The Hallmark Channel’s newest movie, “Love in the Great Smoky Mountains: A National Park Romance,” premieres on Saturday, September 2, at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. The movie stars Arielle Kebbel and Zach Roerig. Read on to learn all about where the movie was filmed and see behind-the-scenes cast stories.
‘Love in the Great Smoky Mountains’ Was Filmed in Tennessee
Part of the Fall Into Love lineup, “Love in the Great Smoky Mountains” is the third movie in the “A National Park Romance” series, following “Love in Zion National” and “Love in Glacier National.” The movie stays true to its on-screen location, and was filmed in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. According to Knoxnews, the movie was also shot at Fall Creek Falls State Park and Knoxville.
Holly Bonney, who plays Audrey, shared a picture from Knoxville on Instagram on Earth Day, writing: “Happy Earth Day! 🌎🏻 Let’s go smoke some Mullein. 😌💚”
Hallmark’s website also has a link “Explore to Smokies,” which brings you to the NPCA (National Parks Conservation Association) website. The webpage talks about eight reasons why visiting the Smokies should be on everyone’s bucket list. The site also explains that the southeastern United States was formerly inhabited by the Cherokee Nation, residing within a matriarchal societal structure of small communities. Their hunting grounds included the mountains and valleys that are now encompassed by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The NPCA also posted on Instagram about the movie, writing: “More to love about the Great Smokies and a link to preview the movie at the link in our bio 🧡”
Meet the Cast
Hallmark’s synopsis reads:
Former high school sweethearts, Haley (Kebbel) and Rob (Roerig), bump into each other while at an excavation site for an archeological research team, currently in the field at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Rob immediately tries to reconnect with Haley and rekindle their romance, but Haley isn’t quite over Rob’s betrayal. During their senior year, Haley had applied for a research grant that was awarded to Rob instead of her. The two have not spoken since, but now Haley is determined to remain professional as she and Rob work together at this exciting excavation site. The two eventually reconnect over their common love of nature and history, spending time together exploring the park. But when Haley finds pictographs in a cave that may lead to the existence of a mythical Cherokee diamond, Rob struggles to keep up with her adventurous nature. And to complicate their relationship even more, they discover they are once again competing for the same research grant. They work together and finally find the cave, and slowly realize that the journey is perhaps more important than the destination – and love is more valuable than any research grant.
Arielle Kebbel plays Haley. According to her bio, Kebbel is known for her role as Lexi Branson on The CW’s series “The Vampire Diaries.” Kebbel also served as the host for The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries: Rehash,” an interactive weekly recap centered around the series. Her TV repertoire expands to encompass recurring appearances on shows such as “Gilmore Girls,” “Life Unexpected,” “Grounded for Life,” “The League,” “The Grinder,” and The CW’s “90210.” She’s made guest appearances on notable shows including “True Blood,” “Hawaii 5-0,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
She is also part of the board of directors for a horse sanctuary called Skydog Sanctuary.
Zach Roerig plays Rob in the movie. According to his bio, he’s also known for his prominent role at Matt Donovan in the CW drama “The Vampire Diaries.” The show enjoyed eight seasons, securing accolades like People’s Choice and Teen Choice Awards. It also gave rise to two spinoffs, “The Originals” and “Legacies,” both of which also featured Roerig. Roerig has also appeared in other productions, including “Serving Up the Holidays,” “The Last Full Measure,” “God Friended Me,” “The Gifted,” and more.
Also starring in the movie, according to Hallmark’s press release, are:
- Kai Braden (Troy)
- Danielle Vega (Sky)
- Joe Sachem (Dr. Smith )
- Deena Dill (Dr. Carol)
- Holly Bonney ( Aubrey)