Having created a career seamlessly transitioning between light and dark roles,commands the screen. Bringing her talents to her fourth film for Hallmark Channel, Taylor stars in this week’s “The Art Of Us” as a professor who puts everything on the line trusting an unknown artist in an effort save her bid for college tenure. In an exclusive interview, Taylor talks about the joy of working on “The Art Of Us” alongside co-star Steven Lund, and shares what it is like to reach this high point in her career.
What initially appealed to you about the role of Harper Higgins and working on Hallmark’s “The Art Of Us”?
TAYLOR: The story sold me. The script is an adaptation of a novel written by the wonderful Teri Wilson. I loved the idea that somebody broken and lost can be fixed by something that was inside of them the entire time. Trying and failing only to rediscover a passion for something they ran away from because of fear.
How would you describe who Harper is?
TAYLOR: We meet Harper as an adjunct art professor who’s putting all her energy into becoming a full-time professor, meanwhile suppressing her true desire to be an artist because of her fear of failing and lack of inspiration. Even though she’s a little lost in finding herself, Dr. Harper Higgins is essentially a warm, funny, very bright and driven woman.
What do you most admire and/or like about Harper?
TAYLOR: I like how she’ll stop at nothing to accomplish what she wants. Although I don’t agree with dishonesty, I have to give her credit for creativity. I also love that she took in a stray disobedient dog that she found during a time when her life was chaotic. It shows her selflessness and compassion.
What is it like working alongside Steven Lund?
TAYLOR: Steve Lund is one of a kind. He definitely kept me on my toes and was always entertaining. He’s unapologetically goofy, wicked smart and he’s obviously adorable.
What has been your favorite part about working on this project?
TAYLOR: My favorite part of almost every project I’m involved in is learning and growing. Harper’s journey taught me to trust my instincts and abandon self-judgment.
What has been the one thing you as an actor haven taken away from working on “The Art Of Us”?
TAYLOR: Let yourself fail… it’s the first step toward success.
What do you hope viewers take away from watching “The Art of Us”?
TAYLOR: To let go of fear and embrace what challenges you, whether that’s as simple as a new hobby or as complicated as love.
Having done three prior Hallmark films from “Christmas in Homestead,” “My Summer Prince,” and “Appetite for Love,” what initially made you want to join the Hallmark family?
TAYLOR: There was a point in my career when I took a job because of the clout of the network attached and ultimately it didn’t make me happy. After that project I sat down and asked myself what I really wanted for my career. The first answer that came to mind was making content that my future children would be able to enjoy. The very next week an opportunity to do my first Hallmark film was presented and the rest is history.
What do you think you have learned from working on those films?
TAYLOR: Ask the Universe for what you want and be specific.
What are the positive aspects of being part of the growing Hallmark family for you?
TAYLOR: I love how Hallmark has a way of bringing family together. Any time I mention Hallmark to a stranger their face lights up and they beam about how much joy Hallmark movies bring them and their loved ones. At times in life when there isn’t a happy ending, you can count on Hallmark to always have one for you.
You are also appearing in the CW’s THE ORIGINALS as Sofya. What are you enjoying about that role and working on THE ORIGINALS?
TAYLOR: I really enjoyed the challenge of getting to play two characters on this season of THE ORIGINALS. Sofya and The Hollow. Working and growing with such gifted talent inspired me to reach new career goals. I’m most grateful for the everlasting friendships I’ve made from the cast to the crew.
How much more trouble is Sofya going to stir up now that she has become possessed by The Hollow?
TAYLOR: You’ll have to watch and see. Nothing’s off-limits.
What is the best part about getting to portray a vampire?
TAYLOR: Nothing’s off-limits. ; )
What has surprised you most about your career so far?
TAYLOR: That I can make a living doing something I love.
At this stage of your career, what do you think you have learned from the amazing variety of roles and projects you have worked on?
TAYLOR: That I’ll never stop learning and nothing is guaranteed.
Then what are the perks of where you are in your career right now?
TAYLOR: Currently I have a travel trailer and I’m exploring the U.S. with my dogs between jobs. Having the luxury to have the flexibility to travel is a blessing.
If there were one role you would like to revisit, which would it be and why?
TAYLOR: Vicky Roberts on THE EVENT. She was a hard-core badass with a heart and a story I want to finish telling.
You seem to take on roles that are very challenging. Do any of your characters and the situations they find themselves in ever leave a lasting impression on you?
TAYLOR: Much like the people and events you love, you won’t forget. Sometimes I fall so in love with a character and it’s hard to say goodbye, so I take my favorite parts of them with me. Some I can’t wait to forget.
Has there been any great advice you have gotten? What advice would you offer to other upcoming and aspiring actors?
TAYLOR: Best advice: Listen. If you truly listen, you can have a genuine reaction. Aspiring actors should remember that if you’re putting in the work and are committed to your choices, that every “no” is one step closer to a “yes.”
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can share that fans should keep an eye out for?
TAYLOR: Christmas Hallmark movie currently named “Christmas Festival of Ice” with Damon Runyon and Wendy Crewson.
At a time when women’s voices are rising to be heard and respected around the country and world, what do you recommend your fans do to lend support in that endeavor?
TAYLOR: Support each other. Life each other up instead of tear each other down. We are stronger together.
To see Taylor’s delightful performance as Harper, be sure to tune in for the premiere of “The Art Of Us,” which premieres Saturday, May 20th at 9:00 p.m. on Hallmark Channel. You can also see Taylor in new episodes of THE ORIGINALS, which airs Friday nights at 8:00 a.m. on the CW. To find out more about Taylor Cole’s upcoming projects, you can follow her on Twitter at: @TaylorCole