It’s what Hallmark fans have been waiting a year for! Big Sky River: The Bridal Path — the anticipated sequel to the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries hit feature film Big Sky River that put hearts aflutter last summer — is debuting on August 11th and packed with more cowboys, romance and drama.
Based on the beloved series of books of the same name by popular romance novelist Linda Lael Miller, (who is dubbed The First Lady of the West) the story follows Tara Kendall, a woman trying to move past a messy divorce. She returns to Montana and meets a handsome cowboy-sheriff neighbor, Boone Taylor, who presents an unexpected twist and they face the challenges of romance after heartbreak and blending their two families.
Viewers will be thrilled to know that Emmanuelle Vaugier (Supergirl) and Kavan Smith (When Calls The Heart) are returning to their starring roles as Tara and Boone, respectively, with Peter Benson (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries) back to direct and star in the sequel.
Put on your Stetson hat, riding spurs and saddle up for more details about what you missed, catch up with the cast, learn juicy details and find out how to watch Big Sky River: The Bridal Path.
A synopsis of Big Sky River
In the first installment of the film series, Tara, leaves the city after a messy divorce and makes her way back to Parable, Montana — the place that made her the happiest. When she meets her handsome cowboy neighbor, Boone, her life takes a bit of a turn. Packed with emotion, humor and a sense of raw-realness that engages audiences, it’s no wonder so many fans have been hankering for a second installment — something Hallmark rarely does!
Big Sky River: The Bridal Path cast
You may recognize some of these faces from other Hallmark hits!
Kavan Smith as Boone
Kavan Smith is a familiar face to Hallmark viewers for almost a decade. The 52 year-old actor made his breakout role in the network’s When Calls The Heart where he plays Leland “Lee” Coulter and has continued in this role for all of the show’s 10 seasons. (Click through to read more about Kavan in ‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 10: Catch Up on All the Romance, Drama, Twists and Secrets)
In his Big Sky River role as Sheriff of Parable, Montana, Boone Taylor falls for divorcee Tara. “It’s really about sort of broken relationships,” says Smith to US Weekly. “This guy Boone Taylor is a man who’s lost his wife and is trying to raise two boys on his own. For me, it was less about the boy meets girl and more about broken family meets other broken family and we try to make it together as new family. And that’s really what spoke to me with this one.”
Smith’s transformation into a cowboy didn’t go unnoticed by his real-life two sons. “When I told my kids I was playing a cowboy they answered, You? A cowboy?” he recalled in an Instagram post showing off his cowboy duds. “Kids — what are you gonna do?”
Smith admits making this movie with Vaugier was a treat. “So much fun making this little movie with Emmanuelle Vaugier…No laughs were had in the making of this movie,” he wrote on Instagram.
Besides being a Hallmark staple, Smith enjoys cooking at home with his wife, casting director, Corrine Clark, and is an avid baker who has showed off some of his creations, including different pies for his boys’ birthdays, via Instagram.
Emmanuelle Vaugier as Tara
Canadian native Emmanuelle Vaugier is not a newcomer to television or big screen audiences. She’s had recurring roles on CSI: NY, Smallville, Human Target, Mistresses and Magnum P.I., but playing Tara Kendall is an altogether different type of role. Tara has decided to make Parable, Montana her home, the place that made her the happiest. Taking a break from New York City to put some big miles between herself and her ex, Tara returns to the small rural town that she loved as a girl.
Handsome cowboy Boone Taylor makes Tara think this is a good move for herself. Vaugier said on her Instagram that it was great to play this role since her character was natural and easy to connect with.
While Montana is the fictional setting for Big Sky River, the project was filmed in Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada, making the set a very comfortable one for Vaugier. But it was the writing that was the original draw for Vaugier. “One of the biggest things that attracted me to the script was that it was very grounded. It wasn’t just a story about young love and throwing caution to the wind. It’s very much grounded in the reality of what a lot of people are going through or have been through. It will be relatable,” she told TV Goodness.
Besides being drawn to a great script, Vaugier instantly was on board when it was noted horses were involved. “That sealed it,” she says. “They’re a huge passion of mine so being able to go to work and work with horses and be part of a Hallmark movie – I was really excited.”
Cassidy Nugent as Erin
Cassidy Nugent plays Tara’s daughter Erin, who struggles to find her place in both families. Erin feels slighted because she feels she has to “share” Tara with Boone’s two kids. The bright side is that a foreign exchange student arrives in Parable and the two instantly connect, making Erin’s prior apprehensions vanish. This could be the distraction she needs.
Michelle Harrison as Casey Elfman
Michelle Harrison comes back to Big Sky River as country star Casey Elfman and is finding inspiration from her new romance. She has found herself a genuine, down-to-earth beau and her new album seems to stem from her new bustling romance. Maybe this new cowboy character will be the inspiration for a hit song or two!
What to expect in Big Sky River: The Bridal Path
When Tara and Boone first got together, the loving duo thought that blending their families would be easy-peasy. But their new relationship dynamic has been rife with tension and challenges, much like other real-life modern day couples trying to blend families together.
Ultimately, the sequel is about these two families blending their lives together – the ups, the downs, and their plans for the future. In the end, find out if love conquers all.
How to watch Big Sky River: Bridal Path
The premiere of Big Sky River: The Bridal Path is on Friday, August 11, at 9 p.m., Eastern, on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (check local listings). Also, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will air the first movie, Big Sky River on Friday, August 11, at 7 p.m., Eastern, right before the sequel premiere.
In addition, Big Sky River: The Bridal Path will also be available on Peacock up to 72 hours after the premiere.
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Bonnie Siegler is an established international writer covering the celebrity circuit for more than 15 years. Bonnie’s resume includes two books that combine her knowledge of entertaining with celebrity health and fitness and has written travel stories which focus on sustainable living. She has contributed to magazines including Woman’s World and First for Women, Elle, InStyle, Shape, TV Guide and Viva. Bonnie served as West Coast Entertainment Director for Rive Gauche Media overseeing the planning and development of print and digital content. She has also appeared on entertainment news shows Extra and Inside Edition.