Richard Harmon Takes on Tennis and Romance in Game, Set,

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When Venus Williams is executive producing a romantic movie set around tennis, you know it’s going to be good.

Even better for leading man Richard Harmon is his sister, Jessica Harmon, directs, allowing Richard room to breathe as he enters a new arena as a romantic lead.

Starring with Davida Williams as tennis players getting to know each other on and off the court, Richard shared his thoughts with us about swimming in new waters and what comes next.

Richard Harmon Goes Romantic

What has excited you about your work after the successful run of The 100 and that army of devoted fans you had?

Oh, so much. Well, the movie that’s coming up for sure, Game, Set, Love, I’m very excited. And that was inspiring to me to work with my sister, who’s the director on that, and doing something so different than I’m used to and doing a romantic comedy.

That was fantastic. There’s so much else. That was the thing about, actually after ending The 100, was it was sad to end it, but also, now every new experience is a new experience, and it’s amazing in that way.

Emori and Murphy and The Red Sun - The 100 Season 7 Episode 13

Very true. Very true. And you’ve done a lot of fantasy and horror, and you continue to do that.

I do.

But you’re also no stranger to Hallmark. You worked with Hallmark in the past for smaller roles.

I have. I’ve never done one [of these]. I’d only ever done little minor roles in Hallmark before; I did the Garage Sale Mystery back in the day. But this one, in Game, Set, Love, this is definitely the first, I feel, to really initiate me fully into it. It was a lot of fun.

Richard Harmon for Hallmark

Tell me about working with your sister.

Oh, it was fantastic. Jess and I have a great relationship in life, so it was great. We have a lot of trust between the two of us, so she let me do my thing for the most part, and I never really asked too much of her on the other side, either.

But she would be there for me if I needed it, and I would be open to changing things if she needed it. It was just a great working relationship.

How did you get involved with the movie? Is it because she was directing or vice versa, or did you come to it together?

Absolutely. She was directing, and she handed her little brother a favor. [laughs] No one’s ever going to hire me for the lead in a romantic comedy unless it’s my family giving me the chance.

Taylor and Will Pose for a Photo

Oh, that’s not true. That’s not true.

Thank you. But it was wonderful that it worked out that way, and I was very, very grateful to be able just to start a new take of Richard Harmon, I’d say.

Sure. What does it feel like to be a romantic lead?

I was nervous.

Will Offers a Big Smile


I was absolutely nervous. Absolutely. I didn’t want to mess it up. My character in The 100 definitely did fall in love, and we were such a good romance on that show between Emori and Murphy, but that was just so much of just years and years and years of work being put into that.

And still, in a very 100 way, we fell in love through a lot of stabby, stabby and steal, steal, a lot of dark stuff. So in this one, it was very different for me, and yeah, I was nervous.

Luckily, I had an unbelievable partner in Davida Williams, who was just fantastic in the movie, and working with her made it a lot easier.

Your character actually suits you because he is kind of the misunderstood bad boy of tennis, and that’s the kind of role you’ve always taken.

It’s like going into the shallow end. [laughs] Yeah. I was going into the shallow end of the pool of being a romantic lead. It was like, ‘you’re still a jerk.’ I’m like, ‘good. Okay. That’s good. I can at least hold my confidence on the jerk part of the role.’

But you didn’t. You did not come off as a jerk at all.

Thank you. That’s very kind.

Let the Party Begin

So all the stuff that they say about him in the press is nothing compared to how you portray him.

Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say.

Sure. You and Davida have spent a lot of time bringing the game of tennis to life. Would you consider yourself a tennis player?

Oh, God. I mean, in as far as I know who my boss is in Venus Williams, in that sense, I wouldn’t consider myself a tennis player. I’ve seen it done the proper way, and I’ve seen it done in how I’m capable of doing it.

I’m hoping, through the miracles of movie magic, we made it work, and I think we did, and I’m very proud of the effort that we put in. And I’ve certainly picked up a game of tennis, more so after we wrapped. I just found out that I really, really enjoy it, actually, and I enjoy playing it.

So I’ve been doing it more recreationally since we finished the movie. But no, I wouldn’t consider myself a good tennis player by any means because I know how good some people are.

Will's Game Face

Well, I’m sure that there’s a lot of choreography that goes into pulling off the matches. What is that like? How do you learn how to do exactly what they want you to do in a sport that is so fast-paced?

It’s very tough, but that would go that way with any sports movie, I would say. It has its challenges of having you have to cover it a million different ways to make the shots work, so it takes a long time.

We had about two or three days, I forget, for the main tournament scenes and all-night shoots, so it was just sweating and tired, and it’s 4:00 in the morning, and you have to shoot the same thing over and over and over and over again, and hoping that you’re getting it right and hoping the camera got it. There are a lot of different variables that go into it.

Oh my God.

