The Hallmark Couples With The Best On-Screen Chemistry

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One of the secret formulas to a feel-good Hallmark romantic-comedy is the chemistry between the lead actors. Though the network releases nearly a hundred romance movies every year, they don't often do a chemistry read during casting. Instead, the actors are often thrust together and have to get to know each other quickly. In some cases, they might already have a real-life relationship or have starred together before, making the process much easier.

Dan Jeannotte, who starred in Hallmark's "Sweeter Than Chocolate," told TV Fanatic that he's learned a valuable thing working on these films. He believes the connection between two romantic leads works best if a genuine bond is formed even before filming. "What I think you need to try to do is you've got to jumpstart an authentic connection, not a romantic one, but you need to connect with the other person," he said. 

Whether a real connection was made on set or not, many of Hallmark's on-screen couples hit the spot when it comes to unbeatable chemistry. From Josie Bissett and Jack Wagner's decade-long friendship to Alexa and Carlos PenaVega's married life on- and off-screen, these duos prove that viewers will always come back for a believable romance.

Laura Vandervoort and Nicholas Gonzalez

There's magic in the art of matchmaking. The popularity of Jane Austen's "Emma" and Julia Quinn's Queen Charlotte in "Bridgerton" proves that sometimes an intervention is just the right push needed for a great love story — and that's exactly what happened for Laura Vandervoort and Nicholas Gonzalez's characters in Hallmark's "Playing Cupid."

In the 2021 film — a modern-day spin on "Emma" — a middle-schooler named Clara (Mia Quaranta De La Rosa) sets up her divorced father, David (Gonzalez), with her recently-single teacher, Kerri (Vandervoort). The actors clicked effortlessly, resulting in many positive reviews from fans.

QC Approved celebrated the characters' relatability and how palpable their chemistry was. Another review from Jamie's Two Cents explored how both Kerri and David struggled with second-guessing their decisions and liked that they gauged whether they were both ready for new love before jumping into a relationship, also noting the actors did a great job portraying raw emotion.

Josie Bissett and Jack Wagner

The friendship between Hallmark stars Josie Bisset and Jack Wagner began on the primetime soap opera "Melrose Place." The show, which ran from 1992 to 1999, was a testament to the undeniable chemistry between the actors. The cast of "Melrose Place" has changed a lot since 1992, but this friendship has remained. More than 15 years later, the two reunited on-screen with the 2016 Hallmark movie "The Wedding March." Wagner played a wedding singer who performs at the nuptials of his college sweetheart, portrayed by Bisset. 

Their reunion project became such a massive hit that it spawned several sequels, "Wedding March 2: Resorting To Love" in 2017; "Wedding March 3: Here Comes The Bride" and Wedding March 4: Something Old, Something New" in 2018; "Wedding March 5: My Boyfriend's Back" in 2019; and "Wedding March 6: Sealed With a Kiss" in 2021. 

During an interview with Hallmark, Wagner shared that Bisset was fun to work with. He talked about the funny moments they had on set, recalling, "She loses her phone about four times a day, her glasses, she doesn't know where her bag is." He even gave her the nickname "Toad" from "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." Meanwhile, Bisset said their great chemistry resulted from their history together on- and off-screen.

Taylor Cole and Jack Turner

Taylor Cole and Jack Turner's first project together was the 2016 Hallmark film "My Summer Prince." Cole, a former fashion model, portrays the role of a public relations executive hired to clean up the image of a British royal with a history of scandalous behavior, played by Turner. The actors' on-screen chemistry proved to be a massive success, and they were then cast together in a film trilogy for the network.

After starring in "My Summer Prince," Cole and Turner were cast as leads in "One Winter Weekend" in 2018. The story revolves around the romance formed between a writer and an entrepreneur after meeting on a snowboarding trip. This film was followed by its sequel, "One Winter Proposal," in 2019 and the final part, "One Perfect Wedding," in 2021.

In an interview with Ruth Hill of My Devotional Thoughts, Turner noted that his chemistry with Cole worked because they both enjoy working with each other. He also described Cole as a great listener and a wonderful person who treated everyone on set with kindness. Meanwhile, Cole says the two are basically family now, and she's comfortable working with Turner. "We already have our flow and chemistry, and [it's easy] to get back into it," she told TV Goodness.

Jen Lilley and Brendan Penny

In "A Dash of Love," Jen Lilley plays a chef named Nikki, who gets the opportunity to work at her idol's restaurant. There, she meets the executive chef — and love interest — Paul, portrayed by Brendan Penny. When both Nikki and Paul are fired, they work together to start a restaurant of their own.

Like any other Hallmark movie, this romantic comedy swears by the leads' chemistry. Being the strong actors that they are, Lilley and Penny were able to stand by this trademark. A review by Trevor Wells of Vocal Media noted the actors' compelling portrayal of the friends turned lovers and commended how the actors are at their best in their scenes together. This was supported by another review from The Movie Scene, which touted the pair's ability to deliver a formulaic Hallmark story with believable chemistry and celebrated their ability to give the fans exactly what they want.

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega

Who else would have better on-screen chemistry than a real-life couple like Alexa and Carlos PenaVega? Alexa, who is widely known for playing Carmen Cortez in the "Spy Kids" movies, has shared the screen with her husband — and member of the band Big Time Rush — many times. The PenaVegas have appeared in several Hallmark projects together, including "Enchanted Christmas," "Love at Sea," and "Love in the Limelight," among others. The pair has now become a staple on the network and signed a multi-picture deal with them in 2022.

Much like how stories go in the movies, the pair's romance is also one for the books. According to an interview with Fox News, Alexa had just gotten divorced when she met Carlos in a Bible study group. Despite her self-imposed rule against dating anyone in the entertainment industry, the two hit it off and were married in 2014. After much thought, the couple decided to leave Los Angeles and relocate to Hawaii to raise their three children. The pair released a memoir called "What If Love is the Point? Living for Jesus in a Self-Consumed World" in 2022, which details their journey together.