Bethany Joy Lenz Teases Her French Love Trip in Hallmark's 'Savoring Paris'

Bethany Joy Lenz stars as Ella in the Hallmark original movie 'Savoring Paris.'

Imagine being paid to spend more than two weeks in Paris wearing luxurious clothes, eat as much cheese as you want and be wooed by two Parisian men. For many, it's a fever dream, but it was reality for Bethany Joy Lenz while shooting her latest Hallmark movie, Savoring Paris.

In the new rom-com, which is part of the Crown Media Network's "Passport to Love" film series, Lenz plays Ella, a frustrated American food-chain executive who quits her job to recapture the enchantment she felt during a college trip to Paris. She flies to the City of Love to eat cheese and reignite her passion, and finds herself torn between two potential paramours.

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"I liked that this character was more soft-spoken. I asked if I could play her southern because I just felt so much southern sensibility in her," Lenz informed Parade when asked what drew her to Ella, besides the plot of the film and its setting. "Being able to play a character type that I haven’t really been asked to play before is just fun for me as an actor. Of course, also being able to wear lots of amazing outfits and shoot in Paris—it’s so romantic and fun." 

Ella wears several dazzling outfits in the film. Lenz collaborated with costume designer Shanna Mair to create Ella's signature looks, which also included some pieces from Lenz's own wardrobe.

"We did a seven-hour fitting and after had hundreds of outfit options and photos. We sent them all off to Hallmark and then she started parceling them out," Lenz explained. "There’s just so many factors that go into it. [Shanna] had her work cut out for her, but I think she did a really nice job."

<p>Hallmark/Elena Nenkova</p>

Hallmark/Elena Nenkova

Of course, Lenz has her favorites from Ella's great looks. "I loved the red and cream dress. I wear it all the time," Lenz confessed. "Also the brown jumpsuit with the flowers and pink bow and the hot pink pants that I wore at the Eiffel Tower. All three of those are things that would repeat."

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Clothes and cheese would make for a fairytale ending for so many women, but this is a Hallmark production so Ella also gets a shot at love. Lenz explained why both of Ella's potential love interests appeal to a woman starting fresh in a new country.

"Ella has always made the safe choice when dating and just doing things that feel like they are on the right track, or whatever track has been laid out by her mom, her job, or her family. She’s always tried to stay on the right path. For the first time in her life she doesn’t know what the right path is," the actress explained.

The first man she meets is Gaston (Ben Wiggins), a charming food critic determined to show Ella the more exciting side of Paris. "He’s younger. He’s vibrant. He’s very laissez-faire about dating and is open that he’s probably dating several girls. He’s carefree, and that is really attractive to Ella," Lenz described.

Then there's also Serge (Stanley Weber), the owner of the cheese fromagerie, where Ella spends a lot of time sampling products.

"He’s a bit of a mystery because he’s so closed off. She can tell that he’s really kind-hearted and he still doesn’t fit the mold of ‘the right path.’ He still lives in Paris. He’s a foreign man who she doesn’t know. He was in a long-term relationship that ended and he’s still trying to find his way through that," Lenz revealed.

The actress further shared that the appealing part of both men is actually what's so appealing and relatable about Ella's story in general. "What appeals to her specifically about both men is the messiness of life and how beautiful that can actually be," she said.

Savoring Paris premieres Saturday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel.

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