Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry, doesn’t just have a love story that mirrors many royalty-themed Hallmark movies. She’s being interviewed by Oprah on Sunday night, but long before her interview, her fellow Hallmark stars and crew opened up about what it was like working with her on set.
Her ‘Dater’s Handbook’ Co-Star Said He Knew She Wasn’t Going to Remain an Actress Forever
In the delightful Dater’s Handbook, which aired in 2016, Markle played Cassandra Brand, a business owner who takes very good care of her dog, Duke. Her boyfriend, George (played by Jonathan Scarfe) is nice, but just not great enough to satisfy Hallmark viewers. He forgets what she’s allergic to and takes her on dates that she finds boring. She ultimately breaks up with him and meets Kristoffer Polaha (as Robert) at a wedding.
Polaha’s career has taken off quite a bit too ever since the movie was filmed. He recently starred in Wonder Woman 1984 with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
Polaha talked to My Devotional Thoughts in 2018 about filming with Markle and what it was like. He said that he and his wife used to joke about how he was going on “fake dates” with Markle.
“We had a blast working together,” he said. “And it’s funny because we had a lot of interesting conversations.”
He said that even then, it was clear that acting wasn’t her ultimate dream or where she wanted to remain. He told My Devotional Thoughts:
One of the things that she was really clear about was that she didn’t want to be an actress forever. She was already a part of the UN doing stuff for children, education, and women’s rights in Africa. She was already moving in the direction of being a global ambassador, and I think that being married to Prince Harry is going to be this amazing opportunity to ultimately pursue what she was designed for, which is this awesome opportunity to help people on a massive scale. So Hallmark opened up the door for me to have those remarkable interactions with this incredible woman who has now married into the royal family and will no doubt change the world for the better.
Costumer Rafaella Rabinovich, who also worked with Markle in the movie, told International Business Times that working with Markle was a wonderful experience.
“She was lovely,” she said. “She was really great, we worked together on her look and we were all happy with it.”
She said Markle and Polaha helped make her birthday special.
“Her and [her co-star] Kristoffer Polaha were the people who I spent my birthday with,” she shared. “…We ended up going to sushi in front of their hotel and Meghan came out and we had a really great dinner. And it’s actually one of my best memories from Vancouver because at the time I wasn’t fully living in Vancouver yet.”
Markle Left Notes for Polaha & Gave Presents to His Wife & Children
Polaha told International Business Times that Markle would even leave him letters during filming.
“I have these cool little letters; She wrote me a couple notes, like a wrap gift note,” he said.
He said she also gave presents to his wife and kids.
“And then she dropped some presents off for my wife and my kids right at Christmastime,” he shared. “She was a friend. [I] couldn’t be happier for her.”
Ultimately, she met Prince Harry about a month after they finished filming Dater’s Handbook. And right before the wedding, Hallmark aired the movie multiple times.
He said: “A lot of people ended up seeing Dater’s Handbook, which … all ships rise with the tide … It went from being something that I thought was gonna be like a one-time deal to something that was very charmed.”
She Was ‘Wonderful to Work With’ in ‘When Sparks Fly’
Markle also starred in When Sparks Fly in 2014. She portrayed Amy Peterson, who is dating a guy named Hank, portrayed by Christopher Jacot. But they break up when she gets a dream job offer in Chicago. The movie then jumps ahead seven years, when she’s assigned a story about her parents’ fireworks business. She’s dating a big-city guy named Phil (portrayed by Lochlyn Munro) and goes back to her hometown to discover that her best friend (played by Kristina Pesic) is now engaged to her ex-boyfriend.
Munro, who portrayed Markle’s big-city boyfriend, talked to The Free Press in 2017 about what it was like to star in a movie with Markle. Munro later went on to star in Riverdale. He said they filmed in Langley City downtown and gave the small town a “Martha’s Vineyard sort of feel.”
Costumer Tina Fiorda, who worked on the movie, told International Business Times that Markle was easy to work with.
“She was just such a sweet person,” Fiorda said. “She was wonderful to work with. I had fun working with her and I had fun doing that project…I couldn’t say anything other than how wonderful she was, and how thrilled I am for her.”
READ NEXT: Where Was Hallmark’s Rome in Love Filmed?