It's time for another interview with another lovely castmember of Hallmark's Good Witch.
We had the chance to chat with Marc Bendavid, who plays Donovan Davenport, the Blairsville mayor, and Abigail's romantic interest.
Since his arrival, he's been an integral player on the series, and Donovan has captured the hearts of viewers.
The fun of it is that he didn't really know what he was getting into when he first joined the beloved series.
"I'd worked for Hallmark before, I'd done a bunch of movies for them, but I'd never been in the TV realm, it's all new for me. I knew it was going to be along the lines of Hallmarks aesthetic, and their content, but I really didn't know anything about it.
"In fact, I thought the Good Witch title suggested that it was a lot witch-ier than it ended up being. But I think it might have been in the early seasons, actually; I've been told that it was a lot witch-ier earlier on.
"But, Catherine Disher is like a Canadian TV icon, so I was super excited about working with her. And I'd worked with a bunch of the directors as well.
"It's funny, with all the television that's produced in Toronto, there's actually a finite number of people working in the industry, so you end up after a while, working with the same crews, and the same directors of photography, and the same props people and stuff.
"So, it's great going back home for work, for me, because I'm guaranteed to know people already before even starting work."
What Marc likes about playing Donovan is what draws us to the character, too. "There's a lot of conflict between Donovan and Abigail, even when they're getting along. Both of them have this reputation for being a little bit renegade in their respective worlds.
"Abigail, within the Merriwick family, and in Middleton, and Donovan with regard to his parents, and in their world has a reputation for marching to the beat of his own drum.
"I like that, it allows me, and I think the same goes for Sarah, to be free and impulsive and mischievous when we're working. It's what's called for with those two characters, I like that. He's always got a smirk in his eye, there's always a little plan that he's cooking up, and it's rare that I'll just say something straight up.
"It's usually couched in all sorts of backhanded ways. There was a moment this season when Abigail really just wanted some comfort and some reassurance, and Donovan was not able to give it because he's just doing his own thing all of the time. That, for me, is a great part of the role; it keeps it really unexpected and fresh."
Donovan's attitude and his relationship with Abigail were apparent from the first moment Donovan Davenport rode into Middleton on his motorcycle. "Yeah, that was fun. I wanted them to let me do some motorcycle riding in that episode, but they were very adamant that, unless I had a motorcycle license, I was not allowed to tear away."
When we spoke with Sarah Power, she mentioned that Marc is her husband's best friend, and Marc thinks it's pretty funny getting their friendship and onscreen relationships all entangled.
"I don't know if it's fun, as much as it's funny. There's definitely an awkwardness that could come; like I said, she's married to my best friend. I've known her for probably 10 years. When I first moved to LA, she was living upstairs in the same house that I was. She was an upstairs neighbor, so we have a long history.
"But with this stuff, it's so prescribed, and so specific on set when you're doing intimate stuff, that we, more often than not, just have fits of giggles and laughter. There are even times when her husband has come to set.
"I've known her husband for 20 years, and he comes to set, and we all get a hoot out of the fact that we're playing make-believe in such an intimate way. It's actually been surprisingly easy in that regard; there hasn't been any weirdness around that."
It's through Abigail and Donovan that viewers manage to get out of Middleton, especially now, since they're on a quest to find clues that could lead to the end of the Merriwick-Davenport curse. Marc shared with us some thoughts of his favorite location shoots.
"There was a farm in the Halloween movie last year where the hay bale competitions and all that stuff happened, which was really beautiful. It was a farm about an hour outside of Toronto; it was that beautiful time in late Summer, early Fall when the corn is ripe, and the field is still really lush, but you can sense Fall coming in the air.
"We spent a couple of days out at this farm, and the smell of the hay, it was just magical in that way."
"Another place that we shoot a lot of stuff lately, is this mansion, again, about an hour outside of Toronto, that Martha Tinsdale ended up buying."
