Carlo Marks on Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday, Chesapeake Shores, The 100 and More!

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Because I most often watch Carlo Marks as he portrays David Peck on Chesapeake shores, his image evokes beautiful landscapes and lapping water.

So, it shouldn't have been surprising that when we had an opportunity to chat on the phone about his upcoming Christmas move, Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday, that he was doing it at his cabin on the shore.

Sometimes, life and entertainment collide.

Carlo Marks on Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday

Carlo is starring as Ryan, a former friend and rival of Hannah (Jen Lilley), who returns to his hometown after the death of his parents. Reconnecting with Hannah comes with a lot of pain for Hannah who hasn't been able to forget that her dream job went to Ryan while she's still working for her parents at their publishing house.

Both Ryan and Hannah get prodded to make room for the other in their life by a new angel by the name of Anthony (Eric Close).

It's a complicated story filled with passion and compassion written by Samantha Herman (Small Town Christmas, Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen) based on a story by Melissa de la Cruz, David Golden & Samantha Herman.

When we caught up with Carlo from his cozy beach cabin, he joined the chorus of others we've chatted with by heaping praise on Hallmark.

Happy Holidays in Angel Falls

"I'm sure you've heard this before, but they create a real family with their crew and their cast. I don't know how they do it, but somehow they just pick good people to be involved. There's never any bad apples, so to speak. At least I haven't encountered any so far. It's just a joy to go to work every day."

We might not work for Hallmark, but the good feelings surely leak through in their productions. And Carlo assures us that Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday has all of the trimmings we've come to associate with Hallmark's #CountdowntoChristmas.

It's a quintessentially Christmas movie. It's filled with all of the Christmas details that you want and all of the things you've come to expect from Hallmark. It's got the love and that kind of thing.

"But it's also got, I think, a little bit more drama, at least that I was used to working with on Hallmark. I mean the character I'm playing, he's got some not demons, but he's got some darkness in his past that he has to overcome. So I think it's a pretty well-rounded movie."

Standing Around in Angel Falls

Ryan's darkness is a good fit for Carlo who prefers his roles to portray well-rounded human beings that keep him on his toes who have "some kind of subtlety, some kind of conflict within themselves and externally that they have to fight against and shades of gray where everything's not just black and white."

The chemistry we'll see between Ryan and Hannah comes from a natural camaraderie between Carlo and his costar, Jen. "We really clicked. So the banter and the humor that we found on the page and with each other, I hope really pops on the screen for everything watching."

Jen Lilley has a large and faithful fanbase (and we'll be posting our interview with her tomorrow), and it seems like Carlo has already signed his Jen Lilley fan club card.

"She's pretty awesome," he shared. "She's a busy woman. She's got all these charities and things. She had a brand-new baby with her on set.

Getting Along in Angel Falls

"I think the baby was only two months old -- Julie. It's exhausting being on a set without having a child and without having to be up, and she just maintains this cheerfulness and light and never complains about anything. I found it very easy to work with her.

"Any time I was going to complain about something I couldn't because she had a two-month-old with her," he laughed.

Carlo thinks people will connect with Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday because two of the characters are dealing with things that many of us do during the holidays, including spending Christmas after the loss of those we love.

"It does go to some deeper places than other Christmas movies. But then it also has all those lovely Christmas tropes that we come to expect and that warm our hearts on the holidays."

Hannah and Ryan Meet

For Carlo, his family traditions center around food and gifts and family. "Every Christmas morning, my mom would do pecan buns. Lots of presents, and we always open a present on Christmas Eve."

Making his holiday a little more special are some newer additions to the family, his nieces who are two and four years old.

"I'm going to be spending Christmas with them this year which I haven't done yet, so hopefully it's starting some new traditions with them. They live in a very snowy place too, so it'll be a snowy Christmas."

His eldest niece has already been in a production of The Nutcracker this season, so she's already celebrating Christmas to the hilt. Maybe she'll follow in her uncle's footsteps.

Getting Along in Angel Falls

Carlo grew up with parents who ran a community theater in a small town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, so he was always around a lot of artists. "It's kind of an artist enclave and a lot of storytellers.

"It's not like some people have that moment where they knew they wanted to be an artist or an actor. I couldn't pinpoint it. I think it was just always in my blood and I just loved the community of creating something together and the magic of being in a room with people and creating something that wasn't there before.

"I just loved that, and I still do to this day."

While we still haven't received word on whether Chesapeake Shores is coming back for another season, Carlo offered some hopes for his character should the sweet family drama return.

David and Jess at Family Dinner - Chesapeake Shores Season 4 Episode 4

"I would like to see David being, well, he has been welcome but even more become part of the family. So maybe some storylines intertwining more with the brothers and with Mick and stuff, maybe helping out there, just to see those two worlds kind of intertwined a little more. I think that would be really fun."

The breadth of experience and wide-ranging talents found on Hallmark productions begs the question of what Carlo has found to be most memorable, and he's enjoyed learning from some greats like Diane Ladd, Treat Williams, and Barbara Niven.

He appreciates their attitudes and the way they approach scenes, most of all. "I've only had a couple of scenes with Diane, but the way she'll do a scene a bunch of different ways because she knows they can use different parts of a take" is something he finds very helpful.

"Watching how they behave and conduct themselves" offers more insight for him than any sermon ever could. "I would like to see David being, he has been welcome, but even more become part of the family.

Carlo Marks as Ryan on Angel Falls

"So maybe some storylines intertwining more with the brothers and with Mick and stuff, maybe helping out there, just to see those two worlds intertwined a little more."

Of course, Hallmark isn't the only place where Carlo hangs his hat. He also had a rather significant guest-starring arc on The 100 Season 6.

"It was a completely different world from Hallmark or Chesapeake Shores, so it was a welcome change, that post-Apocalyptic thing."

And even better, Carlo had almost all of his scenes opposite The 100 lead, Eliza Taylor. "She has a huge workload on that show, so just seeing how she conducts herself" really impressed him.

Clarke and Cillian - The 100 Season 6 Episode 4

"But I knew a couple of the people on that show, some of the crew, so there was some crossover from Chesapeake Shores. It was exciting to go into these big sets and big costumes when everybody's dirty and stuff. I loved it. It was really fun. I got to die too, which is always fun. It's something that doesn't happen in Hallmark either."

He had a pretty dramatic end, too. "I took my own life because I was a martyr for the revolution as far as I knew."

Coming up for Carlos is a play in Vancouver beginning in February. "I'm really looking forward to that because I haven't done a play for a couple of years now. It's with a local theater company there, a professional theater.

In the play from New York Korean American playwright Young Jean Lee, Straight White men, Carlo plays one of three brothers, one of the "straight white men" of the play. "It's about straight white men and these three brothers and a father.

"But the show is presented by two transgender people, so it's sort of examining straight white men as their own demographic rather than just the norm. So I'm pretty excited about that."

With a lot on his plate, there are plenty of opportunities to see more of Carlo.

First up, though, is Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday, December 15 at 8/7c.

Don't miss it!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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