Jodie Sweetin makes a welcome return to Hallmark Channel this weekend starring opposite David Haydn-Jones (Bridal Wave) in the premiere of the original movie Love Under the Rainbow. While no stranger to the Hallmark family, the movie marks a special career “hallmark” for the beloved actress. “This is my third Hallmark movie and my first non-Christmas movie for them,” she explained during an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. “It’s just a straight rainbow-bright romance! I do get different options for scripts from Hallmark, but with this one I loved the character, and the fact that she’s a teacher was something I related to as in college I got my degree in elementary education.”
In the film Sweetin plays Lucy Taylor, a character who doubts she will ever find true love. That’s until an unfortunate coffee mishap brings widower Jack Evans (David Haydn-Jones, pictured at top with Sweetin) into her life. Soon Lucy and Jack can’t seem to stop bumping into one another, especially after his daughter Sophie (Dakota Guppy, pictured below with Haydn-Jones and Sweetin) enrolls in Lucy’s class. As their encounters become more frequent, a mutual attraction develops. Jack, though, can’t overcome his fear of loss and allowing himself to love again – a definite roadblock to the happiness Jack and Lucy long for.
“I thought the script was so sweet and most importantly I loved the connection between the Lucy and Sophie characters,” Sweetin shared. “It was the first movie I've done in which a young character played an integral part, not just of the story but also the relationship [and] bringing the two characters together. It was something I hadn't done for Hallmark, in that I have a relationship with one of the kids in it.”
After growing up on-screen, the Full House and Fuller House star has a unique appreciation of working with young actors. “I do have a different understanding of what it's like to be a kid on a set,” she revealed. “I just get it. Adult actors don't understand what it's like balancing school and work and I certainly remember how it felt when everyone else was having fun and hanging out, and I had to go to class. I remember that being the worst. It brings a different level of understanding having experienced it. Like when they need a break and are afraid to ask. I do step in as I remember what it feels like having to just go along.”
Sweetin had a humorous six-degrees connection to Dakota Guppy. “Dakota actually played me in the [Lifetime] Full House biopic,” she laughed. “She was so excited and knew exactly who I was. She asked if I’d seen it and I told her, ‘No.’ I’d seen clips of it. I told her, ‘No offense, but I'm not watching [that] movie.’ She totally understood and was an absolute doll, extremely sweet and really professional. It was one of those funny small world moments.”
Like the millions of fans Hallmark movies continue to amass, Sweetin appreciates them and enjoys their message. “I absolutely get caught up in that feel-good element,” she told me. “Even though you're in it and you know what you're creating, working with the Hallmark brand you know exactly what they want. You can read it in the script and say, ‘This is that moment, this is that moment,’ which is great. People love that and its what's makes the movies incredibly successful. It's fun finding the differences in the stories and finding the uniqueness in each character and storyline.
“I just find these movies are a really good fit,” she added. “I love doing the work and particularly with this one, David Hayden-Jones, our director Tony Dean Smith and I, all really worked a lot on finding the reality of the moments. A lot of the joking banter between Davey and me was stuff that we found and wasn't necessarily on the page as we felt we needed to ground it and make it real.
“There's a line about Lucy having a giant life eraser,” she continued. “I think everybody has periods when they would like a do-over, but I'm of the mindset that if anything different were to happen I wouldn’t be where I am now. All the roads, paths, twists and turns lead you to wherever you are supposed to be. The takeaway from this movie is, don't worry about feeling lucky, luck will find you. That's something I related to, be it relationships, work or whatever. I feel when you get to the place of letting it be, things will fall into place and when you feel you no longer need it, it kind of happens.”
Sweetin is keeping busy while awaiting her next Hallmark project. In May she starts shooting the final season of Fuller House for Netflix and next week she is launching a parenting podcast. “It’ll be a raw, unfiltered, ridiculous look at parenting based on things I thought I would never have to say,” she revealed. “She’s also not ruling out the possibility of a Hallmark Full House reunion (of sorts) with fellow Full House alumni Candice Cameron Bure and Lori Loughlin, both regulars on the network.
“I really think that would be great,” she said with a smile. “Playing different characters in the same project. I think people would lose their minds! That’s never off the table, and if the Hallmark Gods are listening, it would be really fun.”
Love Under the Rainbowwill be telecast Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m. on Hallmark Channel.
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