Interviews

Andrew Walker – Appetite For Love

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By: Ruth Hill

 

If you are an admirer of all things Hallmark, you may recognize the ruggedly handsome Andrew Walker.  A long-time fan favorite in films such as A Bride For Christmas, Bridal Wave and Wedding Planner Mystery (to name just a few), he invariably gives performances that are solid and relatable while still being unpretentious and charming.  I had the supreme joy of speaking with this phenomenally captivating actor, and he graciously answered questions about his upcoming film Appetite For Love, as well as compelling queries concerning Hallmark favorites and additional prospective works..

A HUNGER FOR ACTING

What inspired you to become an actor?

Football has always been something I loved, and I was even offered a football scholarship to Boston College. Unfortunately, I was injured and I lost that scholarship. So when I was twenty-one years old, I left with one of my buddies for L.A. We had a six week plan, but I ended up getting a job and staying for six months.  While I would love to act full-time and do nothing else (that would be a dream), this business does not always afford that opportunity. That’s why it is wonderful to have a place like Hallmark that just seems to call at opportune times. In the past few years, my wife and I have gone into business together–a cold press juice company right next to a hot yoga studio (my wife and I are very health-conscious)–and so that takes up my time when I’m not acting.

For anyone who wonders why my name sometimes has a middle initial, it’s just a simple formality.  When I joined SAG long ago, there was another Andrew Walker and in order to avoid confusion I added the middle initial.

One of the most challenging things about acting is trying to assess your success. As a sports guy, it was always easy to figure it out because you can readily evaluate and judge the facts and statistics. With acting, it’s a little more ethereal. Kind of like “to each his own.” I’m grateful that my athletic ability gives me agility as an actor and I have also learned to take the criticism pretty well that comes with the job.  I refuse to let it spoil the fun of acting.

SOCIAL MEDIA BITES

Many have asked why you are not more active on social media.

I am terrible at Twitter. I prefer Instagram. It’s easier for me to go post a picture than to get involved in long back-and-forth responses that Twitter often expects. I know at some point I will have to give more time to Twitter, but right now with my business and our six-month-old (as well as my acting career), I just don’t have the time to give to it.

SAVORING THE MAIN DISH

What can you tell us about your upcoming film and role in Appetite for Love?

My character in the film is a small-town guy who is trying to find himself, especially since his father has recently passed away. This means that his father’s business has fallen in his lap and for him, this has become a passion project. While he did grow up in the restaurant, he discovers a passion for food that involves a kind of new age way of thinking. Ideally, he believes that the restaurant should be self-sufficient and provide the freshest and best food to his customers who are kind of like extended family to him.

When Mina (Taylor Cole) comes into town, she kind of blindsides him. While they both grew up in this same small town together, Mina now lives in the big city. She has a passion for business sense, but she could care less about the quality of the food–just the opposite of my character. It’s a dichotomy in a way, kind of like our two worlds collide.

One more thing to watch out for is the film’s subtle environmental message. It’s an important one, but it is never pushed in such a way that it ruins the overall story.

What was it like working with Marcus Rosner on this film?

It was wonderful to work with Marcus. Since we’re both sports guys, we kind of bonded over that. Actually, we were only on the set together for about three days.  With Marcus, he kind of reminds me of myself when I was his age. The difference is that he is more focused on his goals than I ever was. But even with our difference in ages, we got along really well.

MEMORIES OF DESSERT

You have made two films with Arielle Kebbel–would you work with her again if you could?

Definitely. Arielle and I are really good friends off screen and while I wonder if it might seem strange to marry the same girl for the third time in a film, she was easy to work with.

Would you come back to “When Calls the Heart” if given the chance?

Absolutely. Billy Hamilton was such a fun role–one of my favorite characters to develop. Some fans may not know that I auditioned for the role of Mountie Jack and the choice was down to Daniel Lissing and me. Of course, Daniel got it, but they said they would offer me something to make up for it. Well, in this business I have learned to take those kinds of things with a grain of salt. They called and I had only five to six days to prepare for the role. The role reminded me of Bill the Butcher (as played by Daniel Day-Lewis) in the movie Gangs of New York –a ladies man, smarmy, suave. He would smile, ask the ladies for a dance, but when they weren’t looking he would steal their pocket watch. The cast was so great to work with. Because Erin [Krakow] and I had done a chemistry read together (when I was auditioning for Mountie), I already knew her and we had remained friends. It was a joy to see her again and this time, to get to work with her.

AFTER-DINNER COFFEE

Do you have any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?

Yes, I am producing and acting in a film called Oxalis. We are shooting off and on for the next seven months. It is a suspense/thriller about cloning. I play a father whose child has been murdered. He and his wife decide to clone their dead child. The twist is that they cannot find the killer. So, the killer is also cloned.

What are your favorite kinds of roles to play?

I feel sometimes like I have a split personality.  Every time I change my physical appearance, I often get different kinds of roles. I really enjoy playing the types of roles you might see someone like Bruce Willis playing–a hero with baggage.  I like characters who have some inner turmoil to deal with.

Hallmark has been such an incredible studio to work with. But regardless of the role, I always try to bring the character’s own story to it. Sometimes delving into a character’s past can be scary. In Dashing Through the Snow, my character seemed to have some post-traumatic stress following his time serving in the military. In Appetite for Love, my character deals with the death of his father. He has to learn to grow up and assume all these weighty responsibilities.  With Hallmark, I am often told I need to be more light-hearted because I tend to take my roles far too seriously. But no matter what, I believe that an actor needs to get into the mind of his character and bring some depth to the role by digging into that character’s own backstory.

While I had immeasurable respect for the talent that Andrew consistently brings to the screen. There is no denying that his prowess emanates from his uncanny attention to detail and unequivocal willingness to connect as genuinely as possible with each character he is asked to portray. While his career embodies diverse roles, the viewers can always be assured of sincerity and intensity whenever he appears on the screen . And there is decidedly no better way one could spend the evening of Saturday, February 6, than savoring his new film Appetite for Love on the Hallmark channel. Also, don’t forget to follow him on twitter (https://twitter.com/AWALK35) and instagram (https://www.instagram.com/awalkk35) for the latest updates from him (after all, one day he said he will pay more attention to Twitter).

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