Interview With Actor Andrew Walker, “My Secret Valentine”

By Ruth on February 2, 2018 in Interview, movie, television
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Nearly two years ago, God granted me the inconceivable opportunity of interviewing an extraordinary actor who has become a choice favorite in Hallmark circles. Admittedly, I was a fan just like everyone else (why wouldn’t you be a fan of this phenomenal human being?), but he and I have continued to share a very special connection which makes our third interview a truly exceptional moment. I have interviewed multitudes of people over the past two years, and many of my interviews are prominent for a whole host of reasons. But this interview with Andrew Walker is going to easily rank amongst my most cherished chats of all-time. Going into the interview, I simply expected to converse with my friend about his upcoming role in My Secret Valentine, but as my readers will soon perceive, things went considerably deeper than that. (Read last year’s interview with Andrew here.)

RH: Andrew, it is so good to talk with you again!

AW: I know what you mean, Ruth. Great to chat with you always.

From the moment I announced I was interviewing you again, my feed has just blown up. Over five hundred people alone on Facebook had liked my announcement about interviewing you.

Oh, that’s so awesome! And very flattering, to say the least.

A lot of people were saying, “Oh, he’s my favorite,” and “We’re so excited to see him.”

Aw, that’s amazing. That’s so sweet!

I was so glad to see such a positive response.

So how have you been?

Oh, I’m doing well, just busy. My daughter’s in her first year of high school this year. 

That’s wonderful. How is she liking it?

She’s really enjoying it. She is an excellent artist with a lot of talent for drawing and watercolors.

Is she good at academics?

Yes, thankfully. She got straight A’s for her first semester of high school.

That’s just great. I would say that I was an interesting blend of an athlete and an artist. I never really liked school–math, chemistry, physics. I was terrible at anything I had to study, anything having to do with numbers or breaking down formulas. But anything having to do with athletics or the arts or anything having to do with my imagination was what I truly enjoyed. It was just around that time where we were on the cusp of diagnosing kids with learning disabilities and immediately putting kids on Ritalin to try to cure that learning disability. Fortunately, the school I attended in grade nine put me in this program with a bunch of other kids that had these so-called learning disabilities. But it was more a class where they would pinpoint what stimulated you as a student and try to figure out what the best way was for you to learn. Incredible teachers were involved, and I think that it really saved me in school. I think it brought me back and made me want to study math and get back into physics because the way in which they taught was a very specific way that was tailored to my needs and learning style. It was great. It is great to see schools nowadays how they don’t automatically assume you have a learning disability. Instead, they try to discover what the child’s strengths are, and if a student is better at the arts, they can often tailor the learning for that child using different teaching methods.

I wasn’t aware of any of that, Andrew, so thank you for sharing. How’s your little one?

He’s great and very busy. He’s two and a half years old now and running around asking questions. He’s very specific in things that he wants. He’s very funny sometimes. For example, we used to break up his banana in the morning time and just give him a half. But now he’s like, “No, Daddy, no! Whole banana!” So he wants the whole banana. He’s very specific in his needs.

We just love seeing the pictures you post of him, and it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown.

Yeah, he grows so fast. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s so true. You’ve got to enjoy every day and take it one day at a time.

Hard to believe that my daughter will be driving in a year and a half.

How old is your daughter?

She’s fourteen. 

High school in the States starts when?

Usually, grades nine through twelve are high school.

That’s right, and middle school is first, then high school, right?

Yes, I know it’s different in Canada.

Well, and Quebec is a whole different game. High school is grades seven through eleven. Then after that, it’s almost like a junior college. It’s called CÉGEP {Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel} for grades twelve, thirteen and fourteen. It depends on what you study there. You could be there for three years, and then you go off to college. The rest of Canada is very similar to the States.

Well, I guess I’m learning a lot. I wasn’t aware of all that, so thank you for the education. {pause} As for the excitement amongst the fans, I think many are very eager to see you return to Hallmark because we didn’t get to see you in a Hallmark Christmas movie this past season. Yes, we saw you in that Lifetime one {Snowed-Inn Christmas}, and I told many people about that movie. There are some Hallmark fans that do not watch Lifetime as a rule, but because I recommended it and you were in it, they decided to watch it. 

Oh, it had the “Ruth stamp of approval!”

{laughs} Right! I know many people trust what I say, and that is an awesome responsibility. 

Thank you for allowing them to come to the dark side for an hour and a half.

When I first watched it, my thought was, “Wow, Hallmark really missed an opportunity to put this in their Countdown to Christmas line-up.” Sure, I love Hallmark, and most of their Christmas movies were fantastic, but I would have happily swapped this one out for one of their more average films. However, I do remember reading that you initially thought Swowed-Inn Christmas was for Hallmark.

