Published: Sunday, 26 March 2023 13:31 | Written by Jamie Ruby
Hallmark Channel’s new original primetime series, Ride, premieres tonight. The western series follows the matriarch of the small-town ranching family the McMurrays (Nancy Travis) and her sons and daughter in-law (Tiera Skovbye) as they struggle to keep the ranch afloat after a tragic accident.
Recently SciFi Vision spoke with cast members Jake Foy, who plays singer and bullfighter Tuff McMurray, Sara Garcia, who plays Valeria Galindo, a one-time runaway who has become a part of the family, and Tyler Jacob Moore, who plays Gus Booker, who is interested in investing in the ranch and also is one of the love interests of the lead, Missy McMurray (Skovbye). The three talked about working on the series, including what attracted them to the series, their favorite scenes, ranching, what they learned from working on the show, and more.
Watch the full interview or read the transcript below, and be sure to check out the series tonight on Hallmark Channel.
***Edited for clarity and length***
SCIFI VISION:For each of you, what was it that made you think you just had to take this role?
TYLER JACOB MOORE:I had to take this role, because I genuinely love the story. I love ranching and small town community and rodeo and that whole world. I come from a rural area, and it very much was a thrill to be able to be a part of that. And the character was fascinating to me, complex and interesting. You don't quite know what the intentions are, and so a lot of that. I mean, it's a dream as an actor to get to play any complex character. So, the story in the show, and then, the cast, it goes without saying, but I guess I need to say it, they're amazing. They're amazing people inside and out and great performers. So, that was a huge factor and everything. Yeah, that's why.
SARA GARCIA: When I first read this script, the thing that stood out for me the most was the story of three strong, independent women who come together, not because they're blood related, but they bond and choose each other to be family, because they love the land and the ranch that they've all come to call home. With the support of these amazing, incredible men in their life, they all bond together to save the ranch. And Valeria is a mystery. As an actor, it's a dream to play somebody with such complexity and nuance and space for you to fill in the gaps yourself creatively. So, I think that's what drew me to this character and this role and the show.
JAKE FOY: I'm Jake; I play Tuff McMurray, and to answer your question, I think what drew me to the role most of all was growing up watching family entertainment. I mean, it was not uncommon for us to get together with my grandparents, nieces, and nephews of my parents generation, and watch something together. With the landscape of entertainment changing so fast, everything's become so niche, but we waited a while to see a show that can really bring the family together. Then, add to that coming from a music theater background, getting to sing on the show and live in this world of integrity and hard work, then, to be a bit of a black sheep within the world. It was a very lucky opportunity to have across my desk at all, and I'm so glad to be here with everybody, pinching myself still today.
SCIFI VISION:And Jake, that's one of the things I was going to ask you, so you really sang that in this. I mean, did that make you nervous? Or Is it just fun and you enjoyed it? How was it for you doing as part of the show?
JAKE FOY: Yeah, I mean, coming from live theatrical background, the pressure is really on for those people. And I wouldn't compare it all to doing eight shows a week.
TYLER JACOB MOORE: Andhe nailed it.
SARA GARCIA: So good.
JAKE FOY: There’s a great infrastructure there. There're guitar coaches that are able to work with me and then we sing in studio and then lip sync to playback. That's the movie magic that you get to watch. So, there's a really big safety net there, but it's all my voice that you get to hear in the show, and the music team has selected such an amazing soundtrack, score, and then the covers that I'm able to do on stage as Tuff in the show are excellent selects, so no roadblocks, all just gravy.
SCIFI VISION: So, what are some of the scenes that you guys enjoyed doing for your characters?
JAKE FOY:Oh, I know mine.
TYLER JACOB MOORE:I’ll say all the romantic scenes, because Tiera is amazing and incredibly easy to work with. I am a hopeless romantic, so getting to do meet cute stuff and things like that, I really enjoy those.
JAKE FOY: For me, I had never been before the show, and I took to riding like a shot; I had a blast. So, anything that we got to do on horseback - and of course the dancehall scenes are amazing. We're surrounded by a town where that is what a real Friday night looks like, and getting to party with those people and really be in that world as an ensemble is a dream.
SARA GARCIA: There are so many to choose from; how do I just pick one? But a few that will I'll talk about are these amazing kitchen scenes where you see the whole family in the kitchen or or at dinner and the energy is frenetic and electric and we're moving and we're grooving. And in one of these scenes particularly, there were these two orange cats that sort of roamed around the space and sort of found themselves - kind of tried to get a cameo.
JAKE FOY: They’re SAG cats.
TYLER JACOB MOORE: We shot on location, and these were just barn cats, not a part of production.
SARA GARCIA: One just sort of took a liking to me, and I picked him up, and he joined us in the kitchen for one of these incredible scenes.
JAKE FOY: He's vying for a spin off, I think. But we didn't even mention the rodeo scenes that are also fantastic. We're in a stadium with sometimes five hundred extras who are also big rodeo fans, so they're as immersed in the world as we are, and we can't thank them enough. So if you've played in the background, hello and thank you!
SCIFI VISION:That's awesome…You guys touched on this, but I was going to ask you though, and Tyler, It seems like maybe you were, but how familiar were you each with ranching and that kind of thing? How much did you know going in, and how much did they teach you?
TYLER JACOB MOORE:Yeah, I had both. Fortunately, I grew up in a rural area and grew up riding horseback and, you know, baling hay and corn detasseling and all that stuff. So, it was a very familiar world. But on top of that, we had great wranglers; we had great trainers who also worked with us to sort of get us, for me at least, get back in shape, because it's been a minute since I’d ridden and been in that world. So, yeah, on both accounts I was fortunate enough to have that experience. We are very grateful for the help and the support that the show provided.
SCIFI VISION:What about you two?… How much did you know going in?
SARA GARCIA:I knew absolutely nothing. I knew nothing about the world. I think it said on the audition, “please state if you can ride or if you're afraid of horses or if you're allergic to horses,” and I didn't even know. I just said, “Fine. I'll figure it out.” And one of the most beautiful things that I learned through this process was this deeply rooted connection to my heritage. I am half Uruguayan, and we have a deep wrenching culture in Latin America. The second I stepped foot on this ranch, I felt this immense feeling of coming home and really learned a lot about the history and my culture and felt more connected than I ever have before.
JAKE FOY: And for my part, [I had] very little ranching experience, if [any] at all. But I think, to Tyler's point, what's so cool is when we talk about the on set resources that we have, it's not just the wranglers that have a background in this work, our hair and makeup team are at rodeos on the weekend, and that's the truth. So, we are very fortunate to have that framework in place, and Sara's experience is so vivid, but we felt that as well from tip to tail. Everybody loves the world of the show, and they came on board as creatively as we did in every department.
SCIFI VISION:Did you have any like mishaps though with any of the the riding and those kinds of things at all? Or did it just all go fairly smoothly?
JAKE FOY: No, no riding mishaps, but the horses do eat. All the livestock do eat and drink and everything that comes with that, [laughter] and they don’t know when we are rolling and when we aren't, so there are a couple of cutting room floor takes where they get a little too nervous and help themselves through that process. [laughs]That's almost diplomatically said.
SCIFI VISION:So, for the three of you, what did you find the most difficult though, either with the character or physically or whatever. What did you kind of have trouble with? Was there anything?
SARA GARCIA: Valeria is a Jill of all trades. She has many mysterious secrets skills that come up through her journey. So, I got to learn how to do a lot of things that I did not know how to do before, which is amazing. As an actor, I mean, it's part of the reason why I wanted to become an actor so that I could learn all these new amazing skills. So, there were some moments where I had to figure it out.
JAKE FOY: But you'd never know it.
TYLER JACOB MOORE: Yeah I know.
SARA GARCIA: If I'm anything like my character, I think I nailed it.
JAKE FOY: Absolutely. I mean, we're all lucky in that these characters are so multi dimensional. They have so much going on and are hands on about everything they do. But on top of that, to follow up, we did get to shoot the season through the season. So, we experienced everything from spring to winter and all the temperatures that come with that. And where we shoot in Calgary, Alberta, it can get notoriously, infamously cold to the point where the the technology will actually decide that it's done for the day. That's the only thing I can think of, in addition to juggling all our skills, is dealing with Mother Nature.
TYLER JACOB MOORE: I hate to be a person who can’t answer your question. I mean, honestly, it was a joy. I mean, from start to finish. I mean, the cast and the crew? I know, that's a cheesy answer. I'm sorry. I'm trying to think of something that wasn't great or a mistake or something that was difficult. If anything, the parts where there was antagonist energy between myself and the other characters, because I don't have that with these people in real life. So, having to be antagonistic and having to play that as the character was probably the hardest thing, because it was so hard. Beau [Mirchoff] plays Cash and he and my character have a real antagonistic relationship, and that's really not the case in real life. So, it is really hard sometimes to get yourself in that mode of, you know, I'm not supposed to like this person. So, that was probably the most difficult.
SCIFI VISION:All right. So, you all talked about things you've learned, like I said, sort of on the ranch and things like that, but did you learn anything either about acting or just about yourself as a person from these roles, having done them the whole season?
TYLER JACOB MOORE: Oh, that's great. I’ll start. I learned that everybody has a different process. Each actor has a different process about how they go about the scene, how they prepare, and how they're working the scene out. So, one of the fascinating things, to me, that I learned was how I work things out comparatively to other actors. When you're doing a scene, there would be times where I would want to rehearse it, or go over it again, and again, I'm sort of a grinder that way. Some people that's not their way to perform, and they need spontaneity, and they need to have things happen in the moment and have it be just in the moment. So, that was something that I learned and will take away from this experience.
SARA GARCIA: I knew this before, but it just really solidified itself in me how much of a team effort making a project like this. It starts way before we even arrive on set with copious amounts of hours of prepping and planning. Then, we get there, and we're collaborating, like Jake said, with our crew who lives in this world who breathes this world, and they're just so talented and incredible. We're collaborating with each other, and we're collaborating with the director, and it's all just a team effort, and it becomes a family. That's one of the biggest things that I always wanted in my life was to have a set family, and I truly feel like I found one here. It’s exciting.
JAKE FOY: And my answer falls on the same lines. Nancy, who plays Isabel, says this in the trailer, “You can't take anything for granted,” and that is what I take away from this experience. Every minute that we've had to spend together to do what we love to do with craftsmen and technicians that are doing what they love to do, it's a synergy that we're very aware might be once in a lifetime. So, I've learned to not forget that and to remind myself daily how lucky I am to be in the shoes I'm in - or the boots I'm in, rather.