Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ new Hannah Swensen movie may not be called “Murder She Baked,” but the franchise has brought back most of the characters that fans know and love. However, there’s one character notably missing. Hannah’s sister Andrea, played by Lisa Durupt, is gone and replaced by Hannah’s sister Michelle, played by Tess Atkins. Alison Sweeney revealed why this change was made.
Sweeney Said Michelle Was Brought Into the Movie Because of Her Big Role in the Books
In an interview with TV Goodness, Sweeney revealed that the character change was made because Durupt couldn’t be part of this new movie and Michelle, Hannah’s other sister, played a big role in the books. As an executive producer of the new movie, Sweeney was able to bring Michelle into the series, where she felt she belonged.
Sweeney told TV Goodness:
Michelle was heavily featured as a main character in all the novels. And so for me, my question was why wasn’t she in the first movies, and I didn’t have a say in that as I came in close to the start of production on the first ‘Murder She Baked’ film. I was really excited to be able to introduce this character that I think plays such a big role in Hannah’s life.
She added that the character of Michelle was a great foil for Delores, her mother, played by Barbara Niven.
“And of course, [Michelle plays a big role] in Dolores’s life and, in some ways it was a really fun compliment to our characters that she is sort of that rebellious black sheep character,” Sweeney shared. “And she likes to challenge the status quo with Dolores. And so that was a really fun element. And I thought it really complimented the family of women really well.”
Michelle is portrayed by Tess Atkins. Atkins recently played Natalie on “The Flash” for five episodes in 2019, 2020, and 2021. She also starred as Jeanne in “V.C. Andrews’ HIdden Jewel” and “All That Glitters.” She was Carey in three “Emma Fielding Mysteries” movies, along with other appearances, according to IMDb.
Sweeney Hopes Durupt Can Return to a Future Movie as Andrea
Sweeney told TV Goodness that she hopes Durupt returns to a future “Hannah Swensen” movie one day. But for this movie, they needed to focus on other characters while leaving the door open for Andrew to return to a future movie someday.
I love [Lisa] so much and hope that we can make it happen [for her to return]. In some ways, it’s hard because you want to have the whole family there, but also you have a mystery and the storyline with Dolores… I think we just decided to make sure we spend our time wisely with these characters that we could develop and leave the door open for Andrea’s return in another episode down the line when we can use her to her full advantage. We wanted to flesh out the Eden Lake family and help everyone feel like they’re really a part of this community.
Durupt has been busy. According to IMDb, she’s starring as Jen on “Heartland,” played Lola in two episodes of “Redemption” (coming soon), and also had a role in Netflix’s “To All the Boys: Always and Forever.” She played Andrea in five “Murder She Baked” movies.
Today she’s busy raising two children with her husband. She recently praised him on Instagram for how much he helps when she has to work.
In 2017, Durupt wrote a blog about how much she had enjoyed playing the role of Andrea Todd, Hannah’s sister, just before “Just Desserts” premiered.
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