TDQ Investigates: What? Hallmark Makes Movies Now?

Nicole Paggi

Look for Nicole Paggi playing the part of the bride in the Hallmark Channel original movie Undercover Bridesmaid premiering Sunday April 15 at 8/7c.

Imagine our surprise as we flipped through the television guide last week and come across this network called The Hallmark Channel. We thought for sure this was breaking news, but come to find out, it’s been around quite a while now. And they produce their own movies, too, when they aren’t showing reruns of “Little House on the Prairie” and “The Waltons.”

Well, we decided we needed to get to the bottom of this, so we tracked down Nicole Paggi, who stars in this Sunday’s original Hallmark movie, “Undercover Bridesmaid,” to get some answers about the channel’s greeting card policies and learn more about making movies on Hallmark.

Paggi plays Daisy, the daughter of a Southern tycoon, played by Gregory Harrison, who’s been getting death threats leading up to Daisy’s big day. “My character is ecstatic about everything about her wedding,” Paggi said, “except the fact that her father has hired a bodyguard, Brooke Burns, to go undercover and pose as one of her bridesmaids to protect her.”

Paggi said she had got married herself just before filming began, and “did it completely opposite of my character. My husband and I ran off to the Mayan Riviera and had our own little ceremony with just the two of us. It was fun, though, to play this Southern girl and have all the bells and whistles of a wedding. I’m from Texas so I was very familiar with all of it!”

She didn’t keep her dress from the film, but she did wear jewelry in the film from her own line, Naomi Gray Designs. “My character wears the Birthstone Ring Necklace in a lot of the scenes.”

Gregory Harrison is in the movie, too. We heard he’s been known to go on and on and on about his role in the TV version of “Logan’s Run,” butt Paggi said he refrained during filming. “Actually, no, he never mentioned that,” she said. “He was very open and very lovely. I really enjoyed working with him!”

Paggi also appeared in “Hope and Faith” and said filming TV movies is very different from making sitcoms. A “sitcom schedule is the best thing in the world!” she said. “And clearly the format is totally different. We filmed in front of a studio audience so you definitely get that energy to work off of, and the writers are constantly rewriting and revising the script. It’s a lot of fun. This Hallmark movie was a lot of fun, but the hours were a little crazier.”

But unfortunately, a role in a Hallmark Channel original movie doesn’t guarantee a discount on greeting cards for life; though, as she said, it should. “Those things are a fortune these days. Can you call over to Hallmark and make that happen for me?”

Nor does it seem there’s much of a chance this film will be the first of a series like those “Love’s Long/Enduring/Unending” movies or the Kellie Martin “Mystery Woman” movies. “My guess is probably no,” Paggi said. “But nice try! Gosh, if everyone had your ideas I’d get free cards, and steady work- life would be a breeze!”

We’ll have to make sure that Hallmark Channel is now informed, so they can go and do likewise.

“Undercover Bridesmaid” airs this Sunday, April 15 at 8/7 central. If you like her jewelry in the movie, you can get it at Fred Segal Rocks and Silk in Santa Monica, CA or at www.naomigraydesigns.com.

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