Tyler Hynes is one of Hallmark’s boyfriends, who tosses a little romance into our lives.
He’s starring in On the 12th Date of Christmas tonight, and we had a chance to jump on the phone with him to chat about the movie and his opportunity to bring some joy into our lives.
Check out the conversation below, and be sure to tune into Hallmark tonight at 8/7c to watch On the 12th Date of Christmas because it’s utterly delightful!
You’ve been in this business since you were a kid. What’s your secret to longevity in a profession that can be quite challenging?
Being talentless in everything else. That’s the key. [laughs] If you can suck at everything else, you can definitely stay in the same occupation. I find that hard to believe.
I started when I was very young. My dad and my brother are both masons. They had a masonry company. All my friends I grew up with, a lot of them do construction of some kind, and I don’t know, I guess work ethic.
I’ve been told by my mother and other folks who knew me when I was a child that I was somewhat focused and somewhat unobnoxious when I was working, and I think that definitely helped in keeping me working and making it about the work and not much else.
Can you tell me what it was like whenever you prepared for your very first Hallmark movie compared to now, when you’re a go-to performer for some of their best productions?
Yeah. Some of their best, really? Is that true? Nice.
I think so!
Okay. I like that.
Let’s see, the first call I got I was on my motorcycle, and I think my manager called me, and she said something that I could barely hear. It was something to the effect of “Do you want to go to Vancouver in the next couple of days to shoot a movie with LeAnn Rimes?”
And I asked her if I sang in it. And I think I told her to forward it to my mom and I said, “Mom, can you look at this script and make sure I don’t sing in this too much?”
She said, no I did not. And so, yeah. I was on a plane and a few days later we were shooting. So that one, there wasn’t much preparation. It was just trying to understand the world that I was in very quickly.
And now, comparatively, I’ve gotten the lay of the land a little bit, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of the people behind the scenes at Hallmark and they are very, very sweet.
I’ve gotten to know the fans and the world a little bit more, which helps me understand what I’m trying to do and achieve, which is essentially make people happy and try to tell some genuine honest stories.
So, the first one was definitely quick and now usually, I get a bit more heads up and a little bit more time to shape what I want to do, which has been nice.
So I have to ask. You said you sent that script to your mother, does she help you a lot with your career?
Absolutely. Specifically with this movie. Not so much with the World War II movie I did because it was dark and terrifying, and she didn’t really want to be a part of that role. But for these movies, yeah. Honestly, I think she’s probably read every single script before I’ve done it. She’s given me her thoughts.
When a movie comes out, she usually watches it because I get the email of the link, sometimes before it comes out, and years ago, I made the intelligent decision of giving my mother my email password because that was just the easiest way to have her updated on my life without me having to report back to her every day.
So, that was a smart thing, because she sees all these movies and she gives me notes afterwards. She usually comes back and says, “Your character was kind of like this and then he kind of went like that, and I liked how you did that and then you did all this.” And I said, “Oh, okay. So, it all sort of worked out with what I wanted. Great.”
So yes, my mother is my secret acting coach.
Oh, that’s so lovely though. My mother is one of my best friends, so it’s nice to hear other people who are close with their parents.
Yeah. I mean, she definitely likes these movies, and she’s happy that this is something that’s become part of my life, because she enjoys the warmth and the positivity and all those nice things that her son is less charming in real life. She enjoys it.
On the 12th Date of Christmas, isn’t that Mallory Jansen’s first Hallmark production?
This is her first Hallmark production. Yeah.
So, what was it like helping her with the ropes?
I mean, I didn’t have to do much helping, she’s an incredible professional. She has worked on great gigs prior to this Hallmark movie, and I think she came in with what she wanted to do, and she really did it. She didn’t need any helping at all.
She’s incredibly talented, incredibly warm and a great individual to work with and be around and be a scene partner with. So, she did it all on her own. I was just there trying to keep up and support her, I guess.
Give me your spin on the movie’s plot and how your character, Aidan intertwines with her’s, Jennifer.
One of the main things that I took away from the movie, aside from all the fun and the scavenger hunts and the Christmas and the romance, all those beautiful things, it seemed like it was about her character’s journey, finding her voice professionally and finding the confidence and the talent that she already has.
And, she is working at this company that handles events and they create scavenger hunts and games for big companies like this hotel chain that we have in the movie, and my character has been at this company for a while, is possibly more established, and they ended up getting teamed up together. Sort of to my character’s disappointment.
And I think throughout the course of the movie, us going on these dates, these romantic experiences, Aidan, my character, very quickly realizes how talented Jennifer is, Mallory’s character, and sees that she’s possibly more equipped for this job than even he is and sparks start to fly and all that gets called into question once we discover that both of them are up for the same promotion.
