If you subscribe to Hallmark Movies Now, you may already be familiar with The Love Club. If not, then you'll get a taste of the Hallmark Movies Now exclusive series on Saturday, March 4, when The Love Club: Nicole's Pen Pal premieres on Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.
The Love Club is a series of four movies following college friends as they support each other through their lifelong romantic journies.
Brittany Bristow stars in the first movie as Nicole, a freshly-engaged woman who can't shake the feeling that the true love of her life is the man behind a series of pen pal letters he and she wrote to each other while in school.
The movie follows Nicole and her friends, Sydney (Lily Gao), Lauren (Chantel Riley), and Tara (Camille Stops), as they concoct a plan for Nicole to discover the true identity of her pen pal and find out once and for all if he is the man of her dreams.
We chatted with Brittany about starring in the movie series, and here's what she had to say!
How did being a part of The Love Club come about?
The Love Club is a series of films that were created by a woman named Tanya Linton. They started the casting process about a year ago, and I got an offer for the role of Nicole.
When I read the script, I just absolutely loved the concept. I loved the idea of telling the stories of four women. I jumped at the chance. I said yes right away. The rest is history.
Am I right that all four characters will be featured in one of their own movies?
Yes, you are. It follows these four women. Each of us has our own film, and the other three, when they're not the lead, are the supporting friends. You really get an opportunity to learn about these women and follow them as they continue to grow and evolve and experience their own leading lady moments, which is really fun.
This is relatively new for the Hallmark universe, featuring friends in this capacity. What was it like working so closely with three other women instead of only with a male romantic partner?
It was really fun. I mean, we had a really incredible opportunity to build real friendships and rely on each other. I think each of our individual personalities was a huge part of why we were cast in the roles that we were put in. As a result, we had an opportunity to lean on each other in a similar way that the characters did.
We were there for each other in the mornings. We hung out on the weekends. We really developed beautiful friendships and had a chance to really be there as support for each other, which is beautiful.
I think it's a really special moment when you get to lift up another woman, as a woman, as an actor, when you get a chance to support the people around you. Having an opportunity where we had the chance to both be supported, and support was really special.
What's your favorite thing about Nicole as a character?
I think my favorite thing about her is just how hopeful she is. I think she's one of those people that steadfastly believes in love and knows that there is someone out there for everyone and really is not willing to let life pass her by without finding out who her one is.
Beyond that, her hope and her love of love go beyond just romantic relationships. It stems from her life, her friendships, and the love she has for her family. She's just somebody that cares a lot and has a lot of hope for happiness.
I've got to be honest. I was a little disappointed in her stepping out on her fiance before drop-kicking him to the curb!
Yeah. I completely understand.
She was like, "I'm just going to entertain several gentlemen callers while I leave my fiance hanging on in the wings."
I know. It was a challenging aspect of the character for me, if I'm being honest, because I know it's not necessarily something that people are loving to see. But I do think it is something that speaks volumes in terms of her determination to find what will make her very happy.
I think that aspect of it is a huge part of how she learns what she needs to be doing for herself. Of course, it's not fair to Warren. But I also do think, to a certain extent, there is a moment of taking a step back and really assessing what matters to her and what's going to make her happy.
I think it's a delicate balance. It's a tough thing to navigate. It's a tough conversation to be had. Of course, being unfaithful to a partner is never a good thing. It's never good.
The beauty is, in the end, she really does make her choices based on herself and what's going to make her happy. She makes those choices because she knows that's what she wants. There's really no one in the balance when she makes those choices.
She really does come to a place of having that clarity in her head and knowing that she's making choices because, as Nicole, in order to be happy with who she is and where she's going, and what she's doing with her life, she had to do it either on her own or with the person that she loves most, and can't really bring anybody along for the ride in that.
I'll be honest again. [laughs] The writing didn't do Warren any favors. He did all the wrong things.
He was not a good fiance. He wasn't a good boyfriend, let alone think that he could take that next step and be a fiance.
Yeah. I will say, too, I think, to your point, there is also the aspect of when somebody really isn't right, and they really aren't supportive, or they really aren't doing the things that you need, it's difficult.
It can be really scary to walk away from someone, especially when somebody like Nicole is in that position because, at the end of the day, she just wants a happily ever after. She doesn't know if it's her gut [instinct].
She's fighting this battle of whether she should actually listen to herself. Is she actually right that she's with the wrong person? Or is she just second-guessing everything?
I think for her, she's just like, "I just need to entertain this for five minutes, not actually do anything that is so far across the line that I can't figure myself out and come clean and have a conversation, but that I can just go, 'What do I want? What do I need?' And just figure that out."
I think, to your point, Warren is not a very good match for her at all.
Not at all. I really like the aspect that she keeps looking back to what seems just like a college crush, but that person had everything that she thought she wanted in a person.
She wasn't seeking somebody that had those same qualities, even if it wasn't the same man. She was just flying by the seat of her pants, hoping that she'd find love, without looking for somebody who really addressed all of her needs like those letters did.
I think a lot of people navigate that as they're navigating love. What are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to let go of? What really truly matters to you?
For Nicole, the thing that matters the most is feeling that love and getting that happily ever after. For her, she's just stuck in this cyclical nonsense of not feeling that. The letters are the only thing she has that gave her any sense that that was even possible for her.
We meet four girls who are friends in this movie. As the stories continue, how will your character's choice be addressed? Is she going to continue to be with the person that she chose in this movie in the next? Will we see more of her story?
