• Audra A. Russell


Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Michaela got the call from her agent that she booked the role for 'Mikayla' in the Hallmark Christmas movie Two Turtle Doves. He sent the full script and informed us that Production would be in contact. It was a Tuesday morning...Production called and notified us they would be flying Michaela and parent to Winnipeg, Canada on Thursday!

Much to do before the 5:00 a.m. departure out of Atlanta in less than 48 hours (to include driving back to Atlanta from Mississippi, packing for a month, and learning the script!). The day and half leading up to the departure for Winnipeg was a blur, but we capture some memorable moments of our time in Canada (Michaela's first trip out of the country).

A behind the scenes look at filming in Canada:


Winnipeg, Canada.

Biggest surprise!!!!! Nikki!!!!!!

Michaela had no idea who she'd be working with. She would dream and imagine that the two leads would be Nikki DeLoach and Michael Rady. Filming Love to the Rescue with both of them for Hallmark Channel was a dream. How could two dreams come true in one year?

When the AD texted to say what time he'd pick Michaela and dad up in the morning...he said they would pick Nikki up first and then Michaela next on the way to set... a huge explosion of joy went off.

No idea this would ever be possible.

Photo: moment captured when Michaela is reunited with Nikki DeLoach in Winnipeg, Canada to film Two Turtle Doves for Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.

Wardrobe | Fitting

So many incredibly wonderful clothes to try on! And the shoes! And coats! And hats and mittens! There were original winter boots and shoes made in Canada.

The only thing...it was summer and sunny in Winnipeg when she'd wear the beautiful pieces on what would be some of Winnipeg's hottest days of the year.

Photo: Trying on wardrobe for what fits and what works for camera and the scenes.

One shoe on and one shoe off.

Drop what you're doing and RUN to the next room when you're told Michael is there for his fitting!

Finding out her 'dad' for the movie was Michael Rady...no words. First Nikki, now Michael?!!

Photo: During the fitting Michaela sees Michael for the first time shortly after finding out he would be her dad in Two Turtle Doves.

Meeting the Director

Lesley Demetriades, Director for Two Turtle Doves, meets Michaela before filming begins.

Below: They review the script and go over how certain scenes will be played .


Nikki DeLoach and Michaela base camp, outside of Hair and Makeup trailer. Ready to head to set.

Arrive at base camp. Jimmy, the PA (Production Assistant) keeps everyone on time going from Wardrobe to Hair & Makeup. (We’re drinking our green juice ‘KAMP - kale, apple, mint, pineapple, from the Green Carrot).


Filming Christmas scenes with 'Dad' Michael Rady and 'Uncle' Zach.

They are the best to work with and they could be brothers in real life.

The set decorators are so talented. The details and planning they put into every scene!

Hallmark Family!

Nikki DeLoach, Michael Rady, Zach Tinker and Michaela.

Night shoots in a cute town in Canada. The buildings were all made out of limestone. It was the perfect location for filming a Christmas movie at night!


Producer Kevin Duda, Director Lesley Demetriades and Assistant Director working together to make sure everything comes together with perfection.

Did you know it doesn't get dark out until almost 10:00pm in Winnipeg during the summer? That made for some late call times in order to capture the night scenes.


10:00 PM - Hair and Makeup. It might look like the day is just beginning; however, it's after 10PM and it's the end of a full day of filming.

Michaela has to be wrapped by 10:30PM sharp. It's been a full 8-10 hour day. SAG / AFTRA requires that children have a set amount of time they can work.

Here, they're testing her hair for one of the following night scenes. With limited time to capture night shoots since it gets dark so late, these talented Hair and Makeup Artists test hair styles to prepare for the next day.

Meanwhile, Nikki is in the chair next to Michaela singing and dancing. It sounds like they're having fun--(and they are!)...but what you don't see is that Nikki is getting her hair done for the next set of scenes. Michaela goes home after 8-10 hours on set, but Nikki and Micheal are about to head to set to film the rest of their night shoots.


Photo credit: Crown Media | Hallmark | Hallmark Movies & Mysteries


The Canadian winter hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, boots sweaters are simultaneously worn while filming the outdoor scenes in 95 degree weather. It was the hottest day of the year in Canada. Michaela, Nikki, and Uncle Zach had to film in the sunlight, while Michael enjoyed his cup of ‘coffee’ on his porch in the shade. (You’ll see the scene in the movie)


Michaela is so thankful for her Hallmark family. She loves every moment working alongside the entire cast and crew. The producers, director, assistant director...everyone made filming Two Turtle Doves so much fun.

A special thank you to Sarah Montana, the writer.


Here are some more memorable moments while filming Two Turtle Doves:

Left to right: 1. Michaela talks to “A” camera, Doug, in between scenes. 2. Producer Kevin Duda poses for picture with Michaela’s little brother. 3. Michaela’s little brother visits Canada during filming. 4. Michaela and Brasher say hello to everyone at Base Camp before taking the picture with Michael and Bob, the 1st AD. 5. Off to set. 6. In holding until its time for their scenes, Michaela reads Rebel Girls (a gift from Nikki from their last project they worked on together!). On our days off: 7. Mom’s friend, Theresa, who is from Winnipeg met us at her friend’s fun place with tons of board games. 8. Going to see Avengers in Canada! 9. This is family!!! Hallmark family!



Since this was filmed, we recently learned that Two Turtle Doves won a Christopher Award, which is presented to the producers, directors, and writers of books, films and television specials that "affirm the highest values of the human spirit".

“First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were established by Christopher founder Father James Keller to salute media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Their goal is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience positively. Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others.” www.christophers.org