Richard Harmon Says Rom-Com ‘Game, Set, Love’ Was a ‘Marriage of Everything I Love in Life’

With Richard Harmon’s new Hallmark movie, he moves into the world of romantic comedies for the first time and steps into a world he loved (and would’ve been in if he didn’t become an actor).

Alongside Davida Williams, Harmon stars in Game, Set, Love, premiering on Saturday, August 27, as a hotheaded tennis player who needs help with his reputation and career. Enter Williams’ Taylor, who retired from the sport and is now teaching kids at the local club. The two, of course, clash, and end up as doubles partners for a tournament after Will’s partner (Jennifer Khoe’s Ashley) is sidelined by an injury. Tennis champion Venus Williams serves as executive producer, while former No. 1 ranked pro tennis player Tracy Austin serves as a sideline commentator in the movie playing herself.

Here, Harmon talks stepping into the world of rom-coms and sports in Game, Set, Love.

What appealed to you about this movie?

Richard Harmon: It’s my first-ever romantic comedy, so this was fresh territory for me as an actor. I’ve always wanted to do a rom-com and I’ve always wanted to do a sports movie, so it was a beautiful cross-section that I love. I’m secretly a very big fan of romantic comedies in my day-to-day life, and I love sports, grew up loving sports. It was what I wanted to do as a child but I wasn’t really blessed with the body to professionally make sports happen, so I went with acting. It was a nice little marriage of everything I love in life. It was very, very fun.

How are your tennis skills?

[Laughs] They improved throughout the shooting of the film, but there’s still probably room for me to get better. I’m certainly not on my boss’ level as far as Venus Williams is concerned.

Richard Harmon in Game, Set, Love

Allister Foster/Hallmark Media

Hotheaded antics aside, how’s Will’s career going when we meet him?

His career has kind of taken a bit of a hit. He hasn’t been winning too much, and I think a big part of that is he’s lost the reasons and the love for the game that he always had and he’s feeling the pressure as those losses pile up in his life and sort of the feeling of being unwelcome in this world that he helped create for himself.

And how about his personal life? More wins or losses?

I’m assuming there’s more losses there in his personal life as well. His best friend is his agent, so I think that should probably tell you everything you need to know about him — not that an agent can’t be your best friend, there’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s his only friend. He doesn’t really have a lot of prospects in his love life or his personal friendship life and he hasn’t spoken to his family in a very long time, so everything’s sort of falling apart for Will when we meet him.

Talk about Will and Taylor’s dynamic. How does meeting her change him?

It’s a big part of changing him. Will and Taylor are similar in many ways, but they’re so different in some ways. Will just likes to run headstrong into things and he’s used to taking those chances in life. He’s betting on himself constantly. And for Taylor to be the one to take things a little slower, have to think about things, maybe to the overthinking part of it all, which is why they work so well together: He’s willing to run into a brick wall pretty much and she’s the one telling him maybe there’s a door through that brick wall we can think about. I think they’re very good for each other in that way. They complement each other.

Richard Harmon, Davida Williams in Game, Set, Love

Allister Foster/Hallmark Media

How does that translate to their dynamic as doubles on the court?

It translates very well because she can get him to calm down — as we all know, Will can be a bit of a hothead — when he needs to be calmed down and just play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and sometimes she, I think, needs William to amp her up a little bit and not get in her head about certain things and just play with passion and aggression when the mood calls for it in the sport of tennis.

What will make viewers fall in love with their relationship?

I hope there’s many things that make them fall in love with our relationship. I’m hoping that they’ll fall in love with the two characters and their dynamic the same way that I did, which was they’re actually both good people, but in very different ways. And I hope they fall in love with the chemistry that Davida and I have because we really clicked and just became really fast friends and hopefully that onscreen can translate to something more than friendship. But I really enjoyed the chemistry of working with Davida. She’s just such a talent. So I really hope they fall in love with both of us the way that we did with our characters.

I feel like one of the biggest surprises of when you appeared in The 100 was that people did start to really care about Murphy at times. And now you’re again playing this bad boy character, albeit one that people can start to root for a lot sooner. Talk about playing that part of Will.

When I got the call about the role, I was like, well, that makes sense. I can do that. [Laughs] Because I never thought I’d get a call for romantic comedy, but then when I read it and I loved it so much and I just really appreciated that this is a strong suit of mine, playing that sort of bad boy character, but I get to do it in a way that I’ve never gotten to do it before. And I was really, really grateful for that opportunity.

Richard Harmon, Davida Williams in Game, Set, Love

Allister Foster/Hallmark Media

You mentioned Will’s relationship with his parents isn’t the greatest, and I feel like that’s where we see a more vulnerable side of him.

yeah. And I think that’s also why part of him is sort of that child still on the inside. He hasn’t fully grown up because he’s been by himself for so long and has abandoned all the personal life that he grew up with — he just sort of left it behind him because he didn’t feel like they approved to him and whether or not that’s true, people will have to watch the movie and find out. But I think that’s such a big part of, what is going on inside him, what makes him hotheaded, and all that stuff. It’s this need to prove something to everybody, that he is good enough, that he is that person that can accomplish all these things. And I do think that’s what makes him vulnerable as well is because it’s a flaw inside of him, but it’s also a flaw that makes him beautiful in my own view of him.

And you had Venus Williams as an executive producer and Tracy Austin as a sideline commentator. How did that help you when it came to the tennis parts of the movie?

Well, it made me very nervous to do the tennis parts of the movie, that’s for sure. [Laughs] I didn’t want to let either one of them down. We were lucky enough to have Tracy on set with us. She was definitely taking us through some pointers — I have to say I’ll speak for Davida and I both — and when I say it was invaluable, it was quite fantastic when you have a former world number one giving you tips in something that Davida and I were still learning at that point and trying to make look professional. So I think that was like I said an invaluable kind of situation for us and very nerve-wracking.

And your sister, Jessica Harmon, directed you in this. Talk about working together. How did it differ from when she directed The 100?

So different. First of all, I’ll say it was just an absolute pleasure working with my sister. And yeah, we did get to work together with her as a director on an episode of The 100, but that was in the final season of seven seasons. So that at that point, that’s my character really. I have the most say about that character, because I’ve played him for seven years. So at that point, she just has to do her directing job and kind of allow the actors to do what they think is right for the characters because we’ve been doing it for so long. While on this film, I think it was definitely more so a collaboration of character between my sister and I, which was pretty cool. It’s a pretty rare, rare occasion, I think, in this business, for brother and sister to get the opportunity to do that.

What were your favorite scenes to film?

I liked doing the photoshoot scene where it’s just my character being very uncomfortable doing a photoshoot. That was fun for me. And I really enjoyed doing the scenes out in the lake house where it’s Davida and I finally bonding.

Like you said, this is your first rom-com in general, but you did do a Garage Sale Mysteries for Hallmark. Would you rather do another rom-com or mystery movie for Hallmark next?

I think I would like to probably do at least one more rom-com in my life, so if Hallmark would be happy enough to have me back, I think I would love to do another one.

A Christmas one or no?

I could do Christmas because I love Christmas, or maybe they could do like a Halloween spooky rom-com. That would be right up my alley.

Game, Set, LoveMovie Premiere, Saturday, August 27, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel

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