Afterward, I said, “If you loved tennis before making this movie, you hate it now.” And I think that’s what making a movie is. If you love something, never make a movie about it because you’ll end up being so tired of it by the end of it.

Taylor and Will Meet

But luckily, we make it for the other people, not the ones making it, who can still love tennis because they didn’t spend the entire night shooting tennis. After that, I was like, I don’t even want to see a tennis racket. I don’t want to see it.

Yeah, but you said you were picking up games more afterward than before, so… I did eventually. After a couple of weeks, my disdain for the racket went away, and I went, “I actually kind of miss it, as long as it’s not at 4:00 in the morning. I’ll play it at maybe 8:00 in the morning would be nice.”

Yeah. I don’t think anybody really wants to play tennis at 4:00 in the morning unless it’s a party situation. [laughs]

It’s a lot of running around. Yeah, a lot running around.

Have you ever done another sports show or movie?

I did do If I Had Wings, which was about a blind cross country runner, which was me. So yes, I would consider that a sports movie as well.

Will On the Court

Okay. Wait, how do you play a blind cross-country runner?

You have a guide.


So you have to require your guide also to be pretty fast, and the movie is about the budding friendship between my character and his guide, just sort of the tough kid in the school.

He might be getting expelled, but he’s fast, so then we convince him instead of being expelled, he should be my guide. And we have a bit of an odd couple friendship blossoming out of it, and it was pretty great.

Game, Set, Love Poster

How would you compare the two experiences of pulling off a sport for entertainment purposes?

Oh, I mean, the other one is just running. I think the difficulty of that one came with being vision-impaired and doing that justice was my main thing in that whole movie.

You never want to do that improperly, not to do it correctly. So that was my main concern with If I Had Wings, and on this one, it was more just, hopefully, your forehand looks good.

Hopefully, you’re not just flailing around there on the court.

Yeah, yeah. Don’t look stupid out on the court.

Will and Taylor are Winning

Even the best tennis players at some time look stupid.

Absolutely. I’ve seen it. I’m sure I did, but they edited it together.

Yeah. They don’t expect it, but the photographer grabs the one shot where they just end up looking like they don’t know what they’re doing.

It’s hard. Yeah, it’s hard to look elegant when you’re swinging. But again, my sister’s my boss. She’s made that work.

That’s very good.

Yeah, yeah. That’s pretty hard to find her in a bad moment.

Angst on the Court

What did you like about the character of Will?

That’s why I was kind of surprised. When I got the offer and read the script, I saw how complex both of these characters were. Because I thought of it as, when I first heard it, is this bad boy, sort of, so I thought John McEnroe. Obviously, you think about all that, which is true.

But then, when you really dive into the character, there’s so much more to him, being that hurt little child inside because of him not thinking that he has the approval of his parents, not having all these things, and thinking that people only love him because he wins.

And I understand what that’s like as an actor. There are certainly times when I’ve thought, if I’m not working and not booking, then what good am I to anybody? So I understand Will’s thought process, and when I read it, I just thought, he seems a lot like me.

Game, Set, Love Romance Blossoms

That’s good.

That was a really cool thing to play with. Out of all the characters I’ve ever played, he might be the closest to me, actually. He’s very similar to me, and we do similar things between acting and being a professional athlete.

There’s a lot of pressure to make it work, and the chances of making it work are slim, so I definitely felt the connection to Will that way.

And I would say, too, that he probably plays into his bad boy persona.

Oh, 100%.

And you tend to gravitate towards roles that give you that.

Yep, absolutely. There are certain sides of me that I show even when I’m still being Richard Harmon that aren’t even fully myself, but it’s kind of fun to play a different version of yourself, and I know Will does that for sure.

Davida Falls for Will

Do you have a different perception of making a Hallmark movie in this capacity as a lead going into it than you do coming out?

I do. I absolutely do. I have much more respect. I already had respect to begin with, but the respect that I have for Hallmark leads has gone through the roof because there’s a lot of filming that has to be done in a day.

And it is so heavy, especially for the number ones, watching Davida have to carry it so much. And I’m so happy I got to be there for a lot of it and help carry the load, but that’s what I’m there for is just trying to help to carry the load that’s on her shoulders because it is tough as a number one in Hallmark.

It revolves around you fully and your journey, and everyone’s watching your every move, and it’s really difficult. And to watch everybody do it so well, yeah, I have nothing but respect.

Will Shows His Sweet Side

What did you like about playing the romantic side?

It was so new for me.

Or what did you not like?

[laughs] Oh God, fair enough. It was just so new. It was such a new experience for me, like I said, to be doing that.

Obviously, I think the tricky part is making sure everyone feels comfortable, and I kind of pride myself on that, to make sure it’s like, “Let’s make this believable. Let’s make this real, but let’s not make anyone of the two of us uncomfortable who have to do this,” because these are still real people doing this who have personal relationships outside of the movie.

