Hallmark's Summer Nights series of movies has begun and the lineup is fire. If you haven't caught on yet, there's still plenty of time. Summer has only just begun and with movies like these, you'll never want it to end. Among those, you get an extra perk. What I mean is, the Love Unleashed cast might inspire you to either adopt a dog, start your own puppy party business, or find love somewhere puppies are involved. See a running theme here? It's pup-tastic and the cast is an added bonus.
Love Unleashed follows Puppy Party Playdates owner, Hailey (Jen Lilley), who meets single father, Ryan (Christopher Russell) while hosting a pary. The Hallmark website says, "She helps him discover the value of adopting a dog, and teaches him that there's more to life, especially when falling in love." But, personally, I'd put more emphasis on "adopting a dog," because that' what really makes this movie shine. The cast may not have faces you're familiar with, but after watching Love Unleashed, you'll be an instant fan. To get a head start on your new love affair with these talented actors, let me give you the basics on the main cast. You're welcome on advance.
Daytime drama fans already know about Lilley — aka leading lady, Hailey in Love Unleashed. She's played Theresa Donovan on Days of Our Lives for the past six years, and was on General Hospital before that. Love Unleashed isn't her first Hallmark movie, either. You may remember her from Yes, I Do, Harvest Love, Eat Play Love, Dash of Love, Mingle All the Way, Winter Love Story, and Paris, Wine & Romance. Whew, that's a mouthful. The Roanoke, Virginia native is also a singer, songwriter, and relentless advocate for children's rights, "supporting charities that focus on protecting children against physical and sexual abuse, human trafficking, and the world water crisis," according to her Hallmark bio. Lilley is an adoptive mom and ambassador for the child abuse and treatment organization Childhelp, ECPAT and The Dave Thomas Foundation. If you creep her Instagram page, you'll most definitely see her big heart and love of newly adopted son bursting all over the page.
Skodje may be young, but don't let her age fool you. She's acted in well over a dozen credits since 2013. In Love Unleashed, Skodje plays Emmy, the daughter of leading man, Ryan. She's the one responsible for trying to set her widowed father up with Lilley's character, Hailey. You might recognize her from The Crossing in the recurring role of Leah, but something tells me she'll be around for awhile.
Russell's been around since '94, with credits in nearly everything imaginable, including this leading role of Ryan in Love Unleashed. From the BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, to Lifetime’s UnReal, there's nothing the Canadian-born actor can't do. Actually, you can catch him in the upcoming reboot of Beverly Hills 90210, among other recurring roles like Star Trek: Discovery or big screen films such as George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead. If you were to peek at his Instagram page, you'll find the usual pictures of him behind the scenes, but also the precious shots of his two children.
Maxwell's been quite a few projects, most notably Supernatural, Good Luck Chuck, The L Word, and many more. For 19 years, she's been acting, though she was previously a hairdresser at her parents' salon, according to her IMBD bio.
As Patricia on Love Unleashed, Morrison has a lot going on. Aside from To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Supergirl, The Good Doctor, Project Blue Book, Van Helsing (I could go on, honestly), I'm not sure how she has time to do even more. Random fact: Her first role was as "crying girl" in the iconic Mean Girls circa 2004 and that's not nothin' either.
So there you have it. Now you just have to watch to see if the two dog lovers find their happy ending — but I have a guess.