HGTV’s Hilary Farr Returns to Acting With First Movie Role in Over 40 Years

Hilary Farr in movies

HGTV/Discovery+/YouTube Hillary Farr in "Designing Christmas" in 2022 and in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in 1975

Though she’s one of HGTV‘s most popular interior designers, “Love It or List It” star Hilary Farr has a fascinating past as an actress in the 70s, with multiple roles in films including the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Now Farr’s excited to return to acting with her first movie in over four decades…

HGTV’s Hilary Farr Started Out Acting in Los Angeles

"Designing Christmas" cast

HGTV/Discovery+L to R: Jessica Szohr, Hilary Farr and Marco Grazzini on the set of “Designing Christmas”

When Hilary Farr appears in the 2022 holiday film “Designing Christmas” on Discovery+, it will be her first movie role in more than four decades. Her film credits include “Stardust” with Larry Hagman and “City on Fire” with Leslie Nielsen and Shelley Winters. Her last film role, according to IMDb, was in a 1980 sci-fi thriller called “The Return,” with stars including Cybill Shepherd, Martin Landau, and Raymond Burr.

Farr, who went by her maiden name Hilary Labow in her early films, was born in Toronto but grew up in London, where she attended the Royal Ballet School. But her dreams of becoming a dancer shifted at age 11 due to a growth spurt. She then shifted her focus to drama school instead, according to House Beautiful.

After returning to Toronto and attending Ryerson University, Farr realized she had a gift and passion for interior design. She moved to Los Angeles to begin her design career while also taking on small movie roles, according to ScreenRant. Her most buzzed-about role was in “Rocky Horror” as the bride at a wedding that main characters Brad and Janet attended just before their car broke down and landed them at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion.

Farr’s design career eventually took off, leading to projects around the world and her own design firm. She began filming “Love It or List It” with co-host David Visentin in 2008, making it one of HGTV’s longest-running series. And though she’s periodically acted in community theater productions in the U.S. and Canada, when “Designing Christmas” premieres on November 11, 2022, it will be Farr’s first movie release in 42 years.

Film Director Says Hilary Farr is a ‘Really Good Actor’

Jessica Szohr, Hilary Farr

HGTV/Discovery+Jessica Szohr and Hilary Farr film a scene for “Designing Christmas”

“Designing Christmas” is one of four holiday films featuring reality stars from Warner Bros. Discovery channels. Two others include Food Network stars Bobby Flay and Duff Goldman, while the fourth movie, “A Christmas Open House,” features HGTV stars Ben and Erin Napier. All four movies premiere November 11 on Discovery+.

According to production notes from the film, “Designing Christmas” stars Jessica Szohr as Stella Murphy and Pablo Belmonte as Marco Grazzini; their characters have been co-hosts of a renovation show for six years, but their ratings have fallen and the show will be canceled if their Christmas episode doesn’t bring in a slew of viewers.

When the prospective homeowner scheduled to be featured on the show backs out at the last minute, they decide to renovate the Victorian home once owned by Stella’s great-great grandparents and throw a Christmas Eve wedding for Stella and her fiancé. Farr plays Stella’s friend and design mentor, Frederica “Freddy” Greene, who’s brought in to help but clashes with Pablo.

Film director Pat Mills was impressed by Farr’s acting chops, even when it was blazing hot as they shot a Christmas movie in the heat of summer.

“Hilary is so charming in the role of Freddy, who was somewhat based on her own persona,” Mills said. “She has so much charisma and is a really good actor. It was great to work with somebody who is up for anything, and she was.”

Farr said it was exciting to be asked to be in one of the first HGTV films and that she has a feeling her “Love It or List It” fans will “love it” — especially the underlying story of honoring and restoring old family memories during the holidays.

“I think that will resonate for all of us who remember Christmases that we’ve had over the years with some of our relatives who have passed on and friends who are no longer with us,” Farr said. “I think that’s relevant to us all. And I think it’s very heartwarming to understand that new friends and new memories can be just as fabulous.”