Three films. Two nations. One veil of a story.
A trio of the Hallmark Channel’s most beloved main girls—Lacey Chabert, Autumn Reeser and Alison Sweeney—have come collectively for The Wedding ceremony Veil, the crossover trilogy that involves an finish on Feb. 19 with The Wedding ceremony Veil Legacy. The primary two installments helped to draw the community’s highest scores for non-holiday films in over a decade.
Taking part in three school mates who uncover a mysterious, vintage veil fabled to unite its bearer together with her real love, Chabert, Reeser and Sweeney every lead one movie and play a supporting function within the different two. It’s mainly the consolation TV equal of—spoiler alert!—all three Peter Parkers uniting on-screen in Spider-Man: No Manner Residence and it serves as the primary time the community has staged an occasion this bold.
For Hallmark’s senior vice chairman Elizabeth Yost, this second has been years within the making, calling The Wedding ceremony Veil trilogy her “ardour venture.”
“The background is, The Sisterhood of the Touring Pants is one in every of my favourite films and I had been searching for a method to co-mingle our expertise in a film,” Yost advised E! Information. “So when this idea got here to me, it was the right candidate.”
In a Hallmarkian coincidence, the correct car was introduced to Yost by Chabert, one of many community’s hottest leads since making her debut in 2010’s Elevator Woman.
After working collectively on the All of My Coronary heart franchise, Chabert’s producing companion Beth Grossbard introduced the concept for The Wedding ceremony Veil sequence to her three years in the past, together with producer Lisa Demberg and sister writing duo Sandra Berg and Judith Berg.
“I’ve been looking for a venture for years the place I might collaborate with a number of the different girls from the community,” Chabert, who additionally govt produced the sequence, defined. “It was an actual dream of mine to be in a movie with a number of the different girls. And it was at all times the primary fan query: Will you guys ever have some kind of crossover? Will we ever get to see a few of you collectively? This was the right car for that.”
With Chabert already connected to star, the hunt was on to search out the opposite two leads amongst Hallmark’s stacked roster of expertise.
“It was painstaking and a very powerful factor to us was that every character had a novel and distinctive voice, so we checked out our fan favorites and checked out how you can create an surroundings the place you’d imagine they’re mates who’ve that camaraderie,” Yost mentioned of the method. “We checked out each little element to be sure that every part about them felt distinctive and distinctive and Autumn and Ali are two of our fan favorites, and we thought the three of them can be the right mix.”
However discovering the correct trio would show to be removed from the trilogy’s solely problem, with manufacturing on the primary movie initially slated to start simply because the coronavirus pandemic halted manufacturing. The years-in-the-making venture, filming three films in two nations with three of the community’s most in-demand stars, must wait a bit of longer.
“That was very, very difficult,” Yost mirrored of the scramble to make the flicks occur. “However Lacey, Autumn and Ali had been so versatile and since the movies that they had been doing had been all for Hallmark, we had been in a position to coordinate internally with all people’s schedule to make it work.”
Whereas pre-production planning might have proved exhausting, the precise expertise of filming the trilogy was something however for its stars, who had been the TV equal of labor mates, casually catching up at occasions through the years.
“However after filming these three films collectively, now we have gotten a lot nearer and I really feel bonded for all times with each of them,” Chabert mentioned. “I actually respect each of them and so they had been so supportive of me. We actually bonded over attempting to stability all of it, working and being moms, and it was additionally actually distinctive to grasp their course of and see how a lot now we have in widespread in the way in which we method these films. All of us perceive the duty we really feel to the followers to try to elevate the bar and make every one higher than the final.”
As a result of every girl had their very own film, it gave the opposite two time to bond whereas serving in supporting roles. For as soon as, at all times the bridesmaid, by no means the bride did not appear to be such a foul factor.
