Interview: Hallmark Channel’s Cindy Busby on life, travel and Hearts Down Under (2024)

For so many Hallmark Channel actors, the opportunity to work on a Hallmark film is exciting unto itself. For Canadian actress Cindy Busby, when the chance to make Hearts Down Under in Australia came about she jumped on it.

Busby is a familiar face for Hallmark Channel fans, having appeared in Royal Hearts (which took her to Romania), Unleashing Mr. Darcy, The Wrong Stepmother, A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love, and she is also known as Ashley Stanton in Heartland.

In Hearts Down Under, Busby plays New York restaurateur Caroline. Caroline is burning at both ends trying to keep up with the constant demands of being a cutting edge chef in a competitive industry while also meeting the needs of her business.

When her aunt Doreen leaves her the Seagull Cafe in a small town in Australia, she decides to make the trip so she can sell the cafe and get back to work. Of course, life’s unexpected twists and turns take Caroline on a journey of self-discovery as she starts to see that she has everything she needs right in front of her, including the Seagull’s handsome chef, Simon.

Culturess had a chance to catch up with Busby and find out what it was like to bring Hearts Down Under to life.

Though Hearts Down Under is debuting in the US in April 2021 the movie actually filmed in 2019, long before the pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt. I asked her about how the timing of the movie’s release is so perfect as so many people head back to work, and how we need to remember to appreciate what we have after dealing with the past year. “I think that it’s so easy to forget sometimes when you’re kind of in the flow of life,” she said. “And just to stop and connect and be gracious for what you have and where you’ve come from…sometimes life hands us what we need exactly at the right moment to remind us of those things. So I think that’s a really beautiful takeaway, absolutely.”

When she was offered the role, Busby jumped on the opportunity. “And you get to travel and I love traveling so much. So it was just a really perfect experience and opportunity so I jumped on it. It was way before Christmas as well. So I was like, ‘Hey, let’s make a working adventure out of something and then get to travel during the holidays.’ That was really cool.”

For Busby, playing a chef wasn’t difficult; not only does she have experience working in restaurants, but she also enjoys cooking. “I’ve always been really passionate about cooking myself,” she said. “That’s a really great thing that I was able to bring to the character of Caroline. And also having worked in restaurants myself in the past I understand the hustle and bustle and that really high intensity energy. I also understand what it’s like to sometimes be passionate about something, but sometimes lose ourselves along the way and need life to kind of remind us why we got into it in the first place. And I think that’s the really great part of this story.”

The journey to bring Hearts Down Under to life was easy because of the amazing cast and crew that worked on the film. First-time director Rosie Lourde was a dream to work with, Busby noted, as they spoke a great deal in advance so by the time she landed in Australia it was like they’d known each other for a long time. “She’s so incredibly talented and passionate, and really vulnerable as a director, which I think is an incredibly beautiful thing to receive as an artist. When I landed it was just like we’ve known each other forever, which was so wonderful. I think it was like that divine intervention thing where things just work out perfectly.”

Working with costar Tim Ross (Simon), was one of the best parts. “Immediately when I met him I was like, ‘Oh yes this is going to be awesome’,” she said.

Though Hallmark movies are always so perfectly cast, not all movies benefit from instant chemistry between the leads. That definitely wasn’t the cast between Busby and Ross, who hit it off right away. “With him it was seriously the easiest job ever and we just had fun. That back and forth part of our characters as Simon and Caroline, it was real. What you see on camera is what it was like off camera.”

Busby also had high praise for her four-legged costar, too, and though he might be small in stature it sounds like his real name fits his big personality. “Oh my goodness,” Busby gushed about the dog who played Spatch. “His real name is Mr. Big, which I think is hilarious for all of you Sex and the City fans out there. So I called him, Mr B, but every time I saw him on set I was like, “Mr B!” And I got really high pitched, which I’m sure he didn’t hear, but I got so excited. I have worked with so many dogs in so many movies and I just am obsessed with animals. So any opportunity I get to work with animals I’m like, ‘Yes, please. Sign me up immediately, thank you.’”

When asked about dream locations for another movie, Busby has a few ideas. “South Africa would be incredible. Working in Paris would be great, too. I just love Paris so much. It just has a really special place in my heart. And then I’d also say Egypt would be so cool, like a movie about the pyramids or something like that, although the pyramids have been on my bucket list for so long. I’m going to trademark that and they can call me when they’re ready.” When I suggested that her Egypt love story could be called Love on the Nile, she jumped on the idea. “Oh my goodness, I love this. Let’s do it!”

Hallmark Channel's Hearts Down Under: Cast, trailer, synopsis, how to watch. dark. Next

You can catch Busby in Hearts Down Under when it premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, April 24 at 9pm ET/PT.

Interview: Hallmark Channel’s Cindy Busby on life, travel and Hearts Down Under (2024)
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