Jill Wagner on What to Expect From Hallmark’s ‘Mystery 101: Playing Dead’

Mystery 101: Playing Dead - Jill Wagner
©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Brendan Meadows

In the June 23 installment of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Mystery 101 franchise, crime fiction professor Amy (Jill Wagner) and Detective Travis (Kristoffer Polaha) investigate a crime at a play where murder has a starring role.

When the sleuthing duo attends the opening night of a play at the local community theater, a prop gun fires a real bullet and narrowly misses the play’s leading lady. Travis declares the theater a crime scene and has suspects galore including the star’s ex-husband, a set-designer with secrets to hide, and a young co-star with an unhealthy obsession. And when an actual murder occurs, Amy uses her knack for solving whodunits to solve the deadly crime.

When TV Insider caught up with Jill Wagner, she revealed, “I love the characters in this one, and if you like the game of Clue, you’ll definitely like this. The characters are really, really quirky and bold, and it’s just a cool concept that the writer had, and is a bit darker.”

The actress credits the success of the Mystery 101 franchise to good writing and great chemistry.

“Kris and I work really well together,” she explains. “And ever since audiences saw us in Pearl in Paradise, wanted to see more of us together. I think we have a really just a good working relationship, he’s a great actor and I learn constantly from him. Plus, it’s a really good show, and well written.”

Wagner adds, “And the one that we’re getting ready to shoot is really, really good. I’m so excited about it!”

Wagner reveals that she and Polaha are about to film two additional Mystery 101 films, which should premiere this fall. She teases that, “In one of the films, there’s a big twist where Kris’s character and I may not be so not nice to each other.”

Wagner also reveals that her annual holiday film for Hallmark, titled Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, stars Matt Davis in his first ever Hallmark movie.

“I loved Matt in The Vampire Diaries,” says Wagner, “and I can’t wait for fans of Hallmark Channel to fall in love with him!”

Mystery 101: Playing Dead, Sunday, June 23, 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries