Hallmark Channel’s latest June Weddings film “The Last Bridesmaid” celebrates the long honored tradition of women who stand with their closest friends to witness and celebrate on the day of their wedding. Starring Rachel Boston, the film as written by Nina Weinman, showcases a young woman, who is appearing at her 10th wedding as a bridesmaid. It has been a whirlwind of weddings and, for Rachel’s character Becca, the cycle of weddings feels nonstop. In a role that feels specially written just for Rachel as she is truly is effervescent. As with all her roles, Rachel is simply irresistible and we, as viewers, cheer for her every moment on screen. In an exclusive interview, Rachel happily shares what how this wonderful film came to life, as well as sharing a few of the fun behind-the-scenes adventures in making it.
Maybe you can just tell me a little bit about your new film “The Last Bridesmaid” and why you were drawn to the character of Becca?
RACHEL: “The Last Bridesmaid” is one of the most extraordinary experiences I’ve had making a film. A few years ago, I was the maid of honor at my brother’s wedding, and I kept getting asked when I was getting married: “How are you not married yet?” And all the questions that you often get asked. And after that wedding, I was just sitting on the plane thinking how relatable this is and how romantic comedy it could be, and so I started just pitching ideas. The screenwriter, Nina Weinman, is a dear friend of mine, and so we started talking about doing a wedding movie that really celebrates a woman’s independence while also staying open to love. I think it’s so relatable, and it was really fun to bring it to life.
Tell me a little bit about Becca, who is she, and how does she fit into the story?
RACHEL: Becca is always the maid of honor in all of her friends’ weddings, because she’s so good at the job, and yet, she’s never been married. And Becca, she’s such a career woman. She loves her life so much. She loves her family, she’s got great friends. The one part of her life that she just hasn’t quite figure out yet is who she is going to spend her life with. So this is a journey of her heart, opening up to really what she believes true love is and what she wants in her life. And so, she meets a man who really encourages her to go into the career path that she’s always wanted to, but held herself back. That’s when her whole life starts to open up, and she sees that true love really enhances everything around you and makes you just the best version of yourself. And so, she starts to trust the process a little bit more.
Did you have a hand in helping craft the character of Becca, or was that all just Nina’s writing?
RACHEL: I was involved from the very beginning on every outline. Nina and I talked about just a lot of personal experiences. Nina wrote the entire screenplay, and I think she did such an extraordinary job with it. It has a lot of her sense of humor. We’re dear friends, but it helps when you’re working with someone that knows how you see the world and your sense of humor also. And she is a big fan of Paul Campbell. So getting the two of us together, that dynamic, was really, really fun. We had a blast making this movie.
I’m also a big fan of Paul (Campbell), so tell me what it was like working with him on this project.
RACHEL: He’s such an amazing man. He just lifts you up in hope that there’s just a man of integrity. He’s kind, he’s funny, he’s super smart. But being on set and telling this love story with him, it was such a wonderful experience. We even started a band while we were filming. On top of our movie making, on our breaks, we started a cover-band of cover-bands. So we cover cover-bands., and we would play Foreigner music all the time and just do music videos. So that kept us very busy. We just sing along — sort of like dance videos. But it was all just amazingly fun because our locations were so beautiful. We were like, “This is straight out of a romantic music video.” And then we were like, “Let’s shoot one!” So that’s we did.
Where were you filming at?
RACHEL: We filmed in Victoria on Vancouver Island, which is one of the most beautiful places. Our locations … Just waking up in the morning, there was one set called the Sooke Harbor House, is where we filmed. And my room, I truly would wake up and just walk out onto this balcony looking out at the ocean, and it’s straight out of a Hallmark Movie. It’s the perfect Hallmark Movie. And so, to get to live there while we were working, it was a really, really, amazing, amazing time.
That could be one of your next movies, is you could make a movie about making a Hallmark Movie.
RACHEL: I would love that! And set it all at the Sooke Harbor House. That place is so beautiful.
It would allow you to showcase more of your comedy skills. You’re really good with the comedy. And, obviously, Hallmark thinks so too. It must be a lot of fun to do a lot of their films.
RACHEL: I love romantic comedies and exploring relationships. It’s so fun to figure out communication dynamics with couples and where these two people are connecting and what draws them together. I think Hallmark really knows exactly what they’re doing with exploring projects that are hopeful. Such as shooting a film that has a happy ending that is going to bring joy. My grandmother, last year, broke her hip, and when she was rehab-ing and she was in the hospital, all she wanted to do was watch Hallmark Movies, because they made her so happy. So from ages 1 to 101, you can fall in love with a Hallmark story.
It’s so true! And you’re making so many beautiful films, it’s a lot of fun to be a fan of them as well. What was the funnest thing to do when doing this film?
RACHEL: I really enjoyed our band! I’m very proud of our band. And I really enjoyed working with the cast and crew. It was a truly just amazing group of people. Everyone was so happy to be there on the set. It was such a positive environment. The director, Mark Jean, he found just gorgeous locations, and we just had a beautiful journey together. For one of the weddings, they shot on location and it truly had bunnies. So when you’re not filming, you could go hang out with the bunnies. It’s like, “What is this fairytale world?” It was really, really nice.
