ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with director Gabriela Tagliavini about her upcoming holiday film Christmas with you. The film premieres on Netflix on November 17.
“Feeling burnt out in her career, pop star Angelina flees to fulfill a young fan’s wish in small-town New York, where she finds not only the inspiration to revitalize her career, but also a shot at true love,” reads the film’s logline.
Tyler Treese: Freddie Prinze Jr., this is his big return. We haven’t seen him in a while and it feels so right that he’s in a rom-com. How exciting it was to work with him and he picked up right where he left off of?
Gabriela Tagliavini: Yeah, it’s so funny that you asked that question because now it’s becoming this viral news, Freddie’s comeback in this movie, Christmas with you. But he was actually nervous about getting back on screen because he hasn’t acted in a few years. So at the end he said to me “thanks for making it easy because I was nervous,” and I didn’t realize he was that nervous until he told me at the end and we hugged and we cried. He did a wonderful job. He is so talented.
The two leads are fantastic. Aimee and Freddie have great chemistry. When did you know that it would translate on screen and that this relationship would really affect viewers?
Fortunately, they knew each other. Not much, but they like each other and that was a good start. Then we practiced a lot to improve the romance. So I’m glad it’s translating because a lot of people tell me they have great chemistry and that’s what rom-coms are all about.
One thing I like about the movie is the whole pop star element. Aimee’s character is so funny. She’s doing these choreographed dances, but there’s also this element of burnout that she’s dealing with and is at a reflective point in her career. What did you find most interesting about watching this pop star not at her peak but trying to figure out her next steps?
I love that about the story when I received the script. I love the idea of a pop star who is not, as you said, at her peak because she is closed and not open in her heart. We always did the analogy of what would happen if Jennifer Lopez would visit a fan just to grant her Christmas wish and take a picture, and then fall in love with the fan’s father. I think it’s a good concept.
There is such a great incorporation of so much of Latin culture into the film. How amazing was it to put in that representation?
Thank you! Yes, this is the first time that Netflix has made a Christmas movie with a Latino cast and Latinos behind the camera. The producer’s Latino, the writer, the director, the composer, and it brings in a whole flavor, mixing Christmas with the Latino music and food. I think it gives it an original taste.
Christmas movies have such a rich history, and Netflix always does a fun job releasing a few each year. What was most exciting about adding this tradition?
I love Christmas movies and I already made a movie with Netflix called In spite of everything, but this is my second movie with Netflix and I’ve never done a Christmas movie. I am so thrilled that they had the vision to create a new Christmas movie that represents our culture.
I was curious if you had a favorite Christmas movie that you always break out every holiday season?
Yes I love Love actually. It’s my favorite Christmas movie because it’s grounded and it makes me cry every time I watch it, I’ve probably seen it 30 times and I hope people feel the same way. Christmas with youour movie., and that they laugh and they cry and they see it this year and next year and the year after that.