Will each individual, as the next story comes, still be featured, so then the third story would feature aspects of both characters from the first two movies, as well as the new story? Is it going to continue in that frame, or is it going to be more singularly focused on the individual characters?
Well, they're definitely individually focused, but each of our storylines continue.
As we follow Nicole through the next three films, we get small segments of excitement and glimpses into her life and what's happening with her. We continue to follow her story and get little tidbits of what's happening.
As the stories continue, for example, the next film that's airing is Sydney's, played by the exquisitely beautiful and incredibly talented Lily Gao. Her storyline is really beautiful and completely different than Nicole's. We get to learn more about her.
Then, through her film, we get to continue on the journey with Nicole, and we get to learn more and more about the other two characters so that when we approach their films, we're a little bit more aware of their stories and what their challenges are, but not so much so that we don't need to see them.
It's a fun continual journey. While it is focused on each leading lady's predicament, it is something that allows us to continue to grow and evolve as characters and continue to share our stories.
You've been doing these movies now for some time and, more recently, as a leading lady. Is there a story that you'd like to tell in movie form?
Oh, man. So many.
I know you've written and produced before. What's something that you're tapped into that you'd like to see on a screen?
There are just endless stories to be told. I think, at the end of the day, especially with films like this, the core of them is hopefulness. The core of them is everyday stories, projects that we can all feel ourselves in when we're watching them.
I think what's really fun is continuing to tell those stories and making these fairy tales accessible. I love being able to play characters that feel real, that give people hope, and that makes people feel like these things could happen in their own lives. Honestly, all of those stories.
I mean, I have a ton of stuff that I'm working on that I would love to tell, and I'm going to get the chance, I hope, with some of those things. But yeah, I mean, I love telling stories of all kinds. For me, that was just endless.
I think there's so much creativity in this world and so many incredible writers and directors and actors, and just companies like Hallmark that are willing to take chances on people and give them a chance to tell their stories.
I'm excited to continue that. It's so hard to say that there's one thing that I would want to tell because I just want to tell it all. I really love what I do so much. I feel so lucky to do it. I love telling all of the stories, even the scary ones and the sad ones. All of them. The thrillers. All of it.
When you're not in something, what forms of entertainment do you enjoy? What do you like to watch?
Oh, gosh. All sorts of things. I'm not thinking of anything right now because I'm working on a film. I'm up to my eyeballs in script memorizing. It's very different, but I've started watching The Last of Us, which is a zombie thriller based on a video game. It's fantastic. It's very interesting.
I really find science fiction-type stuff really cool, too. I really love psychological stuff, psychological thrillers, or dramas because I really find it interesting how people are able to piece together all of these little details and how every single thing means something.
You can watch it a second time and be like, "Oh, my gosh. They showed me that thing. I could have seen it, but I didn't." All of these fun little bits are just so intricate.
I think it's so remarkable, especially when people come up with these entirely new worlds. Just to see the creativity and the imagination of those worlds become real on camera always makes me sit there in complete awe.
Is there a role on TV or in a movie that you've seen that you wish you could have had?
Oh, gosh. [laughs] I think that list is endless, too. It's so funny. I have so many characters that I would love to play. I would love to be in a comedy series. I'd love to be in a drama series. There's a small part of me that also wants to be a cop. I'm just like, "Put me on Criminal Minds. I'll do it. It's fine. If I have to."
I mean, I think there's just so much to be done. I don't know. In watching all of the shows that are out there right now, there's just so much fantastic content that it's so hard to watch things and not be like, "Oh, that would be so fun to be a part of."
There are also things where I watch, and I'm like, "Oh, I would never want to be a part of this." Some of those things are because the content is maybe not something I would feel comfortable with.
But there are also some things where it's like, "Oh, I wouldn't want to ruin this world for me." You know what I mean? The magic of that world is so set that to be a part of it would be like, "Can you imagine being one of the kids in Harry Potter and not actually getting to ever experience the magic of Harry Potter?"
I understand what you mean completely.
To never get lost in that. To not be able to be a part of that from that side would be, I feel like, so sad. [laughs] I mean, it would be not bad to be Hermione Granger. But yeah.
It's funny. Sometimes even I'll read a script, and I'm like, "Oh, this would be such an incredible project to be a part of. If I don't get it, I'm going to watch it because this is going to be such an incredible series or movie. I just have to see it."
For me, the excitement is getting a chance to play that character, even if just for a minute when I audition for it, and hoping, eventually, someone will find me for the right thing. I have to pinch myself because I keep realizing that I am doing those things.
That's true. You are. You're walking right in those footsteps.
I forget sometimes that I'm actually doing my dream job.
What you see and you're so excited about and would love to be a part of, other people see your work and feel the same.
Yeah. Exactly. I think there's something really special about that. It's why it's so fun when you're on a set because everybody's living that world. Then you know that when people watch it, they're going to live it from a different perspective. Both sides are equally exciting. They're just a little different.
If you were to tease The Love Club: Nicole's Pen Pal, what's the one thing that you want people to know about the movie before they start watching?
It is full of some pretty funny mishaps. There are some really touching moments between friends that show that unconditional love comes in all shapes and sizes, all forms. I think, at the end of the day, it's a film that really inspires people to follow what matters to them more than what matters to anybody else.
The first three movies from The Love Club are now available on Hallmark Movies Now, and The Love Club: Nicole's Pen Pal premieres on Hallmark Channel on Saturday, March 4.
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.