It was so funny. When I got the job offer, I was told it was shooting in Winnipeg for this amount of days and I’d be working with this actress, and I just automatically assumed. It was a sixteen-day shoot, which is about what Hallmark shoots are–fifteen, sixteen days. And a lot of their films shoot in Winnipeg, Vancouver, or North Bay, Ontario. So I traveled to set and arrived there thinking it was Hallmark; I didn’t even think to ask. As a matter of fact, my manager thought it was Hallmark as well.

After arriving on set, I talked with the director…this was the third project I had done with this director {Gary Yates}. I had done two Hallmark movies with him before–A Dream of Christmas and A Bride For Christmas. But after talking with him, he said, “No, Andrew, this is Lifetime. We’re doing a Lifetime movie.” And I was like, “What?” It didn’t change anything. I mean, a camera is a camera. And you had to show up on set and learn your lines and do your thing. But I thought it came together very nicely; I was pleasantly surprised.

Working with this actress, Bethany Joy {Lenz} was amazing. She is such a collaborator. She questioned every scene that we did, and every moment, she wanted to make it feel real. It was nice to work with somebody who kept everything and everybody accountable. She is a real visceral actor. In fact, if a moment didn’t feel real to her, she’d go, “Hey, can we start over again? Can we stop for a second?” Then she’d call me over to talk with me about it for a minute. She was always wanting to know how I felt things were going and if she could do anything to help me, and of course, I wanted to do all I could to help her as well. It was a really collaborative experience, and it was lots of fun.

I do know that many of the fans were wondering if you were going to do any more singing.

You know, I would actually love to pair up with Bethany again, and we’re toying around with the idea of possibly bringing a concept to Hallmark that would involve a little bit more singing. Kind of like a Christmas version of La La Land.

Really? Well, that could be interesting. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised by your singing. I will admit that when I first saw that you had posted a video, I thought, “Please, let him be able to sing and carry a tune.” {He laughed at that point.} That was my thought. I know that sometimes actors don’t sing well. And I was so relieved that you did an excellent job. I even called my mom over and said, “You’ve got to watch this. Andrew really can sing.” 

Ruth, I know it’s so awkward when you’re rooting for someone and it just doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. And you say something like, “Oh, yeah, I think that’s really sweet.” You try to find the words to compliment them without being two-faced or lying directly to their face.

Exactly! And I was glad it turned out so well. And I think that also did draw in some Hallmark viewers. I remember seeing several people say how they watched the video and now they were planning to watch the movie. 

To be honest, I sang in a rock band when I was younger from around the ages of sixteen to nineteen. Obviously, I was backed by a big band with guitars, bass, and drums, so I could hide behind all that. And I grew up in a very musical family. My uncle is a great singer and an unbelievable trumpet player, and my aunt is a music teacher in an elementary school, and she taught recorder. Then my cousin, her daughter, lives in London; she’s an opera singer. My other cousin was trying her luck at Broadway a bunch of years ago. Now she’s a wedding planner; she lives in Albany, New York. So I come from a family of singers. And my mom is a pianist with a great ear; she’s a jazz pianist. She doesn’t read music; she just plays by ear. So I kind of had the background of music in my blood.

You know, singing is a vulnerable thing, right? Especially if you do it solo. So Bethany Joy–we call her Joy–she and I were messing around on set. We would just be singing, and I would come in and put a little pizzazz on it. I wasn’t trying to be serious by any means. She has a beautiful voice.

But she turned to me a few days into shooting and she said, “Andrew, you know what we should do? We should do an opening, an intro to this movie where we do a little teaser and we sing. ” Right away I was like, “Joy, I can’t. I can’t do that. My voice isn’t good enough. I haven’t sung in years.” But she didn’t give up. She said, “Look, I have a few friends that are very approachable guys, and they’re awesome musicians. They’ll work with you on it.”

She was actually in Romania when she had worked this all out when I was going into the studio to do my bit. So I came in. I had worked on it for a little while. In fact, I actually called my mom and had her play the piano to it. We FaceTimed, and I would sing. So I went into the studio with these guys, and they were so real. They made me feel so comfortable. And they said, “Andrew, look, why don’t you give yourself a little bit of edge like Frank Sinatra? Kind of like the spoken word almost.” And I was like, “Okay, I can identify with that.” I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, and I was kind of hiding behind the character as opposed to just being Andrew. And that allowed me to have a little more confidence with it. It was a really interesting note that they told me to do, and I did it. And I felt like it worked out. With Joy being behind me, it really helped me because she can carry a tune. Actually, she can more than carry a tune.

Since then, we have talked about it more now. She’s a writer, and we’re thinking about possibly pitching something to Hallmark for the next holiday season. I think they might like that because they’ve never done a musical Christmas.

