Q&A with Wyatt Nash Star of Hallmark Channel’s ‘The Bridge’


‘The Bridge’ star Wyatt Nash discusses his new role in Hallmark Channel’s latest holiday film, while offering up details on his character, stepping into the recording studio to record music for the film and more!

Let the countdown to Christmas continue!

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This Sunday, Hallmark Channel’s annual Countdown to Christmas celebration continues with the debut of the network’s latest original holiday offering, The Bridge.

Based on Karen Kingsbury’s bestselling novel of the same name, The Bridge tells the story of Molly and Ryan, two college students whose relationship blooms at their beloved bookstore and coffee shop, The Bridge. It is here that they spend countless hours tackling their studying, while also inspiring one another to dream big – even when the outside world refuses to accept their true aspirations.

With the help of an all-star cast led by Wyatt Nash (Pedals on the Wind), Katie Findlay (How to Get Away With Murder), Faith Ford (Murphy Brown) and Ted McGinley (Hope & Faith), Hallmark Channel looks to bring this beloved story to life in what is sure to be one of this holidays most heartwarming films.

Ahead of The Bridge’s Hallmark Channel debut, Hidden Remote caught up with star Wyatt Nash to discuss the latest Hallmark Channel original film, what fan’s can expect from the film based on Karen Kingsbury’s beloved novel of the same name, and more!

Hidden Remote: How did you first hear about Hallmark’s made-for-TV adaptation of Karen Kingsbury’s bestselling novel The Bridge?

"Wyatt Nash: It all happened kind of fast because I didn’t even audition for the role – it was a straight offer. They said I had the offer for a movie that was titled The Bridge, which was based on a novel, and so I bought the book and read it in about a day and a half. I loved the story and decided to go for it."

Hidden Remote: How was the project initially pitched to you?

"Nash: My manager called me up one day and said “Hey, can you sing country music?” and I’m like “Yeah, I’m from Tennessee of course I can sing country music.” So he tells me that I need to record a few songs. I didn’t know what exactly the project was, but I recorded some Eric Church and Garth Brooks and sent that to him and next thing I knew he pitched me the offer for The Bridge. So I downloaded the book and read it and the script came a couple days later after I decided to take the role."

Hidden Remote: Having just read the book before reading the script, what were your initial thoughts and reaction to the script for the film? 

"Nash: I liked it. I think they did a really great job adapting it for the screen. I love books so much, I love to read, and I’m one of those people who is like “Oh I wish they hadn’t have done this or changed that,” but I think they did a really nice job of fitting in a lot of the key things from the book. I think people are going to be really pleased, just as I was."

Hidden Remote: What what was it about the story that drew you to the project? 

"Nash: Honestly, there are a lot of similarities between myself and my character. However, it also offered me the opportunity to not only act in the film, but to learn how to play the guitar and to sing – those are two things that I wanted to focus on and bring to life. So that was a great opportunity and also a great cast to work with as well."

Wyatt Nash in The Bridge – Hallmark Channel

Hidden Remote: You mentioned learning to play the guitar for the role, was this something the writers planned or something you took on?

"Nash: That was something I decided to take on. Obviously they wanted me to come as close [to the character] as I possibly could. It was something that I really began to enjoy and I loved it so much that I’ve continued to play guitar since I got back."

Hidden Remote: Speaking of music. Does the film incorporate original songs or should fans expect covers of popular songs? 

"Nash: I myself sang two original songs that we recorded in the studio. I’m not sure how many other original songs are in there, but there are at least the two that I performed. I actually believe Karen Kingsbury’s son-in-law wrote one of the songs, so I think everyone will be pleased to hear those as well."

Hidden Remote: What was it like stepping into the studio to record those two songs and working with the team on producing those records? 

"Nash: It was really intimidating to step into a studio with studio musicians that do this for a living and are the best of the best when I’m stepping into a sound booth like “Yeah, I’ve never done this before.” I had to be really patient with it. I went from being like “I’m  a really great singer” to “Wow, I should never sing again” to “You know this isn’t so bad,” and at the end of the day I realized I had a lot to learn being surrounded by the producer and all of the great musicians who did such a great job. The songs came out really well and I’m really proud of them."

