Exclusive Interview: Hallmark’s Taylor Cole on snowboarding, friendship, and wedding mishaps

Jack Turner and Taylor Cole in One Perfect Wedding. Pic credit: Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Marcel Williams

Sometimes art clearly imitates life. Just ask Taylor Cole about the uncanny similarities between her own Summer 2020 wedding and the myriad of mishaps in her new spring Hallmark movie, One Perfect Wedding.

This final installment of the trilogy finds Cara (Taylor Cole) and Ben (Jack Turner) ready to take the plunge. They book the chalet where they met, fell in love, and became engaged for a small wedding with friends and family.

The movie reunites Cara and Ben with their best pals Megan (Rukiya Bernard) and Sean (Dewshane Williams). It is the third in the series of movies following fan favorites, One Winter Weekend and One Winter Proposal.

In One Perfect Wedding, the timing is quite hectic for the endearing couple since Cara’s book tour is around the corner and Ben is feeling pressure from his expanding plans for his burgeoning skateboarding business. There are quite a few twists and turns for Cara, the mystery author, and her fiancé, but despite many mishaps and snafus, in true Hallmark-style, love wins out in the end.

Like many fans, Cole said the Hallmark Channel and its diverse projects quickly became her happy place. “When I got my first offer as a Hallmark lead, I didn’t know much about Hallmark and I hadn’t seen any of the movies,” she reveals.

“But as soon as I made the first one, I realized what an amazing group of people are involved with Hallmark and what a great fan base Hallmark has,” Cole continues. 

“I also love that there is the real need for these beautiful stories with happy endings, and family-friendly content,” she adds. “This is what drew me to it, and made me stick around. I am so grateful for every job that I’ve gotten to get me here, but honestly, Hallmark is food for my soul.”

Cole recently had an exclusive chat with Monsters & Critics about the difficulty of hosting her recent nuptials during the coronavirus pandemic, how she and her co-stars have become best buddies, falling in love with snowboarding, and how Hallmark changed her life.

Monsters & Critics: Taylor, the scores of fans see Hallmark as comfort food TV, which clearly helped a lot of viewers, especially during the lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taylor Cole:  Yeah, it is all the warm and fuzzies with a happy-ending. We need that right now.

M&C: So, this is the third installment of a lovely trilogy. Talk about the latest installment.

Taylor Cole: Well, with the latest installment, we are going to get to meet everybody’s family. We are meeting Ben’s sister Zoe, who is very sweet. And, we meet Megan’s mom Michelle, who’s quite the character, as well as Cara’s dad, Ray. There are a bunch of new characters, and you get to see what’s made them who they are.

M&C: This movie and many of your others sweep us up in falling in love. What is your take on romance? Are you romantic by nature?

Taylor Cole:  Oh, yes, I am. I just got married on June 20, 2020, so we had a COVID-19-style wedding. We planned a full-on wedding and then we had to unplan it. In the end, we live-streamed our wedding and that way everybody was able to attend. We could have just called it all off, but instead, we were like, “No, this is meant to be, and it’s going to happen,” and it all worked out so great. I’m just a hopeless romantic in that I’m an optimist through and through. I think everything happens for a reason, I think everything is meant to be, I think that turning every negative into a positive is really my outlook on all things in life. So, yes, I am a romantic to a fault in the way that I follow my heart.

M&C: You had to deal with many mishaps, which in many ways mimics your movie.

Taylor Cole: I had my dad walk me down on an armband through Facetime.  It was a blue armband for something blue. I used one of my friends’ old broaches to pin back the neck because I couldn’t get alterations. I ordered all my dresses and I did a Zoom bridal fitting.  I recorded all of it so that one day I can edit it all together and have it as memories.

M&C: That is a lot to deal with.

Taylor Cole: There is more. Basically, two weeks before we had to switch our venue because there was a backlog of the shipments at the first one because of the pandemic.  The guy who was in charge of the first venue asked a friend for a favor, and we ended up getting married right in the friend’s backyard on the lake and it ended up being even more beautiful and even more perfect than I could have ever imagined.  Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, and yet it was the most magical, perfect wedding ever.

M&C: It sounds a lot like the movie. 

Taylor Cole:  When I was reading the script, I was laughing out loud because of the similarities between Cara’s and my wedding is just beyond funny.  I love it when art imitates life.  It’s so much fun. And that’s what I love about this movie, too, it is about just rolling with the punches and really making the best of a situation that otherwise could be devastating.

Taylor Cole and Jack Turner in One Perfect Wedding. Pix credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

M&C: Are you close friends with Jack Turner, who plays your leading man Ben?

Taylor Cole:  Yes, he also got married in 2020, so I thought that was another cool tie-in that we both had just experienced a wedding and then we got to do it on camera. The timing was perfect because we could relate, for sure. He invited people over for a small gathering and then told them that they were getting married

M&C: Please tell me about how you see your Hallmark fans that you have come to know on social media.