Andrew Walker and Bethany Joy Lenz with screenwriter Carley Smale on set of Snowed-Inn Christmas

I do know there would be a lot of support for that. Many Hallmark fans have asked the network to do more musical-type things, and there are a lot of talented actors and actresses with the network who would love the opportunity to do something like that. I am certain it would be very popular with the fans, so we’ll just hope that works out. 

Yeah, we’ll see what happens with it.

I would say that the Frank Sinatra vibe definitely came across. That is who I was thinking of when I was watching the video. 

Well, thank you. You know, I appreciate Harry Connick Jr. and I love the direction of his career. He is a very talented guy for sure. I feel like his charisma and the risks he has taken throughout his career have really helped him a lot.  Obviously, Frank Sinatra was an anomaly. He carried a tune like nobody else. His tone and his ear was incredible. And Harry Connick Jr. is more of the whole package. And the same thing is true for Michael Bublé. I don’t think you can compare Michael Buble with Frank Sinatra; he’s really in a league of his own. With Michael Bublé, he knows his strengths. And it was his Christmas album that kind of pushed him into the stardom that he enjoys now. If memory serves me right, that one Christmas album of his I think I listened to on rotation maybe fifty times over the holidays. When friends come over, the album is just like a really hip kind of fun album that is really timeless. These are some of the people that I can identify with a little bit more and I try to sound a little bit like them. Thankfully, it seemed to work out quite well, and the response was great too.

This weekend, we get to see you on Hallmark with the premiere of My Secret Valentine. And when I saw that you were going to be paired with Lacey Chabert, I was like, “Well, this is a no-brainer. This will be Hallmark gold.” You have Lacey Chabert, who is this incredible fan favorite. Anytime she’s in anything, it’s always a big hit with the fans. Everybody just loves her. And now we have you. And you two have never worked together before–is that right?

Yeah, you’re right. We haven’t. She actually is with my management company. My manager called me a couple of months in advance, and he asked, “Hey, what do you think about doing a movie with Lacey Chabert?” I was like, “Man, I would love that!” I’ve heard so much about her. First off and foremost, I’ve heard that she’s an amazing person  So, of course, I would love the opportunity to work with her.

I didn’t hear anything for about a month, and I was like, “Okay, maybe it’s just gonna fizzle out.” I wasn’t sure what was going to be happening with it. But then, of course, in Hallmark fashion, I got a call about a week and a half, two weeks before, and they’re like, “Okay, it’s happening. You and Lacey are partnering up.” So I was really excited when I found out we were gonna do this together. I called her and had a little chat beforehand, and I think we were both very happy for this opportunity.

Lacey Chabert, Andrew Walker Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood

As everyone has always said…you know, Lacey’s the sweetest girl–like the sweetest person I’ve met in my entire life. She’s so giving. She’s caring, gracious. After every scene, she was asking, “Hey, Andrew, is there anything I can do to help you or help the scene?” Just exactly what you’d want with your leading lady. And on top of that, her baby was twelve or thirteen months old when we were working on My Secret Valentine. So she worked an entire day. She would be up all night nursing. Then she’d work an entire day from 5:30 in the morning up until we wrapped at 7:00 or so. And then she would be open to meeting me at the end of our day to talk through the following day and work our lines. Just supermom strength.

Both of us have done the exact same amount of Hallmark movies as well, so I think it was like a no-brainer that we had to partner at some point. I’m really excited about the film that we had the honor of filming together. I think it’s a really dynamic film. Visually, it’s a beautiful, beautiful movie.

I know that this past Saturday night, Lori Loughlin did a preview show of the upcoming Countdown to Valentine’s Day movies. During that, they were playing the behind-the-scenes videos that you had shot to promote the film with you and Lacey. And it was interesting. What you had to say about Lacey there and here in our interview today is exactly what I hear from every person who has ever worked with her. 

Absolutely.

And she is one busy lady.

Yes, she’s in Africa right now, I believe.

Yes, she is. Filming Love On Safari.

With his wife at TCA18

A couple weeks back, we were at this Hallmark event {TCA’s} and she was there though we were sitting at different tables. We stood up when they were introducing our movie and announcing the air date. So we both stood up and I waved to Lacey and she waved back. We sat back down again. And then Michelle Vicary, one of the execs at Hallmark, she goes, “Everybody wants to be Lacey Chabert right now. She’s going to Africa and she’s going here an.” Lacey had to stand up like three or four times at the dinner because they were announcing her next projects. She’s got like four films coming out, and she’s all over the place in lots of fun places. She’s definitely getting to travel the world and have those experiences. I think it’s just great for her. If there’s anybody that deserves it, it’s Lacey.

I couldn’t agree with you more, Andrew. Lacey is absolutely fantastic! I don’t see how she does what she does, and I am absolutely amazed by her. 