Hidden Remote: The Bridge marks your second leading role in a made-for-TV original film, so I have to ask. What is it about this particular genre that keeps you coming back? 

"Nash: When I decide to take on a role, it’s not always particularly based on a genre but on what I think of the story. After reading the novel before even reading the script, I just loved the story and thought it was so relatable and would be a lot of fun to do – which is why I just went for."

Hidden Remote: In general, why do you feel that films such as Pedals on the Wind and The Bridge continue to resonate with viewers?

"Nash: They’re just great stories. They have a huge built-in audience from people who loved the books because the stories were so good. They want to see [these stories brought to life] and I think that’s why these movies do so well. Katie Findlay & Wyatt Nash in The Bridge – Hallmark Channel"

Hidden Remote: Can you talk a little about The Bridge, specifically about your character Ryan Kelly. 

"Nash: The Bridge is based on a bookstore by the same name in Franklin, Tennessee and it centers around bringing people together as a community. My place in the story is that I grew up going to the book store. Ted McGinley – who plays Charlie – was sort of like my father figure growing up and it’s just a place that my character always loved going to. It also centers around Ryan going to college and trying to make decisions about what he wants to do with his life and that’s where I meet the main girl Molly – played by Katie Findlay – and we’re just trying to figure out our lives and our place in the world."

Hidden Remote: Having grown-up in Nashville and experiencing the country music scene when you first broke into the entertainment industry, do you see any similarities between Ryan and yourself? 

"Nash: Absolutely! In the movie, Ryan struggles with if he should pursue his passion of playing guitar or if he needs to find something a little more steady like teaching. He’s really torn the whole time, up until the very end. Much like Ryan, when I was in college I was supposed to go to med school and become a doctor. I decided that I wanted to give acting a go and that was kind of a shock. So there is definitely the same sense of conflict that I dealt with in there."

Hidden Remote: And did you find yourself incorporating any of your own personality traits or habits into the character? 

"Nash: I think bringing more and more of myself into this character was the best idea, so I definitely found certain aspects of my own character to bring to Ryan. I maybe made him a little more Southern than I might be, but it kind of fits with the film – so it worked out."

Hidden Remote: And how did you go about incorporating yourself into the character and in the scenes. Did you just sort of wing it or did you go to the writers first to get their thoughts? 

"Nash: I just kind of went with it when I was filming scenes. The script was already written, but they were really great at listening to my input. They were very flexible and it was easy to work with the director and producers and I was so grateful for that."

Hidden Remote: Knowing that the film is based on a bestselling novel which so many readers love, did you ever feel any added pressure to almost live up to the expectations of how they imagine this character should look and act? 

"Nash: I didn’t really. Honestly, the character was so fun to play and I just really enjoyed throwing myself into it. Through talking with Karen Kingsbury, she was constantly reassuring me that I was bringing Ryan to life in the way that she imagined – and that was really nice to hear. So I just kept going with it."

Katie Findlay & Wyatt Nash in The Bridge – Hallmark Channel

Hidden Remote: Speaking of Karen… As this film is based on her bestselling novel, how involved was she throughout the creative process? Did you find yourself turning to her for advice on how she imagine the character would handle a certain situation or how they would do certain tasks?

"Nash: From my understanding she was very involved in the creative process – by the time I signed on the script was already finished and so I wasn’t there for that part. She did come to set for a couple of weeks and I really enjoyed her being there. There were a few times in different scenes when I would approach her to see what she was thinking about it all and how she felt about it, and she was great with all the notes that she had. So I would say it was so nice having her on set and getting her feedback."

Hidden Remote: Was there any one piece of advice that you found particularly helped you in bringing Ryan to life on the small screen? 

"Nash: Just her constant reminder of how big Ryan’s heart is and how much he loves the people around him. Be it his mom or Molly, he just cares very deeply for all of the people in his life. So having her there to remind me of that truth was very grounding?"

