The Crown Media family of networks continues to develop their inclusive programming.
Color My World with Love does what Hallmark does best: It shares an inspiring love story in which delightful characters overcome obstacles to find great love.
What’s different about Color My World with Love is that it features two leads with disabilities: Lily D. Moore and David Desanctis.
Lily and David both live with Down Syndrome. They also share a love for acting. Lily has been on Never Have I Ever and Single Drunk Female, while David previously starred with Kristoffer Polaha in the feature film, Where Hope Grows.
Color My World with Love features two romances. Lily and David play Kendall and Brad, who have a deep affection and blossoming love for one another.
Erica Durance stars as Lily’s protective mother, Emma, who has spent her life keeping Lily safe and free from pain. When Lily shows interest in Brad, Emma, whose own heart was broken, worries that it will end badly.
Benjamin Ayres plays Nic, part of a family that cared for David after the death of his partents. They call themselves ‘brothers from another mother’ and spend a lot of time together.
As Kendall and Brad fall in love, Emma and Nic find themselves leaning in the same direction.
And Color My World With Love finds Erica and Ben together again after costarring on Saving Hope, and they’re both thrilled to be starring together again and bringing awareness to Lily and David’s talents.
Erica was drawn to the production because of the relationships but also liked that they were “sharing a different love story,” she said.
“I was so excited to be part of something different and necessary and essential. And then I had the opportunity to meet Lily, and she’s just phenomenal. I was like, ‘I got to work with this girl.'”
Ben has been very active with Crown Media over the years and is always up for another opportunity, but when he got his hands on the script, he said he was weeping by its end.
Ben was initially drawn by the opportunity to work with Erica again, but the story won him over.
Erica describes Emma and Kendall as “very, very close” and the best of friends because of the time they spend together. “But then you start to see this tension of this girl that wants to grow up. She wants to experience life and love, and she sees the world with all this hope and possibility.”
Emma is a mom trying to handle her daughter and is afraid of letting go. But by watching Kendall falling in love, Emma learns about love and starting over.
Ben has developed a very close friendship with David since filming. The entire cast and crew receive daily updates from David, in which he describes his day.
That might sound dull if the messages were from someone other than David, who doesn’t just list an agenda but shares his plans of attack with descriptions like “today I’ll play a passionate game of tennis” or a “take-it-easy” game of tennis.
The way David communicates with Ben and others has given Ben a refresher course on how to ensure every day is meaningful bright.
Both Erica and Ben are inspired by how Lily and David live in the moment.
Erica said, “Lily lives in the present. She lives so beautifully in the moment, is really comfortable with herself and her feelings and emotions, and has this steady, grounded view of the world of life.
“And there’s just this assurance that she has with what’s the right thing to do,” Erica said, “She just reminded me again to be in the present, to be grateful, to be open and honest.”
Ben shared a similar viewpoint and extolled the pure way that David approaches all aspects of his life. It’s even inspired Ben’s acting, and he described how David is always prepared, but even more, how he allows himself the freedom to infuse different takes with what he’s feeling as his character.
In one particular scene, Ben said that David put his head into his lap and that it was so pure and generous that it immensely elevated an already-emotional scene.
Erica and Ben didn’t know what to expect going into the production, but they were impressed with how caring, present, and well-prepared their castmates were, and they assure you’ll feel the same.
There is a lot to love about this cast, for sure, and the uplifting story will brighten your weekend.
Erica and Ben hope that you’ll open your hearts to this different type of love story and that it will shape your world as it has theirs.
Color My World with Love premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday, June 12 at 9/8c.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.