Well, a little funny fun fact during the shooting of the movie…we shot a portion of the movie in a place that is three hours north of Toronto in a place called Prince Edward County. It’s a small, wine-making county. Back in 2004, the first winery opened there, and for the past thirteen, fourteen years now, there have been forty wineries that have opened up in that area. Just a beautiful county. So we shot there, and that was a lot of fun. The weather was pretty decent. It was the beginning of November.

Andrew Walker, Lacey Chabert Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Elly Dassas

Then we drove up to North Bay which is about five hours north of there. Day four of shooting in North Bay, the weather dropped to minus fifteen. It was a random huge swing in the weather. Lacey is a southern girl, and I’m from Montreal. So I’m used to this cold, or at least not used to it as much anymore since I’ve been in LA for sixteen years now. But I still have it in my bones. I can still work through it. But this day that we had to work when it was minus fifteen, we had a picnic scene, and we had this massive walk and talk that we had to do. It was just supposed to be us in our light jackets. And of course, Hallmark is all about beauty first, practicality second. They want to make it look beautiful first.

Well, with Lacey and I…you know, I felt like I was the one who was complaining and Lacey was just like, “You know what? I’m just gonna try to work through it.” And I was like, “This is crazy! Minus fifteen? We’re gonna get frostbite! We can’t speak! Our lips are gonna be frozen!” So Lacey was the one who was the driving force that day. Fortunately, the director and producers had done everything in their power to accommodate us as much as possible. We had heat packs, and we had a heated tent to go to so we could thaw out between scenes. And they put our picnic scene inside a truck overlooking the lake. So when you see that scene, know that it was supposed to be outside in a field, but they changed it and put us in a truck. And I don’t think we could have gotten through the day with the weather the way it was. Everybody had their Canada goose down parkas on with their tubes and their beanies and their leg warmers and all that cold weather gear. So I really don’t think Lacey and I would have been able to get through it had they not changed things. But Lacey just toughed through it. It was amazing.

Well, that sounds like a scene to watch out for. So what can you tell us about your role and the movie without giving away too much?

Like I touched on briefly, this movie is a little bit different than Hallmark has ever done. Being at the winery, there are a lot of shots between the vines. Wineries are so beautiful. When you see the fermenting rooms and the oak barrels and just those wood barrels as far as the eye can see. Then when we go to the steel fermenting room as well, it’s just very different. It’s not something that we visually see too often in a Hallmark movie.

Lacey Chabert, Andrew Walker Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood

This movie is about opposites attracting. I think we’re coming from two different worlds, and we have to find a middle ground. I connect with her father first. In truth Hallmark fashion, however, I meet Lacey’s character, Chloe, briefly; we have this encounter at this grocery store and we have this immediate attraction to each other. But she doesn’t know who I am. I’m actually a beverage acquisition guy coming into town to try to convince her father to sell the winery to me.

Throughout the whole movie, there’s this funny relationship. Well, in a sense, there’s two relationships that are building. There’s one that is between Lacey and I which is a little rocky because right when she finds out I’m the guy who’s coming into town to take her family-run company away that has been around in her family for fifty-plus years, she’s got her back up against the wall. She tells me to watch what I do and where because her dad is not necessarily telling me the truth. She says that he doesn’t really want to sell. In essence, she tries to sabotage the sale.

Then I’m staying at this cabin that is owned by her family. Being in this small town, I’m kind of bored, and I’m a little bit of a handy guy, and so I start fixing little things around this cabin. Then Lacey’s character, Chloe, comes in when I’m not there, and she sees that these things are happening around the cabin. So she starts leaving me notes on this chalkboard. This B-plot romance is budding. I write stuff on the chalkboard. I leave for the day, and when I come back at the end of the day, my note has been erased, and she’s written a note on that chalkboard. But neither of us knows who is writing these secret messages on the chalkboard.

Lacey Chabert, Andrew Walker Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood

So as far as this romance goes, I’m attracted to Lacey’s character, but I don’t think I have a shot in hell with her because she knows that I’m trying to take away the family business. But then on the other side, there are these sweet notes that are being written and exchanged. And then she finally says she wants to meet me, and I write back, “Great, let’s meet tomorrow.” I don’t want to tell too much, but as you can imagine, things happen, and it’s a really funny kind of encounter where I’m like, “What? This is Chloe? She’s actually writing me these notes?” So I know it, and she doesn’t know it. She doesn’t know that I’m staying at the cabin. It’s a really fun story.

For me, what was really interesting is that since I have this juice business in Los Angeles with my wife, a lot of the verbiage and banter between her father and I concerning sales and acquisition of beverage companies was fascinating. I know the business a little bit, so it was interesting to change up some of the dialogue as needed. It made a little more sense for me because of the people I have talked to in the industry and what the industry standard is and certain factors you can talk about in the beverage industry. I felt like it was something that came naturally to me in a way, and it was nice to bring that to the character.

