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Taylor Cole Previews Aloha Heart 

Taylor Cole Previews Aloha Heart

[Note: This interview was conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike.]

Taylor Cole takes us along on an island vacation Saturday night in Aloha Heart, which filmed on location in Hawaii. Starring opposite Kanoa Goo, she plays an environmental conservationist who’s on her first break in a while, arriving on the island as part of the bridal party for her friend’s destination wedding. Gifted with no filter, she quickly makes an impression on the hotel’s new manager Manu, a second-generation hotelier, when she points out the ways the resort is falling short on possible environmental improvements.

Aloha Heart

He’s trying to prove he can do the managerial job after waiting literal decades for his parents to give him his shot, so he’s got other more pressing issues, but he does eventually see her point when the aging hotel starts to show some cracks. And she turns to him for help when she agrees to fast-track the rehearsal dinner after the booked venue becomes unavailable.

Suddenly her R&R takes a little bit of a romantic turn as she falls in love with the island and her local tour guide and learns to let go and live on island time. Last month ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strike, I spoke with Taylor Cole about the project.  

She loved going back to Hawaii, which shares a sensibility with her home city of Tahoe. “I have been to Hawaii quite a few times. Tahoe and Hawaii sort of had similar mentalities, which is like Tahoe time, Hawaii time, the pursuit of happiness and nothing else really matters. Enjoy life and all the things that Mother Earth has given us and in every way possible,” she explains. “We’re very similar in spirit. You start to notice around Tahoe there are Hawaii signs. They’re just linked up soulfully,” she explains.

Aloha Heart

Cole loved the meet cute of the characters and where they eventually land as they learn from each other’s strengths. “Any kind of sparring back and forth between the two characters is always my favorite. The love, we know, will eventually come. So that’s fun to watch blossom. But I definitely enjoy those moments of just a little bit of conflict and the cute way that they navigate each other,” she says.

“[It’s fun to see] when the two characters meet in the beginning and just don’t see eye to eye and they’re really butting heads and going at it until they can finally come together and learn from each other, which I feel like happens in everyday life. So to see that reflected in these cute little movies is really what I love most.”

“Sara and Manu were very lucky to find each other because I think they definitely served a purpose in each other’s happiness. It took quite a bit of convincing, but he did eventually crack her and make her realize that relaxing and learning what really matters are the core things that aren’t going anywhere, no matter how scheduled or regimented or any of those business sort of philosophies are.”

Aloha Heart

“They’re wasted on the things that you otherwise could appreciate without having to worry about so much and take so much on. I think she really got to relax and learn that that is helpful in the long run, as well. And he learned from her just as much. So I think their combination of learning and giving and flowing together really made them better at the end of the day.”

In June, Cole was part of the Hallmark contingent that traveled to Kansas City for Christmas Con and toured the mothership headquarters. “That was honestly the most touching part of the trip. Meeting the fans is always incredible, but seeing where we started and the evolution and how far we’ve come and the journey and all the people who love and adore the brand and the message and the heart of Hallmark was incredible,” she shares.

“It just solidified the already incredible family feeling that I have been wanting to find in acting. I was sort of an accidental actor. So the fact that I found this healing content that families could watch and just bring them together [is incredible].”

Aloha Heart

“And then on top of that, behind the scenes, there’s a whole family of love and compassion and encouragement and all these beautiful elements that make it come to life on the screen because it’s being lived through the entire company. I really adored getting to see that and meet everybody behind the scenes and see that everybody who works at Hallmark are fans of Hallmark movies, because that is not always the case. [At the con], the dedication of [fans] coming so many miles and to really get to talk to them about [the films that] moved them [and] how much it meant and how impactful and meaningful it was was really special.”

Cole was the initial spokesmodel for the Hallmark University green hoodie, and says when Benjamin Ayres rebranded the line to Romance University, she panic bought several of them. “My grandma, my dad, my mom [were going to want that version] so I put in a special order for 20 just in case somebody asked, ‘Where’s my sweatshirt?’ I’ve got a hoarded box of sweatshirts to hand out, just in case,” she laughs. As it happens, the OG is still available here if you want one of your very own. I have one and it’s wicked comfy.

While Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has rebooted its franchises, Cole would love to step back into Ruby Herring Mysteries if they came back around. “I have not heard anything, but I did get quite a few requests at both the cons,” she shares. “I’m ready.”

Aloha Heart premieres Saturday at 8 pm/7c on Hallmark Channel and streaming on Peacock in the US and on W Network in Canada.

Photos courtesy of Karen Neal/Hallmark Media; videos courtesy of Hallmark Media.

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