Is This Wonder Years Actress Really Filming a New Christmas Movie in Northern Idaho?
Let's face it. With its gorgeous snow capped mountains and cozy woodland cabins, Idaho was born to be the backdrop for one of those cheesy, but hopelessly romantic Christmas movies. The rumor mill is churning that the Gem State may be the backdrop of one of them soon.
Earlier this week, one of my friends shared a post from the Facebook group "North Idaho Life" that said Wonder Years star and Hallmark movie legend, Danica McKellar, dined at Backcountry Café in Kellogg on Tuesday. The post alleges that McKellar stopped in for lunch while scouting locations for a new Hallmark Christmas movie titled Love in Smelterville.
Naturally, we had questions. When are they shooting? Where are they shooting? When will it premiere? HOW DO WE BECOME EXTRAS?! We went down the rabbit hole trying to find the answers, because we know you have the same questions.
Unfortunately, it looks like the news was an elaborate social media hoax. A quick Google search turned up one result linking Danica McKellar to a film by this name. It was from the same person who created the post we saw and stated that filming had began in October 2020. The timelines don't match up.
Digging a little deeper, there's no movie by that name listed on McKellar's IMDB page or the list of Christmas releases planned for Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Backcountry Café didn't share any photos of McKellar's alleged visit on their Facebook page or even mention that she was there. Sure, they could've been respecting her privacy, but we'd expect a restaurant to share that cool news ala the way Moon's did when Pierce Brosnan stopped in back in July.
Finally, it's unlikely that McKellar would be shooting a movie for Hallmark right now. Earlier this week, news broke that McKellar was leaving Hallmark Channel to act and produce in four movies for for rival, GAC Family. GAC is ran by Bill Abbott, who used to be the CEO of Hallmark Channel's parent company.
McKellar started in 16 different movies during her tenure at Hallmark, including "You, Me & the Christmas Tree," Hallmark's first new Christmas movie in 2021.
Where is Smelterville, anyway?
The backdrop of the fake movie is a very real place. Smelterville is a town of less than 700 about 36 miles east of Coeur d'Alene. If you search Trip Advisor for things to do in Smelterville, you get no results actually in the small town. Everything fun is in nearby Kellogg.
Maybe Google Maps caught Smelterville on a bad day, but clicking through the Google Streets photos of the town? It looks like one of the last places we could see inspiring a Hallmark movie.