Interview With Actor Madison Smith, “Frozen In Love”

By Ruth on January 12, 2018 in Interview, movie, television
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Back when I used to review an unimaginable amount of Hallmark movies before they aired, Garage Sale Mystery: The Wedding Dress was one of them I happened to have the pleasure of screening. A young man from that film caught my eye, and from that moment on, Madison Smith has been one I have always relished seeing on the Hallmark network and elsewhere. He and I chatted recently as he is finally making a triumphant return to Hallmark in the Winterfest premiere this weekend, Frozen In Love. I am ecstatic to share with you our third interview!

RH: So nice to be able to chat with you today, Madison. I was so excited that we get to see you on Hallmark again.

MS: I know what you mean, Ruth. Thanks for having me. I was really excited when I booked it. I was actually thinking of you, and I wanted to jump in and say, “Hey, guess what, I’m making another Hallmark movie!” I was so glad you reached out to me because I wanted to be able to connect with you again and talk about my upcoming Hallmark movie.

Behind-the-scenes Frozen in Love

How nice of you, Madison. I’m so glad. That movie has many great stars in it that I have interviewed previously. In fact, I  interviewed Tammy Gillis right as she was starting work on it. And I think I first heard about Frozen In Love when I interviewed Rick Garman back during Countdown to Christmas. 

This movie was the fastest turnaround of a show I’ve ever seen. They went from the idea of it and then to shooting it, and now it’s airing this weekend. It was actually an idea from our lead, Rachael Leigh Cook. She brought it to Jim {Head} and Rick and then they made it happen. Then, within a month and a half, we were shooting. It was pretty awesome.

Hallmark has been turning things out really fast over this past year especially. And I think they’re going to continue that. Now, you hadn’t been in Hallmark movie or for in quite some time.

Yes, the last thing I did was When Calls the Heart.

Aftermath

That’s what I was gonna say. I mean, we’ve seen you in other things. In fact, the last time we talked, you were on Aftermath. And sadly, that wasn’t renewed.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I know my character got killed, but I think there was a chance my character could have come back. In shows like that, there are so many options to bring characters back. You can bring them back the same. You can bring them back without memories. They can come back, and you never know what might happen. It’s always a cool idea to play with.

I know you’ve been in some Lifetime films. I saw you in Seduced By a Stranger. I caught that one when it was rebroadcast. I think you had mentioned that one when we last chatted too.

Behind-the-scenes
Deadly Attraction with Holly Deveaux

Yes, I think I had just booked it and was waiting to film it. I don’t think my other Lifetime film, Deadly Attraction, has come out yet.

No, it hasn’t, and I’m not sure when it’s coming out. You filmed that one quite a while ago, if I remember right.

I know the trailer has come out, so I figure it will be coming up pretty soon. I got to see the trailer, and I’m in the trailer a little bit, but I haven’t actually seen the movie. I filmed that one in February or March of last year.

Well, here’s hoping we’ll see it soon. It was nice to see you in Four Christmases and a WeddingIt was a cute story and a different kind of part for you. I think what was nice about your role in that one is that we have so often seen you in roles where you play much younger characters than you are. We’re so used to seeing you as a teenager or something like that. And we finally got to see you in a role that was more of an adult role. 

Behind-the-scenes
Four Christmases and a Wedding

That was my first real adult role which was cool. My character was a person who was succeeding in society, working a job, and doing all that adult stuff. So that was fun to do.

Then with Frozen In Love coming up, I play a college student, and at the same time, I help run the bookstore with Rachael, who plays my older sister. So again, I have a role that is more of an adult-feeling role. I’m still the youngest person of the group, and that’s always the nice part. But at the same time, I do feel like a functioning person in society.

I guess there’s always a few actors who look young and keep playing these younger characters. And I suppose they want to keep you in these young roles for as long as they can.

