Brennan Elliott – Flower Shop Mystery: Mum’s The Word
By: Ruth Hill
Ever since watching “Cedar Cove” a few years back, I have been intrigued by the actor who breathed life into the diabolical real estate tycoon, Warren Saget. While I was a bit of a hard sell in the beginning, Warren quickly became one of my favorite television characters, especially as I got to know and appreciate the work of the only man who could play him with such credibility, cunning vulnerability, impeccable comedic timing, and above all, wicked charm. When I was offered the chance to join the Starry Constellation Magazine writing team, there was only one name that came to my mind for a beginning assignment–Brennan Elliott. While the events that led to the realization of this dream spiraled in a tornado of unbelievable blessings, every moment is forever held within my mind, heart and soul. After all, “firsts” are always a special memory.
What inspired you to become an actor?
I was raised by a single mom and I had no real confidence in who I was or how I felt. An acting teacher encouraged me to examine how I really felt, but I struggled to express it. His methods intrigued me and I, eventually, learned that acting is a way to express truth. There is nothing like the feeling I get when someone comes up to me and says that they were touched by one of my performances or really could relate to one of my characters.
What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?
I have been asked that question many times and my response always is the role of husband and father. While I have loved something about every role I have done, still there is nothing like the role of husband and father.
The moment he uttered those words, I was reminded of another article where he had been asked the same question and responded in exactly the same fashion. I nearly kicked myself inwardly for not remembering something like that, but I reminded myself that this gave him a chance to give the response and expound on it.
And the moment you answered, I remembered your response, Brennan. And I fully agree with you.
Well, it is the most difficult of the roles out there. After all, you know very well since you’re a mother.
Wait–he remembered I had a daughter? Yes, I do mention her from time to time, but it warmed my heart to no end that he would remember something that some would find so trivial. And he spoke those words with a great deal of respect and understanding sent my way.
But it is the most rewarding role as well. But I think the hardest thing about the business and the roles I play in the business in general is the short time we get with the script. It’s usually only a few days and we are expected to make a connection, but that is the nature of the business. Trying to find and present the personal journey of a character is a worthwhile challenge.
Each role I have done for Hallmark or another network has offered something different. Everything from Warren in “Cedar Cove” to Ian in Chucky, and even with my new role, Marco Salvare, who is completely different from anything I have ever played.
At the mention of Marco Salvare, I was reminded of his upcoming HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES film premiering January 17. One description of this new character from his new film series Flower Shop Mystery: Mum’s the Word is as follows: “Darkly sexy, with a warm and wry wit as well as a disarming grin, a real gentleman, he is the new owner of a nearby bar and grill. A former military man and private eye, he gallantly offers to help Abby (played by Brooke Shields) whose car has been struck by a hit and run driver. Soon the two join forces to solve a local murder, convinced the perp might be the person who hit Abby’s car. A decent, smart and kind man, he worries that Abby may be putting herself in harm’s way, warning her, you can’t save the world. He also knows she’ll never quit trying…” Needless to say, this role will be one of his finest, and the plan is to make about fifteen in the series, so it will be around for a considerable length of time.
No matter what, though, I believe in no judgment for any of these characters. As an actor, it is not my job to judge. It is my job to express truth through that character. And if you are touched or feel something or just “get it,” I am happy. Am I making sense, Ruth?
I assured him he was. If there is one thing I have come to understand and appreciate, it is the way in which an actor must approach his character. In fact, it was Brennan’s explanation of how he portrayed Warren in Cedar Cove that made me understand that Warren was not a villain. He is simply “misunderstood.” And indeed, that is why I was able to say Warren was the first “bad guy” I ever liked.
A Acting as a passion
If you had not become an actor, what would you have done instead?
It’s hard to imagine doing anything else, but I also know that many will look for the book to get into the world of acting and I am looking to write the book on how to get out of acting. I think every actor goes through that when they are looking for work and the jobs just aren’t there–plenty of dry spells. But if I hadn’t become an actor, I could have used my communication skills to become a lawyer, but after a while, that just seems boring. My mother was a nurse and I do like to help take care of people. There was even a short time I considered being a pastor–maybe even a youth pastor. Manual labor would be out of the question for sure. I do enjoy producing and… [classified information, more to come later on that]
I have always made it a habit of supporting those people who have chosen to support me. While many actors recognize and sincerely appreciate their fans, there are those exceptionally gracious actors who go the extra mile, in my opinion. Not only do they go out of their way to express to their fans how much the words mean, but they take the compliment and sweetly twist it to honor the fan himself/herself. I realize not all have this artistic ability, but Brennan always has a way of acknowledging his fans in such a way as to highlight the fan rather than basking in the spotlight himself. I have always called him reciprocal and supportive before, but this interview made me realize he is even more so than I imagined.
