Interview With Actor Brennan Elliott

By Ruth on July 8, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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As most of my followers/friends/fans/family/enemies know, Brennan Elliott is amongst the topmost actors on my “favorites” list. I’m a long-time supporter of his, and it is always a genuine delight to have the opportunity to speak with him. Unlike last time, I was prepared for his phone call, and in spite of our busy schedules, I was grateful we were able to make this happen. With Brennan, I can never fully plan the direction of the conversation (as you will observe), but I always feel like I am chatting with a friend–a good friend–and these conversations are always met with relaxation and ease. I invite everyone to discover in the words below the authentic man that we have adored in Hallmark movies, witnessed as a misunderstood villain, and even observed how he could take the seemingly insignificant role of Graham in Unreal and make him a fan favorite.

Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Steve Wilkie

RH: Brennan, I’m so glad it worked out for us to talk tonight.

BE: Me too. I know things have been pretty busy on my end.

I understand. It’s been so busy here too.

I was going to say that I had noticed from your posts on Twitter how busy you are. I suppose I should be honored to even have this interview since a busy lady like you was able to fit me into your schedule.

{laughs} I can assure you Brennan, it is always a delight to fit you into my schedule. {pause} Now, when we were talking about doing an interview, Unreal was going to be airing this summer, and now I know it’s been postponed.

Yes, I think based on some information I received, Lifetime has a couple of other shows, and I think for a number of reasons, they want to air them all around the same time. This way, we help those shows, and they help ours. I know it’s hard on fans having a year and a half in between seasons, but it is what is, and we’ll see what happens. It was a fun season; it was a good season. The fans that love that show are going to be in for quite a treat, that’s for sure. But they’ll have to wait a little longer.

Yeah, I read something along the same lines, and so I kind of understand the reasoning. But I’m very excited for the season. While I know we have to wait, I think I figured out I know many of the people who joined the cast. I think there were four guys who joined the cast who had been on Hallmark at some point.

Well, I know that Marcus Rosner is on it, and he’s done quite a few Hallmark movies. We had quite a few chats that were really nice. But it’s a different season because obviously there’s a suitress and a bunch of guys. Not to sound like I’m plugging Graham, but my character is a lot more miserable this season. There’s a little less eye candy for him. He basically has nothing to do. {laughs} You know, standing there for four months with a bunch of guys and one girl, in his world, it’s probably like, “Oh, this is great. I guess I’ll just sit in my trailer and drink more.”  But there’s a lot of fun moments and a lot of humor. The fans of the show are definitely going to enjoy the storylines with Constance {Zimmer} and Shiri {Appleby} and Jefferey {Bowyer-Chapman}  and everybody who’s involved. I think they’ll be happy with those deep storylines and what’s going on in Everlasting. Obviously, Graham in Everlasting has become sort of this fan favorite thing that people love to watch and have a good time, so I’m excited to be a part of it.

We will definitely be watching for it when it does come back on.

I think January is when they said it comes back on.

I will say that I didn’t realize it had been so long since our last interview. It’s been almost a year.

Has it really?

Yes, I was looking up our old interview, and I couldn’t believe it had been that long.

Well, we shouldn’t make it a year in between interviews, Ruth. We’re going to start to forget each other’s names.

{laughs} I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

I can remember “Ruth,” but “Brennan’s” obviously hard to remember. Brandon, Brendan, etc.

Well, there is that. But no, I don’t think you’ll be forgotten in this household because everybody in my household knows you by your first name. I don’t even need to say your last name.

Make sure you say “hi” to your mother for me.

I definitely will. She’s certainly a fan just like I am.

Well, I appreciate that. You know I love you guys. You’re great to me. I’d better get on another Hallmark movie here pretty soon.

That’s actually what I was going to ask you about. If I remember correctly, there was some mystery film they were talking about doing with you.

Yeah, I have sad news to report. I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of it, but it was a go, and we were supposed to start filming a few weeks ago. There was some political business things that happened–not obviously with me or Hallmark–but there were some other entities involved. Due to the potential contention that has come up, Hallmark and I have decided that if it’s not going to be done with love and from a good place, there’s no point in doing it. I believe that if a network is going to give you an opportunity to do a movie or a series of movies, it’s got to come from your heart. If there’s somebody involved where it’s not coming from their heart, it’s going to soil the process. So we had a conversation about things that were happening behind the scenes that I’m aware of, and while I can’t discuss it, we just didn’t feel it was going to be a benefit. So we’ve decided to put it on hold for now.

