EXCLUSIVE: Alison Sweeney on Finally Playing Hannah Swensen Again

Alison Sweeney

Getty Alison Sweeney is back playing Hannah Swensen in a beloved Hallmark movie series.

After a long wait, Hallmark fans are finally getting a new Hannah Swensen Mysteries movie.

The films, previously known as the “Murder, She Baked” series, are based upon the Hannah Swensen Mysteries book series by Joanne Fluke. Alison Sweeney plays Hannah, and Cameron Mathison plays her love interest, Mike.

“Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery” picks up six months after the last movie left off. Mike and Hannah are engaged and have started planning a wedding, but a murder at a 24-hour gym complicates their already busy lives.

Heavy had a chance to catch up with Alison Sweeney and discuss the new movie in advance of the August 8 premiere.

Sweeney Wanted the New Movie to Feel Like Home to the Fans

It’s been more than four years since Sweeney last played Hannah Swensen, and a lot has changed since then. “Sweet Revenge” has a different writer and director than the previous films in the series.

Sweeney, who serves as an executive producer, says she felt a responsibility to make sure that “Sweet Revenge” continued on in the spirit of the old films. “We wanted to give the audience a really cohesive feeling,” Sweeney told Heavy

“Sweet Revenge” was filmed in and around Vancouver, British Colombia, just as the older movies were. Viewers will be pleased to see that Eden Lake is just as they remember it. “It was really important to me to get it right,” Sweeney said. 

The “Days of Our Lives” actor also said that the script, written by Marcy Holland, helped the cast get right back into the characters they’ve played so many times before. “She (Marcy Holland) provided such an easy guide for us to get back into it,” said Sweeney. 

Sweeney is All About Satisfying the Fans

Although fans have been waiting for “Sweet Revenge” for years, they’ll be glad to know that Sweeney hasn’t forgotten about them. Far from it.

The fan reaction is so important to me. I feel really in touch with the fans of this series because they reach out,” Sweeney told Heavy. “They were at the top of my mind the entire time we were developing this.” 

Sweeney also has a secret weapon when it comes to getting inside the heads of Hannah Swensen mystery fans. “One of my very best friends really loves these movies,” she told Heavy. “So she was definitely an advocate in my ear all the time.” 

As Sweeney has gotten to know the Hannah Swensen fans over the years, she’s taken it to heart that people love to watch the movies again and again. She told Heavy she used this information to talk to the scriptwriter about “layering in really emotional, personal, fun, family moments and romantic triangle moments so the audience has a reason to watch (“Sweet Revenge”) again and again, even though they know how it turns out.”  

Sweeney Revealed One of the Film’s Plot Lines

Sweeney revealed a fun aspect of “Sweet Revenge” involving Barbara Niven, who plays her mother, Delores. While reading a Hannah Swensen book, Sweeney particularly enjoyed a plotline where Dolores writes a romance novel based on Hannah’s life, without her knowing. When Hannah eventually figures out the book is about her, she’s mortified.

That storyline just tickles me. I thought that was so funny and I could just picture Barbara playing it so well,” Sweeney told Heavy. She talked to the scriptwriter about putting the storyline in “Sweet Revenge” and says the onscreen moment lived up to her expectations. 

It did not fail to deliver. I have a smile on my face right now just thinking about it,” Sweeney said. 

The Funny Mistake That Happened On Set

Sweeney filled Heavy in on a funny story from the set of the film. In the final sequence, Hannah is running away from a dangerous situation. The director instructed Sweeney to try to escape through a side door as she was running. Figuring the side doors would be locked, Sweeney pushed into them during the take and they swung right open.

The crew burst out laughing,” Sweeney said. “They were like, ‘You’re supposed to be acting, Ali!’”

Sweeney Confirmed She’s Doing Another Hallmark Christmas Movie

The “Hannah Swensen” actor hopes to be able to give fans an update on her other Hallmark series, “The Chronicle Mysteries,” soon. In the meantime, she can confirm another exciting project.

“I’m definitely getting ready for a Christmas movie. We’re in development right now,” Sweeney told Heavy.

What about another Hannah Swensen movie? Will Hannah and Mike be getting married soon? Sweeney says fans may have to wait a while for a wedding, but they should “buckle in and get settled in for some fun, romantic drama in between.” 

“I’m not ashamed to ask the fans to let Hallmark know how much you love the movie,” Sweeney told Heavy, adding that fans should tweet or post on Facebook about the film. Let them know you loved it and that you want more Hannah.” 

Don’t miss the premiere of “Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery” on August 8 at 8 p.m. EDT.

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