Soap alum Saundra Santiago (Carmen, GUIDING LIGHT; Carlotta, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) will make an appearance in the Hallmark movie Sand Dollar Cove, premiering this Saturday, June 26, at 9 p.m. The film stars Aly Michalka as land developer Elli, who works on acquiring a beachfront property in the quaint beach town of Sand Dollar Cove. While working on the deal, she falls for Chad Michael Murray’s Brody, the town charmer who just so happens to own the property Elli’s hoping to snap up.
Santiago exclusively told Soaps In Depth that she appears in Sand Dollar Cove as Elli’s boss. “I play a high-powered real estate agent named Anna,” the GL alum explained. “I send Elli to this town to buy a pier so I can turn it into a beach resort. The townspeople are very protective of their pier, and they don’t want that! Elli’s the project manager, and she ends up falling in love with the guy who lives in this town.”
All of Santiago’s interactions in the film are with Michalka, whom she says went above and beyond as a scene partner. “She was really sweet,” raved Santiago. “We had one scene together — although all our other scenes were on the phone. I’m in this beautiful, fancy office just on the phone! But Aly was nice enough to be there [reading her lines] when I had scenes on the phone.”
Working on Sand Dollar Cove was the first time that Santiago had been on a set since July 2019. “I hadn’t worked since this musical I did, Promenade, at New York City Center,” she explained. “I didn’t work the rest of the year, and then with COVID, there was no work to be had. This role fell into my lap. They talked to my agent and offered it to me. It was three months after getting my vaccines, so I felt that was safe enough to hang with people other than my husband and my dog.”
The movie was filmed in picturesque Mystic, Connecticut — which Santiago said “was gorgeous” — and the entire cast and crew was very careful with coronavirus protocols. “I was very impressed with the procedures they had in place.”
Although she only has a minor role in the movie, the “semi-retired” Santiago declared that it was the perfect way to ease back into acting. “I was ready to move on. The COVID thing has been very strange,” she confessed.
Sand Dollar Cove debuts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 26., and you can watch the trailer for the romantic movie right now!