"That's actually an enormous mansion, that at one time was a convent, and then it went to being a city council office, then it fell into disrepair. It's this giant property up on a hill outside of Toronto that's mostly used for film sets, but it's a legitimate mansion.
"It's beautiful, and it has an orchard behind it with dozens of 100-year-old apple trees. It's a pretty magical place. It's called Auchmar."
When we chatted with Catherine Disher, she, too, marveled that they're allowed to film there and make small renovations that suit what's happening to the mansion on the show. She said that the little things, such as paint peeling off of the walls, wasn't aesthetic but integral to the house itself.
Marc agreed. "Yeah, it's exactly what you walk into, and in fact, because it's a heritage building, the set people are normally allowed to do whatever they want when they get into a place like that, but part of the deal, if we get that location, is that we can't screw around with anything because it's all protected by Heritage Act.
"The peeling paint, and the creaky doors -- and apparently it's haunted, as well."
Marc laughed, "We have fun on set daring each other to go into parts of the place that are haunted. Even though they are cordoned off, we can get there, and there are all sorts of rumors of ghosts and stuff in the basement.
"So between scenes or during lunches, it's not uncommon for us to dare each other to go for a walk alone into the basement of this mansion."
With all of the historical relevance the Merriwicks and Davenports have shared, wouldn't it be fun if they worked that aspect into the storyline? Marc is eager to see the supernatural aspect explored.
"I would love if Good Witch got witch-ier again. Because there's so much fun in that genre, even if you're not going full-on scary and full-on horror. This season there was a lot of ancestor stuff, and a lot of ancestral curses and stuff like that. But, I feel like it'd be even more fun to mention it even more, and get full-on spooky for a little while."
Speaking of the curse, Abigail and Donovan have spent so much time combating what stands in their way that they haven't had much time to just enjoy each other's company. It seems Marc and Sarah have a remedy for that, and it would even tie in nicely to the storyline presented during Good Witch Season 6.
"A trip to Tuscany, an on-location shoot for two months, just the two of us. So we can spend some time getting to know each other in an Italian villa farm somewhere. That's what we've been pitching for the past year. This show really needs Abigail and Donovan to take a trip to Europe somewhere.
But producers so far have been really hesitant to this idea. I can't really figure out why," Marc said cheekily. "But I feel like there's so much going on in municipal politics in Blairsville and Middleton that we can't really get anything done in our relationship.
"I think the problem is only going to be solved with a one-way ticket to a European capital; I feel very strongly about this. Sarah does too; we've been campaigning for two years. It's not working though," Marc said, incredulous.
It's kismet that Abigail just happens to want to live in Tuscany at some point in her life, as she revealed during Good Witch Season 6 Episode 4.
"I know, this is the thing, this is where it started. First, we were talking about Paris or something, but as soon as the whole Italy storyline happened, it was, 'Perfect. Abigail gets what she wants, Donovan gets what he wants, the viewers...'
Marc asked, "Don't you think Good Witch viewers will be delighted if episode four of season seven just opened up on the Pantheon or the Colosseum or something? A terrace somewhere in Rome, and a cup of coffee being poured?"
We can't agree more, to be honest. If this couple has proved anything, it's what a benefit on-location shooting is to the beauty and wonder of Good Witch. Why not get it out of their systems before he becomes governor?
After all, the Governor can't whisk his love away to the vineyards of Tuscany, and asking Abigail to stand by his side during his term in office is a big ask, especially so early in their relationship.
"I think it's some kind of a test; sometimes you just have to put your cards on the table, and I feel that's what he's doing," Marc said of Donovan's aspirations for the Governor's mansion and his correlating expectations of Abigail.
"He's saying, this is part of what's important to me, take it or leave it, kind of thing. It is a little bit abrupt, and it is a little bit early, but I think he senses that, from the beginning, this is a real relationship, a real, potentially long-term relationship and that there's no point in breaking things like my wild ambition to be governor, to her lightly.
"I feel like Donovan's like, 'Well, I'm not going to not want this anymore, so I might as well show her that I want it.' I think that's what's going on there."
