Why Happy Hour Turned Tearful for Hallmark’s Leading Ladies

Nikki DeLoach, Lacey Chabert, Erin Cahill and Brooke D'Orsay

Heavy/Getty Hallmark stars Nikki DeLoach, Lacey Chabert, Erin Cahill and Brooke D'Orsay

Three months after fans flipped over a group selfie with several of Hallmark Channel‘s leading ladies on a night out together, one star just shared the inside scoop on what happened that night around the table — including lots of tears.

Erin Cahill, whose latest movie “Hearts in the Game” premiered in April, told Just Jared that the night was a perfect example of why she feels like her Hallmark colleagues are a family, recalling that she was able to lean on them that night during a difficult time.

“I have sang it out from the rooftops in every interview that Hallmark is a family,” she said. “We actually are a family on and off camera and … and those girls. What’s magic is that we don’t just get together and laugh, which we do hard, hard — but we also get together like the magic that picture that day actually I was.”

Erin Cahill Says Her Hallmark Colleagues Lifted Her Up After ‘Rough Day’

On February 11, 2023, actress Nikki DeLoach posted the group selfie on Instagram with five girlfriends, many of whom are highly recognizable to Hallmark fans. In addition to DeLoach and Cahill, the group included actresses Lacey Chabert and Brooke D’Orsay, along with Hallmark events executive Shaina Rae Julian and wellness entrepreneur Cassandra Troy, who’s related to two Hallmark stars (she’s married to Andrew Walker and is cousins with Tyler Hynes).

DeLoach captioned the photo, “Can never get enough of these women. So grateful for them. We work together and play together and it’s just the absolute best ❤️”

In an interview with Just Jared published on April 30, 2023, Cahill explained that, at the time of the get-together, she’d been “dealing with some family health issues” and arrived late.

“I’d had a really rough day caretaking and … I just was like, ‘Hey girls.’ They know it’s been like … it’s just been a challenge. I came a little late because of that and when I arrived, Nikki was the first to ask how everybody’s been.”

She continued, “We were so excited to see each other and hugging and … everybody’s like, ‘How are you?’”

Not wanting to damper the mood with stories of her difficult day, Cahill told them, “”I’m okay. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to be with each other and enjoy each other.’

But, Cahill recalled, “Nikki went, ‘No, no. We’re here to be here for each other.’ I just started crying, and then Brooke started crying and then Lacey started crying. Nikki, I think already was crying before she even asked me the question! So it was like, it was this like, such a connected, beautiful. We’re such a family. We are such a family.”

Cahill added, “They’re amazing and we really empower each other.”

Many Hallmark Stars Consider Each Other ‘Family’

Cahill is one of many Hallmark stars who’ve described the network’s stable of talent as a kind of extended family who adores working together but also get together outside of work, from a March 9 Hallmark-sponsored event in Los Angeles to a party at DeLoach’s house a couple of weeks later.

During a virtual SAG-AFTRA panel in December 2022, longtime Hallmark star Holly Robinson Peete, who’s worked for many different networks since the 80s, said her instant connection with actress Ashley Williams exemplifies the unique way she feels about many of her colleagues.

“I fell in love with Ashley Williams,” she said. “The minute I saw her, I felt so — I just wanted to be around her. And I’ve felt like that about a lot of my co-stars and people I’ve just met on the network. So, there is a camaraderie that is very different from … all the other networks. Hallmark is really unique in that way.”

Chabert, who has co-starred with Alison Sweeney and Autumn Reeser in six “Wedding Veil” movies over the last two years, told Forbes in January that she’d become very close with them through the process of filming those movies.

“I’ve gotten to get to know them in a deeper way and I’ve enjoyed that so much,” she said. “We’re all moms, we’ve all been with Hallmark Channel for a really long time, so we all understand what’s it like to be ‘that girl’ in these movies, you know? We’ve gotten to share so many stories and really support each other. I have felt so supported and loved by both of them.”

DeLoach, who recently told friend and Hallmark colleague Benjamin Ayres during an Instagram Live chat that she just wrapped filming a new Christmas movie and a third “Curious Caterer” movie with Andrew Walker, said in an October 2022 interview with Us Weekly that she has no plans on ever leaving Hallmark, in part because of the bonds she has with her colleagues.

“For me, it’s like, ‘Why would I go anywhere else?’ These people are my family — all the actors, our executives, our creative executives are my friends.”

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