This weekend, two of Hallmark’s most recognizable vets team up for a movie involving a wedding location that’s a bit of a beautiful disaster. A gorgeous fixer upper needs TLC and in The Wedding Cottage, Brendan Penny and Erin Krakow are just the two for the job.
In the film, they play a perky wedding guide author and a cranky artist who’s struggling for inspiration. At the heart of Vanessa and Evan’s journey is a rundown venue. The former wedding planner is eager to transform it. Meanwhile, the renowned sculptor is the current owner of the establishment and, let’s just say, he’s reluctant to go along with Vanessa’s plans.
This “Spring into Love” event is must-see especially because of Krakow and Penny’s crackling chemistry, who are unbelievably starring opposite each other for the first time ever. The pairing remains rootable from beginning to end, even when the dynamic between their characters is icy to say the least.
“I met [Erin] once at one of the Hallmark parties,” reveals Penny. “But it was really just in passing. So I didn’t really get to converse that much with her. To my delight, she is pretty much the greatest person in the world, so I was super lucky to get to work with her on this.”
If the actors’ Instagram posts are any indication, the key to their rom-com success is, apparently, a lot of laughter. One of Krakow’s recent posts states “3 weeks of laughing till I cry with this one. #TheWeddingCottage.” Penny can’t argue with the sentiment.
“That is honestly the truth,” he says. “I normally laugh a lot on set and behind the scenes. But this one was a little laughter overdrive. It was very funny. She definitely hits my funny bone for sure.
“We just got along kind of really well. I talked to her the day before [filming started] on the phone and she just sounded cool and easy and I just let her know that I’m here to help her in any possible way that I can,” Penny continues. “I’m here for her as her co-star and whatever she needs, I’ll have her back. And we just kind of hit the ground running and didn’t have any problems with each other or any hiccups. We worked really well right from the get go.”
Their fun, easygoing real-life dynamic translates to the screen perfectly. “They’re two awesome characters you want to see get together. I think it’s a really fun script and a really fun movie and it hits all the buttons. I think [viewers] are going to want to see these two get together because… let’s be honest. When Evan and Vanessa are in a room together, your eyes are going to focus on them. It’s really good chemistry.”
The Chesapeake Shore alum’s favorite scene in The Wedding Cottage (which was filmed in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia) involves Evan, Vanessa (Evanessa?) and a leaf blower. “I like the leaf blower scene. That was a lot of fun to shoot because it had a lot of activity. There’s a lot of room for comedy. And I thought it turned out quite funny.”
Penny’s played creative types on Hallmark before. But there’s something about being an uninspired artist he enjoys. “Well, I finally got to play a guy with a bit more of a chip on his shoulder,” laughs Penny. “A bit more of an opinion, not just the hero guy, which is great to play, but I do like to have something a little bit different. So I think that’s what I enjoyed about it.”.
In real life the Canadian-born actor has a different creative outlet: photography. “That’s a huge passion of mine. I’m fairly private. If you look at my Instagram, I don’t post anything with my family. I like to keep that to myself. A lot of my photography is of my kids and my wife as well as a lot of surf photography and outdoor photography. I do a lot of fishing and a lot of backcountry stuff. So I’m kind of always up in the wilderness. I like to capture a lot of that.”
In 2022, Penny said goodbye to Chesapeake Shores, the Hallmark Media drama he starred on for six seasons. “It was bittersweet,” he explains. “I shot that show for six seasons. I think it was actually over seven years because of the pandemic. And that’s a long time. It’s a lot of relationships. It’s also a really nice amount of time to play a character. You don’t want to just stay on the air if you don’t have more stories to tell about the character. And I feel like my character definitely had a really great arc, but I do feel like it wrapped nicely. So in that sense, it’s always nice to finish a show as opposed to being canceled. So you can have that closure. And I feel like I got that closure.”
One of Penny’s earliest TV roles happened way back in 2006 during the first season of the CW’s Supernatural. These days, he’s still getting recognized for his guest-starring appearance in the memorable “Scarecrow” episode. “Mostly people go, ‘Hey, I saw you in Supernatural.’ I’m like, ‘yeah, that’s when I was starting out.”
He has fond memories of the experience and working alongside Supernatural star Jensen Ackles. “When I booked [Supernatural], I actually, at the same time, booked my first series regular on a TV show called Whistler,” Penny says.
I shot Supernatural first and then I’d start shooting Whistler I think two weeks later. And I had just met Jensen,” he continues. “I mean, he would never remember this, but I do. It happened to me. I had just met Jensen and he’s like, ‘Have you been in this business long?’ And he kinda asked me about work and I said, ‘Actually, I just booked my first series regular role yesterday.’ And he quieted down the crew. He said, ‘Alright, everyone listen up. This guy just booked his first series regular. He raised my hand in the air and [everyone] clapped for me. And it was the nicest thing for a young actor to have had happen to him in those early stages. But I think he is an absolute sweetheart. Again, he doesn’t really know me. He would never remember this. They had a million guest stars on the show in 15 seasons. He was very kind and it was an absolute great experience.”
He also cherishes his many years with Hallmark. “They’ve treated me so incredibly well. They’ve been so kind and I’m very appreciative. I’m very fortunate to have had the luck and the career that I’ve had with them over this last little while and I really hope to continue again. I’m really grateful for them.”
Brendan Penny springs into love alongside Erin Krakow in The Wedding Cottage which premieres Saturday night, April 15, at 8pm ET/PT on Hallmark Channel and streaming on Peacock in the U.S. and W Network in Canada. Here’s a sneak peek.
The Wedding Cottage photos courtesy of David Strongman/Hallmark Media and videos courtesy of Hallmark Media. Chesapeake Shores image courtesy of David Astorga/Hallmark Media.
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