Did they purposely bring in bunnies for the film, or were they just coincidentally just there?
RACHEL: They’re just there. Bunnies just live on this property, and peacocks. There were some peacocks. The locations really set the tone for a romantic film, and we had a beautiful time making it.
So why should the viewers be rooting for the romance between Becca and Kyle, opposed to Becca and his rival, Aiden, what’s going on there?
RACHEL: Becca and Kyle bring out the best in each other. They challenge each other, they make each other dive deeper into who they really can be. So I think the depth of that relationship and when you have a connection like that with someone, that just truly opens your eyes to all that’s possible. I think it’s so rare, and it’s so special. I love that they trusted it, and we get a happily ever after.
I’m going to be rooting for them, that’s for sure! You seem to be a go-to of the Hallmark actors. You’ve worked on about eight of their films. Has Hallmark left a specific impression on your life that made you want to just keep working with them over and over and over again?
RACHEL: I was on a supernatural show when I first working at Hallmark, and we were shooting nights a lot on the television series. So when I got my first Hallmark script to read, and it was called “A Ring by Spring,” it was a romantic comedy. It was so happy when we shot during the day. So, all of a sudden I’m shooting outside in daylight and it’s this happy story. Everyone was laughing on set. And I walked away from that film just so filled with joy, and I thought, “Wow, you can do this all the time. They make a lot of movies and this is so fun to be part of.” So that was my first experience. And just the response of people that come up to you just looking for hopeful entertainment. I think there’s so much darkness in our world that you want to tune into that — having a place that you know is going to leave you feeling good. It’s really a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Since you’ve joined the Hallmark family, outside of working on their specific films, what has been one of the big things you’ve enjoyed the best about working at Hallmark?
RACHEL: Getting to be a part of this loving family. So many of my friends now are making Hallmark films, so we all can talk about our experiences and we get to see each other at the press events. And You get to know the executives. I’m here with our amazing publicist, Maria [Fischer], right now, who I’ve worked with on so many movies. And so you just develop relationships that mean so much to you. I think having a place, as an artist, that you can continue to explore and grow — and hopefully get cast in a series. I would love to be back on a series where I get to stay in a character and really dive into that and stay in it for longer. So that’s what I enjoyed the most: the people.
This film definitely seems to be focused on empowering women, and I really am drawn to that as a woman. It is an interesting niche that Hallmark Channel has created. It’s not just about romance, it’s specifically to attract women and show them the lives that they could achieve if they dreamed of it.
RACHEL: Absolutely. I mean, I’m a single woman making romantic comedies. I love romantic comedies. I love watching love stories. And I’m a very independent woman, and I feel like that is one thing I really enjoy about these films is that the career focus for me — especially in “ The Last Bridesmaid” that is Beeca’s focus. That’s something that really means so much to her, that she has such a full life outside of anything romantic love. She has so much love in her life in so many different ways. And then when she does meet this man, that opens her heart even more, that she’s ready for it.
One of the things about being a bridesmaid is you always have to wear so many bridesmaid dresses. Is there anything you can share about the bridesmaid dresses you get to wear on this film?
RACHEL: I do have one. I loved it. I loved it so much. It was supposed to be a joke, and it turned out to be my favorite dress. But I wear a yellow dress that’s supposed to make me look like a banana. And when I first tried it on, I was like, “This dress is great. Don’t tell anyone how wonderful it is, they may not let me wear it.” But, yes, it’s just making a joke that you really have no control over, which you’re going to end up wearing. And so, I get put in a dress that makes me look like a banana.
Sounds like for this project, you got to help bring to life. Didn’t you get to choose the kind of the clothes you got to wear?
RACHEL: The “banana” dress was all Nina and I one-hundred percent supported it. I was not expecting to love the “banana” dress as much as I did. So that was all Nina. She is a truly, truly amazing woman, and I am so thankful that we got to collaborate on this movie.
Finally, what would you like to tease about the film for the fans? What can they anticipate?
RACHEL: Foe anyone that’s looking for true love, we just hope that this lifts you up. We hope it inspires you to stay open to all the possibilities and that you just enjoy the movie this Saturday. I so hope you enjoy it. I’ll be live tweeting too, if you are around and want to join me on Twitter at #TheLastBridesmaid. I’ll be on Twitter. So I’ll be hanging out, watching with everybody.
Also do you have any upcoming projects that you can share at this time?
RACHEL: I’m about to start a Christmas film pretty soon, so I will be getting ready for Christmas, and then hopefully we have lots more adventures ahead!
“The Last Bridesmaid” premieres Saturday, June 22nd on Hallmark Channel. Fans are invited to join in the live-tweet fun by following along with Hallmark Channel (@HallmarkChannel) and Rachel Boston (@RachelBoston) on Twitter for more behind-the-scenes scoop about the making of this film — and be sure to give Rachel’s co-star Paul Campbell (@thePaulCampbell) a shout-out on Twitter with a little birthday wish to him as Saturday will be his 40th birthday.
“The Last Bridesmaid” trailer:
On Location with “The Last Bridesmaid”:
Video clip of Rachel Boston introducing “The Last Bridesmaid”:
Video of Paul Campbell introducing his character in “The Last Bridesmaid”: