Christmas With You Interview with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Aimee Garcia!
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.
The movie’s logline reads, “Pop diva Angelina escapes from her professional burnout to fulfill a young fan’s request in small town New York, where she not only finds the inspiration to reinvigorate her career but also a chance at true love.”
Mr. Tyler Treese
First of all, Freddie, it’s wonderful to see you back in a romantic comedy. It only seems right. I know you mentioned joining Christmas With You to raise money for your pro wrestling group on your podcast, but you’ve definitely caught the acting bug once more. What, then, about the process actually rekindled that love?
Freddie Prinze Jr.: Now, what set this movie apart from other romantic comedies, I believe any actor who has performed in a number of them needs to find something that either pushes them or is different, isn’t that right? I’ve never portrayed a father in a movie, but with a daughter who is 13 and another who is 15, I have the chance to demonstrate what I’ve learned over the course of my 13 years as a stay-at-home father. We actors always want to be better actors at the end of a movie than we were at the beginning, feeling much better about ourselves as performers than we were. So let’s hope we’re always progressing.
But I think I was anxious because I’ve had so much time to consider what I’ve done and to really get inside my own thoughts. I haven’t been anxious since I saw my very first movie. There were scenes in this book that I was aware of the day we were filming but that we might not finish for weeks. Nevertheless, I reminded Freddie, “We’re filming that scene in 21 days where he’s got to tell Deja how proud her mom would be and this is her moment and all this. How do you want to do this Freddie?” You want to cry, but you try to restrain yourself because you don’t want to do all of these things in front of your kid. When I arrived, they told me to take action, and Deja glanced at me, I realized that nothing I had planned would work.
I just thought, “Fuck it,” Just be with this child right now, let her influence you in the manner she will influence you, and let whatever occurs naturally. And I’m quite pleased with how that sequence turned out. I’ve stated it before, but I believe it to be the best scene I’ve ever captured on camera, yet I had nothing to do with it. That’s simultaneously demeaning and empowering, but I still adore Deja Monique Cruz. She’s so sensitive and sweet, I wish she was here talking to us right now so you guys could watch her cry.
But that was all, I guess. That’s what motivated me to carry it out. And in the end, those were the scenes that had the biggest impact on me throughout the process. You play such a great part in this, Aimee. How did it feel to play a pop star? You’re performing some rehearsed dance routines; I can only imagine how much fun that was.
Oh, it was a dream come true, said Aimee Garcia. Although it’s a little different when you’re not dancing for eight hours a day and you only have one week to learn all the dances with real professional dancers who actually dance on a weekly basis, it was good to get back to the profession where I started my career. But, you know, I was a fan. They handed me three songs—a ballad, a Christmas song, and a pop song—and said, “You have 72 hours to memorize these three songs.” I was quite anxious about singing because I had only performed in one episode of the Lucifer musical. Also, I’m twitching. I too experienced a mild panic episode, but it was still a lot of fun.
I mean, I play the piano in real life, so I got to kind of play a little bit of piano, do a little physical comedy, and just be such a fun bratty diva. It’s good to be able to have permission to be all centered and so selfish so that you have somewhere to go by the end of the story. It excelled. Shooting in New York was incredible, I mean. It definitely raised the production value and seemed to be a character in and of itself. Playing a part that I didn’t have as a child was nice.
I adore Christmas movies, so getting to co-star in one with Latinos both in front of and behind the camera was like a dream come true for me. I don’t know if my next work will be able to check all these boxes, but at least I got to do this, so I can pass away content.