Janel Parrish, Morgan David Jones and Niall Matter star in the new Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movie “Family History Mysteries: Buried Past”, which premiered Sunday, January 8. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Morgan David Jones, who stars as Jonathan, about his experience in the making of Family History Mysteries: Buried Past and what fans can expect. Check out full interview below!
What’s the main element in Jonathan’s character and the movies in general that fascinates you the most and drew you to join Family History Mysteries: Buried Past?
MORGAN DAVID JONES: It follows a forensic genealogist – so it’s a Hallmark mystery, but without it being a murder mystery, it’s really fine finding long lost family members. What really drew me to Jonathan is that Jonathan… At the beginning of the movie you find out that his leuchemias come back and his journey to find a bone marrow transplant – If they don’t, then unfortunately things don’t look positive for him – and they’ve always been told that their biological father had passed away before they were born. And we find out it’s some information that maybe is not completely true.
So I thought it was really interesting kind of take on mysteries, and I think there’s a lot of complex like emotions – you’re always feeling that you never knew this father, if he was alive, he did walk out on you. And kind of having like that, he’s hurt and insecure about what about if they do find him and he still doesn’t want to help. Like opening himself up to a lot of pain and a lot of heartache. And I thought it was a really interesting way of playing it.
I think what also really, really drew me to it is being a proud gay man as Morgan, being able to play a proud gay man on a network like Hallmark, being able to just be telling a real story, a real human story. I think it’s really important to have authentic representation, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
As we know quite well so far, Hallmark movies and shows always feature well-shaped and relatable characters – Where are you and Jonathan most similar and where most different as human beings?
Well, definitely being a gay guy was definitely very similar to that. I think his way and his approach on dealing with sensible, sensitive or vulnerable situations, he uses humor a lot, especially with Sophie being his best friend. He laughs things off. He’s very playful in that way. It’s very, very me.
Where we differ though is that Jonathan is very skeptical in having really like looking for his father or exhausting that kind of going down that route. I’m not like that. More if anything, like that was to happen to me, I think I would be taking a charge and helping Sophie find our father. Doing everything I could to possibly find as many people possible to be a bone marrow transplant. So I think I’m a little bit more adventurous or I’m not as vulnerable in those kind of situations. But then again, my parents are still together. So I haven’t come from that, like history, but I think that’s what I would do differently if I was Morgan.
To all the fans that haven’t watched the movie yet, how would you describe Family History Mysteries: Buried Past in just 3 words?
Heartfelt, Mystery, Heartwarming.
I just think there’s something really beautiful about everyone’s character. And the way that they’re old, their journeys, the way they all grow and they all develop. And I think that’s really nice within the movie to see everyone grow in a way.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you in portraying Jonathan?
I actually found Jonathan a bit hard to play, so we did a couple of days of rehearsals before we started filming. Because in every scene with Jonathan, other than the first scene with Sophie, he seemed annoyed, grumpy, like deflective, didn’t want anyone to help. We’re like, ‘we need to make Jonathan laughable. We need people to want him to win in the end and to survive’, and everyone is going out of their way this whole movie to save Jonathan. If there’s no warmth to him.
So working with the director and the other actors, there’s actually quite a lot of the lines I rewrote and added my own kind of flair to it because I thought he should have a little bit more humor to him that he wouldn’t be so defensive and blocked. So I think that was the hardest thing is kind of how to create this character likable enough that the audience wants to be on his side. And I guess through all, the responses on Twitter and social media, it has been received really well. So I’m glad that he hasn’t come across grumpy.
If you could choose any other character on Family History Mysteries: Buried Past, apart from Jonathan, a character that you would have loved to play if you could, which one would it be and why?
You know what, I think, if there was anyone else that would be really fun to play in the whole series. Not that I would ever play it. But I would love to play someone like Esme. Someone who works within the office, someone who is part of the investigations. Someone who can be the sleuth and kind of figure things out and then be be there to watch people’s dreams come true. I think that would be really kind of cool to play. Not that I’ve ever taken away from Kyana. She’s perfect, I couldn’t do it as well as she did. But that would be a really kind of fun to be able to play being so in the mix of that kind of company and seeing where that goes.
The interview with Morgan David Jones has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. Check out the full interview at the top of the article!
Family History Mysteries: Buried Past is available to stream on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Get a preview below!
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