How Kimberley Sustad turned a love of ’90s rom-coms into a career as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after screenwriters

How Kimberley Sustad turned a love of ’90s rom-coms into a career as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after screenwriters

Kimberley Sustad has been a fan favorite on Hallmark Channel since her breakout role in the 2012 romcom A Bride For Christmas. But the actress, who grew up in Winnipeg, is also a sought-after screenwriter.

In addition to the 2022 Countdown to Christmas smash hit Three Wise Men and a Baby, the actress wrote 2020’s Christmas By Starlight. And she’s not done yet. In a recent interview, the actress said she has two more movies in the works.

Kimberley Sustad

A self-proclaimed tomboy, Sustad grew up riding horses and playing sports. She nabbed a role in the 2009 short film Live Henry Live and went on to work in theater in Seattle. She went on to star in the TV shows Spooksville, The Romeo Section, Unspeakable, Alcatraz, Primeval New World, Motive, and Continuum, but continued to do theater roles when she could.

Two years after starring in Hallmark’s a Bride for Christmas, Sustad landed the role of Marilee in the Countdown to Christmas movie The Nine Lives of Christmas. The film has gained a loyal following over the years and was followed up in 2021 with the sequel The Nine Kittens of Christmas.

Over the years, Sustad has appeared in the Hallmark mystery series The Gourmet Detective and Morning Show Mysteries. She appeared in the network’s beloved Signed, Sealed, Delivered series and had a role on Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores.

Hallmark movies

She also has a long list of Hallmark movies to her name:

All Things Valentine (2016)
Hearts of Christmas (2016)
Walking the Dog (2017)
Cooking With Love (2018)
A Godwink Christmas (2018)
A Christmas Coincidence (2018)
Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen (2019)
Wedding Every Weekend (2020)
Christmas by Starlight (2020)
Spotlight on Christmas (2020)
North to Home (2022)
Lights, Camera, Christmas (2022)
Three Wise Men and a Baby (2023)
Fourth Down and Love (2023)
To All a Good Night (2023)

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From actress to screenwriter

Sustad made the leap from actress to screenwriter after starring with Paul Campbell in the 2018 movie A Godwink Christmas. Though the film was a serious one, Sustad and Campbell were constantly joking around on set.

“The movie was really sentimental, and we kept saying, oh, I wish we had the chance to do a romcom or something like that to really test this energy that we had,” Sustad said in an interview with TV Fanatic. “Because when the cameras started rolling, it was joke after joke, and we were laughing hysterically, even though that was not the movie we were filming.”

Campbell eventually asked Sustad if she wanted to write a movie together.

“We sort of bumped our way along, and we wrote this script on spec, and we walked into Hallmark when we had some other event to go to,” she said. “We asked, ‘Hey, can we come in for a quick meeting before the TCAs?’ And we handed them the script and pitched them the movie.”

Hallmark loved the script and offered Sustad the lead. Christmas By Starlight was released in 2020.

Sustad shared a behind-the-scenes look at Three Wise Men and a Baby in an Instagram post. (Image: Instagram/@kimberleysustad)
Sustad shared a behind-the-scenes look at Three Wise Men and a Baby in an Instagram post. The caption read, "This one is special. These guys poured their hearts and souls into it. I had the honour of co-writing it with @paulcampbellofficial and we held nothing back!" (Image: Instagram/@kimberleysustad)

Three Wise Men and a Baby

Campbell and Sustad collaborated again and came up with the script for Three Wise Men and a Baby. The film, which starred Campbell, Andrew Walker, and Tyler Hynes, was the most-watched cable movie of 2022. In an interview, Sustad said it was great to see fans respond to it the way they did.

“I wasn’t expecting it to sort of break the glass ceiling and go into a wider audience space the way that it did,” she said.

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Working with Hallmark

Sustad has a few other projects in the works.

“Paul and I are writing a script called My Week in Wyoming, which is going to be an amazing tale,” she said. “It’s almost like a City Slickers. And it’s not Christmas, but it’s really funny.”

“We’re also working on a Christmas movie that we’re writing, and I’m not allowed to say anything about that one, but it’s also going to, I hope, blow the doors off as well. So we’re having a lot of fun doing that simultaneously, actually.”

She also talked about how much she loves working for Hallmark.

“And they’re just one of the most incredible networks, honestly, to work for,” she said. “They treat you so nice. They are like family; you get to know everybody. You get to work internally on these things — and they bring you back, which is, I think, very rare amongst networks. It’s almost like they have a small company of actors that they rotate, and that fans get to know and see them in different parts, and in different pairings … There’s a reason of the quality of programming that they’re doing, and then there’s just also a reason that they’re wonderful people, and actually family to me, as well.”

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