There came a time when Erin Krakow knew she wanted to work with Tyler Hynes, a charismatic fan-favorite among the distinctive ensemble. So when it came time to find the perfect lead for her in Hallmark Channel’s latest romance, it was always you, the heartthrob star had one person in mind. “People really love Tyler and they’re excited to see him. I was excited to work then I asked him for this movie because I thought he’d be great in this part,” Krakow told ET, which Hynes confirmed. “She expressed that to me, which, I’m not sure exactly why she did,” he said humbly. “I’m so thankful that she did it because we had a great time. Erin is an amazing human being and a very, very talented actress.”
In the film, which closes out Hallmark’s “forever love” list this weekend, Krakow stars as Elizabeth, a type-A planner and career woman whose engagement plans go awry when her nomadic fiancé travels a lot and it’s free. Her energetic younger brother David (played by Hynes) returns home. As these things usually are, Elizabeth’s minute-by-minute to-do list is thrown upside down when her fiancé, more interested in seeing to her patients than planning the wedding, leaves midway for a medical emergency. minor. Left with no choice but to enlist David’s help, her unexpected influence on all things big and small forces Elizabeth to question her life choices and whether she’s finally making an irreversible mistake.
et exclusively premieres a sneak peek of It Was Always You (see clip above), in which Elizabeth walks up to David, moodily strumming a guitar in the tree house she was once banned from as a child, to ask you for a not-so-little favor. she shows all warm and fuzzy feelings as the two innocently flirt throughout the conversation. fun fact: the script called for hynes to whistle, but because he can’t do it in real life (“erin’s going to be pretty uncomfortable seeing me pretend to whistle,” hynes deadpans), they made him play the guitar in this scene in particular. .
Filmed while on vacation in Victoria, British Columbia, Hynes recalled receiving a text message from Krakow shortly after joining the film to break the ice. Since they had never met before, it was that initial text conversation that established their relationship, which helped bring their chemistry to life on camera. “i think she said ‘hello’ to me and something nice. then i think i sent her a picture of my dog and told her that was the look i was going for and she understood i was kidding thankfully. and she replied with a gif of myself answering me. we started right into the ridiculousness of texting,” he told et over the phone, later adding of their seamless connection, “I’m sure you’ve had this where you meet someone and it’s super easy. Like, you immediately skip all the nonsense and jump right in. I love that.”
krakow echoed that sentiment and marveled at the time he spent working with hynes on this film. “I don’t think he can narrow it down to one thing,” he said when asked what he enjoyed most about his co-star. “But I’ll just say you work with some people and it feels very natural and like you know that person or have been working with them for a long time. And that was the case between the two of us. Tyler is an amazing actor. He’s very collaborative. always wants to elevate the work.”
both were drawn to the screenplay by kathy kloves, crediting the way the unique story unfolded organically and the meandering path to love for its characters, who have known each other since they were children, found over the course of the film, adding an unexpected degree of suspense. Throw in the idea of following dreams, ditching five-year plans, and finding that elusive spark (or “zing,” in this case), and you always have all the makings of a great romance. (Besides, it’s not a signature movie without all the flashing lights, swoon-worthy declarations of love, and furtive glances her heart can muster.) “There’s so much heart, so much focus on family and love, and discovering your true sense of self and following that path,” Krakow said. “It was a love story that I really believed in and I felt like I understood the characters from the beginning of the first reading. As I put it on my feet and brought this story to life, it just got better and better.”
But It Was Always You has an extra layer of complexity woven into its DNA, with its offbeat love triangle between two brothers who are in love with the same woman. It helped that Krakow and Hynes worked out script issues and character journeys, as well as discussing their own personal life paths, during a cliffside walk that Hynes frequents in Victoria to help memorize lines. “I was curious to see how they were going to navigate [the main romance] and [kathy] did a great job of following this line that made it feel like, ‘ok, this could really go wrong if we do it wrong.’ but if we do This in the right way can be a really beautiful love story that’s sincere and possibly reflects some unique circumstances that real-life people have experienced,” Hynes said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have people message me and say, ‘Yeah, this is my story. I’m with my first husband’s brother and he’s beautiful and cool. And we’re all happy and comfortable with that.’ I find that With these movies, the more sideways the movie can go, the better it ends.”