Coming up on Good Witch Season 6 Episode 7, Donovan finally gets to pal around with Sam and Adam, who have embarked on the road to a genuine friendship this season. Marc has noticed that Donovan has been left out of that loop.
"I know, and you know what? I have a boy crush on Jamie Denton, and I wish that they would write it into the season, that it was Donovan and Sam who spent all this time together.
"I don't know if I'm wishing for trouble because he's a doctor, and maybe one of the ways that they'd make that happen is by having me stricken with illness or something.
"But there were all these days on set where I just wasn't required. And I was like, 'What's going on here?' And I kept on seeing that it was those two who had scenes together. And I was actually jealous of that."
During "The Chocolates," the trio of guys heads to trivia night and then onto the bowling alley to catch Martha's big moment to shine.
"It was great. Jamie's really fun. He'll hate me for saying this because you won't think he's old enough, but he's kind of like the cast's dad, in a way. There's a running joke on set where Catherine catches Jamie falling asleep on set between takes.
"She has a folder on her phone, just of pictures of Jamie having fallen asleep, through their years of work, which is such a dad-like thing. I think it's great, I love hanging around with that guy, he's awesome."
If his time hanging with is man-crush Jamie has been sparse, there are others Marc would love to spend more time with on-screen, too.
"It's weird; I have spent remarkably little time with Catherine Bell on screen. Over the past two years, I think we've had three, maybe two, one-on-one scenes together. For some reason, we are just not in each other's orbit.
"I really like Catherine; she's a genuinely, sweet, thoughtful, gentle person. And I love the chance, even not just to shoot with her, but to be on set together; she has a very nurturing feel about her. I would love that.
"The other person, obviously, is Catherine Disher, because she's... I don't know if you spoke to Sarah already, she's probably told you that we have fits of giggling a lot of the time.
"But, if we have a giggling fit at any point when Catherine Disher's nearby, it's a serious loss of revenue for the network because they have to stop the set and take a break because she just makes us laugh so hard. And she is prone to hysterical laughing fits that derail the entire set. I'm serious!
"And especially towards the end of the week because we start every week very early, and as the week progresses, the call times get later and later. We might start working at 5:30 in the morning on Monday, but not start working till 4:00 in the afternoon on Friday, and these are 12-hour days always.
"So sometimes, it's Friday night at 1:00 AM or something, and Catherine Disher gets a laughing fit that she can't control, and that's it, we're done. I would love that, I would love more scenes with Catherine Bell, and more scenes with Disher, for sure."
When asked what he admires about his character, Marc said, "He has an unambiguous, moral rectitude. It doesn't seem hard for him to figure out what is the right thing to do, and I think I do admire that.
"There's a lot to be said for deliberation and uncertainty in decision making, but Donovan, he's one of those Kevin Costner guys, who just knows what's right, right away."
But Marc would like to see Donovan let loose every once in a while, too, perhaps by being a little more flamboyant in his choice of personal dress.
"He has a very mature dress code as mayor. His palate is decidedly narrow, and I would love to see him show up in casual Fridays, wearing a Dolly Parton T-shirt, and a pair of worn jeans. Or some kind of really nice cowboy boots, or a beanie with a motto on it, or something like that. I feel like he could afford to loosen up a little bit in the wardrobe department."
I'd stupidly forgotten that we'd already met Donovan's dad on the show when Donovan and Abigail went through hoops to stop the man from destroying the Wishing Well in search of a tax break.
"So we have met him. Whether he'll come back or not is a mystery, but we do love Dottie Davenport."
"The actress, Paula Boudreau, who plays my mom is... actually, this is real life, I don't think I've ever encountered a guest star on any show, who is so unanimously adored by the entire set that you have hair people, actors, directors, everyone just asking the producers to bring that person back, and Paula Boudreau, who plays my mom, is that person.
