Former Young and the Restless star, the talented Hunter King, has landed at Hallmark in a big way.
For 2022, she has had three movies, including Hidden Gems, Nikki & Nora: Sister Sleuths, and this week's A Royal Corgi Christmas, and she signed a multi-picture deal for more.
We had the chance to talk with Hunter about filming A Royal Corgi Christmas and what she enjoys about working with Hallmark Media.
Hi, Hunter. How are you?
Hi, I'm good. How are you doing?
Good, thank you for asking. So this is your third Hallmark movie this year, isn't it?
It is, yes.
What do you like about working on these films?
Oh my gosh. I mean, there's so much to love about working for Hallmark. I think one of the things that I love most about working for Hallmark is that there are always just such happy sets to work on as well as such happy scripts.
Hallmark is just known for making people smile and bringing joy to people's homes. And it's the same as on set. I mean, the sets are always such a blast, and the people are always so lovely to work with, both in front of the camera and behind the camera.
So both behind the camera and when you're watching, it's just a joy all around to work on.
You played a character on Young and the Restless for so long that was not the nicest person. It must be so refreshing to play these parts where you get to smile and be pleasant and not have to be kind of backstabbing or anything.
It is, yes. It is very, very, very nice to play a different kind of role. It is fun as an actor to play all different kinds of roles. But yeah, after 10 years of playing that role, it is really refreshing to play something kind of happy.
And I have such a soft spot for rom-coms. I mean, that's my favorite genre to watch. And so I don't think it comes as a surprise that rom-coms are my favorite kind of movie to play in. So it's really fun. It's something different that I haven't gotten to do much of before.
So it's really is a dream come true to get to act in them now. So yeah, getting to play this kind of character really is a dream for me.
And were you a Hallmark fan before you started working on their movies?
I mean, I don't know who isn't a Hallmark fan. I truly don't know who isn't. I mean, who can't turn on the Hallmark channel and just smile? It really is just so much fun. You can flip on the Hallmark Channel and just feel like you're at home or just melt into the couch and just let your real life problems go away.
Yeah, I don't know. It's just a good feeling. You feel like you get to escape reality for a little bit and just feel like your life is a Hallmark movie for a while. And now I get to feel like I get to live out little Hallmark movies myself. So now I get to immerse myself into Hallmark movies for other people, and it's a really fun thing to get to do.
Did you have any favorite actors that you used to watch their movies and that you'd like to follow in their Hallmark career path?
Oh my gosh. I mean, Lacey is amazing. I loved her in Mean Girls. And then just watching her on Hallmark is just, I've loved all the Hallmark movies that she's done. She's definitely one of the big ones.
And then one of my best friends, Rhiannon Fish, I love getting to watch all the Hallmark movies that she's done. So I'd say that those are two of the women that I really admire their careers in Hallmark.
So, what do you look for in a script when it comes your way?
I think it's just if I enjoy reading it. And I mean honestly, all of the Hallmark films that I've gotten the chance to read, there hasn't been one that I haven't enjoyed reading, to be completely honest with you. Every single one, I feel like they know exactly what they're doing.
They know how to bring a smile to the viewer and to the reader's face. So as long as I enjoy it, I feel like the viewers will get to enjoy it. So the characters, I feel like they're always complex. They go through some kind of journey and self-discovery.
And as long as it seems like it will be a really fun role for me to play, and there's some depth behind the character, which there always is, Hallmark doesn't ever miss the mark on that, and it will be fun for the viewers to watch and it'll be a fun role for me to do, then I feel like it's pretty much a go ahead after that.
Are you a Royal fan? I know that some people just live and breathe for the next Royal movie that comes out, and now you're in one.
Yes. I mean, okay. I will say I have never been a crazy Royal. I don't know all the Royal stuff, so I need to be better about that. I have learned since being in this movie and getting to talk to some of my co-stars, I've definitely learned some of the Royal stuff now.
I am more of a reality TV buff. If you ask me some of the reality TV shows, that is like my jam. I can tell you all the ins and outs about that stuff. That is my guilty pleasure. But since being in this movie, I feel like I can keep up with some of the Royal conversations a little bit now. So I'm getting better since being in this movie.
I have to say that you are a really natural actress. I imagine you're much like you are on screen in real life. And listening to you talk now, you kind of are.
Aw, thank you.
