Last winter’s Three Wise Men and a Baby was a stratospheric success for Hallmark Channel, and the number one television film on any network in 2022. For the uninitiated, holiday the film is an outside-the-box confection about three estranged adult brothers (Paul Campbell, Tyler Hynes, and Andrew Walker) who reconnect when they’re left to care for an infant boy in the days leading up to Christmas.
Hilarity ensues and heartstrings are tugged and it’s a thoroughly good time. You can find our interviews with Campbell and Walker, and Campbell’s co-writer on the project, Kimberley Sustad here. It was only right that I complete the set by asking Hynes about the film last week when we spoke about this weekend’s A Picture of Her.
Hynes and cousin-in-law Walker had already been whetting the appetites of Hallmark fans by popping in and out of each other’s films, and Campbell would randomly pop up in Sustad’s, so fans were primed and ready when the quartet came together. Hynes had absolute faith in his friends that the film could be everything they hoped and more.
“I know how unbelievably talented Paul and Kim and Andrew are. When I read that script, I already knew what this movie was going to be. I more or less knew where it was going to land, and as long as we did what I knew that we could do, I didn’t see that it could go sideways,” he says.
“With these movies, because they’re so finite, you have to be pretty sharp. You only have a very short window to be able to capture something on camera before we have to move on. And so I describe them as a bit of a sport, because if you’re focused and you’re paying attention to what’s happening, you can have those things find their way to camera.”
Hynes also turned the camera on himself and his co-stars for a cheeky TikTok video that went viral. “I’m not a one for contrived circumstances, so anything I do or don’t do is all out of an organic instinct or impetus to try to do something. And that video is literally, I just wiggled my way into some very uncomfortable tights in my trailer, and knew that my best friends were on either side of me,” he recalls.
“So I banged on their doors and I said, ‘When I knock on your door, come out of your trailer.’ And I had my phone up slow-mo mode and they just came out and then Drew came out and I said, ‘Paul, point the camera here.’ And I came out and then I handed the phone to I think a makeup artist or somebody who was in our vicinity. And then that video happened in all of about five seconds.”
“That’s the way I go about things. Keeping it simple and having fun. And I think when it comes to social media, people can feel anything. I think people can feel more than we think that they can feel in the texture and the nuance of things and the thought that you put into them.”
While that video blew up and brought viewers to the movie, Hynes says the movie was destined to succeed with or without that social media nudge, and that it’s not wildly complicated why the film was such a hit. “If you understand two things: why people are coming to this channel and what they’re trying to engage in, if you understand thoroughly what that is and you just do it well and do really good work, you can do anything as far as I’m concerned,” he says.
“And so Paul and Kim’s script from the get-go is just that good. And Paul and Andrew and Kim and the rest of our cast, they’re just that good in our production … and our executives. Everybody was. If you do something well, it just works.”
“I had this conversation with Paul while we were doing it. I said, ‘This movie, I think, is going to land right where I think it’s going to land. And I want you to remember this moment and remember these days because what we’re doing here is not magical or mystical. This is something that we could do all day, every day forever.'”
“It is that easy for us and that effortless when the three of us get in a room and we work our way through these scenes, it is just that simple. And I think the three of us in any kind of circumstance, or the four of us with Kim, whatever the characters, the setting, might be, if it’s well conceived and well executed, which I think, again, is not a challenge when you’re talking about talents like theirs, it’s all going to work.”
“And maybe some will happen to hit at the right time in the right place and tickle a certain funny bone that really happens to elevate perhaps beyond the average. But at the end of the day, I can’t imagine us all getting together and making a bomb, a stinker. I just don’t think it’s in the cards.”
Three Wise Men and a Baby repeats Friday night at 8 pm/7c on Hallmark Channel and Peacock. Just in case you missed it, here’s a preview of what you’re in for. And Tyler’s new film, A Picture of Her, premieres Saturday at 8 pm/7c on Hallmark Channel in the US and streaming on Peacock, and on W Network in Canada. You can find our interview on that here.
Photos and video courtesy of Hallmark Media.
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