The funny thing is as an actor, it is nice to stay as young as you can because the longer you can play young, the longer you can play old to a point. If you ever watch things like How I Met Your Mother, the characters who are twenty-eight are usually played by actors in their thirties. And there’s also shows like Glee. I think Cory Monteith was about twenty-eight when he started playing his character in Glee. It’s pretty cool how the age range goes, and quite honestly, depending on the role, I do like seeing older people playing certain characters. I think it’s kind of uncomfortable when you see someone who is actually fifteen and they play someone who is fifteen who gets pregnant. I prefer seeing someone who is older play that kind of role.

I guess I can see your point there. In your case, you have a young face, and I guess that’s why they could pass you off as being a teenager. Even though you’re well past high school, you can look younger. And hopefully, that will continue as you get older. You can be in your forties and look like you’re still in your thirties.

I hope. My fingers are crossed for that.

You mentioned Frozen In Love, and we haven’t seen you on Hallmark in a while. Any reason why that’s the case?

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

Well, luckily, I did When Calls the Heart where I did four episodes. Such a lovely time that was. Since then, I have been auditioning for a little bit bigger stuff. I’ve been auditioning for some of the leads and supporting leads similar to the role I’m playing in Frozen In Love. To a point, those are more difficult to book because you have a lot bigger names you’re fighting against. When you do book them, they’re huge bonuses. You feel so pumped about it because you do know the competition that you’re up against.

Hallmark fans might remember that I was in Garage Sale Mystery a couple of years ago. Once in a while, I’ll get sent an audition for Garage Sale Mystery, and I’m like, “Oh, I don’t think I can do that. I was in the third one.” And then they kinda go, “Oh, you’re right.” Of course, the fans will remember. I do know that the Hallmark family does not forget.

Yes, that is true to a degree. However, I will tell you some actors have appeared more than once in the movies. Andrew Dunbar was on the original one, and they brought him back. 

Did he play a similar character?

No, not even close. He was completely different. So maybe you could get away with it.

Behind-the-scenes
Garage Sale Mystery: The Wedding Dress

Mmm. The only issue is that a lot of the times, they’re asking me to play Hannah’s love interest.

Oh, well that would be a problem! Unless they brought you back as your actual character. 

I always thought bringing back Tyler would be a great idea. He could come back from China.

If they wrote that into the story, I think that would be great. I know you’d be willing to do that.

Absolutely! It would be so cool to go back to a show that I worked on and that was my first lead. It was such a fun experience working with Lori {Loughlin} and Eva {Bourne}. It was my first time working with Steve Bacic. It was such an awesome experience, and I would love to be able to go back to Garage Sale Mystery and revisit that character. It would be interesting to see what he has been up to and what he did on his trip. Is the connection with Hannah still there? I would really enjoy that.

Well, I think Hallmark fans would too. Nothing against any of Hannah’s love interests since you, but none of them have had any staying power. Every episode, she has someone new, and the characters are often forgettable by the general viewership. What I find interesting is that every time those movies are on and Hannah has a love interest, I usually see some comments that are asking for you, Madison, to come back. You’re still very much remembered, and I’m sure the Hearties remember you as well. 

I would love for him to come back. I think it would be awesome. Maybe we should write a letter to Hallmark and ask, “Hey, guys, what do you think about bringing back Tyler?”

Since Garage Sale Mystery, you’ve gotten to work with Steve a lot, and I know you two get along really well.

Behind-the-scenes
He Loves Me Not

It was so much fun working with Steve on He Loves Me Not {Seduced By a Stranger}. He is just a blast to work with.

I was also gonna mention that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries now is showing Psych here in the States. 

I heard about that.

You were on one of the episodes, right?

I am in the finale of the entire show. I play a character that is supposed to remind you of Shawn a little bit. Without giving anything away to the Hallmark people who are now watching the show all the way through, Shawn gets a job in another city, and to basically show that Shawn’s dad is going to be okay, he starts teaching a college class. So you get the idea that Henry is going to have a new project, which is good. He won’t be lonely. It was so much fun. And that show was a dream to be on. Psych was my favorite show, and then I got to be in the season finale.

