Jason Dohring previews Hallmark Channel’s PORTRAIT OF LOVE
Dohring plays Luke Dwyer in “Portrait of Love,” a project about a successful fashion photographer (Bree Williamson, “Gossip Girl”) who returns to her small town and rediscovers the unconditional love of family and the rekindling of a love relationship (with Dohring).
A Different Kind of Role
Dwyer is a stretch from parts viewers are used to seeing Dohring play (i.e., a “Moonlight” vampire alongside “Hawaii Five-0’s” Alex O’Loughlin and a “Veronica Mars” on-again off-again boyfriend to “House of Lies” Kristen Bell). Dohring says that variety in roles is one of the reasons he chose to play Dwyer. “Dwyer is just a good guy. He’s an introvert. And when I read the script, I totally understood it. I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading it. I have a two year-old and a four year-old now too, so it was cool to do a show with Hallmark’s standards and content. You know what you’re going to get when you see a Hallmark movie. And, you feel great after you watch it. You feel moved. It was really nice to work with that sort of feeling.” There was a lot of camaraderie and playful teasing among the cast as well, which at one point developed into an off-camera plaster-throwing party of sorts.
Sundance Directors Lab
Dohring’s career has taken many interesting turns, and he’s twice been invited to take part in the Sundance Directors Lab, a three-week workshop that allows independent filmmakers to work on several scenes of their project under the advice and training of professional actors and directors. Dohring considers the experience “one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. Professionals come and help these directors for free, so you get people like Sally Field and Philip Seymour Hoffman. You’ll be rehearsing your scene with the director and your co-star, and Robert Redford comes and sits down on the floor next to you and watches you. He’ll say, and this happened to me, ‘Have you thought about relationship?’ For me, that suggestion was just so simple, and so basic. I had totally missed it, and it totally changed my point of view. The whole experience is like having a dialogue with the director, where we’re both going for the same thing. We’re not afraid to go after it, because we both want the same thing. So, we’re not afraid to step on each other’s toes. You get a compliment from someone like Sally Field I’d be on cloud nine for two years. It makes you nervous for sure. But that goes away after a while because nobody is getting paid and it’s such a help. It’s love of art. And you’re up there, you’re in nature. Sundance is a beautiful place. You know these are people that care, people in the industry that take three weeks off to go help new, up-and-coming artists and directors. Then, there are screenings with a Q&A afterward. Robert Redford screened “All the President’s Men” and got up and said, “I haven’t seen this in 30 years. Anything you want to ask, go for it.’ That sort of experience you would pay for, and they won’t let you.”
Dohring has played many diverse roles over the span of his career, so I asked him what type of character he’d write for himself. He said, “I’d have to say something like a military-based guy with a lot of conflict. When you get a character like that, especially on a TV show, you could play him for 60 hours or 100 hours and explore all that. It’s really an actor’s love. Epic war movies, I think, would be pretty cool to play on — boot camp — like a “Fury” type movie.” As for existing shows he’d like to guest on, Dohring said, “I really like ‘Game of Thrones.’ I don’t know how I’d fit on there exactly.”
Besides “Portrait of Love,” Dohring has other projects slated for release. The science fiction series, “The Messengers” will premiere on the CW network on April 17. He also plays a police officer in a film he shot in Detroit called “Destined” which is in post production. And “I actually have a golf movie coming out,” he said. “I love to play golf anyway. The film is a true story about this golfer who gets convinced to go play high stakes against the Mafia in Las Vegas. I play a two-time amateur golf champion.” “The Squeeze” is scheduled for a Spring release.
Being a twin myself. I couldn’t let Dohring go without asking him what it was like to grow up with not one but two sets of twins. He told me he never felt left out or anything, because he never had a twin at all, so it just felt normal.
“Portrait of Love” airs on March 14 at 9 P.M. on the Hallmark Channel.