Bethany Joy Lenz Gives You a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Your Favorite Hallmark Movies

Christy Piña
·4 min read

From Woman's Day

Whether you're navigating a break up, or you're feeling particularly down this year as the ongoing pandemic has undoubtedly changed countless holiday celebrations, sometimes all you really need to feel better is a Hallmark movie, a cozy blanket, and a comfortable couch. From the couple who finally gets together after an hour and a half to the arguments and makeups along the way, Hallmark movies have a knack for making you smile. But what happens behind the scenes? Bethany Joy Lenz, who has starred in six movies on the network, reveals Hallmark movie secrets that'll pull back the curtain on all the Hallmark classics.

Lenz's newest Hallmark movie, Five Star Christmas, which aired Nov. 27, is one of the network's only ensemble family comedies that includes a little more physical and broad humor than usual. The actress plays Lucy, a travel writer, who goes home for the holidays only to find out that her parents have turned the family home into a bed and breakfast. When a hotel critic shows up unexpectedly, Lucy and the rest of her family have to pretend to be guests at the bed and breakfast to make sure their parents don't get a bad review for having an empty inn. In true Hallmark fashion, Lucy begins to fall for a man who comes into town named Jake (Victor Webster), but she can't tell him the truth about who she is, "so, shenanigans ensue," Lenz tells Woman's Day, laughing. From her time on various Hallmark sets, here's a look behind the scenes of the network's movies.

They're working to be more inclusive.

Whether someone's new to the Hallmark movie world or has starred in more than they can count, the network always makes an effort include and support everyone throughout production. "Hallmark's a great family to be a part of," Lenz says. "They really welcome you in and make sure you're taken care of." The network is also broadening its inclusivity with more diversifying storylines and characters who serve as an example "for people of all walks of life to be able to see themselves in these stories that are being told," she adds.

A year ago, Hallmark made a promise to increase LGTBQ+ representation on the network, and it has stuck to its promise. In August, it aired its first same-sex wedding in an original movie titled Wedding Every Weekend. And most recently, Hallmark released its first LGBTQ+ movie, The Christmas House. It stars Jonathan Bennett, best known for his role in Mean Girls, and Brad Harder, who play a married couple visiting home for the holidays and anxiously awaiting a call about adopting their first child. "I'm just really proud to be a part of a network that's making an effort in that regard," Lenz says.

It's a super fast shoot.

With all the magic that comes to life in Hallmark movies, you'd think that they'd spend months shooting every scene multiple times and making sure it's perfect, but it's the exact opposite. They shoot the whole movie in only 15 days! "There's the blessings and curses that come with that," Lenz says. "We're all just trying to put our input in and get the best quality project that we possibly can."

But the cast and crew know what to expect.

Despite the short shoot time, however, everyone on set finds a way to make it work. "At the end of the day, I think a lot of people kind of come in knowing that we're about to just get shot out of a cannon and knowing, 'Look, we're gonna step on each other's toes. We're gonna hurt each other's feelings,'" Lenz says. The cast and crew know that everybody has good intentions and is doing the best that they can, so when mistakes happen or you physically or emotionally run into someone you weren't expecting to see, the atmosphere remains light.

"There's a lot of grace and space for people to just be creative and find their way," she adds. "I'm just really happy to be able to be a part of it."

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