Brennan Elliott, Madison Brydges Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Russ Martin

But I will say this, Ruth. I do believe that if it’s not this project, it will be something else. And I believe that whatever Hallmark and I do together will be successful. The last movie we did, Love You Like Christmas, had 6.4 million viewers. It did very well, and that’s just the viewership. And that’s just the fans. Hallmark has a great community of fans that are so supportive, and the network is also so supportive. I want to bring content to them that we can believe in, and I don’t want to be involved with bringing anyone on board one of their projects that’s not passionate about it. So we decided to take a breather and find something that we’re all on board about and not have any negative energy around.

You know, I think that demonstrates the integrity of Hallmark and all the people who truly love the network and are involved with it behind the scenes. And in the case of actors like you, I think that speaks highly of you guys. Sometimes other networks go through with film projects, and there’s nothing but problems from the very beginning.

You know, Ruth, to be perfectly honest, to me–and maybe this is just me, I can’t speak for other actors and actresses–Hallmark to me is the heart of TV. So if you’re going to create one movie or a mystery wheel series or even a series itself, there has to be a team involved that comes from their heart. And I believe that even if it’s Warren or All of My Heart or Nanny Express or whatever project I’m involved with, I feel like there’s people involved with that project that came from the heart. Not only the network, but also the cast, the crew, the producers involved. If that’s not the case, I don’t really want to push something because I feel the audience will see through it. It’s got to come from a good place.

You know, it was a hard thing. I had spent two years trying to develop it and create it, and it was obviously something that I believed in and still do believe in. And maybe further down the road, we’ll all get on the same page and cut out the negative energy–not from Hallmark’s or my perspective–but if anyone involved with the project who was negative and not supportive goes away, then maybe this project will eventually take off. In many, many interviews, I always say that Hallmark is more than just a network to work with and work for; it’s a family and they’re friends of mine. I want to bring the best content whether I’m producing it or starring in it or even just hired to work on something. I have that much respect for Michelle {Vicary} and Bill {Abbott} and Elizabeth Yoast and everyone involved with the network. So it just didn’t feel right, and sadly, the fans will be disappointed, but we’ll find something else, I’m sure.

On a positive note, we do have All Of My Heart 2 to look forward to. I know that’s a little bit down the road, but it will be coming up before too long.

Yes, I am not certain when we will be filming. I haven’t seen a script yet. Lacey {Chabert} and I have conversed and have had great conversations about our passion for the project. The rumor is we’ll start shooting August 8th. We just have to keep that in perspective. On social media, you included, and the network, there’s a lot of passion for that story, and there’s a lot of stories within that story. We’ll see what happens, but obviously, I’m on board. I tell my wife all the time that any time Hallmark calls, I always take that phone call. It’s not about developing projects or working and creating anything as an actor. I have the utmost respect for their content, their vision, and the type of stories they tell. Maybe it’s because I’m a father, I don’t know.

I agree. And I think what’s been neat this year is to see all the statistics that have come out and how much Hallmark has grown. The viewership of Hallmark has skyrocketed.

I fully agree. Now going back to something I wanted to discuss with you. I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but our executive producer {Michael Ogiens}, basically the creative energy that spearheaded All of My Heart passed away a few weeks ago. He was a very good, dear friend of mine. It was a very sudden thing. Having that happen has caused us all to take a step back. At this point, August 8th is still on the books as far as an idea when we’re going to start filming, but I haven’t heard anything more than that. I want to say how much love and respect we have for him and his wife and kids. It’s pretty sad that someone that creative–he and Karen Berger really developed this idea of All of My Heart which they believed could be a series–has passed away in his sleep.

As far as the network and their viewership, yeah, it doesn’t surprise me. Michelle, Bill Abbott, Randy Pope, and Liz Yost are excellent. Everybody over there knows how to develop content. They have so much of it. They hire actors that give it everything they have. The stories are beautiful. I’m in the midst right now of writing a Christmas movie that I always wanted to do. I kind of put it on the back burner. You find a network, people that you work with who are family and friends, and you believe in the content. I feel like Bill and Michelle are friends of mine. The work they do, I believe in, and I’m connected to that voice. So it doesn’t feel like work when you work with them or for them. You feel like you’re kind of a family creating something. It doesn’t surprise me that they’re so successful. I’m very proud of them.

What you managed to slip in there about writing a Christmas movie–I was going to ask you about whether you were writing anything. I know that each time we’ve talked, you’ve brought up that you’re thinking about writing something, you’re in the midst of writing something, you’re in the midst of developing something. I thought I was going to at least ask, and you’ve already answered.