Lacey Chabert, Andrew Walker Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood

I think this is going to be a really fun movie. There’s a lot of great comedic moments in it. And just as a lot of these Hallmark movies are, it’s a very beautiful movie too, because the locations that we had from this cabin in the woods to the winery was just gorgeous.

It sounds like a great way to kick off the Valentine’s Day season.

Absolutely! A very fun way to kick things off.

Now, the last time you and I talked, you, Nikki DeLoach, and Lisa Durupt were working together, possibly to pitch something to Hallmark.  I know you’ve done these two movies together, and the fans are asking if you three are going to be doing any more Hallmark movies together. Any updates?

the Walkers and the DeLoaches at TCA18

There’s no update at this time. Nikki and I are very good friends. We’ve actually become closer friends since our second movie together. And my wife and her have actually become very close friends too. In fact, I just saw Nikki a few days ago. Nikki teaches an acting class at UCLA, so she brought me in as a guest teacher one day. So we went out to dinner that night, and it was so much fun being a part of the class with her. We actually had the class put up a bunch of Hallmark materials. We had them shoot a couple of scenes from movies Nikki and I had done together, The Perfect Catch and A Dream of Christmas. It was lots of fun to see these different takes on scenes we had done for Hallmark. It’s funny. You could see the same scene done six times by six different actors, and it’s always different. They always bring something different to the table. It’s just so much fun to see and learn from various actors’ choices that they make in the same scene.

Andrew Walker, Nikki Deloach Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman

I think Nikki is working on a few things. She’s been writing. And I actually have a movie that’s been greenlit by Hallmark that is gonna be a summertime movie and it is loosely based around a home and garden TV show. You know, those renovation TV shows where they flip homes. So it’s about this girl who’s a host of this TV show, and the show is losing ratings. She is told by the producer that they have to shake things up, and they’re thinking about going back to her hometown and renovating a spot there. A historical spot. Kind of bringing a modernistic approach to this old bed and breakfast. I think it’s gonna be a different style of movie for them because it’s gonna be neat to bring that on-camera character that the leading woman is gonna play. And then the difference between her on-camera personality and the off-camera personality. And hopefully, have some fun with some diverse ways of shooting it.

I don’t know if Nikki is going to be a part of that. We have talked about it. We actually talked about it at dinner the other night about the possibility of working together again. I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of some of the fun that we can have on camera. It actually really hit me when I was at her class at UCLA. She’s an incredible comedy coach as well. So I feel like because of that, I don’t want to put too much emphasis on it. I don’t want to overburden her or dictate that she must be in this upcoming movie, especially because she is so busy and focusing on her own career and family. We’ll just see what happens.

When Nikki and I were working together, I was having one of the most stressful years ever with my juice company and all. It was a huge growth year for us, and we were in multiple predicaments that year. So when I worked with Nikki, I felt like I was living two lives. I’ve told her since then and said, “I’m so sorry. I feel like I brought my ‘B’ game to the process. I feel like I wasn’t there enough.” I feel like I was doing some method acting because the character I was playing was a baseball player who had been in the limelight but didn’t want to be in the limelight at that point. He was trying to be a little more of a recluse and go back to his hometown. And that was kind of who I was on set as well. I was in my trailer a lot. I was on my laptop a lot. I was on the phone all the time talking to different bottle purveyors or the bank, the lenders. I was just going crazy with business. So I think it was the best project I could have been in at that time. I guess it just goes to show that life imitates art. And thankfully, in the end, the movie did turn out very well in spite of any difficulties on my end.

Now, with A Dream of Christmas, I was there for her a lot more. I felt like we were able to get a lot more depth out of our relationship on camera and off camera. We were able to find that chemistry a little bit more. And I’d love to do it again. If I could do it with Nikki or Lisa or both, it would be great. Lisa’s such a solid actress. We all have tons of fun together. Dream case scenario is getting to work with both of them. I don’t know if Hallmark would get all three of us together again. Maybe two of us? But who knows? I don’t seem to have the chance to work with a leading lady more than twice on a Hallmark movie.

While I know the network tries to match up different people here and there, I know they don’t have any policy regarding how many times two actors can work together. There are several actors who have worked together more than twice. Brennan Elliott and Lacey Chabert is a perfect example. I think it is more about whether the project is right and lends itself to the two leads working together. 

from the set of The Perfect Catch

I guess you never do know. If my phone rang, I would love to work with Nikki again. Or for that matter, pretty much every Hallmark actress I’ve gotten to work with. That’s one thing about this network. They do cast very well. They’re such amazing women that I get to work with.

You actually answered a fan question when you told us about your summer movie because one of the fans said you have a made a movie for every season except summer. And now it sounds like you will. So with this movie, how did you contribute to the story?

