ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Christmas With You stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Aimee Garcia about the upcoming Netflix holiday film. The movie is set to debut on Netflix on November 17.
“Feeling career burnout, pop star Angelina escapes to grant a young fan’s wish in small town New York, where she not only finds the inspiration to revitalize her career but also a shot at true love,” reads the film’s logline.
Tyler Treese: Freddie, first off, it’s great seeing you in a rom-com again. It just feels right. I know on your podcast you talked about joining Christmas With You to fund your pro wrestling organization, but you really got the acting bug again. So what about the process really sparked that love again?
Freddie Prinze Jr.: Well, what made this film unique from other romantic comedies, and I think any actor who’s made a bunch of these needs to find either something that challenges them or something that’s different, right? I’ve never played a father in a movie before, and having a 13-year-old daughter and having this 15-year-old daughter in here and getting the opportunity to show what I’ve learned over 13 years of being a stay-at-home dad basically. Feeling like I’m a much better actor than I was … as actors, we always want to be a better actor at the end of a movie than at the beginning. So hopefully we’re always growing.
But I feel like I’ve had so much time to analyze things I’ve done, and get in my own head in a good way, that I was nervous. I haven’t been nervous since my first movie ever. And there were scenes in here where, I knew the day we were filming them, and we could be weeks out, but I was like, in 21 days we’re filming that scene where he’s got to tell Deja how proud her mom would be, and this is her moment and all this, and” how do you want to do this Freddie?” You want to break down, but you want to control it, because you don’t want to cry in front of your daughter, all these things. And then I got there and they said action, and Deja looked at me and everything that I planned, I knew wasn’t going to work.
I was just like, “just screw it. Just be with this kid right now, let her affect you the way she’s going to affect you and whatever happens, happens.” And I’m so proud of that scene and how it turned out. I’ve said this before, but I think it’s the best scene that I’ve ever put on film, and I didn’t have anything to do with it. That’s humbling and empowering at the same time, but I love that kid, Deja Monique Cruz. I wish she was here speaking with us now, so you guys could see her cry, because she’s so sensitive and sweet.
But yeah, that was it. That’s what made me want to do it. And those ended up being the scenes that affected me the most during the process.
Aimee, you have such a fun role here. How was it playing a pop star? You’re doing some choreographed dance routines; I imagine it had to be a lot of fun.
Aimee Garcia: Oh, it was a dream come true. I started my career as a professional dancer, so it was nice to come back to it, although it’s a little different when you’re not dancing eight hours a day and you only have one week to learn all the dances with actual professional dancers who literally dance on a weekly basis. But I loved it, you know? I was really nervous about the singing because I had only done singing in the one Lucifer musical episode and then they’re handing me three songs — a ballad, a Christmas song, and a pop song — and they’re like, “You have 72 hours to learn these three songs.” And I’m like, twitching. And, I have a minor panic attack, but it was just so fun.
I mean, everything I love to do, I play piano in real life, so I got to kind of play a little bit of piano, and do a little physical comedy, and just be such a fun bratty diva, which is so nice to be able to have permission to be all focused and so selfish so that you have somewhere to go by the end of the story. It was great. I mean, shooting in New York was amazing. I feel like it was a character in itself and really upped the production value. It was nice to play a role that I didn’t have as a kid.
I love Christmas movies, and it was just a dream come true to co-star in a Christmas movie with Latinos in front and behind the camera, because it’s just so rare, it’s so fun. My next job, I don’t know if it’ll be able to check off all these boxes, but at least I got to do this and I can die happy.