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Interview With Jen Lilley | Angel Falls 2: A Novel Holiday


Courtesy of Hallmark Channel/Crown Media

Mercy: Can you share a little of what you've been up to since we last spoke?
Jen: Well I found out I was pregnant shortly after we last spoke and had my baby on July 30th, which is a big change from last year, finalized my 3 year old’s adoption on June 10th, which happens to be my parents anniversary (best gift ever!), moved forward with my foster son’s case (he’s staying with us and his big brother Kayden (our 3 year old) after threats of being placed with a distant relative, filmed four movies, reworked my album release plans, and I’m still advocating for kids in fostercare every chance I get. ❤️   

Mercy: What can you share with us about Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday? 
Jen: You’re going to love this movie! It has every bit of Christmas packed into 90 minutes of heartfelt moments. My costar Carlo Marks is absolutely brilliant, we had a wonderful director, Jonathan Wright, and it was produced by Amy Krell, David Anselmo, and Brad Krevoy, who never disappoint. Plus it was written by Samantha Herman, who wrote Mingle All The Way, so we all know Samantha can pack in the witty banter while also exploring poignant truths. I am really excited for this one!

Mercy: What was your favorite part of filming Angel Falls? Any fun bts stories you can share? 
Jen: My absolute favorite part of filming Angel Falls was spending time with my little sister, Katherine. Because I’m breastfeeding, my newborn came with me to Canada to film, so Katherine flew up from our hometown of Roanoke, Virginia to play aunt of the year/nanny. Katherine is moving to Los Angeles in January to persue acting (she’s INCREDIBLE!) so I had fun showing her around set and explaining different aspects of movie making to her, plus it was so fun having the world’s sweetest baby on set. Julie kept the already high moral on a Hallmark movie set soaring. Plus, I had worked with most of the crew before so we just had a blast! Plus, while my sister and baby and the countless giggles we shared takes the cake for being my favorite part of filming, I’d be remiss to not mention that Jonathan let me operate the film camera for one of the scenes! Something I’ve always wanted to do. Eric Close was so wonderful and kind to let me potentially ruin his scene with my camera work, but our director told me my shot made the final edit :)     

Jen, Katherine & Julie
Jen & Carlo Marks. Courtesy of Crown Media/Hallmark Channel

Mercy: Favorite Christmas song? 
Jen: Oh man. I’m really not sure. I love so many for so many reasons. Maybe Silent Night because it’s really about Jesus, who we’re all celebrating in case we forgot the holiday isn’t about Santa. :)   

Mercy: Favorite Christmas food/snack?
Jen: Candied pecans   

Mercy: Favorite Christmas movie? 
Jen: Home Alone, if we can call that a Christmas movie.   

Mercy: White or Green Christmas? 
Jen: Both, in different rooms :)   

Mercy: What is the most rewarding thing about being an actor? 
Jen: Telling stories that touch people’s hearts right in the privacy of their own living room. Great story telling is therapy. So many of us don’t talk about our feelings or what we’re going through, so when I can play a character that touches someone on the deepest and most unspoken, intimate level, that’s the greatest reward.   

Mercy: What do you like to do on-set in your free time? 
Jen: I like to sit behind the monitor and ask questions. I am starting to produce, and I think Hallmark movie producers are incredible! To crank out such quality films in about 10 weeks from inception, shoot, to air date is unparalleled. I also want to direct one day (after my three kiddos are all out of diapers, so in maybe two years) but in the meantime, I want to learn how things work and why.  Plus knowing why certain camera angels are best etc can help me alter my performance to best suit the director’s and editor’s intentions.     

Mercy: Why do you think Hallmark movies appeal so much to so many people? 
Jen: Most of us grew up reading bedtime stories to fill our hearts with warmth and positive thoughts as a way of decompressing from our day. Hallmark movies give us the same secure nostalgia of our childhood and remind us that the world isn’t such a scary place if we continue to love one another and be the change we wish to see in the word.   

Mercy: Any upcoming projects that you can share about? 
Jen: I’m working on an incredible album launch plan to build my children’s village for children in fostercare to find safe, loving, and permanent homes. It will happen.

Jen's Links-

Jen & Julie onset of Angel Falls 2: A Novel Holiday

Courtesy of Hallmark Channel/Crown Media


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