Throughout his many Hallmark Media movies, Tyler Hynes has fallen for his leading lady in a variety of ways. This weekend the popular Hallmark star teams with Rhiannon Fish for his latest project, A Picture of Her, in which he portrays Jake Myer, a freelance photographer who captures an image of Beth Plimpsole (Fish) in a quiet moment enjoying the flowers at a Los Angeles farmers market. After Jake inadvertently submits the photo to the magazine he works for, Beth becomes a viral cover girl, and Jake is enamored with her natural beauty. As the two get to know one another they form a trust, but Jake is torn that their friendship is built on a secret. Could telling her the truth about him being Shutterbot, the photographer behind the photo that made her an overnight sensation, be the thing that destroys their budding romance?
"I think the right photograph can capture something that even a video cannot," Hynes shared during an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. "There's something about a still image that [can] be profoundly simple and beautiful. When it's a very fleeting moment that's captured, I think the power of that exists. When we were prepping the movie, we had to create an image we felt was iconic enough to justify the storyline. I kept thinking of that image at the end of World War II of the soldier kissing the nurse in Times Square, that kind of simplicity of an image. I think this movie asks people to believe in that idea a little.
"I like the camera being pointed away from me," he continued with a laugh. "I'm certainly more interested in that than pointing it at myself. But I liked the way [Jake] speaks about photography. The simplicity, the humility and the patience of it all is something that I certainly related to. I'm no photographer by any means, but I have my phone and that does have a camera, so there are aspects of Jake's approach that probably inspired the executives to give me a call for this movie where I'm on a motorcycle and taking photos."
Hynes hadn't worked with Fish before the film, but the photo of her that provides the film's premise was as revealing in real life as it appears on the screen. "I remember watching them take the photo," he recalled. "I have a video actually, and I was wondering how it was going to turn out. When I saw it, I was like, 'Wow!' Very well done, everybody. I told Rhiannon how outstanding and effortless she made it. Rhiannon does have a sensitive side to her simplicity, and beauty, that is in that photo. Hats off to her for creating and being a part of that image that ends up being the linchpin of this movie. Everyone did an incredible job of capturing that part of her beautiful sensitive spirit."
When reflecting on his time with Hallmark (which began in 2018), Hynes can't help but feel how lucky he's been in the co-star department. He says he had no idea the network would become such an important career milestone.
"My first one was It's Christmas, Eve with LeAnn Rimes," he reminisced. "I got a call a few days before they started shooting asking if I wanted to do it. I was at dinner and not available to sort of review what it was, so my mother was kind enough to look at the script. Knowing it was with LeAnn Rimes, I did ask, 'Just let me know if I sing in this thing or not?' She said no, so I was like, 'Okay, that's good enough for me.'
"The process was new to me," he continued. "[Our] director was very kind and made me smile a lot, as he wanted me to do more of these. I also credit one of my earlier friends and collaborators, Taylor Cole (Falling for You), who was very much a proponent of, 'This is a lovely place and let me show you.' She laid it out for me, and it's been exactly as she described since the beginning -- a truly lovely place. I think that's in no short order due to the people who watch the network and the people who run it. It's a tapestry we're all in and such a fun environment."
Part of the fun for Hynes was getting to display his motorcycle skills for the first time on Hallmark. It's something fellow Hallmark star and motorbike enthusiast Ryan Paevey has expressed an interest in doing for a while. "Sorry, Ryan," he laughed. "Yeah, I actually rode the bike in it. There was almost a moment I wasn't going to because of insurance purposes. I told the production guys, 'This is why I'm here. I need to have my butt on that bike.' For this character, it lent itself to a certain romance that I hadn't explored yet, and I think the folks who perhaps follow me wouldn't mind seeing me on a bike in a movie as I do ride one in real life."
Spring has just sprung, but Hynes is already looking for this year's Christmas movie, something that has become a tradition for him. While it's unlikely to happen this year, he's hopeful Hallmark will reunite him with friends Paul Campbell and Andrew Walker for a sequel to last year's monster hit Three Wise Men and a Baby. "Everybody is curious to know about that," he laughed. "We'll have to see. I think everybody has been well heard on their appreciation for [that] movie and certainly, Paul, Andrew and I love being together, so we'll see what the future holds.
"I enjoy the tradition that's become having a Christmas movie come out," he said in closing. "It's added to the whole experience of Christmas. Luckily, I've been busy with other things, but I think the gas is going to get hit pretty soon and I'll be sweating somewhere, shooting something that shouldn't be shot at that time of year."
A Picture of Her will be telecast Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m. on Hallmark Channel as part of its annual Spring into Love programming event.
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