via press release:
ANDY GARCIA, MARY-LOUISE PARKER AND MANDY MOORE
HEADLINE AN ALL-STAR CAST IN HALLMARK HALL OF FAME’S
“CHRISTMAS IN CONWAY,” PREMIERING DECEMBER 1 ON ABC
Cheri Oteri and Riley Smith Also Guest Star
Oscar®, Emmy® and multiple Golden Globe® award nominee Andy Garcia (“The Godfather Part III,” “For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story") and Mary-Louise Parker (Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner for “Angels in America,” Golden Globe winner® for “Weeds” and Tony Award winner for “Proof”) are joined by Mandy Moore (“Tangled,” “The Princess Diaries”), Cheri Oteri (“Saturday Night Live,” “Grown Ups 2”) and Riley Smith (“90210,” “Radio”) in The Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of “Christmas in Conway,” SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2013 (9:00-11:00p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Duncan Mayor (Andy Garcia) decides the perfect Christmas present for his beloved wife, Suzy (Mary-Louise Parker), is a ride on a real Ferris wheel, set up in their very own back yard. As a young man, it was the perfect place for a wedding proposal. Now, years later, in order to relive the experience with his wife, Duncan will go to any length to make their fantasy become a reality.
Natalie Stringer (Mandy Moore), a home-care nurse, moves in with Suzy and Duncan to care for Suzy -- much to the annoyance of Duncan, who resents the intrusion.
Love is in the air, and not just between Suzy and Duncan. Romantic sparks also fly between Natalie and Tommy Harris (Riley Smith), a landscape designer who’s working on a project with the Mayor’s irascible next-door neighbor, played by Cheri Oteri.
“It’s probably an exaggeration to say its love at first sight,” says Mandy Moore in an on-set interview. “But, that said, there’s certainly an attraction at first sight. We’re about the same age, we’re both sensitive, caring people, and we’re both unattached.”
Mary-Louise Parker describes Christmas in Conway as “unabashedly romantic.” She continues, “There’s pure devotion between these two characters, Suzy and Duncan. There’s no dark history, no betrayal. Just total love between two human beings. It’s usually the darker story that gets told, and that’s the story I’m usually attracted to as an actor. But the purity of Duncan and Suzy’s love, the enduring nature of their love, that’s what attracted me to this.”
Andy Garcia says, simply, “It’s a beautiful story.” He adds, “The notion of a man loving his wife so much that he’d build this Ferris wheel in their back yard so they can relive a magical moment in their life together… When they told me Mary-Louise Parker was involved, I said, `Okay, I’m in.”
“Christmas in Conway” is directed by John Kent Harrison (“What the Deaf Man Heard,” “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler”). The script is by Stephen P. Lindsey (“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”) and Luis Ugaz. Hawk Koch (“Source Code,” “Gorky Park”) and Brent Shields (“The Magic of Ordinary Days,” “Remember Sunday”) are executive producers. It is produced by Andrew Gottlieb (“Have a Little Faith,” “Christmas with Holly”). It is from Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions.