Hallmark is known for hiring fan favorite child and teen stars once they’re all grown up and giving them the leads in new romance films. One of those stars is Julie Gonzalo, known for her work in 2000s teen movies, like “A Cinderella Story” and “Freaky Friday.”
Sometimes only one actor from an old show or movie joins the network, but sometimes there are many, like with “Full House” stars Candace Cameron Bure, Lori Loughlin and Jodie Sweetin, who are all part of the Hallmark family. The former was true for Gonzalo’s main films, but not anymore. Her male co-star from both of those films, Chad Michael Murray, joins the network on Saturday with the premiere of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “The Beach House.”
With the “One Tree Hill” alum making his debut on the channel, fans are likely to begin wondering whether he and Gonzalo would ever reunite in a new movie, seeing as Hallmark reuses its actors and likes to reunite old co-stars. International Business Times wondered the same thing and asked Gonzalo about it last month before her new Hallmark flick, “The Sweetest Heart,” premiered.
“Oh my God, I haven’t seen him or — it’s been — because we did ‘Freaky Friday’ and then we did ‘Cinderella Story.’ So, ‘Freaky Friday,’ I didn’t really work with him too much. And then ‘Cinderella Story,’ we did work a bit, but my God, that was like 15 years — 14, 15 years ago. So, I haven’t seen him since,” Gonzalo started off saying to IBT when asked if she’d like to reunite with Murray for a Hallmark movie. “Who knows? Of course. I mean, I would never say no to getting reacquainted with an old co-star. That’s fun times. Like, ‘How are you doing?’”
Though she’s been in multiple rom-coms with Murray, their characters were never the ones to end up together, which means a Hallmark movie would not only be a way to reunite the two but to also possibly switch things up and have them play actual, meant-to-be love interests.
“I think it would be [fun to do that],” Gonzalo said about the idea. She also thought that fans of theirs “would love it.”
Whether or not she gets the chance to reunite with him on-screen, she’s happy he’s going to be part of the Hallmark family, saying it’s “very exciting for him to be joining the channel.”
With romance films and Chad Michael Murray on the mind, IBT also discussed more of Gonzalo’s movie past, specifically early 2000s teen rom-com roles where she often played the “mean girl.”
“I’ve been very blessed, very lucky to have the opportunity to work as so many different characters,” she said. “I still get stopped today, like, ‘Oh my God, you’re the [expletive] from ‘Cinderella Story,’’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, that’s a role.’ But the fact that people believe that is great; my job was done. I wanted that to be conveyed, obviously.”
Sometimes, actors land the role of the bully after auditioning for the lead role, like Rachel McAdams who originally read for Lindsay Lohan’s “Mean Girls” character before landing the role of Regina George. In Gonzalo’s case, she wanted the antagonist roles in the first place.
“Oh no, I auditioned for those. I think playing the antagonist is so much fun,” she said. “When you can play [that] character, it’s coming from a very organic, honest place and yet she’s not a nice person, it’s so much fun. Because at the end of the day, I’m not [an expletive]… I’m a decent human. So then to be able to be on the front of the camera and be able to kind of exorcize that little demon, you’re like, ‘This is fun.’ But it’s all in the joy of being an artist. I want to play all of those roles. You don’t want to ever just be stuck in… [playing only] the nice girl.”
One of Gonzalo’s movies, “Freaky Friday,” where she played a not-so-nice girl opposite Lindsay Lohan, is getting the remake treatment, something the actress didn’t know prior to chatting with IBT. The film turns 15 this August and was a remake of both the 1976 and 1995 movies of the same name. Now, Disney Channel’s making a 4th version, which will be released later this year.
“No way, that’s ridiculous,” Gonzalo said when IBT shared the news with her. “It wasn’t even that long ago… It was 2003 when we shot it.”
When asked how she feels about the story getting another remake, she decided to give her overall thoughts on the industry’s current eagerness to re-do past works.
“It’s a little much. Look, I mean, I understand a marketing point of view, I do, but I don’t because it’s like there are so many more stories to be told,” the 36-year-old actress said. “There’s so many more — there are a lot of stories and repeating them isn’t very original. So, it depends on how they make them, obviously, there are always exceptions to the rule.”
She continued: “But for the most part, it’s like sometimes I feel like, ‘But that was beautifully made and only 15 years ago.’ I mean, [director] Mark Waters did such a fantastic job in doing that film and it’s like ‘Whoa… what’s going on, Disney?’”
“I hadn’t heard they were remaking it and now you’ve ruined my day,” she joked. “No, it’s fine.”
While the news about the “Freaky Friday” remake got her down, at least she had the news about Murray joining Hallmark to cheer her back up. It remains to be seen whether or not the two will work together again, but in the meantime, fans can see him star in “The Beach House” on Hallmark Channel on Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.