In the movie, there’s talk of finding that “spark,” the inexplicable sizzling energy between two people that, in at least one distinctive film, translates into true love between them, even if they’re not aware of it. at first. For Hynes, she got that “spark” feeling during one of her first scenes with Krakow, where her character, Elizabeth, is busy choosing a wedding cake and decides on vanilla. Her character David can’t help but say that vanilla is safe and, for all intents and purposes, boring, implying that it’s not. at least, not the version he knew at the time. “i started rambling and i was doing my thing, and then at some point, erin started cracking up because somewhere along the way, i decided to start sounding like christopher walken. and the director didn’t understand why she was laughing, and she was like, ‘he’s doing a christopher walken impression. what am i supposed to do with this?’ sometimes i get bored in the middle of these scenes and i start trying to get a reaction out of erin or make her break down. that scene, i was like, ‘yeah, this is going to be fun. she’s up for fun.'”
although choosing a favorite scene seemed like an almost impossible task for krakow and hynes, who says that david is “pretty close” to who he is in real life, both chose crucial moments that happen near the end of the film, one of the one that came to them on one of the last days of filming. (Krakow and Hynes also added an additional element to the story: a clue: a handwritten note that stands the test of time, which plays a key role in how the characters come together at the end.)
“there’s a moment at the end of the movie where my character asks tyler’s character if he can imagine [his brother] in the colosseum [in rome] and I think he says, ‘yeah sure’. but it’s a moment where both characters are trying to convince themselves that that’s the case, and maybe it’s not, but it’s really the moment where we get to see elizabeth navigating that path to self-discovery and who is she really, really under what she’s trying to be or who she’s been trying to convince herself she’s been all these years,” Krakow said.
“My personal favorite was maybe the last scene in the treehouse,” Hynes hinted of the film’s coda, which was not originally in the script. without giving away too much about what the actual scene entails, just know that it involves a lot of popcorn (and it’s not too far fetched to say that it’s happy—it’s a hallmark, after all). “that was something we added. erin and i thought, ‘this is a little short, maybe we’ll put it in here’…everyone else jumped in and said, ‘we like that idea’. there was nothing written. we went to bed and it was at the end of another day, and we said, ‘let’s do this real quick,’ and we did a few different versions and the movie could have ended in a lot of different ways with all the different versions that we did.”
krakow expressed his desire to continue working with hynes on future projects, distinctive or not. “I would love that so much. I’m already trying to convince everyone that we need to shoot the sequel,” Krakow joked. “I found a great collaborator in Tyler and we really enjoyed working together, so I hope there are more projects in our future.” And a Christmas movie, Hallmark’s bread and butter, isn’t out of the question. (“We have to do Christmas in a room,” he joked). hynes, for her part, may be gearing up to make at least two more movies in the coming months, one that she was supposed to shoot just before the pandemic hit and another “a friend of mine asked me if she could tag along and I think it might be a chance,” as well as a new season of letterkenny, the Canadian series where he plays a tattooed bad boy (the antithesis of a male-wearing hallmark), sometime in May. “Hopefully, time permitting, that gets done and we can go on and create more fun content for everyone.”
You both hope that when viewers sit down this weekend to watch it, it’s always been you, that it strikes an emotional chord.
“my mom called me because she saw the link to the movie and she called me crying a couple of days ago. she went on to explain that it was the idea that these two characters, that they were kind of separate, and it felt like that this whole time and that they ended up together, that was really nice, and the characters seemed serious and [they] really earned it,” Hynes shared. “I’m always looking for someone to have a gut reaction to something, whether it turns you off or turns you on, and I hope this movie gives you that kind of reaction of something. something emotional that’s triggered a little bit. And hopefully that’s hope because I think the film is very hopeful and romantic.”
“I hope you’re reminded to look within and really get in touch with who you really are and move on with some of those dreams that you put on the shelf for a while,” Krakow said. “And I hope you guys get carried away with the romance and the heart of the story. I hope you love it as much as I do because I really loved this one. I can’t wait to share it.”
It Was Always You opens on Saturday Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. et/pt on the hallmark channel. For more on the movie, watch it below.
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