Behind the Scenes of MatchMaker Mysteries with Danica McKellar

By Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Archives
Cover image for  article: Behind the Scenes of MatchMaker Mysteries with Danica McKellar

MatchMaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance is telecast Saturday, April 25 9 p.m. on both Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Channel.

Like most us, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries fixture Danica McKellar has been following the stay at home orders issued because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, but that doesn't mean the star has been idle. "I'm trying to do my best to stay safe and stay sane," she shared in an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. "I'm trying to give back as I know there are a lot of people worse off than I am. I did the Hallmark messages about staying home and I've been giving tips about homeschooling, which I've been doing for a long time! Josh Saviano from The Wonder Years and I have done some question and answer sessions on my social media, just for fun. He's a great guy, so it was a lot of fun to catch up, and we're doing anything we can do to put a smile on people's faces. I've also been doing some readings and recorded one for Favorite Stories that benefits Save The Children and No Kid Hungry.

"When it comes to homeschooling the biggest tip I can give anybody is to have patience," she continued. "With homeschooling it can be very easy to lose your patience, as you just want [kids] to do what they need to do. During a pandemic you're already stressed out, and our kids are feeling this. So hug them, take a breath together, and try and keep the perspective that nothing is more important than giving them the emotional support they need. Listen to your kids and what they're interested in right now, what they have to say and what are their frustrations? Stop your output and take in theirs."

In the spirit of smiling, McKellar is delighted the second in her MatchMaker Mysteries series (and her thirteenth Crown Media project) is receiving a double premiere, simultaneously airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Channel. Turns out the number 13 is lucky for this math master. "I feel really lucky we were able to finish this before all of this happened," she shared. "I flew back from shooting on March 5 so we got this done just under the wire. We were set to start the third one on April 1. Everything was ready, and now we're just waiting to find out when we can start again."

In this A Fatal Romance, matchmaker Angie Dove (McKellar) is embroiled in the mysterious murder of writer Beatrice Penn (Anne Marie DeLuise), who takes ill during a writers panel Angie is moderating. With her ex-boyfriend Ethan Plume (Dan Payne) in town for the event, he becomes the prime suspect and Angie is not letting him take the wrap for something she knows he didn't do. Despite promising her full cooperation with Detective Kyle Carter's (Victor Webster) investigation, she launches her own to clear his name. "It's been great to delve into Angie and the Angie/Kyle relationship," revealed McKellar. "It's gotten to grow in a way that in a romantic comedy it wouldn't have. They'd have met, fallen in love, so it's been a little cat and mouse. What I loved about this movie was my ex-boyfriend shows up and that leads to jealousy from Kyle and [some] competitiveness. It's a fun dynamic to see this love triangle going on amidst a murder mystery.

"We also get some insight into what type of man [Angie] likes," added McKellar. "Obviously, it's very tall because both Dan and Victor are six feet six. It's hilarious because these men are 'other sized' humans. It was like, "There are my costars and yes, they are really, big". So there were a lot of apple boxes onset and the photoshoots. McKellar also revealed another behind the scenes revelation necessary to finish the movie on time. "I had to do some [voice pick-ups] in my son's bedroom," she laughed. "I filled his bunk bed with pillows, and I bought this great professional microphone online, so it ended up sounding great and hopefully you won't be able to tell the difference.

"We also got to do a fun homage in the movie," she added excitedly. "In the film Knives Out there's a mention of a fictitious Hallmark movie called Deadly By Surprise starring me. I thought that was so cool and sent the director, Rian Johnson, a letter opener engraved with that movie's title. He loved it, so look for a reference to Deadly. Fans of Knives Out will love it."

McKellar is hopeful a third MatchMaker Mystery will air this year as planned advising, "Everything's up in the air right now." She also figuring out how to squeeze in a Christmas movie before year's end. "It's kind of like a bomb went off, and everybody's left wondering what we are supposed to do now?" she said in closing. "I'll be home live-tweeting during this premiere, as social media has been a way to check in with everyone and help them not feel so alone. I may do something a little more elaborate like a Livestream before the movie airs, just to see how everyone's doing."

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