Taylor Cole:  They are incredible. Other than Supernatural fans, which I was on a few episodes of that, it’s also not just the fan support but the way that they engage. It’s such a loving nature. They’re just grateful, they’re so happy and excited and genuinely thankful that we’re making these movies. Most everybody who approaches me, wherever I am, an airport or a store, they thank me for making these movies and say, “I need this in my life.” So, I just couldn’t be prouder to be able to give that to these families that really benefit on so many levels from it.

M&C: When I was watching the movie one of the “take aways” was the line, “If you believe the best you often get the best.”  Do you believe in that?

Taylor Cole:  Through and through. I love all the nuggets. There’s a Michelle nugget like that and a dad nugget. I remember just these very insightful life lessons that my dad has definitely taught me.  His saying is “choose happy,” and that is just something I’m taking with me my whole life. Whatever the situation is, the way that you process the information is really what you’re taking in. So, yeah, something terrible can happen but if you’re choosing to see it in a way that potentially is serving you then your demeanor and everything that you process can serve you, it can really help you in your journey of whatever that thing is. 

Yes. Sometimes I feel like I’m maybe naïve to people’s bad intentions because I do choose happy. And somebody could very often be insulting me or not have the best intentions, but I don’t see it that way because I know that everybody goes through things in their life and that whatever it is that they’re processing or going through doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with me. So, maybe they’re having a bad time but I choose to empathize with whatever it is that they’re dealing with. I never take anything personally because I know that people process things differently. But, yes, seeing the best in somebody for sure. I make excuses for so many people all the time, unfortunately.  It does help with my positive outlook and my well-being. So whatever it takes to be better in this world.

M&C: How do you see Hallmark overall? 

Taylor Cole: I am very passionate about making these movies, because that draw, that healing heart, and bringing families together is really what I want in this world. I want to make it a better place and if I can do it through movies then sign me up. Hallmark has that and they’ve really pinned down the formula to making beautiful love stories. I’m so happy and proud to be a part of it. I think that warm and fuzzy and tied to family makes it all that much more romantic.

Rukiya Bernard and Taylor Cole Pic Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Marcel Williams

M&C: Do you keep in touch with Rukiya Bernard, the actress who plays your best pal Megan?

Taylor Cole:  Yes, we do. She’s a sweetheart. We had plans for her to come to visit me in Lake Tahoe, but that didn’t work out because COVID hit. We have a lot of similar things in our lives. Every time I am in Vancouver we always meet to catch up and support each other. 

What is your favorite snack and beverage when watching Hallmark movies?

Taylor Cole:  I’m a popcorn lover; I enjoy making my own popcorn and putting all of these different seasonings and flavors, so I switch it up with truffle salt and parmesan cheese. Depending on what time of year, my drink would be something warm. We make this wassail that’s passed down from my husband’s mom and it’s a concoction of a bunch of different ciders and juices and it’s delicious. It can be served with alcohol or without alcohol. 

What are your favorite things about coming into spring?

Taylor Cole: Well, I moved to Lake Tahoe about two years ago. So, there’s spring when the mountain has this magical powder; this slushy sort of snow, so spring skiing is just amazing because it doesn’t hurt to fall and you get to have more fun. It’s beautiful bluebird days on the mountain.  Since the first movie, I’ve picked up snowboarding. I’m by no means great at it but living up here I have had the opportunity to get better at it. I can’t wait for spring skiing because last March 16th, on my husband’s birthday, they shut down the mountain because of COVID-19. My birthday is April 29, so I am excited about that.

If you had to compare when you were starting in the business to where you’ve come from, would you be surprised of the fan base and all the work that you’ve accomplished? 

Taylor Cole:  Well, when I first started, it was sort of “take it or leave it,” I wasn’t super excited about the world of acting. I was very camera shy and a perfectionist so being in the creative field gave me anxiety. But, because I didn’t care about it at all in the beginning, I booked a TV show, of course, because that’s how it works. As long as you don’t care. But then after a while, I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep acting because I wanted to make my mark in the world with something that I felt confident in doing, and acting there’s no perfect ending.  I wasn’t in it to win awards or to be the best.

I just wanted to feel like I was fulfilling something inside me. When I found Hallmark, it was exactly that. It was changing people’s lives and giving back. For me, it was about really listening to myself. I sat down and I asked myself when I have kids one day what do I want to do that they will be proud of and they will want to watch with me. Something that rang true to me, was spreading love and giving joy and all that stuff. And then I got an offer for my first Hallmark movie. I was listening to my heart when it comes to success. To me, the Hallmark Channel is the ultimate success because it’s giving back to the world.

One Perfect Wedding premieres on Saturday, April 3, 9/8c on Hallmark.

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