Katie Cassidy and Stephen Huszar revealed why they kept their blossoming romance a secret while filming their new Hallmark movie, A Royal Family Christmas.
“We obviously [were] professional and kept it that way. However, I felt as though it’s almost like there was this layer because he and I kind of knew this secret thing that nobody else knew,” Cassidy, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting the film. “And we could let our guard down when our characters were supposed to and allow space to fall into one another. I almost feel like that added a certain type of element to it. We just couldn’t help it.”
The twosome star alongside each other in the holiday flick, which premieres on Saturday, July 8, and is part of Hallmark’s Christmas in July event. The story follows Ava (Cassidy) as she accepts the offer of a lifetime to work at the Royal Ice Hotel where she finds herself in a surprise whirlwind romance with the most important guest of all — Prince Henry (Huszar).
While the pair began shooting the movie as strangers, sparks quickly began to fly — “When chemistry is there, it’s just there,” Cassidy explained of her instant connection with Huszar.
“It’s certainly important to keep it professional. As we did, but, you know, feelings come up,” Huszar agreed. “And personally for me, it just allows me to land a little bit more in truth. I mean, our job is obviously to be as truthful as we can in, in these circumstances that are surreal, unreal. But when something is actually triggering truthfully inside you, of course, that helps.”
Cassidy — who confirmed she and the Chesapeake Shores alum are a real-life item earlier this month — recalled first meeting her beau and being hesitant to work closely with another “pretty Canadian, really attractive” actor “named Stephen.” (Cassidy starred opposite Canada native Stephen Amell on The CW’s Arrow from 2012 to 2015 as Laurel Lance. She later returned as Black Canary.)
“But Stephen [Amell] was like a brother to me. Then I don’t know, it was like, after the first week I was like, over in my own world-ish,” she told Us, sharing that it was Huszar’s crystal bracelets — “I’m very drawn to [crystals],” she explained — that had her wondering if there was something more blossoming between them. “I was like, ‘Wait a second. What do you know about these and why do you have these? There’s something happening here,’” she said.
“I remember there’s this one scene in the barn where I literally am looking at him, and that was the moment for me. I’m not kidding you. I’m, like, leaning on the table and he’s saying his lines and I just like, I think I like almost fell over,” she gushed, admitting that she and Huszar later realized they first began falling for each other “30 seconds apart’ while filming the “same scene.”
Cassidy added that the lovebirds also bonded over their sense of humor after she played a trick on Huszar with the rest of the cast and crew. “I made everyone [on set] start talking on set in a British accent,” she told Us, laughing. “So I think maybe my British accent was maybe a little bit charming. And I also told everyone they could no longer call [him] Stephen. They had to call [him] Prince Henry.”
After filming wrapped — and romance bloomed — the pair enjoyed one-on-one time together by traveling around the world. “We were just in Europe. We were also in New Zealand and in Australia,” Huszar shared. Cassidy noted that the duo actually lost their luggage on the getaway but still managed to have a blast jetting off to different locations.
While Huszar revealed there “will be more traveling” in the couple’s future, they twosome are currently taking the summer to wind down — and enjoy their love. “[It’s] a little bit of settling [in] right now and then probably followed by some traveling,” he said.
A Royal Christmas Crush premieres on Hallmark Saturday, July 8, at 8 p.m. ET.