Two-time Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes is extra grateful for Hallmark this holiday season.
Osnes’ name has drawn headline attention recently, as she has been nixed from stage performances on Broadway over her personal decision to forgo vaccination against COVID-19 for the time being. Even still, the Minnesota native has managed to safely film three Hallmark movies since the start of the pandemic last spring.
Her latest film — “Christmas in Tahoe” — debuts Sunday evening at 6 o’clock on the Hallmark Channel.
“It breaks my heart how divisive and polarizing this issue has become,” Osnes told Faithwire of vaccine mandates. “I think, at the end of the day, I was grateful for the opportunity to get to work with Hallmark. There were a lot of hoops we had to jump through, but I’ve actually made three Hallmark movies during this COVID time and, every time, I take every precaution to make sure safety is a top priority on set. That’s been something that’s super important to me.”
Moving forward, the actor added, she hopes employers “will realize it’s possible to continue to create art and do this together,” even when people reach different conclusions regarding vaccination.
“I’m just grateful for every opportunity I have to get to do what I love and make a livelihood,” Osnes said.
The Broadway star lavished praise on Hallmark, saying the network “really found their audience” with Christmas movies, noting “people look forward to them every year.”
“I’m so honored to be part of the Hallmark family,” she said, adding the holiday movies are usually filmed in the late summer and early fall. “So I feel like I’ve basically been celebrating Christmas since September.”
Anyone who has seen a Hallmark movie knows the films always center on a love story of some kind. Osnes, as it turns out, has her own Hallmark-esque love story — an experience she often draws from while on set.
About 15 years ago, Osnes and her then-friend Nate were understudies for a stage production of “Aladdin.” The show’s two leads, she recalled, collided on stage, resulting in a chipped tooth for the Aladdin actor and a mild injury for the Jasmine actor. That meant Osnes and Nate would take on the lead roles for the production.
“And Nate and I went on together,” she said. “Our first kiss was on stage as Aladdin and Jasmine. They actually get married at the end of the musical. We started dating a couple days later.”
On their one-year dating anniversary — which just so happens to be Dec. 23 — Nate proposed.
“That was pretty much the best gift I’ve received on Christmas, a diamond ring,” Osnes quipped.
In addition to her relationship with her husband, whom she described as her “rock,” “life partner,” and “comrade,” Osnes said her faith has kept her grounded amidst her entertainment career.
The celebrity recalled sensing “a grace” over her at the start of her time in New York City.
“Faith has brought such a peace,” Osnes explained. “The trust in knowing that there’s a time and a season for everything and that God is gonna work everything together for His good for those who love Him, I’m holding on to that right now and [I’m] excited for this next season and new open doors of creativity that I might not have ever considered before.”
There are times in life, though, when it’s difficult to remember God’s faithfulness.
In those seasons, Osnes said, she is learning to look back at past evidences of God’s provision. It’s a practice the Hallmark star said she heard in church.
“The future — there’s a lot of unknowns and a lot of uncertainties and that can be overwhelming if you’re just looking and not knowing what’s happening,” she said. “But if you look back, and you see how God has been faithful in the past time and time again — and He has been in my life, I have testimony after testimony of that. I have no doubt He’s going to continue to provide in this season and bring purpose.”
You can watch the rest of our conversation in the CBN News video above.
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