I don’t recall exactly what led to this comment, but at one point, he told me the following.
I almost don’t know who was more excited for this interview, Ruth. It is clear that you have quite a fanbase yourself because of your wonderful reviews. You have a gift for writing and I enjoy reading all of your reviews, even the ones where I have not been featured.
At this point, I honestly didn’t know what to say. While I knew that Brennan relished my reviews, I don’t think I realized to what degree he did. And so, although my mind was reeling from those words, it was my turn to be truly awestruck.
M Manage priorities
How do you balance family life and your professional life?
Oh, it is very difficult – as you well know. I don’t like the fact that I have to be gone so much. My wife does quite well with our two kids, but there are times I wish I could be more present. I realize I am working to support my family, but as a dad, it’s just hard to be away sometimes.
Besides acting, what other interests/hobbies do you have?
Although I am not any good at it, I love to play golf. It is the one time when I can get away from everything, and my phone is off. I also like to sing karaoke. And sometimes it is just nice to sit on the couch and relax and watch something for fun.
N Never forget
I believe strongly that recognizing the fans is one of the most important things you can do as an actor. They are what keep you going as an actor.
What was your most challenging role?
I was in a short called Confession and it was very difficult to make my character likable. It dealt with rape and murder and the character was very troubled. In the end, it just didn’t seem to work very well and essentially fell apart.
Who is one person you would like to work with that you have not yet?
Oh that is a hard one. I would need some time to think about that one. Maybe Marlon Brando? But if I had to say, although he is no longer alive, Montgomery Clift. I grew up watching him and even though he had a rough life, I truly enjoyed his work. For the chance to work with him, I would drop everything and appear with him for free. But of course, that would be impossible since he is no longer with us.
Are you content to remain a television actor or do you have aspirations to appear in more feature films?
Of course, I would like to do it all. What actor wouldn’t? I truly enjoyed being in Night at the Museum and enjoyed my part immensely. Sometimes I have so much work that I have had to turn down feature films. I do love the Hallmark network though. It is the one place where I feel I can make films and shows that deeply touch people. Hallmark is such a great network to work for.
As I wrapped up everything with Brennan, I spoke the customary words about thanking him and I sincerely did feel good about the interview. He said I had the difficult job of putting all this into written form, but he knew I was up for the task. As I began to say my goodbyes to him, he did something that I shall never forget as long as I live. Practically the entire twitterverse knows of my affinity for the actor Sebastian Spence and how much he has meant to me professionally and privately.
And if you ever talk to Sebastian Spence, please tell him hi. He is a genuinely nice guy, and I think a lot of him.
Now I was even more enchanted by this man that he would say that and I responded with a massive smile on my face.
I certainly will, Brennan. He was very excited that I was going to be interviewing you and assured me you would not be tongue-tied in your responses and you would put me at ease.
(Update: What Brennan does not know is that when I did pass along his words to Sebastian, Sebastian himself was humbled and began to sing Brennan’s praises to me yet again. He also recounted to me the tale of the first time of their working together on First Wave and it was obvious that Brennan made Sebastian’s day. And I hope that Brennan realizes that he is ensuring that he has a supremely devoted fan for life. Anyone who shows Sebastian such kindness rises to even a higher plane in my book.)
And with that, his final words to me were:
Enjoy the film on the 17th, and I’ll see you on Twitter.
And with that, we said goodbye, and I drove home, just thoroughly charmed and thinking how phenomenal this guy was. I didn’t return to social media till later when I was told by one of my friends that Brennan had said such delightful things about me. And he did–he called me charming, and said it was like talking to an old friend. And he also enjoyed getting to hear my voice as he had been tweeting with me for so long. I always find it interesting that something so simple means so much to us as humans.
While I have been claiming that Brennan is one of my favorite actors, it is safe to say that he is not only one of my favorite actors, but he is definitely one of my favorite people. He is a genuinely benevolent, sweet, compassionate, talented, personable man who happens to have an uncanny knack for acting, and his disarming nature can captivate the most passionless of hearts. Not only that, but he has the ability to put people at ease the moment he speaks and he is able to make connections that cause you to feel like you’ve known him all your life. And he listens to what you say, and he remembers. He genuinely enjoys talking about his passions, but he doesn’t forget what is important to you.
And be sure to catch him on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday for Flower Shop Mystery with Brooke Shields. And whatever you do, check him out on Twitter at @brennan_elliott. It will be the smartest decision you ever make–well, at least one of the smartest ones.