A friend of mine and I came up with the concept, and we have an amazing writer that has done a few Hallmark movies now–Nicole Baxter. She wrote Love At the Shore and a couple others. She’s writing the script. And I’m going to be producing it and acting in it. This will be my first time producing with Hallmark.

Well, then that’s even more of a reason to look forward to it. 

{laughs} Hopefully we can make it happen.

Well, my problem now is that I am no longer objective; I’m incredibly biased because I have so many friends in the industry. I have a hard time being critical sometimes. But if I can take a moment and look at you more objectively, from what I’ve seen, I would say you definitely have the talent and skill for doing this. I can’t see where you wouldn’t. 

Aw, thanks, Ruth, I appreciate that. You know, I would be lying if I didn’t say that at one point in my career–I know I’ve said this to my wife probably eight years ago…I went through three years where I thought, “Is acting really for me? Is it something that I want to do?” And I think a lot of actors go through that moment in their life because they’re working with so much denial and you have so many times where you have opportunities that are seemingly incredible kind of fizzle out. You know, you’ve gone through five different rounds of auditions, you’ve gone through the executive and you’re down to a tie, and it just doesn’t pan out for you. I come from a very conservative family. My dad is a retired school administrator. My mom is a retired librarian. Acting was something you did for fun. You didn’t get paid for it; it wasn’t a career.

Photo by Catie Laffoon

Photo by Catie Laffoon

So as I got into my later twenties, early thirties, and I’ve decided I want to live a certain lifestyle and you live in LA and it’s expensive. You definitely have those thoughts come up: “Is this really for me? Am I cut out for this?” And I think it was such a blessing when Hallmark came knocking because they’ve really given me this new resurgence and this new love for what I do. And it’s allowed me to work and put food on the table for my family. And I try to strive for more. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people throughout the past few years. And now, just as I was saying to my wife, I can’t believe I’m getting the opportunity to produce my first movie with them. I have produced a couple other things in the past, but for Hallmark to trust in me that I’m going to deliver and that they’ve backed me in this concept…I feel very fortunate. If I had seen a snapshot of where I am today back during that time when I was questioning everything, I never would have thought this was possible. I’m excited for what’s to come in the future with Hallmark. I just feel so fortunate and blessed.

And of course, we’re equally blessed to get to watch you.

Thank you so much.

It’s good for the viewers. They will be happy. My mom and I both enjoy watching you. My mom loves Hallmark, but she has a more objective view of things. But I can say that you are definitely a favorite in this household, and you have been a favorite almost from the beginning.

Thank you, Ruth, that means a lot to me. And be sure to tell your mom “thank you” too. That’s very sweet of her.

I definitely will. Now, I know that you have a couple other projects that are not Hallmark. Last year, we were talking about God Bless the Broken Road. Do you have any updates on that one?

From the set of God Bless the Broken Road

Oh my gosh, I wish I did. I went for breakfast with the producer about four months ago, and he said it was going to air in eleven hundred theaters at the end of February. But I have not heard anything since then.

I was trying to do some checking myself, and I couldn’t find anything. It certainly looks like a movie that Hallmark fans would enjoy, which I think we talked about last year. 

Absolutely.

Well, we’ll just hope that it really does come out soon. I don’t even care if it just ends up being available to stream or buy. 

From the set of God Bless the Broken Road

The most difficult part about shooting a movie is actually getting it in the can. It’s been shot. It’s been edited. It’s been color-corrected. It’s got music added to it. We actually have some original music that has been made for it. We have cameos with a bunch of really great people. Actually, one of my all-time heroes growing up was LaDainian Tomlinson. He’s an ex-running back for the San Diego Chargers back in the day. He was an NFL MVP and a sweetheart of a guy. His father is a pastor, so LaDainian played a pastor in the movie. He did an incredible job with it. And there’s others. Joe Gibbs, who was the old football coach of the Washington Redskins. He owns some NASCAR teams, and so his racing team sponsored the movie. He has a cameo spot in it. I think what they’re being caught up on now, to be honest, is they want to have the proper marketing dollars to market it in the right regions, and they want it to come out and make a little bit of a splash. According to the producer, they have a good amount of funding in place to do a big marketing push in these regions where they want to air it.

I know that your movie, Oxalis, is a completely independent project and I seem to remember it being in post-production last year. 

from Oxalis

About three months ago, it was completed. And then we submitted it to festivals. Next week, it will be in the Mammoth Film Festival, and that same weekend, it’s going to be in the Santa Fe Film Festival. We are looking at a few distribution offers that came, which is great. Hopefully, we’re going to get it on Netflix shortly. But yes, it’s a real indie film. It looks beautiful. You know, the story is a little bit twisty with twists and turns. I don’t think it’s necessarily the quintessential Hallmark movie. {laughs} There’s no blood or gore in it. It’s more of a psychological thriller. It gets a little weird at a moment in there. The director’s a very talented guy. A very smart guy, big movie buff. If you were to piece together every frame of the movie, every frame is identified from a specific movie. For example, he would say, “Hey, guys, I’m gonna shoot this scene like Godfather III.” The lighting is very similar to that movie in that scene we were shooting. And that’s what he did all throughout the shooting of the film. It’s a compilation of all these different movie styles.

