Ian Harding on Making ‘Ghosts of Christmas Always,’ Holiday Traditions, and More


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Ian Harding stars as Peter in Ghosts of Christmas Always, which is a half of Hallmark’s 2022 Countdown to Christmas. You can see all the upcoming showtimes for the movie here!

2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Patrick Randak

In the movie, Katherine (the Ghost of Christmas Present) must help Peter rediscover his Christmas spirit, however this yr has something uncommon in store. To begin the interview, I requested the actor what initially attracted him to the story and if the holiday style was something he had at all times needed to do:

“Yeah, really it’s one thing that I wanted to do. I bear in mind once I was a child, I loved virtually all types of television, films, and whatnot, and so there’s this weird a part of me, I suppose plenty of actors have a director that they need to work with or a certain actor that they want to work with and I even have that too, however in some methods, I want to virtually examine every single style box, you know? I was so proud of myself, I did this stint on Chicago Med years in the past as a result of I bear in mind rising up, loving ER. It was something that I wanted to go and experience. So when this came my way, I was pondering like, ‘Oh my God, yeah.’ It’s a Christmas film, it additionally occurred to practically shoot in my backyard, which was lovely, after which Kim Matula, our lead, is a lengthy time partner with a pal of mine from school and so I knew her. It simply made every kind of sense after which the script simply felt like plenty of enjoyable, and when I spoke with our director Rich, the way that he spoke about it was like, ‘We understand that this could be a Christmas movie, but we’re principally taking pictures like a little indie film that’s going to air on Hallmark sort thing.’ So I had lots of leeway however there was additionally lots of enjoyable and so it was actually a delight from begin to end.”

Ian continued to say, “Kim was sort of up for anything and we received a lot leeway. At one level, we were gonna shoot this one scene in this one location, then that wasn’t gonna work and so we ended up taking pictures it on this long like toilet and we simply needed to type of make that work. It was so stimulating from like a logistical type of standpoint, so it was just a delight. Our sound guy had the growth, he was laying within the bathtub and we had the boom up between us, so we had to do the factor where we needed to like keep in the moment, stay linked, and then step over the increase mic, you know, like that kind of factor. It was nice.”

2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Scott Holloway

Since he can now examine the vacations off his record, what genre does he want to attempt next? Well, there are a couple of.

“I mean, there’s definitely an motion element that I would love to explore, but also I would love to attempt horror simply because it’s one that I’m really afraid of. I don’t actually watch a ton as a result of I know they have an effect on me so deeply, particularly when they’re so nicely done and that’s one thing that I would want to do after which not watch. I think that’s one thing that would be the following factor I’d love to explore,” he expressed. “I haven’t worked with many inexperienced screens or sort of the sci-fi side of issues. A buddy of mine has accomplished a quantity of video games and that movement capture. He’s like, ‘It’s the most effective and perhaps most over-the-top committed performing you have to do as a outcome of you’ve dots in your face, you’re in like a black leotard, and you have to promote that you’ve a large ax in your hand and you’re defending a maiden or something,’ so that’s something that’s a challenge that I want as properly, but you understand, we’ll see.”

The movie has lots of coronary heart and the actor admits he was actually moved by the story whereas filming it:

“I had a kind of an actor hubris second the place I thought, ‘Okay, great, it’s a really enjoyable script. It’s a Christmas film, it’s gonna be a blast,’ and I ended up being somewhat bit more affected by it than I had realized. I had moments where I was really pretty emotional and I think some persons are like, ‘Whoa, let’s chill out. You have a reindeer hat on,’ as a outcome of I suppose it was very much like, the whole story for my character is principally what do you want– not what do you suppose you want? What do you feel– not what you feel you need to want? What do you want? And I assume during the pandemic, lots of people, it hit them in the face. I didn’t work for 15 months and I was pondering, ‘alright, so who am I with out this hustle, this actor LA grind? Who could I be without that?’ I came to a bunch of realizations and that’s one of the the cause why, I don’t know if you notice, that’s not California outside. So I moved to the Northeast, I’m in a unique part of my life and it’s really solidified for me this type of sense of just going for it. It is in all probability not the factor that you always thought you wanted or the factor that you thought you must do, perhaps it’s slightly completely different, and so I suppose hopefully that shines via the efficiency. I don’t know, hopefully, my turtleneck isn’t too distracting, you know? There’s enough good strong Christmas movie– I don’t know what number of Christmas sweaters I had, perhaps there weren’t that many. I mean, he was supposed to be like somewhat posh, however yeah, there’s some… turtleneck season, let’s simply say that.”

