Erin Cahill stars in Hallmark's Hearts In the Game as Hazel, a top publicist who puts her heart and soul into bringing her clients' hearts and souls to the public.
When her ex-boyfriend Diego, a pro baseball player (Marco Grazzini) freezes during Game 7 of the World Series, she receives the challenge of a lifetime restoring his image.
During a recent publicity day, we chatted with Erin about the show and how she puts publicity to use in her own life, thanks to her role in the public eye.
Erin is an absolutely delightful person to speak with, immediately connecting on a personal level with warmth and kindness.
It's no surprise she's been so warmly embraced by the industry and her fans.
It was a relationship with Hearts In the Game's director, Stacey Harding, that got her involved with the project. Well, she learned of the project and was ready to sign without reading the script because it would reunite her with Stacey, who she trusts implicitly.
She was ready to accept the role on Stacey's advice without even reading the script because she trusts her. "I knew if she was doing it, it'd be good."
Erin said, script or no script, "I was destined to do it anyway because of Stacey. But no, honestly, without Stacey involved, I would have enthusiastically said yes to this. It's a really special story and project because it is really like a hallmark rom-com.
"You get all the Hallmark feels; you get all the 'will they, won't they.' But it also has kind of more heightened comedic moments and really real moments about mental health and loss and friendships.
"It really strikes a beautiful balance. When I read it, I literally laughed and cried, and I was like, this movie is going to hopefully touch so many people.
Erin identified with Hazel because, like the character, Erin really cares about her job and the people in her life, and she was very impressed that Hazel's publicity spins come from her heart.
"She's like, this is the way this story should be seen. This is the way your story should be told. Tell your story. And she does it from the heart. So I think that we have that similarity because I love hard, Carissa," Erin said passionately.
Erin may not be a publicist, but all celebrities have to be willing to tackle their own publicity with the advent of social media. Erin again referenced how close to the heart the idea of telling your own story your own way is to her.
"You have the power to tell your story how you want to tell it. Don't be intimidated by some other people trying to control the narrative.
"And I think that's so interesting because I am not a publicist, and I hadn't looked at it that way, but I was like, "Oh!" because I'm a 'wear my heart on my sleeve and say what I'm thinking' kind of person, and Hazel is too."
Erin has control of her own story, but she doesn't control it alone. She live tweets and posts things here and there, but for most of it, she has "the best ever" social media manager named Karen because Erin admits she doesn't have Hazel's innate understanding of what makes a great social media post.
Erin says she'd like to work a little harder at it. Still, when she's passionate about something, she puts in the extra effort. For example, she and her husband are not having children, so their passion is building schools instead.
"Our fourth school just got finished, and I want to tell people about it because I'm like, gosh, maybe someone out there wants to do a school too, and how awesome, and I need to share about it."
To that end, Erin uses her celebrity to bring awareness about an important topic to millions. She said, "I'm so in love with my job in this industry, and I'll do it forever, hopefully. But the schools are my other passion. I always joke that they're the job I pay to do. But with joy."
It's hard not to spot Erin's enthusiasm, and it's infectious. She's found a way to do charitable work that aligns directly with her core beliefs. She says if you've considered doing the same but have had a difficult time knowing where to start, then start locally.
"That's how I got started. Well, honestly, I got started because Power Rangers works with Make-A-Wish, and Power Rangers was my first big job. And then that's how I really got started volunteering overall.
"But how I got started in my community, I just Googled volunteer opportunities near me. And you can start locally, you can do local food drives, or you can just see what's needed in your community.
"If you're walking down the street and you notice that your community needs something, then you can leave flyers on your neighbor's door and be like, 'guys, this Saturday, let's go get coffee and clean up the neighborhood.' Whatever it is, you can really start at a level in your neighborhood if you want."
If you're interested in volunteering, even internationally, Erin says to focus on your passions. "I'm super passionate about education, so Build On is such a fit for me. My mom was a schoolteacher; my husband's mom was a schoolteacher. She now works at an elementary school.
"It's definitely part of our lineage, but I recommend everybody who's passionate about education, kids, and the planet to check out Build On."
For now, she hopes that everyone will tune into Hearts In the Game. "I think you will laugh; I think you will be touched emotionally. I think this is a really special film that's accessible to everybody."
She also notes that "there are real subjects in there that everybody can relate to," which sounds a whole lot like Erin herself.
Hearts In the Game premieres on Hallmark Channel on Saturday, April 29 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.