Why Hallmark's A Zest For Death Was A True Family Affair For Alison Sweeney

Hallmark fan favorite Alison Sweeney appears in yet another installment of the network's "Hannah Swensen Mystery" movie series called "A Zest for Death." In the 2023 film, Sweeney stars as Hannah Swensen, a crime-solving baker on a mission to resolve a murder with the help of her mother and sisters. As it turns out, the film wasn't just a fictional family affair for Sweeney.

The actor was joined on set by her son, Ben Sanov, but not in the way you might think. As an intern, Sanov's role was primarily behind the scenes while his mom captivated the camera. Though Sanov was only 18 at the time of filming, Sweeney explained to People that she wanted both her kids to gain real-life experience with potential jobs. She noted that her son does have an after-school job, but we're guessing that one may not have allowed him to pursue the possibility of a career in the entertainment industry like his internship did. 

Sanov said of his position, or should we say positions: "I had a rotating internship. One of my roles on set was helping out the props department. Another was an assistant to the camera operator. I learned a lot about the dynamics of a set and how the crew works together." Even Sweeney had a few tricks of the trade to teach her son.

Alison Sweeney had many goals for her son's learning experience

When the camera stopped rolling during the production of "A Zest for Death," Ben Sanov divulged that Alison Sweeney asked him to hold onto props on a few occasions. While he initially assumed his mom was just asking him a favor, he confessed to People, "My mom gave me some insight into the level of detail that I need to pay attention to." He said he now knows "the importance of holding actors' props for them so they keep a critical prop from getting lost." Sweeney agreed that she tries to impart some wisdom whenever possible, but she also wanted the experience to be "interesting and fun" while giving him a confidence boost.

The "Days of Our Lives" star gushed that she adores having her kids nearby while working. It isn't a surprise, considering she previously divulged how hard it is to be a working mom. When she wrote a piece for SheKnows called, "I refuse to let my film schedule keep me from connecting with my kids," Sweeney detailed how she does everything in her power to keep in contact with her children when she is on location for weeks at a time. The mother of two explained that she relies on many methods of communication to help maintain the connection, including texting, calling, and chatting with her family over FaceTime.

Still, she wasn't afraid to admit that she'd fly home occasionally just to be present with her loved ones, even if she had only a 24-hour window.

Could Ben Sanov eventually join his mom in front of the camera?

Alison Sweeney's kids are growing up and deciding which career path to venture down. Her son, Ben Sanov, wasn't shy about his passion for film production while interning on "A Zest for Death," but maybe we could see him take an onscreen role in the future.

In an Instagram post, the proud mom announced that Ben claimed the starring role in his high school play. Fresh off the stage from performing in "Macbeth," and outfitted in a crown and red cape, the teenager smiled next to his celebrity mother. The former "The Biggest Loser" host praised her son's acting talents, writing, "He nailed it. So awesome! #proudparents."

Sweeney and her husband, David Sanov, live in Los Angeles with their two kids, the ideal location for an acting hopeful. Of course, Ben could decide to follow in his father's footsteps. David was a California Highway Patrol officer for over two decades before his retirement in 2022. However, Sweeney doesn't seem concerned about whether or not Ben has it all figured out right now. "There are so many different career opportunities available today that I love when opportunities allow Ben to understand all the options available to them," she told People. What a rockstar mom!