] on Unleashing, Mr. Darcy and Marrying Mr. Darcy,” she says.
“Kevin is just the best trained animal I have ever seen. Like just will do anything to please his master and get a treat. And like a lot of times people say you don’t want to work on a film set with animals and babies, but on this set, I think anyone would have chosen Kevin over anyone. It seems like he just showed up and he did his work and he was like, ‘Cool, your turn.’ And I loved teasing Christopher about who my favorite co-star was.”
Busby brought some of her real-life weather exposure to the role, too. “My parents specifically, since they’ve retired, but have always been Weather Channel fanatics. [It’s] like their background sound or music as they always have [it] on all day long,” she laughs. “That’ll just be in the background, like you know, the fifth family member.”
“Of course, I did go a little bit deeper in really examining the subject matter [we] were talking about in the movie and just understanding, like, what is a pressure system [and] what does that mean? Things that we should all kind of understand, but we just don’t for the most part. So it was really cool to get to know that.”
Busby loved getting to shoot on a live TV news set, and says Wolf fought for that. “[I got] to work in front of a green screen at Global TV and that was awesome because, you can tell when you’re watching it [that it] feels authentic,” she says.
“And this was like a real studio and a real set. And that was one of the things Christie Will Wolf really wanted. She said, ‘I want us to do this in a real studio. It’s just gonna make a big world of a difference as far as the quality goes for our movie.’ And I think she was right. But in that day, when we shot all the news stuff, it was all in one day of shooting. And I think I changed costumes about 17 times. That was a definitely a busy day. And my brain was about to blow up, but it was really fun I’m really happy I got to do that.”
I chatted with Busby last year about Web of Dreams, where she played against type from what most Hallmarkies know her for. Last month, the Canadian Leo Awards recognized the film with 14 nominations, including one for her for best supporting actress for her performance. “It’s a really nice award and way for the community that works so hard in British Columbia to recognize its talent and not just, actors, but all the producers and costumers and our makeup and also documentaries and web series,” she shares.
“So I’m really grateful to be a part of something that I’m so incredibly proud of. And, to just be among a community of artists. It’s just kind of a nice way to bond. I’m just happy to represent the movie and our movie did unbelievably well. And so that gave me a little bit of light in these dark days.”
Later this summer, you’ll be able to catch Bubsy back on Hallmark Channel starring opposite Torrance Coombs in Romance in the Air and later in the year in Romance on the Menu, which took her down to Australia late last year. We’ll have more on those when we have scheduled airdates!
Photos and Videos Courtesy of Crown Media.
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