You're welcome. There are scenes in this movie where you had to do the fake bow thing. [laughs] I don't think I've ever seen you look so uncomfortable. Was that the most challenging part? Doing the bow part?
Yes, that bow thing with the kind of half-pray. I don't even know what you were doing. [laughing a little too hard now] It's the only time I've ever seen you look like, "Oh, look at me now. Here I go. Send him in." Oh, it's hysterical.
Oh my gosh, that's actually so funny because we were trying to figure that out. Me and Clare [Niederpruem], our director, we went through, and we were like, "How do we make this look and feel as uncomfortable as we can?" And Clare was actually the one that came up with exactly how you called it, kind of a prayer bow kind of thing.
And that's exactly what we wound up doing was a prayer mixed with a bow, mixed with a curtsy, just as uncomfortable as we could get. And honestly, that is probably something exactly what I would wind up doing, just completely embarrassing myself because I wouldn't know which one do I do.
Do I bow? Do I curtsy? Do Ido a little bit of everything because I wouldn't want to do the wrong thing. I wouldn't want to miss anything. And I would make a complete and utter fool of myself, trying not to do the wrong thing and winding up just doing everything but the right thing.
It worked really well, especially the way she turns around and goes, "I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm not going to do that." It was a really sweet moment.
We're not going to do that ever again. Well, thank you. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I'm glad that my uncomfortableness came off on screen. [laughs]
It did. It did. And of course, your costar is really cute, Mistletoe. Are you a dog lover or cat lover?
I feel like I'm going to get in trouble for saying this. I am a dog lover, but I am all-animal lover. I would love to own a farm one day, but my heart is with the dogs.
Oh, there's nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that at all. What was it like working with a dog as a costar?
Oh, my gosh. Well, I've never done that before. I will say that working with dogs is kind of like working with kids. You just aren't sure. Are they going to want to hit their mark right now, or are they hungry, or do they want to take a nap? Do they want to lie down?
So it's kind of up to the dog a little bit. But I mean, working with dogs is also a dream come true. I mean, I get to hang out with dogs all day long. Who gets to do that? Not many people get to call that their job, so that's really exciting.
And I miss my dog so much whenever I'm on set. So I get my dog fix. When I was in Ireland filming this movie, it was nice to be able to have a doggy there on set, so that I didn't miss having my dog there too much.
Did you have any special training to pretend like you were training a dog?
It was kind of like every day before our scene, I would go over to the dog wrangler and get a little bit of, "How do I do this thing that we're about to do?" And kind of get a little bit of a low down.
So it's kind of each day before the scene or before the day started, just a little bit of a quick training, just little quick stuff right before.
And what's it like filming in Ireland? I didn't know it was filmed there. That's lovely.
Oh my gosh, it was amazing. I'd never been to Ireland before. It's been on my bucket list of places to go. It rains a lot there, but it's beautiful. It's stunning. It's unbelievable. Got to go to the cliffs. There are just so many beautiful places to go to and travel to in Ireland, and the people couldn't be lovelier.
I loved every second of being in Ireland. I mean, there are so many castles We got to film at castles. I mean, I didn't even know that we were going to be able to film at castles, but not just one castle. I think we got to film at four different castles if I'm actually thinking.
Yeah. I mean, that's like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So it's something that I will definitely never forget.
Wow. Yeah, it looks beautiful on screen. I thought that maybe they just made Canada look like something. Apparently not!
No. We actually really got to film in real life castles, I mean, on the grounds of castles, in castles. It was just absolutely magical and breathtaking.
Well, I can't even imagine. That would be wonderful. So, what do you think the viewers will find most relatable about this movie?
Oh my God. Well, I mean the castles, of course. I'm just kidding. [laughs] The most relatable?
I feel like even though obviously there's a lot of the Royal stuff, aside from all the Royals and getting to stay in castles and stuff like that, I feel like the love journey and the self-discovery journey is really relatable for the viewers and going through this friendship and this bond between the Prince and Cecily is something that the viewers will be able to relate to.
And even the stuff between Cecily and Mistletoe. Cecily isn't sure if that's ever a bond that she'll be able to experience again, and then Mistletoe maybe being able to change her mind with that and the Prince also being able to change her mind with that.
So maybe taking out the royal part and just kind of dissecting it on the human level, there's a lot to relate to. I think that people will really enjoy this movie.
What did you most enjoy about filming it? What was your favorite part?
