By: Kat Harlton
All Media Courtesy of Corus Entertainment
Ann Pirvu and Kjartan Hewitt star in “Learning To Love Again” a new, original Hallmark Channel movie premiering Saturday, October 10 (9 p.m. ET/PT), on W Network as part of the network’s annual “Fall Harvest” event. This is an exclusive Canadian premiere as part of W Network’s ongoing partnership with Crown Media and the Hallmark Channel.
About The Movie:
After breaking up with her longtime boyfriend and losing her job, Jane reluctantly heads home to the small town she grew up in. But on her way there, she stops to help a stranger in need who ends up helping her believe in herself— and love— again.
We had the opportunity to chat with star Ann Pirvu about her role, and what she hopes fans take away from the movie.
Kat: You portray Jane in the upcoming Hallmark Movie “Learning To Love Again”, how did you prepare for your role?
Ann: This is a project that’s so special to me and I’m so excited to be talking to you about it. I am such a romantic at heart, and I knew I was going to love playing Jane from the moment I read the script. I mean, the woman convinces her childhood nemesis to pretend to be her boyfriend for Thanksgiving weekend… but her heart discovers a deeper truth. Fearless? Brilliant?—Thanksgiving recipe for disaster… kidding! It somehow manages the perfect blend of fun, heartwarming, amusing family dynamics (traditional to any holiday gathering ) with that unexpected rush of… true love. I was absolutely thrilled to help tell this beautiful story. And being able to share it with my family and all of you, as it premieres on W Network Thanksgiving day here in Canada, just makes it even more special.
The whole process was very immersive and organic. We didn’t have much prep time, so I had to dive right in and felt truly fortunate to get to work with such a brilliant cast, particularly my wonderful co-star Kjartan Hewitt. We spent a lot of time talking about the story and coming up with heartfelt and humorous ideas, or rather encouraging each other’s ideas to add authentic touches to every exchange. There’s something for the whole family, I hope we prepared the most heartwarming addition to your Thanksgiving dinner this year. It’s also my first Hallmark film, and I’ve always felt so drawn to the family friendly programming mandate at Hallmark. I’ve been telling my team the Hallmark family is where I truly feel at home, and having my first leading role in a feature film be a part of Hallmark Channel’s Fall Harvest lineup is such an honor. The experience was genuinely an unforgettable gift, the first of what I hope will be a continued collaboration.
Kat: Did you find any commonalities between yourself and Jane?
Ann: For sure! Like Jane, I come from a very… involved, shall we say, family (laughs). We immigrated to Canada from Romania when I was 12, so there were four of us and we just had each other heading into this new adventure of life. My parents are very hands on when it comes to my life, very opinionated sometimes — always well meaning input, but OFTEN unsolicited. It’s the Romanian way! I’m joking, of course, because I’m beyond grateful for their nosiness… I mean guidance (laughs). No, I feel very lucky to have been surrounded by so much love and support throughout my life, and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. It made me who I am. My family was always my safe space and source of strength to believe that I could be anything I wanted to be, and figure it out along the way. That’s something Jane and I most certainly have in common. The type of charm that lends itself well to some of the most amusing, yet simultaneously touching moments in the film. Without giving anything away, I resonated with her witty/good humoured approach to many of life’s curveballs. And her resilient nature. It’s tough to keep an open mind and an open heart after a breakup, or in a phase in life when things aren’t really going your way, but her courage to return to her roots and… creatively attempt to reinvent herself… is such an inspiring example to set for any young woman watching. And I’m so thankful, and proud, to have been a part of a project that extends that type of message.
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Ann: I am… not much of a baker (laughs). Shameful full disclosure, despite my mom’s passionate efforts to involve me over the years in what is a rich tradition of Romanian pastries and cuisine. I very much look forward to her having those images of me baking a pie on screen, to hold on to in real life.
Kat: What have been some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Ann: There are so many! Bee ready… for bee jokes and Harvest barrels of fun featuring Come From Away’s bee-utiful Steffi DiDomenicantonio. Sharing the screen with Canadian legend Karen Robinson was bee-yond amazing! (Ok, I’m gonna stop that now, but it really was! As this is a Thanksgiving film, a lot of my favorite scenes revolve around — you guessed it, food! There is one in particular that involves appetizers we completely improvised on set, and it ended up being SUCH a creatively satisfying experience, we could not stop laughing shooting that scene! Perhaps one of my absolute faves, there’s an unforgettable dinner scene that takes you through all the magical nuances of true romance… I love a good love story, and this scene is sure to stir the heart in the most unexpected ways. It did mine.
Kat: What do you hope fans take away from the movie?
Ann: What a lovely question. In a year that kind of threw us all for a loop, I feel more thankful than ever that families everywhere can get together this Thanksgiving weekend, (on W Network here in Canada) eat a wonderful meal together, and settle in to watch our heartfelt story about… growing with love. Growing together. About learning to love again. There are so many layers of meaning to the title of our little film, I hope audiences unpack them slowly. We need more love in the world today. The best types of movies are those that make you think long after you watch them. I hope this is one of them for the fans. More than anything, working on Learning To Love Again was one of my most favorite filming experiences so far. I can’t say enough about CORUS Entertainment and the incredible production team at Vortex Words + Pictures. Everyone went above and beyond to foster the most nourishing, collaborative and inclusive creative atmosphere, and I’m so thankful they trusted me to bring Jane to life. Every day at work was an absolute treat, and so I hope that fans and audiences alike pick up on all the love and hard work that went into this project. I would be truly thankful for that.
Kat: Is there a type of character that you’d like to portray, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Ann: Being part of the Hallmark family is a dream come true for me, I look forward to more fun Hallmark collaborations. Whatever they send my way, I’m up for the challenge!
For more Fall Harvest on W Network visit: https://www.wnetwork.com/fall-harvest