Even though it’s not a Hallmark-friendly movie, I have no doubt that many Hallmark fans will watch it. I’ve expanded my tastes over the past couple years, and I bet my daughter would like the film too.

from Oxalis

I will say there is one scene in Oxalis that is pretty provocative. My character is kind of going crazy because he loses his son. Our son is murdered at the beginning of the movie. It’s a scene I wouldn’t want my mother to watch. My wife has seen it. It’s even awkward for me to watch it a little bit. But it was one of these moments where I was like, “You know what? I’m acting. I can do this. I can get out of my comfort zone and try something a little crazy.” The director had this particular scene in his mind. If somebody were to do something like this, they’ve totally lost their marbles. So I just went with it.

I do understand that. We can always fast-forward that scene if we have to. I have been known to do that on occasion. So thank you for the precaution. I’m sure Hallmark viewers will appreciate the warning. {pause} One other thing I’d like to say is this. The project you mentioned for this summer sounds like something so different, and I’m very glad you brought that up. I accidentally got myself involved in a discussion amongst the fans who were complaining that Hallmark movies have the same storyline and they are boring. These people said they needed new writers, new stories, and all that. It sounds like your project fits right into that.

Interesting. At the TCA event the other weekend, you should have heard all the projects being announced. First of all, there’s a reason behind Hallmark being the fastest-growing network out there. Their numbers continuously grow quarter after quarter. I think people like to see these movies that are predictable, yes, and the structure is very similar. But that is part of their brand. They know their brand well, and they do try to stick to it while still making quality entertainment.

But the new stories that are coming out and the new projects that are coming out, there is a lot of new material that they’re doing and things that we haven’t seen before in Hallmark. So it’s gonna be very exciting to see how things fall in the next six months or so. I was pleasantly surprised by hearing the stories and this new content that they’ve taken on.

I’m hoping that they really allow us in our new project the summertime movie, I hope they allow us to have a more fun by opening it up a little bit more. In this movie, I see this leading lady having this on-camera persona and this off-camera persona, but also playing around with the footage from her TV show. I’d like to have her TV show be shot on one camera lens and the other use a different filter. Having two different filters depending on whether it’s on her TV show or it’s off-camera. I’d like to be able to see them switch things up a little bit, and I hope they let us.

You know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we’re not going to change things drastically because things do work for them and the formula does work. And like anything, people drop off. People find new things to watch and that’s the way it is. TV is very competitive. I think there are a lot of great shows out there for people to watch. And movies, but mainly TV has taken over. It’s incredible with the shows we have nowadays compared to fifteen, twenty years ago.

So for the people who think that Hallmark is doing a lot of the same stuff, there’s a reason for it. But I know for a fact since I’m so intertwined with them, they have their finger on the pulse. There’s a reason why they have these two main networks. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries brings more edge and allows them to have some fun with that.

from Home & Family

We love the Movies & Mysteries channel! Sure we love romantic comedies, but I grew up watching murder mysteries. My mom and I love them. We should get you in a mystery film, Andrew.

I know. That would be great. As a side note, Ruth, did you ever watch the show Diagnosis Murder?

Oh, yeah, I sure did. I loved it. We all did. It is a household favorite for sure.

I like the fact that you said that because there’s a possibility that I might be pitching a Diagnosis Murder concept to the Mystery Network.

Ooh, yeah, you need to work on that. That is something that I could see there being a real interest in. There’s no mystery series on the network like that. Andrew, I really hope that does come about. I hope you pitch it to them, and I hope they are interested. 

Yes, same with me.

Fingers crossed for you on that.

Thank you.

Andrew, I have so enjoyed getting caught up with you today.

Me too, Ruth. And I just thank you so much as always for your interest in my life and what I’m doing. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

It is my pleasure, Andrew. The fans and I think very highly of you, and we are looking forward to seeing this new movie this weekend.

Hallmark has the best fans, and I appreciate your support and the support of everyone. I look forward to seeing the movie and seeing what everybody thinks of it.

Andrew with his family

One of the things I appreciate the most about Andrew is the fact that he is candid and endearing when discussing his projects, his co-workers, and even his personal life. While he is not overly active on social media, I don’t believe anyone holds that against him. In recent times, many creatives in the industry have moved away from the various social media platforms due to the increased negativity, unnecessary bullying, and nonsensical nature of some entitled fans who badger industry professionals on a regular basis. To be honest, I can relate to that overwhelming feeling that quickly encompasses a busy young man like Andrew, and at least if there is something vital about his career or he wishes to share with his followers, fans can always check out his Instagram page.

