Hallmark Channel’s Spring Fever event kicks off on Saturday with the premiere of “The Sweetest Heart,” starring Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally. This might be Gonzalo’s third Hallmark movie, but she holds each one, and the characters she plays in them, very close to her heart.
In the upcoming movie, Gonzalo stars as Maddie, the owner of a small cupcake shop who’s just looking to move on from a broken heart and expand her store.
“She’s just such a breath of fresh air,” Gonzalo told International Business Times of her character. “She’s very hard-working.”
What Gonzalo finds most inspiring about her character is that she’s simply a “beautiful soul” who has her priorities in order. She loves both the town that she lives in and her career, and she stays “true to herself,” even if that means wearing her heart on her sleeve.
“She’s just a hard-worker and wants to make her passion, her dream of owning her own bakery store [come true] and kind of fulfilling a wish that she has with her grandmother,” the actress said. “She’s so family-oriented. Again, she’s just a beautiful girl, just inside.”
This character and what she represents is why Gonzalo loves being a part of the Hallmark family and working on these films. She finds that they are “so empowering to women and the way they portray women in Hallmark movies are just so beautiful and inspiring.”
Taking on the role of Maddie was special for her and she wishes she had the chance to really take the time to get fully into the mindset of the character, but due to the short time-frame of filming Hallmark movies, Gonzalo really had to quickly understand Maddie and jump in.
“It’s so funny because when you’re working on these films it’s really time-constricted and you don’t have enough time to do as much as you want to do for the prep of the role, but for her it was just kind of understanding where she’s coming from and why she was heartbroken,” she said.
Gonzalo continued: “She suffered a heartbreak from her childhood boyfriend and it was kind of the ending of what she thought was going to be like her happily ever after. It’s nice to kind of have that place to play with because like who hasn’t had their heart broken? Who hasn’t had that relationship that teaches you so much in life?”
All that said, the Hallmark star said it was nice just to be able to bring some of her own “personal journey” to the character of Maddie. On top of that, she also had the chance to work with Chris McNally, who plays her love interest in the film. She really hopes viewers feel the chemistry between their two characters because he’s a “wonderful person,” a “terrific actor” and they were able to really become friends on set.
See just why Gonzalo loves Maddie so much when “The Sweetest Heart” airs on Saturday on Hallmark Channel at 9 p.m. EST.