Wes Brown's Latest Hallmark Movie was Inspired by His Wife Amanda's Southern Family
With an on-screen appearance by their 11-year-old daughter, Sweet Pecan Summer is a true family affair.
Wes Brown is no stranger to Hallmark fans as he's a regular in the feel-good network's flicks. But his latest film, Sweet Pecan Summer, is something different. It's a true family affair and a labor of love. And he's serving in more roles than just leading man in this one.
Brown is executive producer for Sweet Pecan Summer and its origins are a story written by his wife, Amanda, based on her real life, Southern family. "It's about her family," Brown recently told Southern Living. "She is from Florida. Aunt Carol lived in South Alabama as did most of her family," he said, explaining that his wife's family had a farm and the family went through the process of selling it together, much like the premise of the film. Brown's wife Amanda is in the process of launching a writing career and her doting husband proudly shared "her Aunt Carol meant a great, great, great, deal to her. And after she passed, the fact that first story she sells has Aunt Carol as the leading lady played by Lauren Tom was really super cool."
But the family connections don't end there. In the fictional story, Amanda, played by Christine Ko, takes a vacation from her corporate job in Atlanta to head back to Pecan Hill and her Aunt Carol's pecan farm to help her favorite aunt sort out the details of selling the farm. Playfully mischievous Aunt Carol hires Amanda's high school sweetheart, JP to sell the farm. JP is back in Pecan Hill after an injury ended his professional baseball career. And well, it's a Hallmark rom-com after all, old flames begin to spark once again between JP and Amanda. But here's where you should pay close attention: the community charity softball game. If you're observant you will spot a child playing in the big game that is Brown's real-life 11-year-old daughter Meribeth in her television debut.
"This was the first movie she got to be in with me. And we put her on the opposing team. So that was a lot of fun… She may not be getting drafted anytime soon but she had a lot of fun," Brown told us. Adding that the movie's director quietly captured a beautiful father-daughter moment when the cameras weren't meant to be rolling.
"We were basically just playing catch and the cameras were like 2-300 yards away and Dustin Rikert, our director, who is also a good friend of mine, who is also a dad, saw the opportunity to capture something really neat so he told the camera guys to roll on her and I playing catch… I was really appreciative that he did that. I'll have that forever."
It's a good thing that action on set had so much physical activity because, according to Brown, there were also plenty of sweet treats. "It is pecan heavy," he said with a laugh. "I don't know who on set was making them all but my goodness, they were good. They had pecan pies, pecan muffins, it is pecan heavy. So, I would say if you're a fan and you're watching it, if you want to join in on the fun, go get you some pecan treats and enjoy that while you watch the movie."
We couldn't agree more. And here are some ideas if you want to bake your own! Be sure to tune into Sweet Pecan Summer, premiering on Hallmark August 28, at 9PM EST.
And a little Yuletide inside scoop to hold you over until the holiday season? Brown told us his next Hallmark Christmas movie is filming in Mississippi and will be "true to the Delta Blues area." We can't wait!