Why Skyler Samuels Didn't Ask Candace Cameron Bure for Advice as Hallmark's New Aurora Teagarden (Exclusive)

Skyler Samuels, who replaced Bure as Aurora Teagarden in Hallmark's hit mystery franchise, reveals why she sought out to create her version of the character while nodding to the original

Roy Rochlin/WireImage
Roy Rochlin/WireImage

Skyler Samuels wants her performance as Aurora Teagarden to stand for itself.

Back in March, Hallmark announced that its beloved Aurora Teagarden saga would continue despite the departure of original lead Candace Cameron Bure’s, who moved to the Great American Family channel. Following Bure's departure, the network revealed that Samuels would be stepping into the fan-favorite role with a prequel film titled Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New.

“When it comes to the new Aurora, though Candace played her originally, for us it was really important that the new Aurora was a reimagining of that character so that she was still very much her own,” Samuels, 29, exclusively tells PEOPLE.

“The threads or little pieces that carry over from the original really are sort of the liaisons between the two worlds,” she adds

Related: Hallmark Announces New 'Aurora Teagarden' Movie After Candace Cameron Bure's GAC Move

Crown Media United States, LLC
Crown Media United States, LLC

Samuels reveals that she didn’t seek out advice from Bure when it came to bringing her version of Aurora to life. Instead, the cast and crew relied on costar Marilu Henner, who’s portrayed Aurora’s mother Aida in the original and prequel films.

Henner, 71, “returns in our movies,” says Samuels. “And so she was kind of our encyclopedia for a lack of a better word [for] the world of Aurora and tidbits with that crazy memory of hers. She really was able to fill us in on anything we didn’t know.”

Related: Christmas in July Is Nearly Here! Hallmark Gifts Fans with 2 New Festive Films

With such a loyal following, Samuels confessed she felt a sense of “responsibility” to deliver the same type of film that Aurora Teagarden fans will know and love because “that's who kind of got you there in the first place.”

“It was our goal to make something that felt familiar but also exciting to the old audience,” she explains, noting that the new film strived to include “elements of the original movies that they love that would feel familiar” though “at the same time, introduce some things that felt new and exciting."

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Related: Candace Cameron Bure Leaves Hallmark and Signs Deal With GAC Media, Including Christmas Programming

Bure, 47, explained in a statement released in April 2022 how GAC Media aligned with her career goals and personal beliefs. "I'm very excited to develop heartwarming family and faith-filled programming and make the kind of stories my family and I love to watch. I am constantly looking for ways that I can inspire people to live life with purpose," she said at the time. 

Additionally, Bure said that "GAC fits my brand perfectly," and commented on how the content fits into her lifestyle. "We share a vision of creating compelling wholesome content for an audience who wants to watch programming for and with the whole family. Great, quality entertainment with a positive message is what my partnership with GAC is all about."

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Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New premieres Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

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