Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Interview: Genie Francis of “Notes from the Heart Healer”

posted by Nell Minow

Genie Francis co-stars in “Notes from the Heart Healer,” the third installment in Hallmark’s popular series about the mid-life romance of an advice columnist named Peyton and a sportswriter named King.  It will be on the Hallmark Channel Saturday May 12 8/7c & 10/9c and Sunday May 13 12/11c & 8/7c.  Francis became an international phenomenon as Laura on “General Hospital.”  The Luke and Laura wedding was the highest rated soap episodes in history with 30 million viewers.  I talked with her about her chemistry with co-star Ted McGinley, working with directors, and why audiences feel such a connection to the “Notes” love story.

Was it a big change to move from soap opera to a made-for-TV movie?

Most of my work was in a three camera show, but I’ve also worked on stage and in film, so I am comfortable with one camera films. But it’s not like breathing to me as three camera is—I’m as comfortable as that as I am in my living room sofa.

What makes this story so popular with audiences?

Hallmark has an older audience and a lot of older people would love to believe they could have a second chance at love. It’s a really big and powerful message. It’s a romance that is slowly built.  They were working in the same place for five years.  They noticed each other right away but didn’t act on it for five years.  It’s a sweet love story that’s mid-life and their love for each other makes them young again.

What happens in this third chapter?

Peyton has a baby dropped at her doorstep and it brings up all of her guilt and unresolved issues about the baby she did not raise, even though her daughter did come back in her life. She first thinks she is not worthy and then realizes she can do this and wants to do this and she gets to see King as a father. And they both start to fall in love with the baby. It causes an issue in the marriage.

YouTube Preview Image

Ted told me he was very impressed by how well you were able to respond to direction because you have such control over your performance.

I take notes well because I don’t cling to my way. I have an idea of how I want to do something but I come to the set very malleable, not overly investing in doing things my way. That way I can bring what good I’ve brought and they can take me a bit further.  I welcome it. The people who have taught me the most about acting were Denise Alexander and Tony Geary on “General Hospital” and my acting teachers, Michael Howard and Bill Esper.

How old were you when you started acting?

I was 14. The first thing I did was “Family,” a two-part episode with Kristy McNichol.  Then three months laeter I got “General Hospital.”  “Family” came back and wanted me again but by then I was already booked.  “General Hospital” told me that they were using me to catch the young audience.  We were on at a time when kids could see us after school.  They get to live with the character every day for an hour so they get very invested in you. The character gets delved into more deeply because there’s so much time to fill. You are a permanent fixture, on every day.  And the character of Laura was really based on my own need to be loved, to find someone to love me, and that was pretty strong for an ingénue.  Luke and Laura – the audience really believed that when you put these two people together they were better off than they were before.  She wasn’t lonely and sad, he wasn’t in the Mafia.  Their union makes each of them whole and better in a new way.

It’s the same thing with Peyton and King – can two older people really have a chance at a happy love life?

How did you like filming in Victoria?

It’s a beautiful part of the world and I really enjoyed being there. My daughter came and we went whale watching. We saw so many whales, many of them jumping out of the water. I ziplined through the forest with my daughter. I am half Canadian and I am seriously considering reclaiming those Canadian roots.

Is your mom a heart healer?  Hallmark Channel is looking for inspirational, poignant or funny stories about moms who have healed a heart.  Post your tributes to Facebook.com/hallmarkchannel  #HeartHealer #HallmarkChannelCountdown



Previous Posts

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy
We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, "Star Trek's" half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony.  The storylines of the original "Star Trek" were provocative polit

posted 12:00:09pm Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

New from Daniele Watts: Muted
Actress Daniele Watts stars as missing teenager Crystal Gladwell in Muted, winner of the 18th annual American Black Film Festival short film competition, showing on HBO throughout March 2015. Muted fol

posted 8:00:46am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: Uptown Funk from Alex Boye and the Dancing Grannies
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rjRlJvOxIY0?rel=0" frameborder="0"] "Uptown Funk," from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92.

posted 9:16:46am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Like Sunday, Like Rain with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B28IHhaQXCE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:29am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters
In honor of this week's release of "Focus," here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that "con" comes from "confidence." A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in their schemes. And cons make great movies. If you haven't seen these, crank

posted 3:45:21pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.