When Hallmark‘s newest rom-com premieres on May 6, 2023, viewers will likely notice a genuine connection between its stars, Rhiannon Fish and James O’Halloran. While filming in Brisbane, Australia, the actors quickly bonded, they’ve revealed in recent interviews — and not just because they both have deep connections to Australia.
In “When Love Springs,” Fish’s character, a PR professional named Rory, stays at a bed & breakfast while attending her parents’ vow renewal ceremony. But she panics when she runs into an ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, played by Callan Colley, and blurts out that she’s dating the B&B’s future owner Noah, played by O’Halloran. Rory agrees to help Noah publicize the failing B&B in exchange for pretending to be in love in front of her ex, only to find themselves actually falling in love.
In real-life, Fish and O’Halloran had never worked together before but quickly forged a strong friendship on set that, they said, made it a “joy” to go to work each day of the film shoot. In fact, O’Halloran said during a Facebook Live session on May 4 that filming with Fish was an “absolute dream.”
Rhiannon Fish & James O’Halloran Struck Up an Instant Friendship
“When Love Springs” is already the second Hallmark movie of the year for Fish, 32, who also co-starred in March’s much-buzzed-about “Picture of Her” with Tyler Hynes. During the Facebook Live session to promote “When Love Springs,” Fish introduced O’Halloran as her “glorious co-star” and noted how well the Australian native hid his accent while they filmed together.
Though born in Canada, Fish spent many years living and acting in Australia, including starring in nearly 300 episodes of the hit series “Home and Away.” O’Halloran, 40, also appeared on multiple Australian TV series — and met his wife Jaimee Gooley there — but moved to Los Angeles in 2014, according to IMDb. In addition to landing a wide range of acting roles, he’s been the male model on the game show “The Price is Right” for the last decade.
Fish and O’Halloran revealed during their Facebook Live how well they got along right from the start.
“From the moment we got to sit down and like, read through this script, I felt an immediate connection to you,” O’Halloran told Fish, who said she agreed “completely.”
“I very sincerely just enjoyed spending time with you,” Fish replied. “It’s crazy because you do have to spend so much time together on these movies and you have to make a connection very believable very quickly. But I do feel like we found that we became very good friends very quickly.”
Fish added that one of the reasons she loved working with him was that it was clear O’Halloran really “cared about this project” and was “very invested” in its success.
“Thank you,” O’Halloran replied. “You were just an absolute dream to work with, and also your experience in this genre and just as an actor in general? Just so generous and open and yeah, it was an absolute pleasure.”
O’Halloran told Media Village that the entire cast and crew were warm and welcoming for his first-ever Hallmark movie.
“It felt like family immediately with the group I got to work with,” he said. “‘The Price Is Right’ is an institution, and I got that sense with Hallmark. They deal in uplifting, positive stories and beam them to the world. That creates an environment within the workplace where everyone is just super nice and super friendly. So, it does feel as if you’re being welcomed into a big family.”
Rhiannon Fish & James O’Halloran Loved Returning to Australia
Both actors now live in Los Angeles and have established careers in the U.S., but loved the chance to return to Australia for several weeks to film “When Love Springs.”
“It was really cool to be able to go home for a few weeks and spend some time there,” O’Halloran told Media Village. “I’m from Melbourne, and all my family is still based there, but it was close enough. I got to go to an Aussie pub and have a beer, so all of that just added to feeling like home.”
The duo discussed how beautiful the scenery was, too, during their Facebook Live. The only drawback, Fish revealed, was the heat during their December 2022 shoot. According to AccuWeather, temperatures during that time were often in the 80s and low 90s.
“I’m telling you, I was hot,” Fish recalled, laughing. “And I’m generally always like, ‘I will take heat over cold any day,’ but they’ve got me in these, like, long sleeve shirts and, like, a sweater over a top. So there were some times in between takes where James would have to step aside and we would have to, like, use a blow dryer just to dry off!”
The co-stars also laughed about how many bobby pins the hair and makeup crew had to put in O’Halloran’s thick hair to keep it looking the same throughout the humid days.
“James is blessed with the most beautiful, luscious, thick hair I’ve ever seen on another human,” Fish said. “But it makes hair and makeup’s job a little bit of a nightmare because it sort of has a life of its own. It’s a star! It’s in the movie, it wants to be seen.”
Giggling, the pair wondered aloud if viewers will spot any bobby pins in O’Halloran’s hair during the movie since.
Fish said, “Like, please tweet us if you see a bobby pin. Let us know, ’cause there were at least 80!”
“When Love Springs” premieres on May 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.