Hidden Remote: Considering that The Bridge is based on a novel, should fans expect the film to closely follow the novel’s plot lines or will the the film take the story in a different direction? 

"Nash: Well, I guess everyone will just have to tune in to see how the story plays out. [Laughs] The book is one solid thing, but we did break it into two separate movies that we shot back to back. You can expect the first movie to kind of end at a certain halfway mark, but I think fans will be very pleased with both films – even standing along by themselves."

Hidden Remote: Interesting! Any idea when fans can catch the second film? 

"Nash: I’m honestly not sure, I wish I knew that. I’m anxious to see the second film!"

Hidden Remote: Will the first film conclusion give the fans any resolution to the story or will it end on more of a cliffhanger? 

"Nash: I don’t think it will be as resolved as people would like, but I believe it ends at a nice place. I think the film is an excellent movie just standing alone by itself, so some people that never read the book might not even know there is more to the story. I think for those who read the book there will be more of a cliffhanger, but those who haven’t probably won’t even notice."

Katie Findlay & Wyatt Nash in The Bridge – Hallmark Channel

Hidden Remote: Was the filming for the first and second film overlapping or was there a break in production between the two films?

"Nash: We filmed the first film, took a break for about a week and a half and then came back and filmed the second one. So there was a little bit of overlap between the first and the second one, but for the most part they were filmed separate."

Hidden Remote: What was it like filming the movie, given that the holidays were still a distant thought? 

"Nash: It was so funny, they had so much Christmas stuff on set all the time so when it was over it was hard to believe it was just October – I actually started to believe it was Christmas and that I was forgetting what month it was. We filmed the film in the fall, and there was a pretty fast turn around, but I had no problem pretending it was Christmas."

Hidden Remote: How would you describe the film’s tone? Would you say it leans towards the comedic or dramatic side, or possible somewhere in between? 

"Nash: I think it’s somewhere in between. It’s not like a romantic comedy or anything like that, it’s more towards the dramatic side of things. However, it takes place around the holiday season so it has that theme to it as well."

Hidden Remote: Is there any particular scene from the film that you’re really excited for fans to see or perhaps one that you really enjoyed filming?

"Nash: I think every scene that I had with Katie. I think fans will enjoy all of the Ryan and Molly scenes and be able to see what a great time we had filming it and the great chemistry that we had. I think a lot of those great moments are going to come through and play well with the audience. There was also a scene in particular I enjoyed filming with Ted where it’s just us talking – with me asking for advice and finding my way. I think fans have a lot to look forward to."

The Bridge Cast – Hallmark Channel

Hidden Remote: You’ve talked about Ted and Katie briefly, but can you talk a little bit about the rest of the cast and their roles in the film? 

"Nash: Everyone got along really well. I loved working with Katie, we had a great rapport, great chemistry and it was great to work with such a lovely actress. Andrea [Brooks], who plays Kristen, was a lot of fun to be around and work with. Everyone was just very pleasant to be around and very professional. I loved working with Ted and Faith [Ford] because they’re such professionals and have done this so many times – it was just great to see them interact together."

Hidden Remote: And what was it like working alongside Ted and Faith, who, like you said, have does these types of films so many times?

"Nash: It was fun working with both of them, especially just watching them. Ted was just so free with his character and was always bringing things in a new way. It was very inspiring and it made me want to take more chances and risks. And Faith is just such a professional, and just does her job so, so well. They both had such different styles, but they both were so fun to watch and to be around."

Hidden Remote: With the holiday season quickly approaching, many networks will be rolling out new original films, with this in mind, what do you feel sets The Bridge apart from any other television movie viewers might come upon this season? Why should they make sure to tune in to watch the film?

"Nash: This time of year you always see the classics, but I think this movie will be refreshing to have something of a more contemporary story set in the world we live in everyday. It still teaches and features the same morals and lessons, but in a setting that we’re more familiar with. I think that people will really enjoy that and it also has some nice country music undertones and is a very charming and endearing film."

Don’t miss the premiere of The Bridge Sunday, December 6 at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel!