Hola What’s Hot Fam,
The Hallmark Channel continues its “A Little Romance” programming this weekend with the premiere of “Love Under The Olive Tree”. The film stars Tori Anderson and Benjamin Hollingsworth. Other cast members include Karen Holness and Andrew Dunbar.
“The prize of Sunset Valley’s annual olive oil contest is a land parcel with disputed ownership,” a summary of the film reads. “When feisty Nicole and competitive Jake face-off, they never expect sparks to fly.”
Hollingsworth, who plays Jake Brandin, spoke with the Media Village about simultaneously playing the love interest and enemy of Anderson’s Nicole Cabella.
“I like to think in every character there’s a darker side,” he explained. “An honest character has faults and in those is humanity and that’s always fun for me. A lot of the characters I’ve played tight rope that walk and balance a little bit of the bad boy or troublemaker, but at the same time keeps it light and allow the audience to see it’s a misconception – – it is tricky. “
As a result, the star made sure to get the opinion of someone behind-the-scenes of the project.
“With this particular role, I had an ongoing discussion with our director (Peter DeLuise), and asked him to be the sounding board and let me know if I was headed in the right direction,” Hollingsworth noted.
“If I was coming on too strong in the beginning, make sure I had options to reel him in. We had to find a balance of guy-next-door, a rival, and someone who could blossom into the love interest for Nicole.”
Hollingsworth’s other acting credits include “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” “Code Black,” and “Cold Pursuit”. On the other hand, you may recognize Anderson from “Blind Spot,” “No Tomorrow,” or Hallmark’s “Return To Christmas Creek.”
Hollingsworth noted how fun Anderson was to work with for “Love Under the Olive Tree”.
“We would joke around onset a lot and she would be like, ‘Okay first one to the edge of the barn!'” He recalled. “A lot of the competitiveness was improvised, and the director liked it. We thought it was fun because it was like things kids would do. We had an instant connection. One of the best parts of this job is getting to meet amazing people like Tori and create something fun. Hallmark is really good pairing people; I just worked with Cindy Busby on ‘A Godwink Christmas: Meant For Love’ and again it was instant chemistry.”
Furthermore, the film explores a new tenure of romance with Shawn Roberts‘ Adam Caulfield, Nicole’s best friend and co-worker. While all evidence is indirect, his character may be gay.
“I’d never seen that in any other scripts before,” he added. “It wasn’t a comment one way or another about anything, or what kind of relationships are out there, and without shining a light on things just have something open and accepting. My character has preconceived notions about their relationship, so it wasn’t just a side thing for the purpose of doing it and it furthered the storyline. I thought it was the most natural and authentic way of doing it. It services the story. I hope we see a lot more of that in future films and the cool thing is, it keeps you in suspense.”
Tune in to the premiere of “Love Under The Olive Tree” on the Hallmark Channel Saturday 9 p.m. EDT.