Interview: Jen Lilley celebrates motherhood, new Hallmark Christmas movie

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photo provided by Anderson Group Public Relations
Actress Jen Lilley photo credit: Brandon Moningka

Actress Jen Lilley has much to be merry about with motherhood and her new Hallmark Christmas movie Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday.

Jen Lilley’s hands may be as full as Santa’s sleigh. The actress juggles motherhood with both an acting and music career. Jen has a rich history of embracing motherhood via the adoption and foster parenting of her two boys and very recently giving birth to her daughter. She also advocates for children on multiple fronts.

Somehow Jen still manages to gift Hallmark fans with a new Christmas movie coming Sunday December 15th to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!

photo provided by Anderson Group Public Relations
Actress Jen Lilley
Photo credit: Brandon Moningka

Let’s hear what Jen has to say about her latest Hallmark Christmas movie Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday and much more.

What can you tell us about your latest Hallmark Christmas movie Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday coming soon to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries?                                

Jen: Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday premieres Sunday December 15th on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. In Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday, written by Samantha Herman (who also wrote Mingle All the Way), I play book editor, Hannah Pressman, who loves romantic fictions, but doesn’t believe the heroes depicted in said novels actually exist. Her childhood companion turned competition, Ryan McDonald (played by Carlo Marks), returns to town from his fancy publishing job in New York to handle his parents’ estate.

When Ryan starts taking over Hannah’s job, misconceptions and witty banter ensue, until the pair have the classic “It Had to Be You”/When Harry Met Sally revelation. Directed by Jonathan Wright, produced by David Anselmo, Amy Krell, and Brad Krevoy, I am overjoyed to have this be my first movie back after giving birth to my daughter.

The onset of the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas kicks off holiday excitement for many fans. When do you start getting into the holiday spirit each year?            

Jen: Before kids, I literally put up my tree the last week of October.  So like Hallmark Channel, I am ALL ABOUT Countdown to Christmas, which started October 25th!  Literally, trick-or-treaters would come to my door and see my tree up and leave so confused. I loved seeing their faces!

Once I opened up my home to children, however, I decided to slow down and savor each season and holiday. I still put up my tree by the week of Thanksgiving, but this year, I’m going to try to hold out until the first week of December. I’m not sure if I’ll make it that far because I absolutely LOVE Christmas decor!

Nothing makes me feel cozier than white lights, hot chocolate, the fireplace crackling, Christmas tunes playing softly in the background, and my toddlers dreaming of Christmas morning.

Given a choice would you rather celebrate the Christmas holiday in the mountains, a bustling city, on a farm or somewhere else? 

Jen: Tough call. Probably in the mountains, but anywhere my husband and kids are works for me.

I would love to have A Hallmark Mysteries series.

Can you give fans some insight into the challenges of juggling motherhood with both acting and music careers?                                       

Jen: I think the old adage, “work hard, play hard” is key. When I’m working, I’m 100% focused on the task at hand. When I’m with my children, I’m 100% focused on our quality time together. Of course it’s challenging, and I often wonder if I’m making the best decisions for my family and my career, but so far, both are still moving forward.

I’m just hoping I can fill each role with excellence so that one day, my music and acting will allow me to open up a children’s village or community that supports, protects, and heals children in foster care.

How has motherhood informed your work as an actor? I would imagine you have new experiences to draw from. Is that the case?    

Jen: It absolutely informs my acting. Most recently, I had a scare with the kids and used a protective, authoritative mom tone that literally made me and my toddlers stop in their tracks and follow suit. It was a low tone that even startled me, but made me realize I could now play a mother whose kids were in danger and make it raw and real, and that’s empowering.

Just for fun, in addition to making movies, is there a particular Hallmark series you would like to be a part of?

Jen: I would love to have a Hallmark Mysteries series. I have always wanted to play a detective, a CIA or FBI agent, or a criminal analyst. That would be a dream come true!


Many thanks to Jen Lilley for generously sharing some great insight into her many different roles in life both real and fictional.

Set your calendars for Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday on Sunday December 15th on Hallmark Movies & Myseries. And let’s keep our fingers crossed for seeing Jen in a mystery series, too!

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