Myko Olivier returns to Hallmark this weekend with the premiere of the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film Finding Love in Mountain View co-starring Danielle C. Ryan. His last, The Ultimate Legacy, was in 2016, and the third in Hallmark’s Ultimate trilogy. His latest also deals with a loss within a family, as Margaret (Ryan) finds herself an instant mom after unexpectedly losing her cousin Susan (and Susan's husband Hank) and is tasked with raising their two young children, Sammie (Skyler Elise Philpot) and Joel (Luke Loveless). Having dealt with loss in his last Hallmark project, going into this one, it was something very close to the actor. “I felt a big connection to this script,” Olivier (pictured at top) revealed during an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. “The day I was sent the script, and offered the role, my aunt passed away. It was a little unexpected, but it was almost like, and I don't want to say I took it as a sign, but it was interesting to have the mixed emotions of losing a family member and then getting a little gift like this from nowhere.
“It kind of mirrored this script,” he continued. “Danielle’s character loses a family member and is left with two children to take care of, which is a lot to throw in someone's lap. But I think that's what the script, and the title, refer to. Granted, she comes home and our characters reconnect, but she finds love in finding a family. So, I think that's more what I see as ‘finding love,’ she finds more by finding family.”
While the film deals with some heavy subject matter, Olivier was intrigued by its exploration of friendship and people being there for one another in times of need. “Ultimate Legacy was about my relative dying, he recalled. “Then figuring out inheritance and what to do with it. But this one was different in that not only is a main character having to go through this, but the children. That is dark for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, but that's real life. Everyone goes through this. But it’s still a feel-good movie, and [shows] there are ways to move on, find love, happiness and joy even in dark times. I believe that's the point of Hallmark. We watch to help give us a kind of guidance and show us a little bit of light. That's my impression of Hallmark, to make me happy!”
Olivier was very happy with his two young co-stars, as throughout the film, much of the emotional storytelling is left to them. “They're just naturally talented,” he shared. “Both Skyler and Luke reminded me of my two young cousins, Spencer and Delaney. My biggest concern, in playing Andrew, a school counselor and a pseudo caretaker to them, was I wanted to be a good caretaker on set. My goal was to make sure that they felt safe and comfortable and kept them at ease so they could do what they do naturally and have organic moments. We played improv games and I treated them as the professionals that they are. They're both super talented. It was wonderful to have formed a little on-set family and for us to all bond. I actually found a family in Mountain View!"
He was also impressed with his co-star Ryan, whose character not only has to deal with instantly becoming a parent, but also tackle the loss and a crossroads she’s hit in her current relationship. “I think our director did a great job of coaching us with that delicate situation,” he said. “Danielle did a great job of acting and just being likable. Having to justify this situation, where she's reconnected with Andrew, an ex who is helping with the kids, it’s tricky when two people are in different places in their lives and want different things. But I think that's just life, and something we can all relate to.”
Although not a parent in real life, becoming an instant parent is something Olivier would be fine with. “It’s a weird time to be asked about that because I do want to be a dad,” he said. “I am ready, and I’d like to have a kid now! But I can sympathize with this [film's] situation. If I’d suddenly become a parent a few years ago, I would’ve been a little in shock, but now I feel I have a good safety net of family that would be supportive. And I have a loving wife that I'm sure would be game. If you surround yourself with the people you love, they will help you get through the toughest times and it might make you a bigger, stronger person.”
Telling heartfelt stories is another thing close to the actor and the fact he gets to do it through Hallmark makes it even more special. “These are actually my favorite kind of movies,” he shared. “If you can get me to laugh and cry in a movie, I'm sold. My favorite movies are Forrest Gump and La vita è bella (Life Is Beautiful) because they do such a good job of balancing humor with fun with sadness. Everyone has [those] things in life and you have to acknowledge them to appreciate the ups and downs.”
He’s hoping to be able to do more of that through Hallmark. “I would do another Hallmark movie in a heartbeat,” he said in closing. “One of the reasons I got into acting was to play different people and travel the world. But there’s so much world in the United States, and in places like Arkansas where we filmed this. I think Hallmark has its finger on the pulse of what America is in all of our variety.”
Finding Love in Mountain View will be telecast Sunday, September 19 at 9 p.m. on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
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