What do you think makes this particular film stand out from other Hallmark Christmas movies and other films that you’ve done?
Well, for me, my personal little goal… Normally with these movies, I try to figure out what it is that we’re trying to do and what can set it apart or what could be a unique experience specific to this story.
For me personally, I don’t know about everybody else, but my focus was just on that sort of story point that just mentioned, about her being in a workplace, being teamed up with a gentleman who is possibly a little less patient and sensitive to giving her room to show her talents and assert herself in her profession. I thought it would be something to not shy away from.
I think a lot of women, perhaps that my small male brain might relate to, just dealing with that kind of work environment and people possibly overlooking someone’s ability to do a really great job.
And so, I thought that that was a really cool layer to this movie, and I wanted to embrace that and not try to just be charming or try to take some of the possibly unpleasant atmosphere that comes about, at least in the beginning of the movie.
I thought that that was something to be embraced because it makes it all that much more sweeter when that shifts, and she finds her voice or she shows her voice, which he already had, and everybody sort of takes notice.
Not to say that Aidan, the character, is ill intentioned by any means. I think he’s just very preoccupied with trying to provide for his family and his goals that he isn’t as cognizant of what Jennifer might be going through at the beginning of the movie.
Well, that was a realistic part to the storyline, I think. Because everybody has some sort of experience like that at their job.
I think so. I mean, I hope so. I’ve had a few chats with some women who have seemed to recognize that in the movie, and I’m glad that came across. So yeah, hopefully, that is the takeaway. That some people feel represented and it can be something more than just a beautiful Christmas movie, which is nothing to shake a stick at. It’s something a little bit more familiar and relatable.
You have played such a wide array of characters from Hallmark to shows like Saving Grace and Unreal, what types of roles that you haven’t already done would you like the opportunity to play?
Good question. I think, right now I’m realizing I’m pretty grateful. I’ve got a really little funny Rolodex of characters. I have this movie, which is, you know, making people very happy and very in the holiday spirit; it’s romantic.
And then I have a World War II movie that’s coming out about a week later. That’s a very honest look at some of the perils of war where I play a character who definitely creates some conflict for the other guys in the movie.
And then I have this show I do with my friends called Letterkenny, which is a pretty funny Canadian comedy that my buddy Jared Keeso created, writes, and stars in. And he asked me if I would come on and do my thing in it, and so that’s been very, very fun, but that’s obviously a very different type of genre.
And I’ve also been lucky enough to work with some other friends of mine who were kind of taking a different approach to the Star Wars property. So that’s been very different, that’s like an action adventure, CGI epic thing. And so I think I’ve got a good, a good sort of range right now that seems to have worked out. So what else? I don’t know.
Personally, I would like to make like a thriller, sort of like a suspense crime thriller. I’d like to do something like that. Personally. I’ve been kind of actually creating a bit of a story that I might end up producing and directing at some point during this whole pandemic, so hopefully, that will materialize if I can get my act together.
Good. Tell me a little bit about the World War II movie. You said it’s coming out in about two weeks?
It’s coming out on November 10th in theaters, nationwide in the US, I believe. And I think they’ve done it in a very safe way, I’m told. I know I saw a movie in theaters months ago, and it was safe to do so.
It was a different experience, but very safe. So I was surprised about that, but yeah, apparently this movie comes out November 10th in theaters and then where it goes after that, I’m not quite sure I’ll have to text Rick the producer.
And what’s it called? It’s called Recon.
It was originally called Piece based off a book by Richard Bausch. Richard Bausch wrote a novel called Peace and it’s like an award winning novel, it’s based off true events. I think it was inspired by his father’s experiences. And he’s an award winning novelist, really good man.
And we made this movie in the winter, directed by a gentleman named Robert Port, it was written by him as well, starring an actor named Alexander Ludwig, from Vikings and Bad Boys and a bunch of other things.
It should be a good movie. The trailer just dropped, I think, a week ago and I think the appropriate time’s upon us.
Well, that’s something to look forward to. Speaking of things to look forward to, what are you looking forward to for the holidays after this particularly challenging year?
Well, I’m very happy what’s happening right now with this movie. I think a lot of the fans, at least that I see on social media and that I speak to, been very grateful to have these movies be able to exist right now, which is an incredible thing that Hallmark has been able to pull off.
I’m looking forward to more on this because the movie comes out in a week, and so that gives me an opportunity to talk to the fans, hopefully make some folks happy and have a little bit of a place to get some release.
And I think Christmas will hope to be more of that. I’ll be able to go and see my family and my hometown and take a second to quiet down and just enjoy some eggnog.
On the 12th Date of Christmas premieres on Hallmark Channel tonight at 8/7c. Don’t miss it!
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.