Psych

Well, I’m of the group that is watching the show for the first time, and it is so fun to see all the Vancouver talent. Just the other day, I saw Steve on the show, and I could not believe it! He looks so different. 

He is so young in that! I could not believe it either!

I’m so glad we’ll have an opportunity to see you in it. I know Hallmark fans are enjoying the show. Hallmark is showing episodes every day, which is cool.

I love when they bring back shows like that. I remember when I was a kid how me and my dad would watch Dawson’s Creek in the morning before school. They would show two episodes on TBS every morning, and we would watch an episode and a half. Within a month, you’re almost halfway through the show.

Back to Frozen In Lovesince you’ve been going out for leads, are you hoping ultimately to get a Hallmark lead role? 

Yes, that is what I’m going for. Now, I’m not always auditioning for the main lead, like the first one on the poster. More often, it’s being a part of the lead group, which is always so much fun. Frozen In Love is obviously a story about Rachael and Niall {Matter}, but I play a very integral part in Rachael’s storyline. Me and Niall have a great connection with me being the brother of Rachael. It’s such a cool thing to be part of a show from the beginning to the end. It’s quite an experience to do that after spending a couple of years doing one or two days, sometimes three or four, just to kinda be the person who says “Hello” or introduces the story. Those roles are great, but it’s a whole lot more fun to get to have a real arc as a character that’s not here today and gone tomorrow.

Behind-the-scenes
Four Christmases and a Wedding with Arielle Kebbel

Going back to Four Christmases and a Wedding, I got to be a character who spanned over the course of five years. That was really cool having that kind of arc. Every year, my character was different. Now in Frozen in Love, my character gets to watch his sister grow as a person and gets to experience everything along with the group.

I would one day love to play a lead on a Hallmark show because the Hallmark fans are so open and welcoming. Already on the small stuff I’ve done for Hallmark, I get so much love from the Hallmark fans, so I could imagine what I would get if I got to play a lead.

Oh, I think there is a group of us who are all for you getting a lead role. We’ve been able to see the progression of your career over the past few years. Garage Sale Mystery was my introduction to you. I will definitely keep pulling for you to get the romantic lead. And I know that many Hearties would like to see it happen for you too. 

Fingers crossed it happens one day. I so appreciate all the support.

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

Did you know Rachael and Niall before you joined the cast?

I didn’t actually. The really awesome thing about joining the cast is that we had a table read just before we went to camera, and everybody was so nice. We automatically got along from the moment we met. Then we went to camera, and it was quick and easy. Everybody seemed to click with each other. We traveled to Revelstoke {Mountain Resort} for four days, and I think that was awesome. We had long days where we would sometimes be on set for twelve to fourteen hours. Those never felt too long though because we had a great team to work with…not only the cast but the crew was great as well. We did things called “High Five at Five.” Every day, when it turned five o’clock, our first AD would put on a new song, and everybody would go around high-fiving one another. It was definitely the greatest set I’ve gotten to work on so far, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

I know that the theme of the Winterfest movies this year is winter sports. I think this one is dealing with hockey, right?

Without giving too much away, Niall plays a professional hockey player who gets in a little bit of trouble with the press. In order to help him from a PR standpoint, he joins forces with a local bookstore in order to hopefully get better PR. And of course, drama and romance ensue.

So you play her brother. Is there anything else you can say about your character without giving too much away?

As a brother or a sibling in a story, you don’t always get your own storyline too much. But with Rachael, I get to definitely have the brother-sister bond. When you’re alone, you kind of have those brother-sister fights, but when you’re with other people, you’re always on that other’s person’s side. It’s such a nice thing to get to play because it can feel really real. Me and Rachael did get along really well as siblings. There were really some fun jabs going back and forth, and I had a blast.

