Jesse Kove and Martin Kove in Hallmark's "A Taste of Love"
Hallmark Media/Photographer: Courtesy Digital Caviar

Real Life Father and Son Martin and Jesse Kove Co-Star in Hallmark's 'A Taste of Love'

Jesse Kove stars opposite Erin Cahill in the new foodie rom-com

If you thought your dad was cool, just wait until you learn who Jesse Kove grew up with as a father! The rising star and lead male in the new Hallmark movie, "A Taste of Love," was raised by the one and only Martin Kove, best known for his role as John Kreese in the "Karate Kid" franchise and Netflix's "Cobra Kai." With Jesse's career on the rise, the duo teamed up on the new movie, part of Hallmark's 2024 Loveuary lineup, which was filmed in Dunedin, Florida. 

While the Koves don't play father and son on screen, fans will see Martin in a new light. His character in "A Taste of Love" couldn't be more different from John Kreese, offering a glimpse at the actor's softer side. Instead of a testosterone-fueled villain, Martin plays a loving father, a role his two children had unknowingly prepared him for their whole lives.

Martin and Jesse Kove recently reunited with the cast and crew of "A Taste of Love" at the 2024 Dunedin International Film Festival for a screening of the movie and a Q&A panel with fans before it premieres Monday, February 19 at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel. Hearing them share their experiences on what it was like working together on set, they clearly have an incredible bond, and it shows in all of their shared projects.

"A Taste of Love" tells the story of Taylor (Erin Cahill), who returns to her hometown after the contract for her cooking television show is up. While mulling over her next career move, she's devastated to learn that her parents (played by Martin and Susan Gallagher) have put the family's restaurant up for sale. Determined to come up with a solution, she runs into her ex, Jacob (Jesse). Sparks return as they spend more time together, but Taylor must eventually choose between her dream job, saving the family restaurant, and their rekindled romance. 

Jesse emphasized just how much fun he and his father had working together on the film.

"It's such a cool dynamic to work with your dad," he shared. "I know him. He knows me," he quipped, "And, also I think it gives it a great edge whenever you do stuff like this." 

Image via Hallmark Media/Photographer: Courtesy Digital Caviar

Despite Martin not wanting his son to work in the industry, Jesse explained how experiencing the highs and lows throughout his father's career prepared him for acting, calling it "the best job in the world." The actor then got more serious and addressed the sentimental aspect of working with family. "Everything that we do is forever. I'll be able to look back at these things that we've done for the rest of my life."

Martin may not have wanted his son to become an actor, but that didn't stop him from helping Jesse get his foot in the door. "The most interesting thing for me is to watch the growth of my son as an actor," he shared. "I remember working with [Jesse] and helping [him] on auditions and all, but one doesn't have to do that anymore." 

At the end of the day, he sure enjoyed watching his performance at the screening of "A Taste of Love." "Watching my son play this romantic hero that I never got to play ... it was such a pleasure. I was in tears the whole time."

Image via Hallmark Media/Photographer: Courtesy Digital Caviar

"A Taste of Love" wasn't the first project Martin and Jesse worked on together. In addition to appearing in several films together, Jesse also appeared in an episode of "Cobra Kai" in Season 3. He played David in a flashback scene depicting him bullying a young John Kreese, an experience the actor described as "surreal."

"We were rehearsing and then all of a sudden I see my dad trickling in the back behind video village and it was just the surreal experience of watching him watch me bully himself as a younger teen," Jesse said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "It was really wild. It was just unbelievable and, you know, it was beautiful at the same time ... It was incredible for me to just be able to be in those shoes that he's created for a little bit and honor him."

While at the 2024 DIFF, Martin and Jesse were eager to discuss their new series, which Martin called his "dream project." "Prodigal Son" is a Western comic book series that debuted at New York Comic Con in 2022. The four-part series tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy who "teams up with the meanest outlaw in the Old West to exact revenge on the gang that murdered his family in cold blood," according to their ongoing Kickstarter campaign.

With the help of his son, Martin is turning his graphic novel into a series that sounds too good not to watch. "He and I are playing opposites and going against each other," Jesse explained, "and having a father/son duo like that, I think, is really interesting for people to watch. I don't think it's been done enough."

Image via Hallmark Media/Photographer: Courtesy Digital Caviar

"A Taste of Love" has an incredible cast, including the female lead, Erin Cahill. She is recognizable as Jen Scotts in "Power Rangers Time Force," Ted Mosby's sister, Heather, in "How I Met Your Mother," and Kendra Burke in "Saving Grace," in addition to her various starring roles in Hallmark rom-coms. In "A Taste of Love," she portrays Taylor, a chef who finds herself out of work after her contract ends with the network filming her cooking host. 

Taylor's mother is played by Susan Gallagher, who has also appeared on "Cobra Kai," though she's nearly unrecognizable on the show. Across six episodes, she plays Lynn, a homeless woman with occasional run-ins with Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) outside a convenience store. Most recently, she appeared in "Merry Good Enough," "Fast Charlie," and "Dog Gone." Ashley Dulaney, Tymberlee Hill, and Darla Delgado also make appearances. 

"A Taste of Love" premieres on Hallmark Channel on Monday, Feb. 19 at 8/7c. It's the perfect movie for foodies and rom-com enthusiasts alike! 

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