I think, Ruth, the experience of Stay At Home Dead made me realize that if I wanted to work with Hallmark on something, I would like to bring them something that I’m passionate about personally. Maybe it’s tapping into my own securities with writing something or creating something. A friend of mine who is a big-time writer and director out of Australia who I’ve known for years–he was the best man at my wedding–he’s a brilliant guy. He’s been helping me a little bit on creating this idea that I think is just absolutely fantastic. It’s been five years in the process. So, since I’d like to bring something to Hallmark that is my own and work with them specifically, I think that would be the cleanest, most pure way of doing something because I think Hallmark and myself are on the same page. Kudos to my wife. She’s been like, “This is a beautiful, beautiful movie and perfect for Hallmark Christmas.” And I never thought of that way. I just thought it was an interesting script that I would develop and it would be great and maybe bring it to them. But I don’t know, I just never thought of it at this juncture ’cause I’ve been so busy with other things. But I think it’s something I might talk to Bill and Michelle about and ask what they think about it. They could say “no,” and it would be fine. I’ve really been trying to develop content, and you and I have talked about this exhaustively, we both have kids. We both are family people. I think the content and genre that Hallmark develops and creates touches people’s lives and really speaks about family, growth, and spirituality, and those are all elements I firmly believe in. I’m excited about their content and working with them. Working as an actor with them and maybe even developing something in the future.

Photo: Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

I’m sure the fans will be excited to know that you are at least in the process of writing something. I know the fans still bring up Cedar Cove now and then. And they will say that there needs to be a Cedar Cove reunion.

Again, any time Hallmark calls and wants me to do something, I’ll do it. So if it’s a Cedar Cove reunion or if it’s a movie bringing us back together or if it’s All Of My Heart sequel or if it’s a series or a series of movies, I will not only take that and listen, but I will run with that. The best time I have is when I work with them and that’s just because I have a real belief in their content and the message they want to share. I’ve had a lot of fun on all of my other projects, but being a father of two kids under the age of five, you understand the family dynamic.

You know, it’s funny. I am just staring at my calendar and it says “Snow in Graham,” and I think of Graham in Unreal.  The other day, I walked by a truck and it said “Warren Movers.” So I seem to be surrounded by these little tidbits that hit me from my past and the roles I’ve played. I’ve been very blessed to play a diversification of characters. And Hallmark is a big part of that.

I do understand that you made at least some appearance in the show The Catch this past season.

Yes, one of the directors on Unreal directed an episode for ABC on The Catch. I don’t know how it all came about–if they asked for me or if she pitched for it–but I said, “Absolutely, I’d love to do it.” It was supposed to be a recurring character, but obviously the show was cancelled. I think I worked maybe twenty minutes on it. I just showed up and did a scene and that was about it. To make a long story short, this director is amazing, and the people at ABC and The Catch were amazing and a lot of fun. This role was a different part that I had not played before, and I’m always open to that kind of thing.

I seem to remember that when people started tweeting about you being on the show that it took you by surprise. And weren’t you filming as well?

Yes, I was filming Unreal at the time it aired, and I didn’t know it was going to be on. I was filming, and you know me, when I get into a character on a show, I get into my work. I had been flying back and forth to see my kids. I kinda forgot when it was supposed to air, and then someone on Twitter mentioned they had seen it or it was coming up. While it was just a scene and not a big part, I hadn’t really thought a whole lot about it. When I found out about it, my wife had TiVo-ed it and watched it and had a bit of a laugh. We can’t always do the big parts. Sometimes we have to do the other parts.

Oh, I regularly highlight supporting characters and those that play smaller roles.

In theater school they taught us, “There are no small roles, only small actors.” And I believe that. No matter the size of your role, it is still a human being playing that role. And the role is still a character that needs to be created by you, the actor. I grew up in theater and doing small parts. While I am a little more selective now in what I will and will not consider, so many actors I’ve worked with in my films who are playing supporting roles are fantastic.

Do you have anything else coming up that you can mention?

I do. I won’t mention the specifics, but there are two projects that are in the works. I am not creatively involved, but there is a good chance I will be acting in them, and they will happen this year. I think I’m going to have some scheduling decisions to make. There are a couple really exciting opportunities coming up, and I believe I will be in a position to make some decisions. Of course, there are lots of things in the works. There is talk of Unreal coming back for season four. I would love to be able to tell you about these projects because they would probably make you fall out of your chair. I’m very excited about them, but I have to keep myself mum. Then there’s All Of My Heart the sequel. These projects are all over the place, and it’s very exciting to be able to get these diverse roles and projects. But you’ll be the first to  know, Ruth, once I can say something about them.

