Why Hallmark's Shifting Gears Was So Important To Star Tyler Hynes

Tyler Hynes has become a Hallmark mainstay, and his March 2024 film "Shifting Gears" is his best Hallmark romance yet. A major part of the plot is the tension between the main characters' families, Hynes' Luke and Katherine Barrell's Jess. Off-screen, however, Hynes' real-life family actually got to be a part of the movie since it was filmed around where he's from: Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

In an interview with TV Goodness, Hynes said, "My mother was there a lot because she's from the town that we shot in, which was a huge, beautiful thing for me. And my nieces got to come and be in the movie." He explained how one of the producers, Mike Barbuto, is the one who asked Hynes about putting his nieces Ella and Haylie in the movie the day they were on set just to watch. "And I said, 'Oh, yeah. They would love it.' And they did love it. And they're right front and center. You see them both looking under a hood of a car and then meeting Kat."

On International Women's Day 2024, Hynes shared a post on Instagram that chronicled his nieces' time in front of the camera. He jokingly captioned one part of the video, "Haylie and Ella: 'We can do your job.' Me: 'prove it.' They did." Although Hynes' mom, Betty, stayed off-camera, Hynes wants to make her an extra in a future production.

Hynes described his mother's love of movies in an Instagram video

While speaking to TV Goodness, Tyler Hynes said his mother, Betty, sat in his eyeline while he was filming with his co-star Colton Royce. "She just wanted to be there," Hynes said. "And who's gonna stop her? Not me, certainly." That set visit was also shared on Hynes' Instagram account, captioning one video clip: "This is the first time she's joined me back on set in 20 years." He also shared clips his mom shot of the scene and added, "Her love of going to the movies, which she passed to me, is surpassed only by her love of seeing them being made."

Hynes spoke about his mother in a "Shifting Gears" interview for People as well. He joked that "she would've murdered me" had he turned down the role since it was shot in Ottawa. "She has access to my emails," Hynes said, adding that she knew about the offer first and encouraged him to take the job. His mom said she wouldn't visit set right away.

"But immediately," Hynes said. "I walk off set, and there she is behind the monitors, already introduced to everybody." She cited living so close as her reason for needing to be there. "And so she became a staple behind the monitors, just illegally filming all the scenes and having a blast. And it was the best," Hynes said.

Hynes' mother has 'earned' the chance to watch him film

Tyler Hynes absolutely didn't mind having his mother on set because he partly owes his career to her. While speaking to People, Hynes raved about how she did things such as traveling with him on theater tours and taking him to auditions when he was a younger actor. "So she can stand behind anybody while I'm acting with them, as awkward as that might be," Hynes said. "And she could stand behind any monitor that she likes because she's certainly earned it."

Hynes also told the outlet how his nieces felt like they could do his job. Hynes gave them the chance to try, and he could tell they were "a little bit nervous. But then I saw them overcome it and they did amazing." He even joked to Us Weekly that one of his nieces was too good while reciting his co-star Katherine Barrell's lines, so he needed to "pull the plug."

Another reason "Shifting Gears" was important to Hynes and many others was that it was part of Hallmark's female-led filmmaking initiative, Make Her Mark, created by Ashley Williams. As the inaugural Make Her Mark participant, Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe made her debut in the director's chair for "Shifting Gears" after shadowing another director on "Dream Moms." Hynes is a fan of the initiative, telling People, "These movies are made primarily for women, and I think what a correct place to be doing this."