One of the reasons for the success of the series is the work of Benjamin Hollingsworth, who plays Dan Brady. To say Brady is a character who has his issues and challenges is an understatement, but Hollingsworth does a tremendous job of not only showing that side of the character, but also showing that beneath it all, Brady wants what everyone else wants.
Not only do we talk all things Virgin River, but we also get a sneak peak and information on his two upcoming Hallmark movies. On July 30th, he stars in Splash of Love and on August 13th, he stars in the movie Romance in Style.
We had the chance to sit down with Benjamin Hollingsworth to talk about the new season of Virgin River, the relationship between Brady and Brie and we also discussed the personal importance of two of his upcoming Hallmark movies.
Pop Culture Principle – At the end of the third season, we see that Brady is arrested on suspicion of shooting Jack. As we head into the fourth season, where does the series pick-up for Brady?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – Orange is the new black for Brady right now. He starts off in jail and he’s doing time. It’s not the first time he’s been in jail. He got himself into a tricky situation yet again. He always seems to do that.
Pop Culture Principle – Brady has always been the tough guy and the outcast in Virgin River, but now that he’s in prison among real criminals and murderers, did you look at playing him differently during those scenes? Maybe a different walk and look?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – You have to put on this front where you give off the vibe of don’t mess with me. Brady does that, but also Brady has the ability to back it up because he was a marine. He isn’t someone you don’t want to pick a fight with, that’s for sure. He also puts a little extra on when he’s in jail to protect himself from attacks from within. We will see if that was successful or not.
Pop Culture Principle – We find out in the Season 4 trailer that Jack remembers that Brady didn’t shoot him. Do you think this exoneration can be an opportunity for Jack to try and become a part of the community instead of the outcast he has been?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – He has to at this point. There are only so many chances you get, and I think he’s really not wanting to be a part of this world anymore, but the question is whether he can. Whether the drug trade is done with Brady, we know Brady is done with the drug trade, but it’s not as easy to get out of as one might think.
Pop Culture Principle – Brady has a lot to deal with including his relationship with Brie, Calvin, his time, and prison and so on, but he keeps everything to himself. Will the way he handles these things be a detriment to him as the season progresses?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – You got it 100 percent. He doesn’t ask for help and he doesn’t go to Mike and say he needs a hand. He waits for people to come to him. I think he has a bit of pride where he thinks he can protect people from life. He doesn’t like to have to be protected and that is something we are going to see him struggle with.
Whether he should include Brie in his situation and what he is dealing with and whether that is going to put her in danger or if it’s something that he should be doing. It’s a good question because I try and think of it myself when I play it. It is an internal struggle, and we all take on things in life and try and handle them ourselves when maybe we should sometimes ask for help. So, it’s something that we can all relate to, and I certainly related to it.
It’s something I couldn’t even myself put a clear answer to as to what is the best thing to do in the situation, but it is tricky. I think that is one of the great things about this season is that you see Brady trying to handle so much all the time and he’s never super successful at doing it. Flaws and character are always relatable because I think everyone out there has a flaw or two and we are always trying to prevail through that battle.
Pop Culture Principle – Brie and Brady are so different from one another; do you think that difference is the main reason these two are together and can it last for those two?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – That’s a great question. Do Brie and Brady have what it takes to get married, have kids, do the whole thing, and make it serious beyond just a fling? There’s a great scene this season where Brady says this isn’t a long-term thing because you will go back to your lawyer life, fundraising and operas and she doesn’t understand what he is talking about.
I think there is a part of Brady that is protecting himself against getting hurt because for the first time in his life he’s in love and he’s scared of that. Maybe that is the one thing that he is scared of. He’s not afraid of many people at all and the one thing that scares him is love because he’s never gone up against that.
Pop Culture Principle – Speaking of Brie, it seems the show may have dropped a hint or two about a possible romance between Mike and Brie. Your thoughts?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – I think there might be something happening. I know in the books they both are a thing. I am sure that the powers that be know this, and a lot of the fans know this, but I really like Brie and Brady together. So, we’ll see how it turns out.
Mike is the stable choice and the choice that Brie probably should be with, but I think there is something to being with someone who is different then you are, and I think that works out more often. This idea where your soulmate should be exactly like you might be a bit boring and you both are going to be efficient at certain things in life and you both will excel at the same things, so you are going to have holes.
Whereas a real team and real soulmates bring out the best in each other and encourage each other to be better. Brady isn’t great at responsibility and being accountable and Brie is whereas Brie doesn’t have that wild side, but Brady does in spades. They bring out the best in each other and I think that’s why they work whereas I am not sure what would be the draw of Mike.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you feel at some point there has to be a face to face with Jack and Brady to put all of their issues to bed finally in order for Brady and Brie to truly move forward?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – You are absolutely right, and it absolutely needs to happen. It’s been a long time coming and as soon as Jack realized it wasn’t Brady that shot him, I’m surprised he didn’t approach Brady and apologize. So, there is something there that really needs to be ironed out. Obviously, Brady has kind of betrayed Jack and done things to hurt Jack and has turned his back on Jack. So, there’s a reconciliation that needs to happen and I really hope they get a chance to do that and soon.
Pop Culture Principle – You inhabited this character for four seasons now and heading into its fifth season, how protective have you become of the character?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – All of the fourth season I was fighting for Brady because I didn’t think that Brady would lie to her about what was happening in his life. I thought they were at a point where he would be transparent with her, especially since this is now starting to affect her life in ways that are threatening.
Also, I don’t think Brady is the type of guy that would have sat by and let this type of thing happen without revenge, but we came to an understanding that Brady is maturing and that he doesn’t have a knee jerk reaction to someone threating his girlfriend because that could put him back in jail. So, Brie is teaching him patience and how to find a way to do it the right way. So, that was an interesting back and forth.
There’s no one really that knows Brady better than myself and I think that is true for all actors who play a character over seasons. We’ve developed this relationship with the character, we are best friends with them in a sense because we are inside their minds and living their lives literally. We are making their choices, feeling their emotions, and thinking their thoughts, so it’s impossible to not get attached to the character.
Pop Culture Principle – What teasers can you give us for the fourth season of Virgin River?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – A lot of stuff is happening in the fourth season. There is a new boss in town when it comes to the drug trade. It isn’t just Calvin anymore; the big boss shows up. So, things get really complicated for Brady. People are threatening to hurt Brady and that gets really serious. He has to find a way out of jail, and he also ends up in the hospital.
Pop Culture Principle – On July 30th, you have one of your two new Hallmark movies coming out called Splash of Love. What can you tell us about that project and your character?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – I play a character named Ben, which was really easy on set because everyone knew my name. The movie is about orca whales and their migration and protecting them. I have always loved whales. When I was eighteen, I went whale watching off the coast of BC in Canada and saw some humpback whales. They turned off the engine of the boat and this humpback whale surfaces right next to me and his eye, which was huge, turns up and looks at me.
That was such a spiritual moment for me. It was nature that was bigger than anything that I have ever experienced and there was a soul to it. You could literally see that this massive animal was wise beyond its years. I kept that with me when I read the script. The locations were stunning and compete with Virgin River. There is something for me about being in nature which I really connect to.
Pop Culture Principle – On August 13th, your second Hallmark movie Romance in Style will be released. What can you tell us about that project?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – It’s about body positivity and it’s about females accepting who they are and how their bodies are beautiful regardless of shape or size. Having just had a daughter myself, I want her to grow up in a world where regardless of what society tells her, she can feel loved and appreciated regardless of her size and shape.
For me, if I can do a movie and influence culture in a positive way, that’s a great thing. This movie sends a message that you are worthy, and you hold value, and you are beautiful no matter if you are a size two or a size sixteen.
In fact, there is a line in the movie where it says size sixteen is the most common clothing size of American women. The fact that we don’t have that represented in television and movies as much as it should be, I mean we do, but not usually the leading lady. This is something that I want my daughter to feel the effects of. If I can influence society in a positive way, for me, that’s a reward in and of itself.
A huge thank you to Benjamin Hollingsworth for taking the time to talk with us. The fourth season of Virgin River is currently streaming on Netflix! Splash of Love premieres July 30th and Romance in Style premieres August 13th, both on Hallmark!
Virgin River Season 4
A Splash of Love
Romance in Style
**Virgin River photos courtesy of Netflix © 2022**