Heart of the Matter premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this weekend.
Starring Aimee Teegarden and Gail O’Grady, it’s a story about a young woman at the start of a successful career who makes a fatal mistake.
It’s not the kind of movie we’re used to seeing on the network. It’s deep and emotional and nuanced, navigating trauma and its aftermath.
We had the opportunity to chat with Aimee about her role in the movie, and she eloquently shared her thoughts about being a part of Heart of the Matter.
You have been in quite a few Hallmark movies by now. But Hallmark is blazing these new trails with their programming. My Family Christmas Tree, in which you starred, was very different with a deeply emotional story, and now you’ve got Heart of the Matter. Why did you think this one was for you?
I love to find material that I connect with, having really full characters and themes that touch on bigger matters.
And this particular project for Hallmark is like you were saying; it’s a big departure from some of the films that are or have been made in the past.
And I think here, there’s so much opportunity to really start conversations, and for people to have more of a dialogue around some of these heavier emotions in life.
And how would you describe your character, Andie?
Well, I would describe Andie as a little type A. She has just finished her fellowship and is a cardiologist at the hospital.
And throughout the film, you see her start to really question her purpose in life. She spent her entire life until this point on a mission to really help people, and it’s so really cut out to be a doctor.
But then, after what happens — without giving away any spoilers, it really makes her take a step back and question if she’s in the right field or not, and if she’s capable of doing this job. And I think there’s a really big journey that she goes on of finding her way back.
And how did you identify with how Andie got through the blow to her self-confidence?
I think that when the unthinkable happens, it really flips your world upside down. And for me, when things have happened in my life, I’ve had such a wonderful support system around me of people who have been there for the good times and the bad.
And being able to get down in the hole with you and not try to fix you and not try to pull you out of the hole but allow you to process your own grief and figure it out for yourself.
I think that’s the biggest thing that really allows people to find the way back to themselves when something like this happens.
And you’re working with a really great cast too. And I thought the scenes with Peter Bryant were the highlights of the movie. What was it like working with him?
He’s so lovely. And he’s just such a giving partner in a scene. We had some wonderful moments out in Dr. Fisher’s shed and really, you know, kind of exploring these dynamics and themes.
And he played such an important role in Andie’s life and mentorship. She’s really looking to him for guidance on navigating these rough waters that come up. And Peter, as an actor and a person, was just so wonderful to work with.
Oh, not in the same capacity. But I think that the rule with mentors is sometimes it’s like a mentor is somebody who doesn’t even know they’re a mentor, but you’re looking up to them for how they navigate the world and the qualities that they possess, and you model parts of yourself after them.
I feel like I pick up lots of different things from lots of different people.
You mentioned that you would hope to start discussions with this movie, and there are many different places that come out of this film to start them. What is it that you hope viewers take away from Heart of the Matter, in a more of an existential sense, so you don’t have to give anything away?
I don’t want to pigeonhole anybody into a certain set of things or ways they should be thinking or feeling after this film. I think that the main themes of this film are really about connection, forgiveness, granting people grace, and granting ourselves grace when these things happen.
Being able to ride out the hardships of life, and really being able to have conversations, and start a dialogue of how you talk about grief and how you talk about death and what your relationship with those emotions and circumstances are.
Because it’s part of the human experience, right? And I don’t think that enough conversation happens around it.
You mentioned allowing yourself grace. And there’s a scene where Andie meets with a co-worker who has experienced something similar to hers, and she gives advice that she should be taking herself. But she hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet.
But she’s able to give it to somebody else, while not seeing herself in the same light. What was it like filming that scene? And were you really feeling that as you were playing it out?
Yeah. And I think that comes up in my own life. A lot of people are so much kinder to others than we are to ourselves, or the inner-self talk we have that you would never say to another human being, but you treat yourself that way.
It’s a different set of standards, right? And I think that that scene is so pivotal because, for the audience, it really shows what’s going on with Andie and that she understands it logically.
She understands the things and the protocols and everything that she’s been through, but at the same time, she’s not allowing herself that same grace.
Sometimes it’s so much easier to resort to anger or frustration or finger-pointing, whether that’s externally or internally. But I think that scene, specifically, is a great way of showing how Andie is really viewing herself at that moment.
And what’s your pitch for the movie to suggest why people should watch it?
This film has a lot of heart and a lot of really beautiful storylines and shows so many different ways that individuals overcome and heal through the unexpected.
Heart of the Matter premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday, May 15 at 9/8c.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.