Before you know it, Hallmark will be knee-deep in Christmas.
But before you put on you jolly cap and decorate the tree, we still have some other celebrating to do.
Good Witch: Curse From a Rose airs Saturday, October 19 at 8/7c.
The Good Witch got its start with Halloween, and Middleton is going all out for the holiday. But someone visits Middleton with the hopes of turning their festivities upside down.
That someone is the aptly named Autumn Delaney, Cassie’s long-lost college roommate. From Cassie’s perspective, all is well, but unbeknownst to her (or is it?), Autumn harbors some ill will toward her old friend.
Bringing Autumn to life is film and television actress Lolita Davidovich, and she beautifully portrays someone who has lost their grounding force.
Have no doubt that Cassie will win over the heart of her friend once again with her wise and understanding ways.
It is not Lolita’s first time on Hallmark, though. She’s previously starred in the 2018 Christmas movie Once Upon a Christmas Miracle with Aimee Teegarden and Paris, Wine and Romance earlier this year on the network.
In the latter she guest-starred with Dan Jeannotte who plays Cassie’s stepson, Brandon on Good Witch.
Once you’re a member of the Hallmark family, the opportunities seem plentiful, and Lolita couldn’t be happier about it.
Within four days of landing the role on Paris, Wine and Romance which also starred Jen Lilley, Lolita was on a plane heading for Sofia, Bulgaria where the movie was filmed.
“I've had just a great time working with them,” Lolita said about Hallmark. “The most well run, professional, benevolent people involved, from the top all the way to the crew.”
Paris, Wine and Romance “takes place in wineries. I play a Parisian women who owns a winery and was going to have to hand it down to one of the sons to take over.
“Then he meets a woman from Oregon who is the daughter of a vintner, and they fall in love, and they create their own wines. The future wine.
“Everybody, everybody involved is just so benevolent in every way. Well run production. Just really kind, sweet, talented. Yeah, very impressive,” she enthused.
“They're presenting such delightful varied, very varied roles to play. It's been a riot. It hasn't been easy to fit into my schedule because they're all over the place. Like I said, four days later I'm flying to Bulgaria from reading a script. Yeah, such a pleasure.”
Lolita was familiar with the Good Witch franchise before landing the role of Autumn. “Well, I love Catherine Bell, and I would watch it from time to time because I had a teenage daughter.
“I really knew the tone of it, so I was delighted to play a character with some mischief coming in to create some trouble on the show, and seeing if she could.”
Cassie’s relationship with Autumn ended badly and never got resolved. From sharing so much to being at odds was difficult for Autumn, who harbored bad memories and an intent to make Cassie pay for her transgressions.
“Doing a role that's on a journey of revisiting that relationship, and coming in with malevolent thoughts and feelings, and going through a journey of internal investigation to understand why that happened in college, and maybe it wasn't how I remembered it.
“Because in your youth, you're so subjective. Everything is so subjective. You don't have much subjectivity and distance and wisdom,” Lolita said.
So with maturity on my character's side, Autumn, and to have Cassie with her qualities, her magical qualities influence her old friend to a kind of epiphany. It was just a great, fun role to do.”
Lolita eloquently pointed to Cassie’s abilities as influencing those around her. She helps people to see the good in life rather than focusing on negativity.
“Even if Cassie didn't have magical powers, her lack of defensiveness and that clarity and wisdom that she has is already so much more than we often have or approach things with.
“That already is an opener to have somebody meet you, or to just lend itself to more open communication and change and better relationships,” Lolita said.
And Lolita thought it was a lot of fun playing the angsty side of Autumn. She doesn’t want to live like that, but it’s a lot of fun to explore through a role.
“But it was fun to play someone who had 20 years, 25 years of energy built up. She was just so convinced that her perspective on what happened was the absolute truth."
“Then to want to get in touch with her own intuitive, mystical strengths and abilities to create mischief, but was met with someone whose positivity was so powerful that it just dissolved and slowly led to Autumn unwinding and peeling away the layers of angst and negativity and darkness to the essence of who she was, before she spiraled in her adult life into a negative place of doubt and anger and resentment and bitterness and blame, and all those things.
“That journey was what was exciting about being Autumn.”
We never underestimate Cassie’s abilities to shed light on the lives of others, and on Good Witch: Curse from the Rose, she’ll be doing that for Autumn who, Lolita said, “became better than she ever was. Because now she was a realized mature person with that kind of light and innocence.
If you’re a fan of all things Halloween, it might surprise you to learn that Lolita wasn’t a big Halloween person growing up. “I think I chose acting because that was the dress up, that was the investigation into dark spirits and different characters and essences.“
Did the spirit of Good Witch move her? Do you have any doubt?
“But, I got to tell you, if I had to throw a Halloween party, or create some sort of Halloween event or something, the ideas, the creativity that the art department and designers, obviously writers who concocted this whole scenario of the [Good Witch] Halloween, theirs was so fantastic that I would take from their idea.
The idea of going back to the 1800s, it just made it so mysterious and romantic at the same time. Just rich. It was just palpable with spirits and Halloween magic.
It was such a fun experience that Lolita is certainly open to Autumn spending more time with Cassie in Middleton. “Oh my god, absolutely. Absolutely,” she said excitedly.
“The possibilities are certainly there. Because nothing is finite. The two of them are such different, interesting people with different backgrounds, but with enough in common and enough history. But I think the possibilities are certainly there.”
Lolita shared a bit about her next Hallmark endeavor, Write Before Christmas, too. On that, she costars with Chicago Med’s Torrey DeVitto, Riverdale’s Chad Michael Murray, and Dynasty’s Grant Show. What a cast!
The movie centers around newly single Jessica (DeVitto) who sends Christmas cards to people who have impacted her life including her aunt who raised her, her younger brother in the military, a pop star who was part of the soundtrack of her life, the music teacher who inspired her, and the best friend who is always telling the truth.
Lolita shared, “She was buying these cards to get a guy to embrace Christmas wholeheartedly and thinking that these cards will help, and he didn't deserve it. It was such a great opportunity. The premise is so great that it's like, hey, there are other people that are more deserving.
“The idea of cards, something that you can hold,” really attracted Lolita. “You want to get away from the instant computer thing, the impersonal social media.
“I mean, for someone to hold a card, and they can revisit it, and it can stare at you, and it can travel with you, it just brings so much more to you.
“So the fact that she took these cards and took the time to reflect on the individuals that have touched her in her life, it is such a beautiful realization and thing to act on. I am actually doing the same thing.”
Like many of us, especially those of us who love to watch all of the Hallmark offerings, Lolita doesn’t have nearly enough time to watch all of the holiday movies she’d like. But she cannot get over the love and appreciation she gets for being a part of the Hallmark tradition.
"What I'm so happy about is the number of people that stop me either in the grocery store, on the street, or at the airport, or whatever, to comment on the things they see me on, and how much they count on these Hallmark shows, and how refreshing they are in light of how dark certain things are and the news.
“And the comfort that they get from it, and how much they're loving the part that I'm doing. It's crazy just how many people are coming up to me and saying they saw this, or they saw that, and they love that part. It's been really fun. Really unexpected.”
She continued, “Because it brings joy to people. Yeah. And it's bringing such joy to people, and smiles to people. Of all kinds of people. Men and women. It's amazing how many men have come up to me, actually. From the butchers at grocery stores leaning over the counters, to a neighbor, to someone who worked on a production. All kinds. Husbands!"
For the time being, she’ll be sharing time with her family. Visiting her daughter at college is a treat for Lolita.
Be sure to tune into Good Witch: Curse from a Rose tonight on Hallmark, and stay tuned for Write Before Christmas, which is scheduled to premiere Sunday, November 17.
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.