The swoon-worthy stories that The Hallmark Channel brings to life on our screens are nothing short of romantic, whimsical and dreamy. But for veteran Hallmark actors Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally, the love-stories they have played have extended to real-life!
The pair have been linked since 2017 when they worked on the Hallmark film, The Sweetest Heart. Since then, their love has blossomed and the two have even started a family together. Here, we get to know Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally better and take a look at their relationship over the years!
Get to know Julie Gonzalo
You may recognize her as the quintessential early 2000s rom-com antagonist, often playing the stereotypical mean girl in films like Freaky Friday (2003) and A Cinderella Story (2004), but Gonzalo is far from those characters she’s played on the screen.
Growing up in Argentina, she and her family came to the United Sates when she was 8-years-old, where she started to take an interest in modeling and acting. Some of her earliest roles in the 1990s and early 2000s include Greetings From Tucson, Exit 9, NCIS and Drake & Josh.
Her more notable roles as her career progressed include Parker Lee in Veronica Mars and Andrea Rojas/Acrata in The CW’s hit series Supergirl, as well as parts in Christmas with the Kranks and DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and even a role in the Dallas revival.
Gonzalo’s first Hallmark film came in 2016 with her role in Pumpkin Pie Wars, and she has gone on to star in some of the most beloved movies on the channel including Falling for Vermont (2017) Flip That Romance (2019), Jingle Bell Bride (2020), Cut, Color, Murder (2022) and, most recently, 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost with her real-life sweetheart, Chris McNally (see more below!).
Meet Chris McNally
Canadian-born Chris McNally has been a fixture on the Hallmark Channel for years, perhaps most known for his role as Lucas Bouchard in the wildly popular series, When Calls the Heart.
After graduating high school, he began studying at the Railtown Actors Studio before taking on roles in John Apple Jack, and later, Supernatural, Falling Skies, Dead of Summer and Lucifer. Eventually, he landed his first Hallmark role in Hearts of Christmas in 2016.
McNally has stolen our hearts in a slew of movies since his Hallmark premier, including A Winter Princess (2019), Sailing into Love (2019), Snowkissed (2021) and A Tail of Love (2022), just to name a few.
Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally falling in love
The first film the duo did together was 2017’s The Sweetest Heart, which follows Maddie, played by Gonzalo, and Nate, played by McNally, two high school sweethearts who went their separate ways. When Nate returns to give a lecture at a local hospital, he reconnects with Maddie and the two are reminded of what once was between them.
“Chris is a wonderful person and a terrific actor,” Gonzalo told The PC Principle ahead of the film’s release. “It was easy to get to know him and feel comfortable around him. We were able to get to know each other a bit before the film started and that always helps the process. Throughout the film, we got along great and worked as much as we could together.”
Gonzalo continued, “Chemistry is beyond important and sometimes you don’t have enough time to really get to know each other before cameras start rolling. Luckily, for Chris and I, it felt very organic and we got along quite quickly and had a lot in common.”
For the happy couple, that was only the beginning!
McNally opened up about their courtship in May 2019 when he revealed he woo’d Gonzalo with his dance moves after learning choreography on the movie A Winter Princess. “I waltzed [Julie] around the living room,” he told North Shore News. “But she’s South American so now she wants me to learn to Salsa.”
Keeping their romance private
Julie Gonzalo and Chis McNally have kept their relationship rather private over the years, with only a few rare mentions of one another here and there.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he recalled one of his favorite memories camping — with his lovely companion and their pups, of course.
“It was in Big Bear — the coyotes were howling, which the dogs had never heard before, and they were pretty stressed about it,” McNally says. “They were on guard for a couple of minutes, but then the exhaustion of the day took over and both of them curled up on blankets and pillows and fell asleep. It was super cute.”
McNally continued, “Then my girlfriend [Julie] and I sat out on the front of the tent like it’s a porch. The stars were visible and beautiful, so we just pulled the tent fly back, hung out and had a glass of wine. It was so peaceful, sitting out with our legs dangling like we’re on our own little porch on top of the car, with these two bundled up fast asleep. It was the best.” Adorable!
Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally welcome a bundle of joy
In 2022, Julie Gonzalo posted a sweet photo to her Instagram, documenting the birth of the couples’ first child together.
“Our hearts are full…Welcome baby M ♥️,” the caption read.
Then in June of this year, she also posted a beautiful photo of McNally with their daughter, with the caption, “Happy Father’s Day love… she’s a lucky little lady 🧜🏼♀️💖 #happyfathersday to all.”
What the happy couple is doing next
Today, when the two aren’t busy with their roles as parents, we’re still lucky enough to see them on the screen together here and there, and recently, Hallmark gave us another Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally film.
The movie, 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost, which premiered on October 7, follows real estate agent Anna, played by Gonzalo, who is dealing with the spirit of a 1920s ghost that won’t leave her newly listed home. The catch? The ghost is convinced the only way she can fully “pass over” is if Anna rekindles things with her ex, played by McNally.
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the happy couple and wish them nothing but a lifetime of happiness together!
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