Actor Michael Rady just filmed his 11th movie for Hallmark Channel, but he already has an idea for a 12th. Put on the spot recently by the hosts of the Hallmarkies Podcast, who asked him which of his Hallmark movies he’d most want to film a sequel for, Rady — who also appears on the TV series “Magnum P.I.” and was a regular on “Chicago Med” — had a hard time choosing at first.
But after thinking it over, Rady decided that he’d love to reunite with the stars of his 2019 Christmas movie “Two Turtle Doves” — Nikki DeLoach and child actor Michaela Russell, who played his daughter, Mikayla — to see how the story of their characters has evolved. He went on to sing their praises, and share the many reasons he loves that movie. But he also insisted he genuinely has enjoyed making every Hallmark movie he’s had the opportunity to be in.
Michael Rady Loved the ‘Journey’ of the Characters in ‘Two Turtle Doves’
Filming “Two Turtle Doves” was actually the second time Rady had worked with DeLoach and Russell; the trio also co-starred in “Love to the Rescue” in the spring of 2019, which was Russell’s first-ever film. But on the May 22, 2023, episode of the Hallmarkies Podcast, Rady said he felt like “Two Turtle Doves” was ripe for a sequel.
In the movie, DeLoach played neuroscientist Dr. Sharon Harper, an expert on loss, grief, and how to heal from trauma. When she returns to her “quaint, small-town, Christmas-obsessed childhood home in Pine Springs following the death of her beloved grandmother to get her affairs in order,” per Hallmark, she gets reacquainted with Rady’s character, Sam Taylor, a “disheartened estate lawyer and single dad” who’s grieving his late wife and raising a 10-year-old daughter. And, as Hallmark devotees might guess, an “unexpected Christmas miracle” unfolds.
Recalling the storyline, Rady said on the podcast, “There was so much healing that was done there, so much journey and discovery I felt that was made between those characters. And my daughter and I — I would love to see where things are now with them, where they’ve gone since.”
Later in their conversation, during which the hosts ranked their favorite Michael Rady films and discussed each one with him, the actor shared more about why “Two Turtle Doves” was so meaningful to him.
“This one is pretty dear to my heart for so many reasons,” he said. “So many reasons. Nikki, oh my gosh. And that dear, dear girl. Oh my goodness, she is just wonderful.”
Gushing over Russell, who has since starred as “Young Wanda” in Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision” and appeared in Nickelodeon’s 2022 movie “Snow Day” according to IMDb, Rady said, “I hope she’s going to take over the world. She is so, so, so good” and later added that she was “one of the finest young actors I’ve ever worked with.”
“I love this movie,” he continued. “I loved making it. Nikki is just a force of nature and of talent and kindness. And Lesley (Demetriades), our director, paired with Sarah Montana, our writer. And our producer, Ashley Squires, the executive at Hallmark who really pushed this movie through. I am so grateful to have been part of this film — so, so grateful. The journey of making it and of exploring all of the subject matter, the loss, the grieving, the growing. Oh my goodness.”
Michael Rady Says He Hasn’t Had a ‘Bad Experience’ Filming a Hallmark Movie
Though Rady chose “Two Turtle Doves” as the movie he’d love to see get a sequel, he said multiple times on the Hallmarkies podcast that he truly has loved all of the movies he’s made with the network.
“They’re always so much fun,” he said. “I’m lucky enough to do something that I love. There’s always something to play with and explore.”
He also heaped praise on all of the casts and crews he’s worked on with Hallmark, saying, “That’s been the icing on the cake, is how wonderful, across the board, everyone in all of these movies has been to work with. That’s a lot of platitudes and hyperbole, but I genuinely mean it. There has not been a bad experience.”
In March, while promoting his latest Hallmark movie, “Unexpected Grace,” Rady told Media Village that it’s especially rewarding hearing that movies he’s loved working on are also beloved by Hallmark fans from all walks of life.
“You’re working with good people, and the fans are so effusive and wonderful,” he said. “What’s interesting is that you can’t easily profile a Hallmark fan. My parents are Hallmark fans, my neighbors, and even the guy who fills up our oil tank. Often, I’ll be in an audition and the casting director on the way out will be like, ‘By the way, I love your Hallmark movies.’ I’m so grateful to be a part of that and the fact that I’ve been able to do 10! Oh my gosh, that’s wild and a nice little feather in my cap.”
Rady filmed his 11th movie for Hallmark in March — a new Christmas movie which, according to Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing, was filmed on the East Coast and will be called “Where Are You Christmas?” He said it was exciting to actually shoot a Christmas movie in winter rather than following the typical Hallmark schedule of getting into the holiday spirit while filming in the summer heat.
“That was a relief and a nice change of process,” he said on the Hallmarkies podcast, “because typically we make them in, like, May or June and that can be punishing to have three layers and to pretend like you’re cold when it’s 98 degrees outside. Or you’re being pulled in a horse-drawn carriage in New England in the middle of June! There’s sunlight melting you and there’s flies in your face and you’re trying to be romantic. That’s brutal!”