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Director Gabriela Tagliavini of “a Christmas with You” Discusses Latino Stereotypes in This Interview.

 Tyler Treese spoke to director Gabriela Tagliavini about her upcoming holiday film Christmas With You. 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.”

Tyler Treese: Freddie Prinze Jr. is making a significant comeback. It feels so natural that he is in a rom-com because we haven’t seen him in a while. Was working with him interesting, and did he continue where he left off?

Togliavini, Gabriela

Yes, it’s hilarious that you posed that question given that Freddie’s reappearance in the film Christmas With You is currently the subject of viral news. He hasn’t acted in a while, so he was actually anxious to return to the big screen. I didn’t realize he was so frightened until he informed me at the end, and we hugged and sobbed as he thanked me for making it easier because I was nervous. He did an excellent job. He has such skill.

Both leads are excellent. Aimee and Freddie get along well. When did you realize this relationship would actually have an effect on viewers and translate on screen?

Christmas with You
Christmas With You. (L to R) Aimee Garcia as Angelina, Freddie Prinze Jr as Miguel in Christmas With You. Cr. Jessica Kourkounis/Netflix © 2022.

Fortunately, they were acquainted. Not much, but the fact that they get along well was a nice beginning. Then, in order to heighten romanticism, we practiced a lot. I’m therefore happy that it works since many people tell me that they have wonderful chemistry, which is what rom-coms are all about.

The movie’s emphasis on pop stars is one aspect I enjoy. I love Aimee’s character. She does these scripted dances, but she is also experiencing burnout and is in a reflective phase of her career. What about watching this pop singer, not at her best but attempting to determine her future moves did you find most fascinating?

When I first read the narrative, I fell in love with that aspect of it. I adore the concept of a pop star who is not, as you stated, at the pinnacle of her powers because she is heartlessly cut off. We used to compare what would occur if Jennifer Lopez visited a fan solely to fulfill her Christmas wish and take a picture, only to fall in love with the fan’s father. That strikes me as a fantastic idea.

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The film does a fantastic job of including a lot of Latin culture. How impressive was adding that representation?

I’m grateful. Yes, this is the first Christmas movie on Netflix to have an all-Latino cast and Latino directors. The producer, writer, director, and composer are all Latino, which adds a whole taste by fusing Christmas with Latino music and cuisine. It, in my opinion, gives it a unique flavor.

Christmas movies have such a rich history, and Netflix always does a great job of releasing a couple of them every year. What about continuing this custom was most exciting?

I enjoy watching Christmas movies, and I’ve already made one for Netflix called Despite Everything, but this is only my second project with them, and I’ve never made one. I am very happy that someone had the idea to make a fresh Christmas film that reflects our society.

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Do you have a favorite Christmas movie that you watch every year over the holidays?

I do enjoy Love Actually. That’s my favorite Christmas movie because it’s realistic and it always makes me weep. I’ve probably watched it 30 times or more. I hope people feel the same way about our movie, Christmas With You, and that they laugh and cry and watch it this year, next year, and the year after that.

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