Royal Hearts was one of Hallmark’s 2018 Valentine-themed movies. You might be surprised to learn that this movie was filmed in some pretty exotic locations. The movie, which stars James Brolin, Cindy Busby, and Andrew Cooper, is about a rancher who learns that he’s actually a king. The movie is a creative look at the lives of royalty, and it’s sure to tug on the heartstrings of hopeless romantics. Read on to find out where it was filmed and to learn why one actor quit the movie because of a storyline he believed in.
Merania Has Historical Roots
Royal Hearts was filmed in Romania over the summer, including Bucharest and Transylvania. Although Merania doesn’t exist in real life, the idea for the fictional Merania has deep historical roots. The ancient Duchy of Merania did exist and is actually near where the movie was filmed. Duchy of Merania was a territory of the Roman Empire and existed until about 1248 AD, Bustle reported. So if you want to visit the set and get an idea of what Merania was like, you’ll have to do quite a bit of traveling. But it will likely be worthwhile!
Royal Hearts was filmed in multiple locations in Romania. It was filmed in Castel Film Studios. Some interior shots were filmed at Bucharest’s Cantacuzino Palace. Some shots of Merania’s castle were also filmed at Corvin Castle in Transylvania. Here’s Cindy Busby talking about what it was like to film in some of those locations. “It really brings an authentic, real energy to the project,” she said. “And the locations are just so stunningly beautiful and intricate…”
It’s A Wonderful Movie interviewed Busby about her experiences filming in Romania. Busby said she had never been to Europe before. “From the moment I stepped off the plane, to seeing the city of Bucharest and Sinia (where we shot), to working with the incredible cast and crew was beyond magical,” she said. “We shot a lot of the movie in real castles and prestigious homes, so every bit of intricacy is original, historic, and rich.”
The movie also stars James Brolin, who also directed the film. When Hallmark approached him about starring in the project, he said he would only do so if he was allowed to direct.
It’s unusual for Hallmark to film a movie on location. Most of the channel’s movies are filmed in Canada, even if the stories themselves take place in the United States. But Royal Hearts is a big exception to that rule. It filmed for 18 days in Romania over the summer. Brolin played Hank, a Montana cowboy who has to travel with his daughter to the country of Merania, where he learns he is secretly king.
Brolin Quit the Project Briefly Because He Was Fighting for Specific Filming Locations
Interestingly, the movie came out the way it did because of some tough negotiating by Brolin, Telegram reported. Brolin actually quit the project at one point and returned to Los Angeles early because he was fighting for some specific locations where he wanted to film, along with storylines he wanted to keep in the movie.
He told Telegram: “They were not interested in how the father and daughter weren’t relating that well at this point in her life. They also didn’t like how Hank wanted to get back to the lifestyle he loved (in Montana.) All the notes they had about the script were about taking out those scenes.”
Brolin said he just wasn’t willing to negotiate on those ideas, especially because he knew Busby would be perfect for the role of the daughter.
“That was a fight I had all the way through the filming. They wanted me to give in and I said this guy never gives in. He will stay around and help but as soon as the job is done, he will be out of there.”
Brolin’s talent with horses and cattle is real. He had a ranch in central California where he trained horses for 13 years and trained dogs for five years.