"More people want her to come back than want me to come back, I think. She's just unrelentingly sweet and loving, and thoughtful. She's just one of these people that has that energy of, I don't know, I don't want to say 'Saintly,' but kind of saintly about her. She's a really beautiful person."
Dottie didn't have the best introduction to Middleton, immediately cast as close to a villain as they come in Middleton, firmly squaring off against Martha and Abigail.
"This is how they test the waters with spicier characters on Good Witch, they make them peripheral characters, and see how much the audience is willing to take. She's especially a good foe for Martha Tinsdale," Marc said.
Now that Dottie softened up to Abigail, maybe she and Martha can become the friends they were destined to become so that Dottie can embrace the happiness to many find in Middleton.
"Something along those lines happens," Marc teased. "I don't want to give too much away, but there is some sweetness coming up, for sure."
As for whether there are wedding bells in the future for Donovan and Abigail, Marc has his doubts but not because he doesn't have faith in their relationship.
"You know, last year we said that to the showrunner, and he said, 'On my life, I'm never shooting another wedding episode; it's such a huge saga to get a wedding, and extras, and costumes, and everything that you can only really use once.'
"You can't reuse costumes and dresses from the wedding, and it's just such a big deal. Because you have to have a really spectacular location, you have to have a really spectacular set, and costumes and everything.
"And after that wedding last year, Sarah and I said, "Are we going to be next?" And he said, "We are not doing any more weddings." Marc thinks that if the fans want it, they might be persuasive enough to get it done. And if not a wedding, then certainly a Tuscan honeymoon, right?
Marc laughed, "If we elope to some small church, in some little tiny town in Italy, that's just got four pews and a mini steeple. It'll make it easy."
Seriously, though, Marc said he's impressed with the hands-on approach Hallmark takes with its viewers.
"They read the Tweets, the go on the message boards, all that stuff. I feel, more than the average show, if there was a consensus about something people wanted to see, and it got communicated to the show, via Tweets, or via whatever, that they would let it happen, actually."
Never let your thoughts on what you love go unsaid, #Hallmarkies and #Goodies!
While waiting to learn about the future of the production industry, Marc has been actively auditioning for potential new parts. When asked what he's been watching lately, Marc shared that Sarah's husband recommended Normal People, an Irish series on Hulu.
"It's about a couple of high school students who fall in love at the end of high school, and I think, I'm only a few episodes into it, I think it follows their on-again, off-again relationship, through college and early adulthood.
"It's based on a Sally Rooney book, but lately I've been watching a lot of movies because I'm in a film club, a quarantine film club with a bunch of friends of mine. We've been watching two movies a week for the past couple of months. I've just seen some of the most incredible films of my life, really.
They've discovered and enjoyed the work of Thai director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. "He won the Palme d'Or 10 years ago, for this movie called Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
And it's this slow, beautiful story of this elderly Thai man, who's dying, and he has flashbacks to previous lives. He's surrounded by his sister-in-law, and a couple of family members, and it's just haunting, and beautiful, and really, really unique, I can't recommend it enough.
Then another movie, that actually also won the Palme d'Or, two years ago, I think, is called Atlantics. It's by a French filmmaker, a woman named Mati Diop; it's on Netflix actually, and it's about young love in Senegal. These two young lovers who fall in love, right as things go south in Senegal.
And they don't just watch the movies, but get together online to discuss them, too.
"Yeah, we have a deadline. Mondays and Thursdays at 9:00 PM is the discussion, so we take turns picking a movie. We don't watch it together, we just have to have watched it by the time of the meeting.
"And it's all on Zoom, and people are in their 'jamas and whatever, just chilling out on Zoom. Everyone is so over getting camera-ready now, I feel like. There's no more, 'How's my hair looking? How's my lighting?' Everyone just looks pretty dumpy right now. Which is cool."
In other words, they're just like us! I hope you enjoyed reading about Marc and getting to know him a little bit better.
Remember to watch Good Witch Season 6 Episode and come back right afterward for a full review of the latest episode!
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, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.