Now, I knew Rachael from her movies back in the day, and actually one of her students was on Psych. I remember how I thought it was just so cool to get to meet her in real life. My character is there more for support than anything else. He helps with the bookstore. He really plays a part in pushing the two leads together, but it is definitely a Rachael and Niall show. And I mean that in no bad way. It’s great to see them have such a fantastic connection; you can’t wait for the next scene when they’re together.

With Ali Milner (Willa Milner), co-star from When Calls the Heart

Did you get to work with Tammy at all?

Unfortunately, no, we didn’t get to have any scenes together. I only met her when we were doing wardrobe fitting. She plays a character that is kind of separate from my character. We never got to see each other on set.

Well, I’m sure the Hallmark fans will be tuning in and especially the Hearties. We still remember you as Roy.

I would love to see where Roy is right now. I have so many questions. Is Roy part of the war right now? What’s going on with Edith? Is she and the baby still a part of his life? I would love to revisit Roy as well; it would be super cool.

I’m with you there. Once in a while, the thought crosses my mind. There are so many characters who have moved on, and I just wish sometimes they could bring the characters back for even one episode. 

I’m hopeful that some point I will have the opportunity to connect with the Hearties again, even if it’s not connected directly with the show. It would be great to just catch up with that wonderful group of fans.

Is there anything else upcoming that you can mention?

Well, there is one thing, but I don’t want to mention too much because I’m still waiting to hear if I’ve booked it or not. Fingers crossed that I hear about this role soon, and if not that, hopefully there will be another Hallmark or something else soon I can tell the fans about.

Well, I’m sure the Hallmark fans will all come out in support of Frozen In Love this weekend.

I know I’m really excited. I hope they all come out and watch it too because I think they’ll really enjoy it.  I think this movie is funny, heartfelt…it’s everything I really enjoy about being a part of a Hallmark show. It truly is all in all an entertaining show with such fun romance and the comedy and the connections between all the characters. I’m very excited. I’m very proud of the movie we all made, and I really hope people enjoy it.

Photo Credit: Courtney Paige Photography

For me, it is immensely gratifying to observe how Madison has matured over the relatively short time in which I have known him. From his first stint as Tyler in Garage Sale Mystery to his When Calls the Heart days where he played the troubled and confused Roy to some of the exceptional opportunities he has been granted on SyFy and Lifetime, it is exhilarating to see him book his first supporting lead in a Hallmark movie. Little by little, Madison’s career is continuing its steady progression upward, and his role this weekend sounds like it will be a genuine zenith of his career thus far.

But more important than his booking of these more significant roles is the fact that Madison has not lost his humility, his benevolence, and his sincere willingness to connect with the fans. No matter what role he is assigned, he is aware of his character’s position within the hierarchy of the story; he never thinks of himself in a more exaggerated way than necessary. Other actors who land their first supporting lead may tend to overestimate their importance because they want to ensure that everyone is aware of their skill and good fortune. Thankfully, Madison is grounded enough that he keeps his head where it should be, and he meticulously tackles the work at hand. He reminds himself that the leads are the most vital to the story, and just being a part of the leading circle within the cast is enough for him to celebrate and treasure. His attitude of gratitude as well as his charitable nature are impressive qualities that are both refreshing and charming. If Madison were more egotistical, I don’t believe Hallmark fans and others would connect with him on the same level.

So please tune in tomorrow (January 13th) to the Hallmark Channel to watch the premiere of Frozen In Love, the second of Hallmark’s exciting Winterfest offering of movies. I would also invite all of my readers to check out Madison’s links below as he is one of the most fan-friendly, engaging actors out there in today’s entertainment universe. The fact that he acknowledges the fans and desires to connect with them regularly is one of his greatest assets, and I can only hope that when combined with his uncanny talent and innate ability to embody diverse roles that 2018 will be the year that Madison’s dream of landing his first romantic lead will ultimately come to pass. But even if that does not happen, I have no doubt that Madison’s perseverance and integrity will one day in the near future bring about all the dreams and goals that he holds so dearly within his innermost being.

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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

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