By: Kat Harlton
All Media Courtesy of UPTV & Project Four PR
Eric Hicks and Amber Marshall star in “Love In Harmony Valley”, making it’s Canadian premiere Saturday, October 3 (8 p.m. ET/PT), on Superchannel Heart & Home.
About The Movie:
Emma has waited to reunite with her best friend Tracey since she was in a serious accident. But Will, Tracey’s brother, won’t allow it, blaming her for the accident. When forced to work together, can Will and Emma learn to respect each other?
We had the opportunity to chat with star Eric Hicks about his role, and what he hopes fans take away from the movie.
Kat: You star as Will in the romantic feature film “Love in Harmony Valley”. How did you prepare for your role? Did you find any commonalities between yourself and Will?
Eric: When I first got the script two days before filming started, I mapped out the arc of my character throughout the storyline, his wins and losses essentially. And because preparation time was so tight I then took the script apart and sectioned it into what scenes I would be shooting on what days and created a plan on how I would get myself prepared for each day of shooting. I would then memorize the scenes for the next upcoming day and find the emotional truth in each scene and what I was fighting for and also what was going on unspoken beneath the surface. It was literally a day by day process, and then at the end of day four we had huge script rewrites that kiboshed that plan and I had to start the whole process over again essentially so to say it was difficult is to put it lightly. I gave it everything I had and I think that shows in the final product.
I understand Will because him and I are both from small towns built on a foundation of community, support, and love. When approaching the role all I had to do was imagine what it would be like if my home town was under threat and what I would do to save it and the people I grew up with. Will and I both have that fighting spirit, we don’t like to give up, but we can be discouraged from our fears. I made sure to bring that vulnerability and humanity into the role so he wasn’t just a two dimensional character, he has a lot of layers. He wants love in his life just as I do, but his obsession with work can get in the way. Will is a cool cat, but he’s far from perfect just as we all are. Perfectly imperfect as I like to say.
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Eric: Like I said above, the time frame was the most difficult part of the filming. I was also auditioning for other roles while filming which just added to the time crunch, I’m shocked the film turned out so great, but it did, I’m really happy with the way everything turned out… and I think we can attribute the large majority of that to the rest of the cast and crew who went above and beyond to make this project really come to life on screen. It was a great team effort. Everyone was very supportive on set. I was a little stressed out at times and there was always someone there to keep me on track lol. The script rewrites made for a tough readjustment because it changed my characters backstory so for continuity purposes I had to restructure the way I approached future scenes. Other than that though it was just a matter of keeping my head down, doing the work and showing up ready to play.
Kat: What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Eric: I love physicality in acting. Scenes where you can move about and not have to just stand on a mark and say your lines. We used a lot of steady-cam rigs which gave me the freedom to explore the space and I made sure to make full use of this. There’s a really cute scene we shot where I’m running down the road and I come across Amber Marshall’s character Emma whose chain fell off her bike. In real life I’m obsessed with biking so for me this was an opportunity to strut my magic and I had a blast with this scene. It wasn’t written in the script but I hopped on the bike after fixing the chain and made sure her gears were all in working order before giving it back to her and it just added this boyishness to Will that really let the audience see what these two would’ve been like as kids. Super playful, super cute scene. Super fun to shoot! There were a lot of really fun scenes to shoot though… the one with the animals, hilarious, that’s all I’ll say. You’ll have to watch to see what I’m talking about!
Kat: What do you hope fans take away from the movie?
Eric: Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but if you keep pushing through the hard times, everything always works out in the end. You just have to be patient and persistent. Love will find you.
Kat: Is there a type of character that you’d like to portray, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Eric: I would love to play a high energy salesman. My parents were in the AMWAY business for almost two decades. It was said they had AMkids, AMcars, AMeverything. So, I grew up in this business world of crazy salesmen and we would go to conferences all across north america where my parents would teach us how to network and socialize. My dad is the absolute best at this that I’ve ever seen. He could sell you the shirt off your own back. Well I’ve talked to him a lot about his life and I would love to play a character with him in mind. “The Salesman.” Thanks to everyone at The Harlton Empire. Greatly appreciated.