[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Rhiannon Fish is back on Hallmark this Sunday night, starring alongside Hunter King in Nikki and Nora: Sister Sleuths on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. In the film, King and Fish are the titular sisters, estranged fraternal twins who are brought back together when a mysterious benefactor bequeaths them his detective agency.
Initially intending to cash it out and go their separate ways, the sisters instead put the tools of the trade to use when they’re drawn into the murder case of Nora’s boss, George (Dean McKenzie), a high-dollar attorney who liked to work outside the lines. Nora is a rising lawyer at the firm, and we first meet her when she handles a murder case for a client that then dovetails into the death of her boss.
Nikki is a struggling actress who’s returned to town after leaving years earlier following the death of her and Nora’s parents during a home invasion robbery. Nikki never looked back, and Nora pulled herself up and established a career on her own. Being back in Nikki’s orbit softens Nora a bit, and she starts to reconnect with the sister she’s missed but has also been very angry with. And together they start to work the case.
The film is directed by Kevin Fair from a script by Marcy Holland and a story by Dianne Dixon. Madison Smith co-stars as Nora’s BFF Robby, a rising officer on the police force, David Attar is Scott Evans, a detective with a grudge from an earlier case, and Mike Dopud is Mitch Grimes, a maligned former client of Nora’s firm. I spoke with Fish last week about the project.
It was love at first site for Fish and King, and Fish says the sister theme was near and dear to her, too, so it was a win-win. “It was one of the easiest stories to tell. I have a sister two years younger and she is the most important person in the world to me. I could honestly lose everything, but as long as I have my sister, I’m okay,” she explains.
“So playing the storyline where I was imagining we lose our parents and then my sister leaves me alone to pick up the pieces, so not only have I lost my parents, but I’ve lost the most important thing in the world, I felt that very, very deeply.”
“And I loved playing how different they are. That was really, really fun. Hunter King is by far the greatest person I’ve ever met in my whole life. I had this moment where as soon as I met her, I felt that I’d met a soulmate, and that very much continued through the whole time we were filming.”
“I think with siblings, even if you don’t spend a lot of time together, there is a soul connection. And I imagine that soul connection is even deeper with twins. So it was really cool to play that. They’re completely different human beings, but they are intertwined by something that cannot be explained. I feel like I have that with Hunter.”
“I have fingers crossed that we make more of these movies. I would be very curious to see how what happened with this murder and her sister being back would change her. I honestly think the sisters would pick up each other’s traits, in both good ways and bad ways and exchange those qualities with each other.”
“For a long time, since I’ve been doing these Hallmark movies, I wanted to do a love story between two women. And that is essentially what this is. It’s a family love, but that to me is the deepest love there is. I love exploring a love story between two sisters. I think it was beautiful.”
Fish also loved the mystery, which kept her guessing, too. “When I read this script, I was almost the whole way through before I even clicked who the murderer was. I had no idea until it was revealed at the same time to the audience,” she says.
“I love shooting all that. And creating that element of suspense, that whole whodunnit thing. I think it’s very well done and it keeps the audience, or it certainly kept me, in a place of suspense for the entire time reading it.”
Although Fish says she and King laughed constantly and struggled to keep straight faces while each was off camera during their scenes together, she relished the emotional beats, as well. “My favorite scene…I even took a screenshot of the script because it just broke me, was the scene where they decide whether they are going to remain in each other’s lives or they’re not,” she shares.
“And I also adored the moment where they’re looking through old photos of their parents and them as little girls. It so reminded me of me and my sister, where you don’t even need words sometimes. Kevin was so amazing at directing that. He we went in and we did the tight coverage first, the really emotional stuff that we wanted.”
“And it was just so easy. All I had to do was look at Hunter and she looked at me and it felt so real. We would love to speak to whoever cast this. It’s some kind of witchcraft. We look alike, sure. There are little qualities that you can see, but there is also just something about us [together] that it’s so plausible that these two people shared a womb when really we only met a couple days before we started filming.”
In this summer’s A Splash of Love, Fish loved working with director Heather Hawthorn Doyle and co-star and screenwriter Juliana Wimbles, but she struggled with the many boat scenes. “It was a really hard project. It was all pretty much out on the water and I get motion sickness. I was pumping myself full of Gravol and I had the motion sickness wrist stands on and it was difficult,” she points out.
“It just became together to be absolutely stunning. Heather Hawthorn Doyle did such a fantastic job of editing that film and I’m really proud of how that came out in the end. Juliana is a wonderful woman. I think she’s great in the film and her script is so good. I think I’d be lucky to ever have the opportunity to work with her again.”
Nikki and Nora: Sister Sleuths premieres Sunday at 9 pm/8c on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Here are a few sneak peeks.
Photos and videos courtesy of Hallmark Media.
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