Hallmark's 'Color My World With Love' Star Lily D. Moore on Groundbreaking Romance (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
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Hallmark's upcoming romance, Color My World With Love, is telling a new kind of love story. The film's star, Lily D. Moore -- whom viewers may know from Netflix's Never Have I Everas Paxton's fashion-minded sister -- is ready for the world to see and experience love through a different lens.
The film, which premieres Sunday on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, follows Emma's daughter Kendall (Moore) who becomes engaged to Brad (David DeSanctis). But Emma (Erica Durance) becomes concerned that her independent, strong-willed, artistic daughter and her new fiancé, who both have Down syndrome, aren't ready to take the next step in their lives.
"I believe that not only can Down syndrome people be leads in a movie, but also we want to be like typical people. We want to fall in love, get married, get a job, go to college and all that. So I think it's definitely a big step that Hallmark made by making me and David the two leads of this movie. And I think it's definitely going to show really well," Moore tells ET ahead of the movie's TV debut. "There are going to be some moments when it's going to be fun, laughing moments, but also heartwarming moments when you cry. I think it's going to be an incredible movie to see."
The rising star, who's preparing for college in the fall, previewed the new Hallmark romance and the impact she hopes it'll have, the similarities she has to her character and more.
ET: First of all, how did this movie come to you?
Lily D. Moore: My agent reached out to me. She was like, "Hey, there's this audition. It's for this new Hallmark movie. [You're] a big fan of Hallmark, so let's have you audition." And so I auditioned and then a couple days later, my agent called me and she was like, "Hey, are you sitting or standing?" And I'm like, "I'm sitting, why?" And she's like, "Just wanted to let you know Hallmark wants you for this job." And I broke down into tears. I was very happy. We got the script not too long [after] and then we read over; it was a very good script. And so we were like, "Okay, I'm excited, and I'm ready to show the world who I am and who the character is."
How much changed or didn't change in the story or for your character, Kendall, from that audition to when you got the script? Were you able to work with the writers to personalize the story?
After I got the script, it was nice because the director and the executive producer; Peter [Benson] and John [Eskenas], reached out to me and my mom. They were like, "Hey, we want to have a Zoom call with you. Let's meet you." We did that, talking about the movie and just getting to know each other. We talked about the script. They were making sure I knew what stuff meant. It was very nice to get to know them. And after that, meeting the whole cast was really fun.
You're a fan of Hallmark and the signature films they make, so you know this is an important movie that the network is embracing and supporting. For you personally, what was the significance of playing this character and exploring a love story that a lot of people may not see a lot on television or in movies?
Me and Kendall are kind of the same because we're both independent, living our best life and also feisty as well. I feel like me and my character, we get along really well. It was really fun playing her because I'm not an artist, but in the movie she is. And so it was fun seeing the different paintings that she'll do and explaining that to her mom. And also, I've never done a movie that was based on romance. So I thought that was fun, trying that out for the first time. It was definitely really fun filming something that I usually am not in.
You said you and Kendall are very similar in many ways. Are there traits of hers that you're like, "I really need to be more like that"?
I'm actually working on how to be independent. Kendall is independent, but her mom has a hard time helping her, guiding her, letting her out. So I'm kind of the same way. I'm also trying to learn how to be independent on my own. And sometimes my parents have a hard time letting me do some stuff that they don't feel comfortable with. I would say those things are similar to the character.
This is your first time being the romantic lead. Were you nervous at all before filming?
At first for some of the scenes, I was nervous because I'm like, "Okay, this is my first huge job." But thankfully a lot of the cast members were really nice and helpful, and they helped me get used to it. They definitely helped me a lot. I'll say that definitely helped.
Do you have a favorite moment or a favorite memory making this movie?
One of the fun things that we did, we pulled a lot of jokes on each other. This cast to me was like a second family. It was so fun and they made it very welcoming. We pulled a lot of jokes on each other here and there. And even on one of the scenes that we filmed, it was before we were filming, I pulled a joke. It was on April Fools' Day, and so I pranked Ben [Ayres], who plays Nick -- I was faking like I hurt my leg or something -- and he came out in full doctor mode. Those were some of the highlights where we're getting to know everybody and playing jokes on each other. And also, some of the nights, we would have dinner together.
Was the connection with your co-stars immediate?
The first day we got there, we had dinner with everybody -- with the director and all the cast members. That was when we first got to meet each other as a group. So that was really nice and we're like, "Okay, this is nice." And then when we started working together, I'm like, "Okay, this is going to be fun, and it feels sort of like a Hallmark family coming together, having fun together." And so I'll say it was kind of an immediate thing, just because we got to know each other the day before we started working. Everybody was very sweet and really welcoming.
Now that you're a part of the Hallmark family, what does this mean to you to be included in the conversation?
It feels good to be part of a new family because you're meeting new people and you're traveling to new places. And plus, we like traveling as a family. I think it's definitely fun being a part of a new family, for sure.
And you're staying busy with college coming up.
It's a big life moment for you. How excited are you to be starting that new chapter?
I'm really excited because it's like, "Here's my future ahead of me." And I can finally experience that for the first time. I'm really looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and getting more independent and all that.
What can you tell us about upcoming projects?
I just got pinned for season 4 of Never Have I Ever. Very excited. And then also season 2 of an adult comedy animation show called Teenage Euthanasia. And I'm in the middle of a swimsuit campaign right now called Summersalt.
Speaking of Never Have I Ever, it was great exploring Paxton and Rebecca's brother-sister relationship in season 2. Are you also dropping by in the third season?
I am, actually. I did one episode of that.
Anything you can say?
I will say it's definitely a transition for Paxton, for sure. You'll definitely see that transition between Paxton and Devi. It's a very fun season, I will say.
Knowing that you're in season 4, is there anything you want Rebecca to do before the show wraps up?
It would be cool to see... They never showed her in fashion school. So that would be really fun to see. Get a glimpse of her in fashion school or something. And obviously it would be fun to see her with her family more. I think those two would be really fun to see.