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Since the world collectively hit pause when the coronavirus pandemic took hold last year, we've all had to find ways to stay entertained while staying at home. Some of us took up baking bread or cooking our grandmother's classic comfort dishes. Others took on DIY house projects and home gardens.

Southern Living recently caught up with one of our favorite Hallmark faces, Tyler Hynes, and he shared that just like the rest of us, he's taken up a few hobbies to keep busy in the past year. Just like many of us, this came in the form of home improvement. "A friend of mine and I, one of my closest friends, we purchased a cottage that we're renovating so that's been a project. {To} create a place where our families and friends can have a little place to escape to without having to travel," he shared. And while he claimed, "I know my way around a hammer," the Canadian actor admitted that he knows when to let the experts take over. "These guys are professionals and can tell you all kinds of things that you should do that you would never even think of."

It Was Always You Tyler Hynes
Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/ Luba Popovic

In addition to the cottage, like many of us, Hynes brought a new fur baby into his home last year as well. "He's a pandemic puppy. Purebred pandemic puppy," Hynes said with a laugh. "It's something I wanted to do for a while and I just never had the time to sort of focus on it and do it right, and the opportunity hadn't presented itself… My family had always adopted a lot of puppies. Dogs, so I started looking into that and when I finally had time to do it, it was during the pandemic. And yeah, I finally was able to give the right amount of time and focus and investment I wanted to give, bringing a new dog home."

But Hynes has also spent much of this pandemic like the rest of us have, watching movies, one genre in particular. "Over the holidays somebody had told me to turn on some Hallmark movies and so I did and then it kinda kickstarted this romantic comedy kick. I realized I've watched a few now, just on my own... Meet Joe Black, Love Actually, Notting Hill. Notting Hill is up there for me. 50 First Dates. I even went back to She's All That." A film that is in regular rotation for Hynes while he's filming his own work is also from the romantic column.

"My favorite movie of all time is a romantic movie called The Phantom Thread with Daniel Day Lewis… it's my favorite movie of all time for all kinds of reasons." Hynes also shared that another actor he greatly admires is no stranger to the rom-com. "I think Huge Grant is super underrated. I think Notting Hill is fantastic. I think Love Actually is fantastic. I think Hugh Grant is, to me it seemed like he was almost criticized for doing so many romantic movies when he did. I mean that's essentially what we're doing at Hallmark. We're doing these movies back-to-back. But I think they did an incredible job back then. If you listen to the words that you say and then what he does with them, what it would have been on the script as to what it ends up in the movie, it's really, really impressive."

It's clear that for Hynes, a movie binge is more than just entertainment. He's studying.

"There are so many great romantic movies out there that I feel like, I'm really happy that Hallmark has carved out this niche and kind of revitalized this genre. And I think, as it starts to grow and evolve, we can get closer and closer to those kinds of movies with the movies that we make, I hope."

And fortunately for all of us, despite the pandemic, Hynes and Hallmark have been hard at work. You'll recall we saw him last in On the 12th Date of Christmas, and coming up this weekend, we'll get to see him starring opposite Erin Krakow in, It Was Always You on Hallmark Channel. With nods to classic rom-com When Harry Met Sally, It was Always You tells the story of David and Elizabeth, two old friends who reconnect and help each other discover the very best of themselves. And what do you know? One of the things that they bond over? Watching movies.

It Was Always You Tyler Hynes Erin Krakow
Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/ Luba Popovic

Be sure to catch It Was Always You, premiering on Hallmark Channel, Saturday February 27, at 9PM EST