“Ali and I really traveled to Bulgaria and it was so good to be on a protracted journey with a pal,” Chabert mentioned of filming The Wedding ceremony Veil Unveiled, which facilities on Reeser’s character. “After work it will be like, ‘Oh, let’s get collectively so we will run some strains,’ and we did not find yourself really getting any work accomplished, we ended up speaking and ordering room service. It felt like we had been having ladies’ night time and it was so good to have that on and off the set. It was a lot enjoyable.”
Actually, the three girls might have bonded a bit of an excessive amount of, even—gasp!—really consuming the prop cheesecake in a scene as a result of they had been genuinely connecting in the way in which you solely can with mates over espresso and pastries.
“Plenty of occasions once they yell ‘reduce,’ everybody type of goes to their chairs or trailers and has alone time, however we by no means did that,” Chabert revealed. “We at all times stayed on set to the purpose the place they must ask, ‘May you guys depart, so we might really gentle the scene and do our work?’ We simply loved one another’s firm a lot.”
That feeling of friendship is what Hallmark hoped to seize within the trilogy. Positive, every girl had a love curiosity, however essentially the most attention-grabbing and interesting scenes had been at all times meant to concentrate on the trio.
“Love is available in a number of completely different sorts of relationships and this sisterhood and this friendship and the love of mates is an space that we’re actually eager about exploring within the films,” Yost mentioned. “That is a factor you’ll begin to see a bit of extra of…the concept of the love story is probably not the A-story, it could be the B-story. It might be love between mates or love between households, in order that’s in all probability a bit of little bit of a change, however at all times aspirational, at all times a contented ending, at all times hopeful, however simply displaying that there are different kinds of relationships.”
Sure, it is a refined shift, however for Hallmark, selecting to shift its focus away from the love story is an enormous threat when its loyal viewers have at all times proven up for the chaste closing act kiss between an unlucky-in-love occasion planner and a tragic single dad.
However the scores for The Wedding ceremony Veil to date have proved its viewers is keen to adapt with the community because it continues to evolve its storytelling. After its debut on Jan. 8, the primary film garnered 3.4 million viewers, making it the community’s most-watched non-holiday authentic film premiere in over a decade. (By no means underestimate the facility of Chabert!) The Wedding ceremony Veil Unveiled additionally acquired a number of RSVPs regardless of going up in opposition to the Olympics, changing into the very best rated non-sports cable program on Feb. 12 with 2.59 million viewers.
“Thrilled” with the trilogy’s efficiency, Yost defined that The Wedding ceremony Veil additionally gave the community an opportunity to experiment with its scheduling.
“We’re simply so accustomed to streaming and binge-watching, so the scheduling for these three films back-to-back-to-back was Hallmark’s means of binge-watching,” she mentioned. “Plenty of occasions while you do a sequel, it’s important to wait a very long time. However with these airing back-to-back, everybody desires to know the legend of the veil, what occurs to Tracy [Sweeney], is the veil going to work for her, too?”
Given the response to The Wedding ceremony Veil sequence in addition to the rabid response from viewers after stars Tyler Hynes and Andrew Walker made shock cameos in one another’s “Countdown to Christmas” films—”I liked that,” Chabert mentioned. “I used to be really shocked by that watching, I used to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, there he’s!'”—followers can anticipate to see the Hallmark Cinematic Universe (HCU) proceed to stage crossover occasions.
“That has all been very strategic,” Yost mentioned. “We checked out each alternative and we tried to search out the very best locations to try this. A few of it simply comes right down to schedule and who’s the place and when, however that’s undoubtedly strategic on our half. We all know that the followers completely love these type of stunts and we’ll proceed to maintain doing these and it simply creates a lot engagement on the a part of the viewers.”
Although she’s starred in nearly 30 Hallmark films, there are nonetheless “so many” actors Chabert is hoping to work with, however there’s one lead specifically she desires to collaborate with within the close to future.
“Holly Robinson Peete, I simply adore,” Chabert mentioned. “We’ve got tried to place some stuff collectively and I hope we get the possibility to work collectively quickly.”
Hey, we hear a veil is perhaps out there for a becoming.
The Wedding ceremony Veil Unveiled premieres Saturday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel.