Back in the day, I can remember seeing my little brother appear by my bed, pulling on my hair, telling me it was time for “go, go.” It was his way of saying that he wanted to watch The Power Rangers. I would groan and sigh, but I would get up and we’d head to the couch, where I’d turn on the show, and he’d sit right beside me, mimicking all the moves they did on the screen.
Needless to say, there were quite a few accidental punches to the face back then. What can I say? A three year old is enthusiastic and has little to no idea about space.
Those memories are some of my core memories and they involve Erin Cahill. She may now be a Hallmark star, but she once was the Pink Power Ranger. Yet, once a Power Ranger, always a power ranger.
Sitting down to interview her for her movie, Hearts in the Game, I couldn’t have been more excited. Not only because she’s part of my core memories or because she has the same name as I do, but because she’s been in some of my favorite Hallmark movies. The actress seemed as if she would be so down to earth and so much fun.
They say to never meet your heroes, but in this case “they” would be wrong, because Erin Cahill is one of the kindest, humble, most down to earth stars I have ever interviewed.
When I signed onto Zoom, I realized that I was still signed into my work zoom and quickly switched. It’s corny, but we have the same name, and I wanted that to proudly be displayed. Names are such a big part of who we are and I have to say, over time, I have grown to appreciate the name Erin even more. Grown into it.
Erin means a variety of things, depending on where you look it up. But i’ve always been told that it means “peace” and that’s what we’re going with her. It felt right, because I did feel a sense of peace as she came onto the Zoom screen.
The first thing that a person (me, I am the person) notices about Cahill is her smile. I don’t even care how cheesy that sounds, because her trademark smile is part of her. She looks up at me and say “hi” before we start talking about our name.
She tells me that as soon as she saw my name was Erin, she knew it was going to be a good interview. Now, while I would love to say that is an indication, I am not sure. Why? Because I am nervous. I am always nervous in interviews.
I tell her how I got my name and I asked her if she knows why her parents gave her the name Erin. She smiles and says, “I don’t remember literally going to ask my mom,” she says picking up her notepad, “By the way, this is welcome to my brain. I take notes like this. This is me going, ‘Mom, my name.'”
I laugh, because I am the same way. I need notes, or my brain will forget.
She stars in tonights Spring into Love movie, which is about a PR guru who is asked to fix someones image so that the Mets will sign him. The issue? That baseball star is the man version of the boy that broke her heart in high school.
Now for a movie to pick The Mets (which I fully support), as a person who lives and breathes New York City, I was like well, that’s a tricky slope. The Mets or the Yankees? A person (again, I am the person) needed to know.
“You know what, I’m going to say. I’m Dodgers fan because of my mom. My mom is a huge Dodgers fan. My mom and sister and my aunt, my mom’s bestie, they watch every single game. They know all of the players’ names, their stats. They are so into it. I have to say that,” she says. I couldn’t have come up with a better answer.
I tell her that her Christmas movie last year, Christmas Bedtime Stories, was one of my favorite and about how I love her eclectic career. She thanks me and I can’t help but smile. But this isn’t about me and the real question is, when it comes to Hallmark, does she like doing Christmas movies or the romance movies better? (And yes, I know that the Christmas movies also have romance).
“Falling into Hallmark after 15 years or whatever was such a surprise amazing gift because I have done some comedies and a little bit of romcom, but not much at all. I had been crying and dying for over a decade.”
Now before anyone takes the at the wrong way, she’s talking about the roles she’s played, and yes, a lot of her characters have died, “A friend of mine or one of my family, I can’t remember who said it something however ago. It was like 20 years ago or something there or 18 years ago, they were like, ‘You cry, died, everything.’ Then I just kept doing it. When I started doing Hallmark and getting to tell these beautiful, heart-driven stories that everybody lives in, my family was so thankful, and me too.”
