Rushi Kota Make Me a Match Raul Romo

Rushi Kota
Photographer: ©Raul Romo; Wardrobe stylist: Luca Kingston

Rushi Kota made his Hallmark Channel debut days after he landed the role of a lifetime and became a first-time father.

The Make Me a Match star, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, June 28, that he did not navigate fatherhood “well at all” while on set in Canada for the Hallmark movie earlier this year.

“To make a stressful situation even more stressful, my wife’s due date was the same day as my first day of shooting,” Kota explained, noting that the couple’s decision to induce labor a week early didn’t go as planned.

Following a hospital cancellation for their elective procedure, Kota told Us he and his wife, Reeshelle, tried “everything” to naturally speed up labor.

“Miraculously, he must have heard us because my wife’s water broke the next day and he was born after a smooth delivery,” Kota recalled of his son’s March arrival. “I just remember working on my character and memorizing lines in between changing diapers and no sleep.”

Kota revealed that it was “tough being away from [his] newborn son” while on set days later, but noted, “I’m proud of the movie and can’t wait to watch it with him when he’s older.”

Now that his son is three months old, Kota confessed to Us he is still “unequivocally unequipped to be a father,” despite listening to parenting podcasts and reading up on the subject.

“I might as well have done nothing to prepare for fatherhood and I would still be in the same place as I started,” he joked. “Luckily my wife is a freaking genius, and she knows exactly what to do, and she teaches me along the way while I flail around like fish out of water.”

Although parenting hasn’t come easily, Kota felt at ease with his role as Boom in Hallmark’s Make Me a Match, which premiered on Saturday, June 24.

Rushi Kota Filmed Hallmark s Make Me a Match Days After Son s Birth Learned Lines Between Changing Diapers -258
Craig Minielly/Hallmark Media/Photographer

“What drew me to the role of Boom in Make Me A Match was that I’d be playing the first South Asian leading man in a Hallmark movie,” he told Us. “It’s ironic that he’s a noncommittal serial dater, yet it’s his literal job to find people life partners through the family matchmaking business.”

The rom-com follows Vivi (Eva Bourne) as she learns about Indian matchmaking for her company’s dating app while unwillingly becoming the subject of a setup with the matchmaker’s son, Boom (Kota).

“For me, balancing ‘modern romance’ and ‘Indian matchmaking’ was pretty easy because the two are more similar than people realize. While South Asian culture may be associated with arranged marriages, Indian matchmaking is not necessarily that anymore,” Kota, who is Indian American, explained. “Matchmaking has evolved. Just like modern dating [like dating apps], clients are matched based on characteristics like shared interests, physical attraction, age, location.”

The Never Have I Ever actor told Us that couples who use matchmakers “may progress faster to marriage because things like astrological alignment and the vetting process between the families happens upfront.”

Kota added: “What the movie does well is highlight how traditional matchmaking can be modernized and made accessible to everyone.”