Brennan Elliott (Kevin), Madison Brydges (Jo), Bonnie Somerville (Maddie) Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Russ Martin

Okay, that sounds good. {pause} You know, it’s interesting that when I look back at last year’s interview, it is still in the top ten posts for my site.

Really? I have to tell you, Ruth, it’s amazing you said that. I was talking to my wife about this. When our Christmas movie aired…. it’s a very humbling and yet exciting and you feel so blessed and touched that a little movie… Love You Like Christmas was a little movie that was cast last minute. The script was written real quick–Karen did her thing. It was really wonderful, but it was put together quickly. I had been unavailable–Hallmark had offered me a couple I couldn’t do. Then this one came about and we did it. We didn’t find our leading lady till last minute. It was last minute, but brilliant. But still to have that as one of the top-rated movies–it had 6.4 million viewers. That’s pretty insane for a movie. It just speaks to the fan base. I have a lot of rabid fans that tell me what they feel. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes they are encouraging me to do things differently. My fans are wonderful. They watch the projects I do on Hallmark and they’re very loyal. When Liz Yost emailed me that so many people watched this movie, I was so humbled and blown away. It’s amazing that people have been responsive to projects I’ve been in  or the story or my performance. These loyal fans–I want to create the best content I can for them.

Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Russ Martin

Well, it does work both ways because you do give back to your fans. You are very good about going back through your Twitter feed and responding as you can. I think that does speak volumes to the fans. Yes, the fans are wonderful. I agree one hundred percent. But you also give to them.

Well, I think it’s part of our responsibility to be communicative on some level and to reach out to those people who watch your content and watch your work. And if they’re appreciative and spend two hours with their mom–like yourself–or their family or kids and they watch something you do–whether it’s good or not-and speak about it, it’s your duty to say, “Listen, thank you for spending that time watching.” I’m busy, but I try to reach out and be communicative and appreciative and have some sort of dialogue with them as best as I can because they’re my fans. They’re loyal to Hallmark. They’re loyal to my projects. And you can also learn a lot from them. And it’s been a relationship that I’ve enjoyed. It’s been fun. Even tweet nights when we tweet about the movies that are on, it’s a lot of fun. {laughs} I enjoy it actually.

Yes, they can be fun, but they can also be very difficult to keep up with.

Of course. My phone has frozen a number of times. I’ve been in Twitter jail a number of times.

Oh yes, that happens to me regularly.

I can imagine. Not only when the movie airs, but in your line of work, you must be on social media twelve hours a day now.

That’s probably about right. I do take breaks. I do set it aside and force myself to–

Your force yourself to be a mom??

{laughs} Yes, this is true. My daughter has just turned fourteen, and while she’s not really into social media, she’s on the computer a lot.

You know, when I was in theater school, computers were just coming out. I look at my son and my daughter, and they look at iPads and they have phones at dinner–it’s insane! My wife is the genius of the family. She was probably at the university on computers getting her PHD and understands all that. I’m still trying to learn how to turn the thing on. Well, no, I’m a little more advanced than that. But yes, it is a different world now.

Did I miss anything that you wanted to be sure to mention?

No, I think we covered everything. If Stay At Home Dead does not happen some time in the future, I would like to be a part of something with the network that has some longevity. I think that even All Of My Heart has potential for more sequels or more longevity. Obviously Hallmark has a lot of things happening with June Weddings, Christmas movies, Good Witch, the Hearties, and other new series popping up.  So we’ll see what the future holds. Anything Hallmark wants to do, I love working with them and their content. Unreal will air when it airs, and there are a few other projects, and when I hear about them, you’ll know. But right now I’m being a father and a husband and just enjoying the downtime till the next storm hits.

I know how those storms can be. They come my way too.

I think you’re in the midst of the storm right now and hopefully you’ll get a break soon.

Yeah, I think you’re right.

Oh, my wife just walked down the stairs and waved, so she says “hi” to you.

Okay, well tell her “hi” back for me. And we’re very grateful that she lets you do all this and that she shares you with all the fans.

Well, behind every strong man is a strong woman, let me tell ya. If she wasn’t taking care of the kids and taking care of our whole life, I wouldn’t be able to go off for months at a time and work. It’s a fifty-fifty relationship, and I give her all the kudos in the world. In order to focus on whatever character you’re playing and whatever project you’re doing, you have to be able to focus. The opportunity is there because of her strength. You know, behind me, the idiot, is a doctor. So I’m in a pretty good place. And I’m sure she’ll remind me of that the rest of the evening. {laughs}

{laughing} Probably. As always, Brennan, it was lovely to get to talk to you.

