ComingSoon editor-in-chief Tyler Treese spoke Christmas with you has Freddie Prinze Jr. and Aimee Garcia on the upcoming Netflix holiday movie. 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, first of all, it’s great to see you in a rom-com again. It just feels right. I know on your podcast you talked about going on Christmas With You to fund your pro wrestling organization, but you really got the acting bug again. So what about the process that really sparked that love again?
Freddie Prinze Jr.: Well, what made this film unique from other romantic comedies and I think any actor who has done a lot of these must find either something that challenges them or something that is different, right? I’ve never played a father in a movie before, and to have a 13-year-old daughter and to have this 15-year-old daughter here and to be able to show what I’ve learned over 13 years of being a stay- basically a stay-at-home dad. I feel 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 film than at the beginning. So hopefully we’ll keep 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 shot them and we could be weeks out, but I was like, in 21 days we’re going to shoot that scene where he’s going to tell Deja how proud her mom would be, and this is her moment and all this and “how are you going 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 I had planned I knew wasn’t going to work.
I was just like, “just watch it. Just be with this kid right now, let her affect you like 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 it before, but I think it’s the best scene I’ve ever put on film, and I had nothing to do with it. It’s humbling and empowering at the same time, but I love that child, Deja Monique Cruz. I wish she was here talking to us now so you could see her cry because she is so sensitive and sweet.
But yes, it was. 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. What was it like playing a pop star? You do some choreographed dance routines; I imagine it would 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 that, although it’s a bit different when you don’t dance eight hours a day and you only have a week to learn all the dances with real professional dancers who literally dancing on a weekly basis. But I loved it, you know? I was really nervous about the song because I had only sung in one Lucifer musical episode, and then they give me three songs—a ballad, a Christmas song, and a pop song—and they say, “You have 72 hours to learn these three songs.” And I’m like shaking. And I have a minor panic attack, but it was just so much fun.
I mean, everything I love to do, I play the piano in real life, so I got to play a little piano and do a little physical comedy and just be this fun bratty diva, which is so nice to be able to have permission to be focused and so selfish so that you have somewhere to go at the end of the story. It was good. I mean, shooting in New York was amazing. I feel like it was a character in itself and really added to the production value. It was nice to play a role that I didn’t have as a child.
I love Christmas movies and it was just a dream come true to be in a Christmas movie with Latinos in front of and behind the camera because it’s just so rare, it’s so much fun. My next job, I don’t know if it will be able to tick all these boxes, but at least I get to do this and I can die happy.