You have to think about that, and you have to take that into account. And again, luckily, I had someone like Davida, who’s just amazing.

Will and Taylor Dance

Now that you’re here in this Hallmark world, if you could write a movie or a character in a setting, what would you like to do through a Hallmark movie?

I think I would do, and I’ve said this before, actually, I would want them to come halfway to me because I’ve gone to them, and I want them to go halfway to Richard Harmon, so it’ll be in the fall.

It’ll be Halloween season, and it’ll be a Halloween love story with maybe the guy is going to be, maybe he owns a pumpkin patch. I’m just making this up off the cuff, so let’s say he’s got a pumpkin patch. And then the lady comes in and she’s a journalist, let’s say, and she’s doing some sort of a thing on the pumpkin patch.

We can call it Pumpkin… Ah, I’ll get back to you on what we’re calling it, but I’m assuming there’s something we can figure out there.

Will Waits for Taylor

That’s good. People love fall.

Oh! His name’s Jack, and then they’ll be called Jack-o-love instead of Jack-o-lantern. And there it is. [laughs]

[laughs] Perfect. That’s perfect.

See? Doesn’t that work?

It’s on the schedule for next year’s fall harvest!

I’m ready to start writing it, and if they give that role to anybody else, I’m going to lose it.

Richard Harmon at Wondercon

From your mouth…

Yeah. [chuckles]

What would the same question be if it was anywhere in entertainment? You have so many different roles and parts that you’ve played in so many different arenas. What’s the one thing that you think is ideal for you?

I’ve played a werewolf once before, but it was more in a family show, which was wonderful, but I would like to do a very realistic interpretation of what it would be like to be a werewolf.

Do you have a favorite werewolf that you would like to model one after?

Like the actual wolf itself? I think if I did the movie, you would rarely ever see the wolf.

Taylor and Will Hold Court

Oh, good. Okay.

Yeah. It’s more about the man inside because it would be more of a chess match between the human, who doesn’t want to be a monster but is afraid of what they are.

Jekyll and Hyde.

Trying to subdue that wolf that’s inside of him, probably through a lot of therapy or something like that. That’s what I think the movie would be about.

Or kale smoothies or something, so you lost your appetite for blood [laughs].

Yeah, exactly. He probably doesn’t need a lot of meat because he’s trying to calm himself.

Davida Williams and Richard Harmon

You have a lot of other projects coming up, too. You’ve got a horror movie, Margaux, that’s coming out.

I do. Margaux is coming out on September 9th. I got Fakes coming out on September 2nd on Netflix. Very excited about that. Everyone needs to watch that show. It’s terrific.

I think these three are the ones that are coming out. I don’t think I have anything else on the horizon, but I start work on a TV show in two weeks from now, which I’m very excited about—going back to playing my bad guy roots.

Oh, okay.

Just go be a villain for the next little bit, which I’m very excited for, for the next few months.

Is that The Night Agent?

No. The Night Agent, I worked on the beginning of this year, which was also very fun. I don’t know when that comes out for Netflix, but I just did a couple of episodes on that. I was a very mean journalist.

Of course. Of course, you were the mean guy.

Yeah. I was the mean guy, but the new show that I’m doing is more of, without giving anything away, more of a supervillain-type deal, which I’m really excited about.

And you’re the supervillain?

I would be.


But I won’t say what’s it on or anything.

You’re just going to get it all out. You’re going from romance to supervillain.

I don’t think this person’s going to get any romance. Yeah. Yeah, this guy’s going to get no romance at all.

Aw. Even supervillains need love.

Yes, that’s true. Maybe not this guy, though.

Will Enjoys the Outdoors

Will you be tweeting along with people as the movie premieres on Saturday?

I hope to be. Absolutely. I will be tweeting.

Good, good. Letting people see a new side to you.

Yeah. I haven’t gotten to do a live tweet in many, many years.

It’s about time, huh?

It’s about time, I’m thinking. It’s going to be a good time, I’m sure.

Game, Set, Love

Are you open to doing more Hallmark movies in the future?

Absolutely, I am. I had a really great time, and I would love to do, I feel like I wanted to do at least one more romantic comedy in my life. So make it Jack-o-love, and we can mark that off the list. Jack-o-love.

And then maybe someday, instead of going to ComicCon, you could go to some of the romance conventions that they have out there.

I didn’t know that was a thing.

It is a thing.

See, I’m getting opened up to a brand new world, which is why this has been fantastic.

Richard Harmon Looking Lanky

They all go together. So many actors get together and go to different ones. They sign autographs and have people just going crazy over them. It’s a big thing to be on a Hallmark movie.

It sounds fantastic. I want this.

Yeah. It’s a big thing.

I want this to be part of my life.

To spread your wings here.

Yeah, exactly. This is a big one for me.

Tonight, you can join Richard in his new, romantic adventure on Hallmark as Game, Set, Love premieres at 8/7c.

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.

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