As I have observed Andrew especially over these past two years, I have noticed the maturation of his style and the honing of his skills as he continues to bring lovable (and sometimes flawed) characters to the screen to entertain us and remind us of the power of dreams, kindness, family values, and charity. In this chat, Andrew so profoundly impressed me with his willingness to not only thank the network and its viewers, but he openly shared about the lower points in his life and career. It requires a genuine understanding of oneself and an eagerness to secure a sincere connection with the traditional, everyday people to make oneself vulnerable before the fans in such a tangible way. Indeed, Andrew does not live an idyllic life without complications, and the fact that he was so amenable to sharing more about his life journey with me as well as the fans is a testament to the kind of man that he is. 

Additionally, the fact that Andrew took a couple of risks to share about his upcoming projects in greater detail than I have heard previously truly resonated with me. He is in awe of the opportunities that Hallmark is presenting him, and his gratitude is eternal to both the network and all the viewers who regularly tune in and support his projects. While what he shared here may not be exclusive to my interview with him, the way in which he shared it was indubitably unique, and I am honored to know that he trusts me enough to realize that I take the task of posting these interviews to the fans with profound sobriety. I know he claims I always make him sound better than he is, but I assure you that the perception of Andrew Walker that I am sharing with my lovely readers today is as realistic and pragmatic as possible. 

I do hope that everyone will tune in to the Hallmark Channel tomorrow (February 3rd) for the first in a trio of premiere movies celebrating the network’s popular Countdown to Valentine’s Day programming. As we prepare to watch My Secret Valentine this weekend, I hope that each of you will check out Andrew’s links below and consider following him (at least on Instagram) in order to be amongst the first to know about these upcoming projects of his. He may have spent a considerable percentage of our time bolstering the careers and personas of his various co-workers, but I can assure you that Andrew is one of those professionals with uncanny talent and a mesmerizing presence whose roles continually connect with viewers for a wide variety of reasons. Regardless of why viewers tune in to support Andrew in his projects, I sincerely hope that everyone is aware of the remarkable person he is both on and off the screen, and I can genuinely state that supporting Andrew and his career is one of the noblest honors I can claim. Andrew Walker is a rare treasure in a world that is inundated by the average and the mediocre, and I am exhilarated that he and Hallmark are maintaining their miraculous partnership.

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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

15 Comments

  1. Julienne February 3, 2018 Reply

    Hi Ruth, Hi Andrew….this is an inspiring interview….Ruth you ask so many wonderful questions and Andrew you are just so sweet in your answers and such a caring man & father husband….I wish you all the best in life and your career😊 Ruth I so look forward to reading all of your interviews you are such a talented lady, your daughter is blessed with an amazing mother….keep up your great work😊

  2. Arden. Volkle February 3, 2018 Reply

    Another interesting interview. Andrew Walker is one of my favorite actors. I like him as a person too. You ask insightful. questions which he answers. With honesty. Glad he has more projects in the works. What I like the best about hallmark movies is that they portray their male actors as decent people. Even the adversarial. Characters have redeeming qualities. I realize that real life is not all happy endings but I like to be entertained by hope and happiness. You are a fine reporter and bring out the best in people you are talking with. Keep up the good work.

  3. Karen Jaras February 3, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for introducing me to something new! Hoping this will be a great read,

    • Author
      Ruth February 3, 2018 Reply

      This is not about a book, but it is about a movie. Thank you.

  4. Judith Watson February 4, 2018 Reply

    Missed the movie yesterday, I’m hoping to catch it another day. Andrew Walker is one of my favorites on Hallmark.

    • Author
      Ruth February 4, 2018 Reply

      Judith it should be on several times this month so check your local listings. I hope you were able to read the interview. There was a lot if great Andrew info there.

  5. Jodi Hunter February 5, 2018 Reply

    Incredible Interview.

    • Author
      Ruth February 5, 2018 Reply

      Thank you Jodi!

  6. denise February 5, 2018 Reply

    such a wonderful interview. I really enjoy his acting, and it was great learning a little bit more about him.

  7. Sheila Marie Villamor February 6, 2018 Reply

    I’m from the Philippines and I always look forward to Andrew Walker’s movie on Hallmark Channel. He is good looking and a talented actor.

    • Author
      Ruth February 6, 2018 Reply

      Sheila, me too! Hope you were able to read the interview as there is a lot of information about him!

  8. Sheila February 6, 2018 Reply

    Yes, through your interview I got to know him a bit and I hope that he continue to make good movies.I wish him well.

  9. Sarah L February 8, 2018 Reply

    That is a great interview. Wonderful subject.

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