Giada De Laurentiis Dishes on Mixing Love & Food in Hallmark’s ‘Always Amore’

    Food and romance often go hand-in-hand, and we’ll see that on display in the new Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movie Always Amore. In the film, restaurant owner Elizabeth (Autumn Reeser) is trying to keep her late husband’s Italian restaurant, Il Cibo E Vita, in business… but she doesn’t want the help of “restaurant fixer” Ben (Tyler Hynes).

    The pair clash as Elizabeth desperately wants to hold onto tradition while Ben sees opportunities to revamp many things about the eatery. Could they come to a middle ground where tradition and innovation (and maybe Elizabeth and Ben) can come together in harmony?

    While watching the rom-com, don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself hungry for Italian food because best-selling author, restauranteur, and TV personality Giada De Laurentiis is an executive producer on the project.

    During our chat with De Laurentiis, we found out how the movie got off the ground, whether the food we see in the film is from her own cookbooks, and just what it is about food and romance that is always a winning combination.

    How did the whole ball got rolling on the film? Did Hallmark come to you or did you go to them?

    Giada De Laurentiis: No, I went to them. I’ve been wanting to do these kinds of movies for a really, really long time. The characters are the main drive of the story but the food plays a wonderful sort of, supporting actor I guess, of the storyline. The passionate food and how it brings it together that feeling of warmth and positivity, and meaningful connections, family gatherings, traditions, all that stuff.

    In the beginning, I wanted to do it at Food Network because that was my home but they did nothing scripted so I went to Hallmark. and, honestly, I went to Hallmark four years ago and now the world has changed so much since I first pitched it but I was so excited in October when all of the sudden, out of the blue, they called and said “remember that project that you pitched four years ago? Well, we’re going to make it and we’re going to start shooting it in six weeks!”

    I had an early peek at the movie and had to go get Italian for dinner afterward. Coincidence?

    [Laughs] For most cultures, especially Italians, the whole world revolves around our food, and the people that connect us to that food. That’s very evident in the film’s story. Elizabeth is just desperately trying to keep her late husband’s restaurant afloat and she’s stuck in those ways because she feels that’s the only way to be connected after he’s passed and I think we all do that. There’s family recipes that we continue to make that remind us of people we’ve lost and those connections.

    Going off that, one of the themes of the movie is the idea of sticking the traditions or taking a step forward with those traditions. What’s your take on that?

    It’s pretty much what I’ve done my whole life, taken my family’s traditional recipes and heritage and given them a more modern spin. Elizabeth, through this whole process, has learned to come back in tune with some of her passions like baking, which she hadn’t done in so long. She realizes it’s okay to move forward and modernize the tradition. It’s important for us to move forward and hold onto those bits and pieces of traditions, love and passion but also reinvent yourself a little bit. That is the case with Elizabeth, who might ignite new love at this point, too!

    The food that we see and is talked about in the film, is that all from your book?

    For the most part, they are. That was the thing that gave me chills and I come from a movie family, so movies have been such a big part of our lives and food obviously as well. It’s fun to bring together and actually make a movie out of it.

    Giada De Laurentiis

    GDI Food Inc/Hallmark

    One of my questions was going to be about the relationship between food and love but now that we’re talking they intermingle, don’t they?

    Yes and this particular movie really shows how food and love define a whole generation of people. That’s happened in a lot of cultures and in the U.S.. We’ve little by little over the years really have started to find what food we love, but for many cultures around the world, that’s really what the connection is, and with other human beings. That passion for food, through their culture. And I think that this movie does it so beautifully. It’s just, it evokes such spirit, and I think a feeling of a motive that is just so, the name is so appropriate.

    Any chance you’re popping up in the film at all, in a cameo maybe?

    I wish! I unfortunately could not because of my existing deal. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to do it but I don’t think it takes away from anything of the experience. And I think that I’m still there and my spirit and my love of culture is still a part of the film.

    Always Amore, Autumn Reeser, Tyler Hynes


    Did executive producing this film whet your appetite to do more of these types of films?

    Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I hope that we’ll make many more of these. It feeds my soul somehow. I just love this feel-good way of telling stories and the family gathering part of it with the traditions. That’s a winning formula all in one.

    Always Amore, Movie Premiere, Sunday, April 3, 9/8c, Hallmark Channel

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