We’re both smiling, as she continues, “I know. I love horror movies. I went and saw a horror movie the other day and I was like, ‘Gosh, I don’t know if I would do that now.’ It’s an interesting thing now, having been so spoiled by Hallmark. My gosh, girl, listen, I just had something to eat because I realized my energy was really low, so I’m just getting back to a normal thinking human being.”
I am loving all of the things she’s telling me, when she stops herself and says, “I apologize. I didn’t answer your question at all. What draws me to these stories, what I’m so grateful for is the heart. It’s love. Hallmark‘s slogan last year was where love lives. Now especially with Hallmark being so inclusive and diverse and all my friends are being represented, it’s just the best place on the planet to be telling stories right now I think. I love the heart.”
As tonights movie opens, Erin’s character is dressed in a pink power suit, and I had thought that it was a nod to one of her most recognizable roles, the Pink Power Ranger. So I ask her about it, She says, “Can I just tell you also that pink suit was written in the script, nothing to do with me? Can you believe the coincidence?”
I was shocked that it was a coincidence, but it’s one I love. In the movie, Erin’s character of Hazel is always in a power suite and you can tell it’s what she feels most confident in. It’s why I want to know what Erin feels most confident in.
She continues by saying, “Such a coincidence. I’m like, ‘What? Thank you.’ I’m totally going to have to wear that when I meet some of my Ranger fans at some point. You’re right about Hazel in the power suits because I read it and I was like, ‘Yes, that’s what I–” I texted our director, I was like, “She’s a power suit, high heel, manicure always done kind of girl.” I love that because I’m always fairly put together, I hope. My husband always goes like, ‘Were you digging in dirt?’ Because I used to have– I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I’ve just been living.'”
She does something next that I didn’t expect, “For me, gosh, what’s my version of Hazel’s power suit? For me, I guess it is when I put on a pair of heels– I can wear jeans and heels, but for me, heels are so different because I don’t wear heels that often. You can see them, I got these almost like little cowboy boots on. What?”
She lifts her leg up and shows me her cute shoes, which I also have a pair of, so I totally get her love of the shoes that she’s wearing. She’s angling so I can see them, but I know exactly what shoes they are.
She concludes the answer by saying, “When I put on heels, I feel like the TV version of myself.”
As I sit there, I know that my time with her is almost over and I feel like it’s only been two seconds. I wonder how to phrase the question that I want to ask, but this is me, so I just blurt out what I want to know and say it the long winded way.
I say, “I feel like Hazel is very guarded because she was hurt in the past, but I also feel like watching the movie Hazel hurt people in the past. I feel like it’s this combination of her not wanting to be hurt and her not wanting to hurt anybody else. I feel like that’s why she tosses herself into work and that’s her only thing in life and things like that. My question for you is, do you feel like that or has Hazel just gotten so used to being alone that she’s just found comfort in being alone?”
We stare at each other for a second and she says, “I think you hit the nail on the head, Hazel, she accidentally hurt her friend. She didn’t mean to. She was just trying to do what was right for her but she inadvertently really hurt her friend and then her friend cut her out and then she got hurt. Gosh, I don’t know if this answered your question, but what I love about Hazel in the story is that we all are human and we all make mistakes and we all accidentally hurt people. Even Mother Theresa, I’m sure somehow accidentally hurt someone’s feelings in her life.”
She continues, “It’s just a part of being human. I really think that Hazel is just in a growing phase, a learning phase. Life does that. When you’re rolling along and then if you have something to learn, you’ll get that lesson. I think Hazel got the lesson of communication is so important. Communication can solve so much. I personally believe everything can be solved in communication. I just think Hazel needed to learn that and to grow a bit.”
And yes, I would have to agree with that. If we’re not growing, we’re not living. But, it’s time to wrap up and I am smiling, because I am happy and thankful for my time with someone who has been a part of my life, indirectly. Power Rangers forever.
We say out goodbyes, and I am off to order Chinese food. You’ll see why when you watch the movie, because it’s one of the most relatable scenes I have seen.
Hearts in the Game airs tonight on The Hallmark Channel.