[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
The pandemic sent workaholic people one of two ways–either deeper down the all-in-on-work rabbit hole, or far, far away from it as they reset and recognized the world had more to offer. Hallmark Channel’s very timely new romcom, The 27-Hour Day, follows the conversion of Lauren (Autumn Reeser) from the former Type A to the latter Type Z(en).
In the film, Lauren is a multi-hyphenate running a very successful life-hack podcast, the titular The 27-Hour Day. She’s on the cusp of the next level, or so she thinks, until a meeting with the Oprah-esque Barbara (Brenda M. Crichlow) doesn’t go to plan. Instead of embracing her do-it-all-as-fast-as-possible lifestyle, Barbara suggests that she do the opposite–step back, turn off, and recharge.
That sends Lauren from New York to the Montana retreat owned by Jack (Andrew Walker), his mom, Sally (Colleen Wheeler), and his sister, Ayla (Rhiannon Fish). Once the seeming opposites get past the initial meet cute, they become friends, and each offers the other a glimpse of the lives they’re living vs. the lives they want. They also become part of an extended found family alongside the other guests for the week. Earlier this week, I chatted with Walker, an actual multi-hyphenate himself, about the project.
We know and love Walker as a Hallmarkies favorite–and I’ve written here before that my awareness predates that, going back to his bad-boy-on-Lifetime days. While he’s been building his brand on Hallmark, he’s also been building a juice empire, Little West, with his wife and business partner, Cassandra, and during the pandemic, they branched into the post-production world, shepherding a new facility in New Mexico.
The 27-Hour Day was a fun project for Walker to jump into, and he’d met but not previously worked with Reeser when they teamed up on a project that never made it to production. He enjoyed finally getting to work with her, and the whole extended ensemble of actors. He also had a history with the film’s director, David Winning, who directs a script by Deborah Jones, Karen Berger, and Audrey Shulman.
“We never worked together, but we were trying to get an indie film off the ground back in 2019. We had met a couple of times for coffee and and then we had spoken a few times on the phone and I’ve seen her at the Hallmark events, so we’d already broken the ice long before we saw each other on set,” he explains. “It was so nice to finally get to work with her on this project, especially being the storyline that it was.”
“I loved the two characters teaching each other something. She really pushed my character, Jack, to take the bull by the horns and take a risk. I’m very similar to Jack and the way that I take on a lot of projects and things. Jack is the one that’s heading up the financials for his retreat and for the expansion and has the responsibilities of keeping the day-to-day upkeep of the property weighing on the shoulders.”
“It’s a really cool kind of yin and yang between the two characters, really pushing each other in that way. And Jack teaches Lauren to just relax and unwind, take a moment for herself and breathe. [These movies] always go back to health and wellness, mental health, just finding balance, finding time for yourself. What’s so beautiful about this movie is that it brings up the conversation [about] trying to find that your priorities and reshuffling your life.”
“I feel like it was an all-star cast ensemble that was brought together. I had worked with Geoff Gustafson and Karen Holness before, and they were the stand out characters on both those movies that I worked with them on, so it was just so nice to get everyone together in this film. And the other newer actors that I hadn’t worked before with…everyone really brought it and [they were] such fun people to be around. [It felt] like we’d been working together on a series for years.”
“[David] and I worked together when I was around 13, 14 years old on this TV series called, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, my first acting gig, and he also directed one day on Dashing Through the Snow. I had to do a reshoot and they flew me up for one day of shooting to just add a little bit more to one of the scenes. And David was directing that one day.”
Another character in the movie is a teacup pig, and she left an impact on her human costar. “The owners of the pigs were incredible. We had two, and had to trade off from one take to the next, because they only have a certain amount of attention span and they were very impatient and demanding,” he laughs. “I know now that I will never own a pet pig, but I have held off on eating pork since I shot the movie.”
Walker fell into the post-production business by way of a real estate investment and recognized an opportunity to fill a void in the burgeoning world of the Albuquerque, New Mexico entertainment industry. “We’ve been working on it for the past six months, furnishing a couple of floors and we’re building out a couple soundproof rooms for ADR work and for editing bays. It’s called Crescit Eundo Studios, it means, ‘It grows as it goes’ and it’s the New Mexico state motto. Our best friend, Kelly, we call her auntie mommy to our two little boys…she and my wife and I bought a couple homes a couple of years ago in New Mexico right before the pandemic,” he shares.
“We’ve been monitoring the influx of business, and the woman who manages our properties explained they need warehouse space and production offices [in the state]. She said the area was losing projects to post-production because directors and producers want to be able to do post there. So we decided to [build out] specific floors for post-production offices to help keep work there. Now we’re starting to do programs, teaching locals the the ropes of how to get into post-production.”
Walker is marrying his Hallmark world and his Little West world with a giveaway of self-care products. Check out his Instagram and Twitter feed for more info–and yes, he will be live Tweeting. “On the night of the movie, we’re going to be giving away a health and wellness kit,” he says. “There are some facial masks in there. There’s juice, there’s LaCroix, there are yoga mats. There are a whole bunch of fun things that we’re going to be giving a lucky viewer.”
Photos and Video Courtesy of Crown Media.
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