You too, Ruth.

We’ll try not to go quite as long between interviews. A year is too long.

You just contact me and we’ll make this happen every few months or whatever works. Say “hi” to your family for me.

I certainly will.

It’s pretty safe to state that every time I converse with Brennan, our chats become more comfortable, informal, and sincere. Moreover, I always come away from our interviews comprehending more about this man who regales, inspires, irritates and entertains through his film and television works. This time, two things truly stood out to me.

First of all, I was impressed with his dedication to Hallmark. Now, I’m not saying he wasn’t devoted to the network before, but it is as though he has become even more passionate for “The Heart of TV.” The respect that he maintains for every person connected with the network is something that goes beyond what it typically seen. Not to disparage any other actors, but sometimes when they talk about Hallmark, it is just seen as a job that is a pleasant place to work that creates light, family-friendly content. While the vast majority of actors speak highly of Hallmark, sometimes they don’t grasp the vision and take it on as their own. That is what Brennan has done. While he takes great pleasure in all his work regardless of the set or role, there is something incredibly special about Hallmark, and he has utterly embraced that. To hear the exultation in his voice as he spoke of his affinity for Hallmark and Bill and Michelle, it is something that I cannot recreate through mere, deficient words.

Secondly, while I know that he is one of the best fan-friendly actors out there in today’s entertainment universe, hearing him say that responding to fans is a “duty” and a “responsibility” is something that I don’t typically (if ever) hear from actors. While I know he has a blast tweeting with the fans, he takes this part of his job very seriously–fan interaction. While I know that every person develops their own way of navigating social media, and I would never expect an actor to see responding on social media as something that he believes he owes the fans, it is refreshing to hear Brennan respond this way. Probably because I feel the exact same way about my social media interactions. So for me, Brennan’s response was a sort of vindication (some people have told me I do not need to respond to my “fans”).

In conclusion, while we fans may be disappointed as we await the next time that we can savor one of Brennan’s on-screen appearances, I think his outlook is absolutely spot on. While Brennan doesn’t look at the world through rosy glasses and expect that everything will work out the way he wants it, he is not about to give up on any of his dreams or passions. He refuses to compromise in order to potentially get ahead in this business, and his unwavering commitment to his principles and convictions are the thing that will eventually propel him to the right kind of project. As Brennan continuously endears himself to his fans and to the projects that progressively stretch him professionally, the fans have an incredible gift to bestow upon him right here, right now. With All Of Our Hearts, Brennan, all of us thank you and may God richly bless you and your family evermore!


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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

10 Comments

  1. Sylvia Y Jones July 8, 2017 Reply

    Hi, Ruth. I really enjoyed reading your superb interview of one of my fave actors, Brennan Elliott. I have admired his work for a long time and was delighted to see he is such a caring person. Thank you for getting him to respond in depth about his life, work, and ambitions. It was a pleasure to discover what a great guy he is. Kudos to you, and looking forward to your next intereview with Brennan.

    Blessings!

    • Author
      Ruth July 8, 2017 Reply

      Thank you so much, Sylvia. I can assure you there will be more Brennan interviews in the near future. Thanks for your support of him and me.

  2. Cheryl Everitt July 8, 2017 Reply

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing this interview with Brennan Elliott. Superb actor and a genuine great guy!

    • Author
      Ruth July 8, 2017 Reply

      My pleasure Cheryl. Thank you for reading!

  3. Lisa Colangelo July 8, 2017 Reply

    Love Mr. Fancy Socks! Such a nice guy too! Hallmark Channel fans are the luckiest fans in the world that their favorite actors want to interact with them on social media. Great job once again Ruth!

    • Author
      Ruth July 8, 2017 Reply

      Thank you Lisa. I think we “COvers” will always remember Brennan that way. Thanks for your wonderful support!

  4. Tammy July 10, 2017 Reply

    Another great interview Ruth 😊

    • Author
      Ruth July 10, 2017 Reply

      Thank you Tammy!

  5. Debbie Onions August 2, 2017 Reply

    What a fabulous insight into a wonderful actor husband father. Thank you for sharing it with all of us including those of us from ‘across the pond’!

    • Author
      Ruth August 2, 2017 Reply

      Debbie I’m so glad you got a chance to read it. Yes, Brennan is one of the best!

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