Paul Greene – Campfire Kiss
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) Please tell us about the upcoming ALS work you have going on.
A) My brother is doing an art event in Phoenix. The nonprofit that I am Executive Director to which is called Artists Lend Support (ALS) hopes to work again with some of these amazing artists and companies. I’m trying to make a difference and have a world where ALS doesn’t have to take away anyone else’s dad like it did my incredible father.
Q) You act and are very active in charity work. How do you balance everything?
A) That’s a great question. Having a big picture idea of what I am committed to – what is my purpose and why am I doing this. Because it is easy to get bogged down with the to-do list and sometimes you forget what your purpose is, why you are doing it and what your outcome is. So, I try to keep a very big outcome – a world where there is no ALS or I want this film to really touch peoples’ hearts in a way where they can forgive their father. Almost all of these Hallmark films have to do with three of four huge issues like forgiveness, letting your heart heal so you can find love again, mending relationships with father and daughter/son. That’s why I love doing these movies. They are not just out there as commercials. They are films to make peoples’ lives better. So, I think the balance is that is knowing what I am committed to and the bigger picture. I have a physical practice where I exercise, mediate and do things that keep me centered. I have to move my body every day and do something physical like hiking or yoga. I take time with me with meditation or my morning pages. I have a ritual I do most every day to take care of my inner life to work inside out rather than outside in.
Q) What is the premise for your film Campfire Kiss?
A) It’s two very different people who both are having a hard time connecting with their kids. I own a camping store and she is a math teacher at a high school. We both get the idea to take our kids camping and find ourselves way out in nature together. We go on lots of adventures and slowly find ways to connect with our kids and almost connect with each other. I can’t give away the movie, but we’re both dealing with having a hard time connecting with our kids. That’s something I think parents can relate to today with kids and their cellphones, Instagram and all these distractions that keep being present. We have to deal with that and find a way to open up and love again. The main characters have both been hurt in the past with love and find a way through each other to heal that and give it one more shot. We have obstacles along the way like a bear in the camp and an exwife that shows up.
Q) Was this your first time working with Danica McKellar or had you worked together before?
A) This is our second film together. Our first Hallmark movie was A Perfect Wedding, which was a couple years ago. We enjoyed working together so much that we said, “Let’s do this again.” We set a goal of eighteen months to two years that we were going to work together again and sure enough we are right around eighteen months when I got the call, read the scripts and started working towards it. So, we have really good chemistry. We love working together. We’re so lucky and fortunate to be able to do it again together.
Q) What did you find challenging about the role or environment?
A) Of course! Being outside we were in below zero weather for eight to twelve hours a day can be quite challenging for sure. Also, it added such a neat background that it was almost another character. There was so much snow. You don’t see a lot of Hallmark movies in the snow. For the Christmas movies they are sometimes shot in the summer. They are not often shot in the right season. So, for us to be in the freezing cold was challenging, but also rewarding. I love being in nature. The weather was so extreme that we had to stay in hotels way out there. We usually stay in Vancouver and travel out, but the roads were too bad. But it gave us that cozy kind of feeling of working together. Barbara Niven was there and I had worked with before on Christmas Detour. Ali Skovbye played my daughter, who is also on “When Calls the Heart” with me. So, not too challenging filming wise, but to be away from home. I miss my son and my girlfriend. I love working. The challenge would be knocking out a beautiful story in fifteen days. We’re always like, “How do we make this the best we can with so little time?”
Q) What are some of the scenes you are most looking forward to viewers seeing?
A) The bear coming into camp is pretty exciting. I think everyone is going to love that moment. There is a lot of comedy. There is a lot of funny moments. Steve doesn’t like horses too much, which is funny because I’m super adventurous in every other way and I try and push Dana to climb a rock wall. So, there are a lot of fish out of water moments. I’m trying to connect with a teenage daughter. I think something they are going to love and something they might look forward to is some very relatable issues. How do you connect with your teenage kid? I think a lot of hallmark audiences can relate to that or your grandkids. Also, we go geocaching in the woods and get lost, which is fun.
- Q) As someone who has a son, what was it like for you learning to relate to a teenage daughter?
A) It sure is different relating to a teenage girl. The same rules don’t apply. My son is thirteen and Ally is fourteen going on fifteen I think in the film. My son was actually there and in the movie. He is one of Danica’s Math students, which was so cool to have him there with me. He got to experience his first middle school awkward dance situation. That was pretty incredible. Danica taught Oliver how to slow dance. I filmed it and it so beautiful. It’s such a cool moment for Oliver to have his dance lesson from Danica. She was on “Dancing With The Stars” all those moments back when she was Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. It was just one of those bizarre, incredible moments where you can’t believe it is happening right in front of your eyes. Danica is always so generous and loving with my family so I absolutely love working with her. But relating to a teenage daughter is different. I just found myself being myself with her since I don’t know how to relate to ta daughter. With my son, I just grab him and wrestle with him, but you can’t do that with a daughter! It would look odd if I grabbed my daughter and started wrestling with her in the snow. Dana’s son was played by Dylan Kingwell and he and I could mess around, wrestle and boy with. We could throw rocks at trees and stuff. With Ally, we both play volleyball. So, her mom brought a ball and we played together doing a warm up drill. When it was over, we had tears in our eyes. These two weeks were almost like a summer camp since you don’t want to leave. You just get so close to everyone so fast. When it is over you are like, “What?!” Ally made me a t-shirt that says “Best Fake Dad Ever.” You can see it on my Instagram feed.
Q) What can you tease is in store this season on “When Calls The Heart” with your new character?
A) As you already know, I’m a drifter. I think they have labeled me the “heroic drifter” because in the first episode I end up saving a little girl from being run over by a runaway horse carriage. I can’t share too much other than I have a pretty serious and complicated storyline that slowly gets revealed throughout the season. I’m not in the next episode coming up, but all the other episodes I am. Carson Sheppard is the new man of mystery in town. You don’t really know what to expect. It is a hard time for everyone back then. I get a really fun arc to play on the show and to be a part of this family is great. I love working with everybody.
Q) Have you enjoyed becoming a part of the “Hearties” fandom?”
A) The Hearties are amazing! I always like to send extra love to them because they are the heart and soul of the show. They really keep it going.
Follow Paul Greene:
DONATE TO ALS: ALS.net