Before she was royalty, Meghan Markle was a TV star. Some viewers knew her as Rachel Zane from the series Suits. Others watched her on CSI: Miami and CSI: New York. Hallmark fans knew her from the two romantic comedies she made with the network, Dater’s Handbook and When Sparks Fly.
Next week, Hallmark will air Dater’s Handbook as part of a Valentine’s Day movie marathon. In the film, Markle plays Cassandra Barber, a young woman who is tired of picking the wrong guy, and she decides to follow the advice given by a relationship expert in her best-seller, The Dater’s Handbook.
In the end, she finds herself caught in a love triangle with two men — reliable George (played by Jonathan Scarfe) and fun-loving Robert (played by Kristoffer Polaha).
“It’s hard to change old habits and place your faith in the experts, especially when your heart tells you something different,” reads a synopsis from the network.
“I think the reason Cassandra still has to refer to a handbook is the same reason all of us are trying to find our way and a little bit of guidance and trying to balance having it all,” Markle said in an interview to promote the film. “And having it all isn’t easy. I think we’re all still striving for that, so I think watching Cassandra’s journey is pretty fun.”
Life as a royal for Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle met her own true love on a blind date arranged by friends in 2016. She and Prince Harry were married two years later in a ceremony attended by Queen Elizabeth II at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed son Archie in May 2019.
“It’s magic. It’s pretty amazing,” she said during her first public appearance after giving birth. “I mean, I have the two best guys in the world, so I’m really happy.”
Less than a year later, the couple stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved to Southern California. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle said she had been so unhappy living in the UK as a royal that she contemplated suicide.
“I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered. But I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it — and I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” she said.
Meghan Markle was happy with Hallmark
Meghan Markle made her first movie with Hallmark in 2014 playing journalist Amy Peterson in When Sparks Fly. In the film, her character returns home to write a newspaper feature about her parents’ fireworks business. When she arrives, she is enlisted by a friend to plan her wedding to Amy’s ex-boyfriend Hank (played by Chris Jacot). As Amy and Hank spend time together, they are reminded of why they were so good as a couple and old feelings resurface.
Dater’s Handbook followed two years later. In an interview to promote the movie, Markle talked about the futility of playing games when it comes to serious relationships.
“I remember when I was in high school and college we were still reading The Rules — do you remember that book?” she said. “So this is very much like that. And all those different things they would say like, ‘Be a creature unlike any other,’ and it’s really about playing these games but at the end of the day, when it comes down to finding the person that you’re right for, that’s not the person you’re going to play games with.”
Dater’s Handbook will air on Monday, February 14, at 2/1c on the Hallmark Channel.