A romance blossomed behind the cameras

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Having a long dark Burt Reynolds mustache can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the circumstances. For Sean Welch Bredbenner, it was both one day in 2018.

Mr. Bredbenner, a member of the Directors Guild of America, was in Washington, working on the set of “The Man Standing Next”, a South Korean political drama set in the 1970s. That morning, an actor who had been hired to play the role of a driver did not show up. Mr Bredbenner – whose mustache was coincidentally from the exact period – was asked to take on the role of driver. He obeyed, although he is not particularly comfortable in front of the camera.

It was the curse.

The Blessing: The surprise role earned Mr. Bredbenner some surprise money, which he used that night to take Jordan Lee Hart, who worked as the second director of the film crew, into a lavish cocktail bar.

Mr. Bredbenner and Ms. Hart, who had traveled to Washington from New York, where they each lived, had met the year before on the set of “Paterno,” the HBO miniseries. Their paths had crossed on occasion in the months that followed, especially on the set of the Showtime series “Ray Donovan”. But it was while they were working on “The Man Standing Next” that their professional friendship began to turn into romance. They were still working on this transition the night they went to the cocktail bar.

“You’d call it a date in hindsight,” Ms. Hart said, “but maybe not at the time.”

Yet, said Hart, this outing helped her recognize three facts: “I love spending time with this person, I love going out with this person, I love coming home with this person. “

After filming in Washington was completed, Ms. Hart and Mr. Bredbenner returned to New York. Their relationship took a long time to calcify.

“It was a lot of stops and starts,” Ms. Hart said, “and then one day it just didn’t stop.”

In the spring of 2019, they were more formally together. Mr Bredbenner invited Ms Hart to travel with him to West Virginia to meet his mother, Sandra Welch Boland, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This visit brought the couple closer together. Ms Hart recognized the importance of the invitation and Mr Bredbenner admired the way Ms Hart handled the situation.

When Mr Bredbenner’s mother passed away that fall, Mr Bredbenner inherited an heirloom ring that had once belonged to his great-grandmother. He put the ring away in his nightstand, where it wasn’t exactly hidden from Mrs. Hart; it became clear to both of them that he would introduce it to her one day. “It was like Chekhov’s engagement ring,” Ms. Hart said.

That day happened in April 2021.

Ms Hart, 31, and Mr Bredbenner, 40, were married in the French Quarter of New Orleans on June 5 by Geneviève Dumont, a non-denominational wedding officiant. The couple live temporarily in New Orleans while Mr. Bredbenner works there as an assistant director on a set. Ms. Hart, now a producer and executive director of development for production company Little Monster Films, works remotely.

Although Mr Bredbenner and Ms Hart do not work on the same projects at this point in their careers, they support each other professionally in a more general way.

“This lifestyle of packing up and going to the next state or country is fun but empowering,” Ms. Hart said. “And it helps, in my opinion, to do it with a partner. Because then the house is a relative word. It’s kind of my new place that makes me feel comfortable and at home.


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