The Hallmark Channel is in the zone these days and can do no wrong. The channel is the number one network on cable television. It has two of the top-rated cable series on television today in When Calls the Heart and Good Witch.
Add to that the incredibly popular Hallmark Channel movies that consistently win their timeslots and you have a network that is hitting on all cylinders. One of the reasons for the network’s success is the work of one of its favorite actors, Rachel Boston.
Rachel has been in some of the most popular Hallmark Channel movies including Love at First Dance, Christmas in Angel Falls, Stop the Wedding and A Gift of Miracles. She returns to the network with her latest project The Last Bridesmaid, which premieres on Saturday, June 22nd at 9/8c. Not only does she star in the film, but she is also an executive producer.
We sat down with Rachel and talk about how she came up with the idea for The Last Bridesmaid, what it was like celebrating her birthday while filming and what message she hopes viewers take away from the film.
Pop Culture Principle – The Hallmark movie The Last Bridesmaid is based on an idea you had. Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for the movie?
Rachel Boston – I think it’s a story that so many people relate to. A few years ago I was the maid of honor in my brother’s wedding and everyone was saying, “you’re next!” or “when are you getting married?” It made me laugh, and as I was sitting on the plane flying back to work, I thought, “So many women go through this. This could be a romantic comedy!” Nina Weinman and I started brainstorming on some ideas, and I’m so happy we got to bring this story to life.
Pop Culture Principle – Chemistry is so important with a movie like The Last Bridesmaid. What was it like working with Paul Campbell on this project?
Rachel Boston – He’s so wonderful! We had a blast making this movie. We met years ago at a screen test, and I thought he was so smart and funny, so I was thrilled to go on this journey with him.
Pop Culture Principle – The Hallmark Channel is known for its wedding movies. What do you think makes The Last Bridesmaid stand out from the rest?
Rachel Boston – Her independence was important to me. This is a woman who has so much love in her life. It may not look like what society expects for her, but she’s happy. She’s not going down the traditional path but when true love comes her way, she’s ready for it. Also – the cast is just wonderful. There’s an energy to this film that makes it stand out. We had so much fun making it and we hope that translates Saturday night.
Pop Culture Principle – Any funny stories from being on set that you can tell us about?
Rachel Boston – We started a band! Paul Campbell and I made silly music videos between setups and the locations were just so magical. I want to shoot a musical with him now. I’m open to anything but in full support of The Last Bridesmaid – The Musical.
Oh, and another funny memory! We were filming right by the water and after one scene I started screaming, “There’s a whale! A whale!” The whole crew looks over. Everyone gets excited. And turns out it was a rock. So every day someone would point to a rock and asked me if it was a whale.
Pop Culture Principle – We read that while filming The Last Bridesmaid, you got to celebrate your birthday on set. How special was that day for you?
Rachel Boston – It was so special! It was this beautiful night where everything just clicked. Everything I have been through and every moment leading up to the film. And the night of my birthday, I am giving this big speech about true love and after they finished my coverage of the scene, the crew brings out a cake, there’s an orchestra playing Happy Birthday. It was a night I will never forget.
Pop Culture Principle – Hallmark continues to grow and dominate in the cable ratings. Why do you think the network and its films and television series continue to resonate with viewers?
Rachel Boston – I think there is so much darkness in our world and people are looking for a place for uplifting stories that make you feel good. A woman came up to me just a few days ago in the grocery store and was so thankful there is still television that is inspiring and hopeful. I feel the same way. I am a big fan of hope. And light. Stay in the light.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you feel there is a double standard when it comes to women asking when they are getting married compared to men?
Rachel Boston – I do! But I also think it’s changing. My grandmother was a career woman and she’s always encouraging me to follow my dreams and reminds me that I don’t need a man. And it’s true. I don’t feel like I need a partner to be whole, and I certainly don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t share the same moral compass. That really doesn’t work well for me. So I feel fortunate to live in a world where I can be independent, focus on my work, and if a wonderful man enters my life, I am open to it.
Pop Culture Principle – You are also the executive producer of The Last Bridesmaid. How did you enjoy not only starring in the film but wearing the hat of an executive producer as well?
Rachel Boston – I love working behind the scenes. Developing stories and taking real life inspiration and turning it into something uplifting. I have so many ideas that I’m working on now, and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you plan on producing any more projects in the future? Do you see directing in your future?
Rachel Boston – Yes, and I’m going to start shadowing a director soon. It’s an amazing time for women in film.
Pop Culture Principle – What message, if any, would you like viewers to take away from this movie after watching it?
Rachel Boston – Making this film was such a wonderful experience. For a week of production, we were filming right by the ocean. Looking out at the water and filming these scenes about second chances … it opened something up for me. So I hope that anyone who watches will feel that too.
Pop Culture Principle – Are there any other projects you have coming up that you can tell us about?
Rachel Boston – I’m developing a few projects right now, and I’m reading a script tonight. I would love to be back on a series — the family environment that a series creates and exploring a character over an extended period of time is so rewarding.
We’d like to thank Rachel Boston for sitting down and talking with us. It’s always a pleasure to get to speak with her. You can watch The Last Bridesmaid this Saturday, June 22nd at 9/8c only on the Hallmark Channel.
**All photos credit ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer**