Did You Know These Real-Life Couples Have Starred in Hallmark Channel Movies Together?

Katie Cassidy and Stephen Huszar met while filming a Hallmark Channel rom-com, while Colin Donnell and Patti Murin co-starred in two movies after getting married in 2015.

By Tierney Bricker Dec 25, 2023 5:00 PMTags
Watch: Hallmark Channel Stars Share Their Favorite Holiday Tunes

Hallmark Channel proudly proclaims it's the channel "where love happens," and this is literally true for these celebrity couples. 

Known for their feel-good rom-coms, the network is responsible for staging several meet-cutes between the stars of their movies, including Katie Cassidy and Stephen Huszar, who met while filming A Royal Christmas Crush, and new parents Chris McNally and Julie Gonzalo, from The Sweetest Heart.

But, it turns out, the set of a made-for-TV movie isn't just for finding love, but also nurturing already established relationships as Hallmark has become a destination for several married couples. Carlos and Alexa PenaVega have worked on several projects together, while another famous pair worked together for the first time in their decade of marriage, teaming up for a Hallmark movie. 

So, it turns out, there might even be more love behind-the-scenes of the channel's content and their meets are every bit as cute as that big city exec who stumbles upon a single father who owns a Christmas tree farm on the brink of ruin. And, to be honest, we would definitely watch films inspired by any of these IRL romances.

Breaking Down Hallmark's Roster of Leading Ladies

Check out these eight pairs who have co-starred in a Hallmark Channel movie together and find out the one couple that recently split, a storyline rarely seen on the network known for happily-ever-afters: 

Katie Cassidy and Stephen Huszar

How fitting for true love to blossom on the set of A Royal Christmas Crush.

Cassidy and Huszar met in March while filming their TV movie in Canada, and they sparked romance rumors when she posted a photo on Instagram snap kissing Huszar on the cheek, calling him "Prince Charming" in the caption.

Cassidy confirmed their real-life relationship in June, sharing photos from the couple's vacation to Fiji, writing, "Welp, cat's out of the bag!”

Chris McNally and Julie Gonzalo

The pair quietly began dating when they met on the set of 2018's The Sweetest Heart, where they played high school sweethearts who find their way back to each other.

"At the end of the day, chemistry is about feeling good about the person you're with and knowing their energy," Gonzalo told FanSided at the time. "So we took the time to just kind of chat and talk and get to know each other as much as we could in the little time that we had. And then throughout the film, we were able to get together after work and read some lines."

The couple never publicly confirmed their relationship until Gonzalo revealed that they had welcomed their first child in June 2022.

Our hearts are full," the Veronica Mars actress captioned an Instagram photo of their newborn grabbing both parents' fingertips. "Welcome baby M."

Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega

After getting married in 2014, the couple starred in that year's Enchanted Christmas before going on to front the Picture Perfect Mysteries franchise for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

"When we're working, we're full-on working. But when we're home...it's just us," Alexa told E! News in February 2020. "It's our family. We focus on each other and we take time with each other."

Alexa called working on a film series together a "blessing" for the pair as they can spend more time with their two sons, Ocean and Kingston, and daughter, Rio Rey.

"I think the hardest thing in this industry is families get separated all the time because of work," the Spy Kids alum explained. "We really try to keep each other just together as a unit."

In November, the couple announced on Instagram that they are expecting baby "número cuatro."


Colin Donnell and Patti Murin

While the Broadway pair, who wed in 2015, have co-starred in two movies—2020's Love On Iceland and 2021's To Catch a Spy— and the NBC procedural Chicago Med, they never played love interests.

In an interview with People, Murin, who originated the role of Princess Anna in Frozen on Broadway, revealed she learned she was pregnant with their eldest, daughter Cecily, while they were filming their first Hallmark movie together in Iceland.

"We were going to do that 'not NOT trying' thing where you just throw caution into the wind. And then, it just happened," Murin said. "We are just literally a lesson for everyone out there that this is what happens when two adults don't use protection. I don't think either of us realized it would happen quite so quickly, but we're very fortunate it did."

Murin and Donnell announced in October that they are expected their second child. 

Eric Winter and Roselyn Sanchez

Though they've been married sine 2008, Winter and Sanchez didn't share the screen until 2019's A Taste of Summer. And including their two children, Dylan and Sebella, was a major factor in their decision to work together for the first time.

"We had talked about if and when we were going to act together," Winter told MediaVillage. "It had to be the right thing and something fun and cute that was a family affair, and that's what this was like. Our son and daughter could join us, so they were on set and able to be a part of the experience. That was important and a big part of the decision. The Hallmark audience is a great fan base and very supportive, so it all just felt like the right fit."

While Winter had previously starred in four films for the network, Sanchez made her Hallmark debut in the summer flick. 

"For me, this was my first Hallmark movie, and it was more about the first time doing something together, and if we are going to, let's do something suitable for our daughter to watch," Sanchez explained. "With Hallmark, everyone knows that they are positive feel-good movies, clean and very beautiful. We never really planned on acting together unless it was something very special. We'd talked about producing more than anything, as we both have independent careers. Then this came along and we thought, 'You know what? This would be something to sit down and watch as a family without freaking out that the material wouldn't be suitable.'"

Kevin McGarry and Kayla Wallace

Dating since 2020, McGarry and Wallace do not play a couple on their hit Hallmark Channel series When Calls the Heart. But they did play love interests in two 2022 films: In Feeling Butterflies and My Grown-Up Christmas List.

"Believe it or not, there's no clause in my contract that says I only do movies with him—I just enjoy working with the guy," Wallace said in an interview with MediaVillage. "Hallmark is a wonderful part of my life, and I'm so grateful for everything, and for all the experiences that they've brought my way."

Daniel Stine and Rachel Hendrix

After meeting on the set of the 2016 film Virginia Minnesota, Stine and Hendrix got married in 2019, the same year they co-starred in Hallmark's Midway to Love.


Victor Webster and Shantel VanSanten

Webster, a Hallmark Channel staple, and the One Tree Hill alum began dating one year after meeting on the set of 2017's Love Blossoms, with VanSanten telling Brides, "While working, we were just friends and in fact I helped him with his dating life."

The couple got engaged in February 2021, with VanSanten revealing the happy news on Instagram.

Webster and VanSanten got married in three different wedding ceremonies that year, including a civil ceremony on her grandparent's wedding anniversary date.

But Webster filed for divorce in January, with VanSanten confirming months later that they were in "meditation" when she responded with her own court filing, citing "irreconcible differences" as the reason for their split.

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