Oh my gosh. Just one thing? That's so hard.
You can give me a range of things. Whatever comes to your mind, whatever you think about filming this, what was it?
I would say the people would probably be my favorite thing. Even though I loved being in Irelan,d and getting to work with puppies and dogs was obviously a dream come true, getting to work with a woman director, I obviously love that.
And I love Hallmark for giving me the opportunity and giving Clare that opportunity. And we'd love to see more of that. So getting to work with Clare -- I've worked with her husband before, and I know that Clare is so talented and such a kind, loving person. And she's just so good at her job. So getting to work with Clare, she's an amazing leader. That was amazing.
And all of my costars were great, just so talented, such kind, good people. And I mean, the movie is just going to be so fun. And getting to work with the dog just kept us on our toes so much that I'm so curious to see how all of it will turn out. It's just going to be so funny.
There are also ballroom scenes and some dancing scenes. And I am not a dancer, so I look forward to seeing how those will turn out. And my co-stars and all of us trying to figure that out while doing our dialogue. And we just had so much fun trying to figure that out together. And everyone behind the scenes, it was all just so lovely.
Oh my gosh. Rosie, my makeup artist, we still stay in touch. We play Wordle, and we send each other our Wordle stats even now.
What is it? Over a month and a half later, we still send each other our Wordle stats. So just the people have really made such an impact on me, and I really loved getting to work with everyone on this film.
Well, with three movies this year, what are you aiming for next year?
I mean, hopefully, a lot more Hallmark films to come. I'm hoping some more rom-coms. As I said, I love doing rom-coms, so maybe another Christmas movie, I'm hoping.
So we'll see what else comes of this. But we just announced that I signed a multi-picture deal with Hallmark, so we'll see what kind of movies we get to do together. I'm really excited.
It is very exciting. I'm really happy for you.
Thank you. Thank you so much. It's a very exciting partnership with them. I feel right at home with Hallmark. It's a very exciting family to be a part of.
And I think, like I said, about how comfortable you are on screen, and it just feels like you could be somebody who goes far with this. I see that this could be something really big for you. You could be a Lacey Chabert. That's what I think.
Aw, thank you. That's so sweet of you. I mean, cross my fingers. That would be such an amazing outcome. We'll see what the future holds. I am just thrilled to have the opportunities that I have had so far with Hallmark. It truly is just such a dream working with them.
Everybody is so wonderful and so kind over at Hallmark, and they do spread kindness and happiness. That, I feel like, is their message.
And working for them really is just that. So it's been really such an honor to work with them. So I can't say it enough. So I feel really, truly blessed and very, very lucky.
And the movie premieres on Black Friday, so it's kind of kicking off the real sprint to Christmas. What are you most excited about for the holidays?
Oh my gosh. The most exciting part of the holidays? I'm just so excited to spend time with my family. My sisters will be here for Thanksgiving, so we're all going to have Thanksgiving together.
My sisters, it's kind of hard to wrangle everybody together usually for the holidays because everyone's always working or out of town for the holidays with their parts of families.
Everyone has their significant others or filming out of town. So everyone will be here for Thanksgiving. So I'm very excited to all be together for the holidays.
And do you dress your dog up in Christmas sweaters?
I have an ugly sweater for my dog, and I will be dressing her up, but it is my goal this year to find matching ugly sweaters for my dog and I. So I'm on hunt for that. I'm on the hunt. If anybody can find those, send links my way. If not, I will be taking knitting lessons to knit my dog and I matching ugly sweaters.
Oh, that's adorable.
I will do it.
Are you going to be live tweeting?
Oh, that's a good idea. I might do that. Or maybe I'll do a live Instagram for maybe the first 10 minutes of it or 10 minutes beforehand. Maybe I'll do something like that. That's a really good idea.
Yeah. I mean, I know that the Hallmark audience just loves getting on there and being able to chat and share their enthusiasm with the stars. They love it.
That's a good idea.
Yeah. Yeah, they are. Well, thank you so much for talking with me today, Hunter. Really appreciate it. And I can't wait for you to see the movie because it did turn out really cute, and I can't wait to see what 2023 brings for you.
Thank you so much. I'm so excited. Thank you so much again for having me. I really appreciate it.
And you have a happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas.
Thank you, you too.
A Royal Corgi Christmas premieres on Hallmark Channel on Friday, November 25 at 8/7c.
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.