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Interview: Taylor Cole

Taylor Cole is certainly no stranger to the Hallmark universe and its many viewers. She’s starred in several Hallmark Channel movies including The Art of Us, Christmas in Homestead, Appetite for Love and Winter Festival of Ice.

In her latest Hallmark movie One Winter Weekend, Taylor teams up again with her My Summer Prince co-star Jack Turner for some winter fun. The movie premieres on Saturday, January 20th at 9/8c on Hallmark. In this movie, a relationship writer at a women’s magazine has recently sworn off dating and joins her best girlfriend for a snowboarding weekend.

The Arlington, Texas native has built an impressive resume of work over the years. She got her big break as a series regular on the WB show Summerland. She followed that role up with a series regular role on the NBC show The Event. She’s also appeared in series such as Heroes, Supernatural, Ballers, Castle, and Entourage to name a few.

Today, we talk with Taylor about how this character is different from anyone she’s played before in a Hallmark production, what it was like working with Jack Turner again and why Hallmark movies resonate with their viewers.

Pop Culture Principle – What was it about the script for One Winter Weekend that made you want to sign on to the project?

Taylor Cole – Well, I have to say that most every Hallmark movie that gets sent my way, I almost immediately know that I want to do it because of the joy it brings everybody and you know it’s going to be a happy story. As an actor, you know you aren’t going to read something that is horrific or something that won’t offend anyone and you know you are going to make people happy.

For this particular script, it was one of my favorite scripts because of the departure of the normal kind of movie that you usually get from Hallmark and I don’t mean that in a bad way. This particular character had an edge about her in this movie because she’s coming from a little bit of a heartbreak, has sort of sworn off dating and isn’t in such a positive place in her life.

That sort of energy intrigued me because that’s not usually what you get from a Hallmark movie. I really like where this character started and where she ended up at the conclusion of the movie.

Pop Culture Principle – How would you describe your character Cara to someone?

Taylor Cole – This character is trying to figure out what makes her happy as for as her work and her career. She’s a writer, but the writing that she is doing isn’t that inspiring for her. She’s working for a magazine where she’s writing about dating and it’s exhausting and it takes up her time and energy.

She really wants to be a mystery writer and going back to school to try and explore that world is a risk that she’s not sure that she wants to take. She eventually gets the strength to leave the cushy job that is paying her bills and take a leap of faith to go back to school and do what she really loves. She finds the inspiration within herself which I think was great

There where some rewrites in the script where it ended up being that it was all her inspiration and it was her figuring out who she is and what she wanted.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us one similarity and one difference between you personally and your character Cara?

Taylor Cole – Something similar would be that she’s going through a heartache and a hard time and she takes a trip and is travelling to maybe spark some inspiration and get through a hard time. I also do that when I’m happy or sad or trying to figure something out. Inspiration really hits home when I’m travelling and I’m in the wilderness. I purchased a trailer and for the past year or so, I have been driving from job to job and being one with myself. It helps me get myself grounded and helps me be aware of my surroundings which is very helpful to healing and happiness.

One of the ways that we differ is that Cara is a little bit more stubborn, which was fun to play. I mean she did go through a hard time and I understand that, but I am very, to a fault, happy go lucky and go with the flow and I never say no. Cara has boundaries and she tries to place everything in a box so everything can happen the way it’s supposed to and I am more of the opposite. Cara is more structured than I am.

Pop Culture Principle – You got the chance to work with Jack Turner again. Can you talk about what it’s like working with him?

Taylor Cole – It was so much fun. It was fun that we got to go at each other at the beginning of the movie as opposed to just falling in love the entire time. A little bit more conflict between the two characters was fun to play.

Also, a familiar face on these shoots is always appreciated. You already know what you are in for and you already know each other, so the connection and the bond is already there. You know the fans love and believe in that connection and you don’t have to try and find that connection. The funny thing is, everything about this movie is completely opposite from that last Hallmark movie Jack and I did together. For us, it was fun to explore a different relationship that has the same connection.

Pop Culture Principle – One Winter Weekend also has a fantastic supporting cast with Rukiya Bernard and Dewshane Williams. Can you talk about what it was like working with them?

Taylor Cole – Oh my gosh, I love them and they were so great. I had more days on set with Rukiya than I did with Jack, so our bond was immediate and great. She’s a mother and just so loving. I really enjoyed their company. I didn’t get to work with them together so much, but what time we did work together was amazing.

Dewshane is so talented and just a wonderful person. He is so interesting. He makes his own music and beats and he’s on the presuppose of something really amazing. It’s very inspiring and it’s so beautiful to watch and be around his energy and I know he’ll be huge one day. Rukiya was doing three projects at the same time. She was flying back and forth working on this movie, a Disney movie and also a series.

I love that the friend has a love story and a connection. Every time there is a second love story, I love it and I know the fans love it. This particular love story between those two is really cute and they added a few things to the script that made it even cuter. They had such a great bond that you will root for them. Their love story is opposite of the love story between our characters and it really shows the juxtaposition between the two stories. It makes it cute and interesting to see how both couples react.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us what it was like filming One Winter Weekend in Canada and how the scenery and environment helped your performance?

Taylor Cole – When I first got to Winnipeg, I hadn’t done any research, but I just figured that we are shooting a snowboarding movie that we would be in the mountains somewhere. When I asked the driver where the mountains where and how far away our lodging was from the mountains, he informed me that the running joke of this town is that you can watch your dog run away for three days.

This town is so flat that you could see your dog run away for three days. 😊 We were about thirty minutes away and I think the 1984 Olympics were held there and it was just stunning. When you see the shots, they won’t do the place justice because it was just breathtaking to be there.

Pop Culture Principle – The Hallmark Channel continues to see record growth year after year. Why do you think the network and its movies are resonating so well with viewers?

Taylor Cole - I think that there is just a simple comfort with Hallmark movies. You can have it on running all day and you don’t have to sit down and commit to a series. It’s one movie and it’s short and sweet and it’s all tied up at the end. You are going to get a happy and tingly feeling and I think America needs that right now.

I think with other networks and television shows, they are trying to push the limit with the drama and are so much focused on the negative, that having an entire network which is dedicated to positivity is really refreshing for viewers.

Pop Culture Principle – What message, if any, would you like viewers to take away from One Winter Weekend after watching it?

Taylor Cole - You know, to keep an open heart and to know that love can be found in the most unexpected places and to honestly not judge a book by its cover as cliché as that may be.

We'd like to thank Taylor Cole for taking time out of her schedule to talk with us about One Winter Weekend. Don't forget, the movie premieres this Saturday, January 20th at 9/8c only on the Hallmark Channel! If you would like to keep up with all of Taylor's latest news and projects, you can follow her official Twitter account @TaylorCole.

**All photos copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Steven Ackerman**

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