Tyler Hynes Teases His Mom and Nieces Had ‘Notes’ After Visiting Hallmark’s ‘Shifting Gears’ Set

Tyler Hynes.
Albert Camicioli/Hallmark

Tyler Hynes was “surprised” by how “emotional” he got seeing his two nieces on Hallmark Channel’s Shifting Gears set — but even more shocked by their assessment of his performance.

“As soon as I walked over, my nieces made it very clear that they could probably do what I do. That they were up for the challenge,” Hynes, 37, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, March 18, while promoting the project, which premieres on Saturday, March 23.

He revealed that the girls had a few “notes” for their uncle, which included, “‘Yes, it’s not that impressive [what you do],’ ‘Yes, [we] can do your job just as well, if not better,’ and ‘Where is craft service?’”

The actor recalled “auditioning” his oldest niece during one of his costar Katherine Barrell’s breaks, testing to see if she could “get up and do Kat’s lines.” Hynes teased that he had to “pull the plug” on the experiment because the 13-year-old was so good.

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Hynes’ nieces ultimately landed cameo roles in Shifting Gears, which is about a female mechanic Jess Barro (Barrell) who faces off against her ex-boyfriend Luke (Hynes) in a car restoration competition show.

In addition to his brother’s children, Hynes got a visit on set from his mom while shooting his latest Hallmark movie, and she also had a few suggestions for him.

My mom always has notes for me,” he told Us, joking, “[She said,] ‘Be more like the guy that you’re playing. Could you be more charming and less of a terrible human being?’”

Tyler Hynes Teases His Mom and Nieces Had ‘Notes’ After Visiting Hallmark’s ‘Shifting Gears’ Set
Courtesy of Tyler Hynes/Instagram

In all seriousness, Hynes said his mom “loved being on set,” especially since it had been years since she watched him firsthand.

“She really relishes being behind the camera and watching how the things are made. Not many people have the stamina to sit on set and watch — take after take — people repeat themselves,” he explained. “My nieces didn’t quite have the patience for that themselves. I think most people don’t, but she loved it.”

While Hynes isn’t used to his family showing up to work, the addition of more females on set was a welcome experience. Shifting Gears is the first production to come from Hallmark’s Make Her Mark women’s directing program, highlighting Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe’s directorial debut.

Tyler Hynes Teases His Mom and Nieces Had ‘Notes’ After Visiting Hallmark’s ‘Shifting Gears’ Set
Albert Camicioli/Hallmark

“It felt like [I was] having all these really talented women bossing [me] around. It was beautiful,” Hynes gushed to Us of working with Barrell, the film’s director and her female mentors as well as a female executive producer. “It’s exactly where I want to be. … I felt like it was a production just surrounded with that energy.”

Hynes noted that Barrell, 34, is “so talented.” He explained that her work as a filmmaker and actor only enhanced their on-set dynamic. “She understands what it is that we’re up to and what the job is,” he continued. “She makes it all very easy to be able to dive in [and] work.”

The Hallmark star also praised the ensemble cast, joking that he felt small in stature based on the men he shared scenes with.

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“The gentleman who played my dad was a consummate professional. He’s a giant, by the way,” Hynes teased. “If there’s anything anybody can take away from this movie it’s that I’m going to look like some sort of optical illusion, like, [a] Lord of the Rings [character]. I am just this hobbit-size person.”

He continued, “Everybody around me is a giant. And I looked like I’m Al Pacino‘s smaller brother. Just a little package.”

Even with the height differences, Hynes described the Shifting Gears team as “lovely” and remembered everybody being “very kind and very focused.”

Shifting Gears premieres on Hallmark Channel Saturday, March 23, at 8 p.m. ET.