2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Scott Holloway

“I suppose if you’re watching one thing and something really hits you or an actor’s performance strikes you in a way that, especially you weren’t anticipating like, let’s say— I’m trying to think of like a specific example but… oh okay, so I was watching She-Hulk: Attorney at Law a quick while in the past. It was nice and Tatiana Maslany’s efficiency I assume was so grounded and actual, but additionally I assume she only had like two episodes where she performed the type of drunk membership woman that is out there in and I thought she walked away with each scene, but I assume it’s because she managed to take a trope and type of ground it,” the actor explained. “So I suppose what I attempt to do whatever the part, is how sincere can I make it? How much can I connect to this particular person regardless of the circumstances? Like oh, I don’t know, three ghosts of Christmas past, current, and future displaying up in your house and attempt to promote that realistically, you know? I think what I attempt to go for and what I will hopefully search for every time I get a script or an audition, a gathering, or one thing is like, alright, who’s the individual versus the caricature or the character, you know? Like who’s the individual and then simply trying to do that.”

Harding has many notable appearing credits, particularly his role in Pretty Little Liars. He was most just lately in Long Slow Exhale and The Hater. We mentioned what it means when somebody recognizes him and shares what his work means to them or how it has personally impacted them.

“It does feel rewarding because I assume, especially with some of the tasks that I’ve done, you are feeling a little bit ridiculous or I sometimes have a really hard time believing myself, I’ll see myself on the screen or something and I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know if I purchase it,’” he mentioned. “I did this little movie known as The Hater, that’s on Apple and my friend, Joey wrote, produced it, directed, and starred in it and I’m watching it like, ‘Okay, I really like this, I feel like I am appearing the crap out of this scene.’ But I did meet someone who was like, ‘I saw that and I really beloved it, and I discovered myself empathizing with someone from my reverse political party, which is like, a tough thing to do,’ and so okay, that basically does mean something to me because sometimes whereas you’re doing it, you are feeling slightly ridiculous or it’s cold out and you’re freezing your ass off in a car parking zone while they’re setting things up. So the fact that somebody was like, ‘Oh I was actually moved by that,’ and seemingly means it, and isn’t just like, ‘Hey, I like your stuff! Selfie?’ That actually means a lot.”

We also mirrored on how that carries into journalism and interviews in addition to why it’s so essential to have longer, deeper conversations that can be highly effective for viewers:

“It’s additionally really essential, I assume especially these kind of interviews where like, the meaningful– especially now it feels far less presentational like with podcasts or type of independent sites that aren’t simply heritage media. As good as that can be possibly for publicity, I suppose it’s really good to find the locations and the people that have distinctive kind of viewers seize, niche followings that like, ‘I know that for Sophia, she’s going to get these kinds of people so I want to see that interview,’ as opposed to me going and doing a giant press factor, and I’m going by way of the motions and identical to, ‘I love Christmas motion pictures, do you want Christmas movies,’ you know? I really love really where– some people I suppose are lamenting it, however the place fashionable leisure journalism is going, I assume it’s constructive for probably the most half.”

2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Scott Holloway

Last time we spoke, he informed me about his favourite filming reminiscence from the set of Long Slow Exhale, so Harding revealed memorable moments from this expertise:

“Well, there are a bunch. I mean, this one thing, this is something I need to convey to the world: I assume Kim Matula, my costar, is like the most underrated actress, one of the underrated as a end result of she is so funny. She has an excellent downside, which is as a result of she’s so attractive, folks possibly don’t suppose that of her. They think like, ‘Oh, you’re just type of the new chick,’ and that’s a good place to work your self out of. She admits that herself, but she’s so proficient and so she was actually good at like, if we have been having a sort of moments the place you’re trying into every other’s eyes and like, is that this the second they fall in love or something like that and they would either yell reduce or something, she would make this noise. It was mainly, essentially like someone breaking wind, and on multiple occasions, I assume individuals thought it was me. You can’t be mad at her. Although we had been capturing in a park of the Northeast that unfortunately is a sad horizon in crime and that’s very unfortunate, however there was this one poorly timed and likewise hilariously timed second the place I think she and I were having, I forget what the scene was, nevertheless it was one thing really like, ‘what do you want out of life,’ it was very emotional, and it’s interrupted in the most inopportune moment outside. It was like, solely in Hallmark! So there were a bunch and she’s only a pleasure. I hope that that comes via as a end result of I suppose we have been so decided to make this film as funny as attainable and hold the heart, maintain that quality that folks love in Hallmark movies whereas additionally saying like, ‘No, we don’t want to be cutesy smart or cutesy funny,’ like there’s a scene the place I tried to play it the place it seems like I’m going insane. I don’t know which reduce they took, however yeah, we’re hoping that individuals love it as much as we liked making it.”

One factor so many people and families do is activate Hallmark and keep coming again, 12 months after year to get within the holiday spirit. Why is that this such an enormous custom for thus many? “I think, especially this time of year within the vacation season, I assume people want– it is extremely much a feel-good film, but also these movies are very optimistic, particularly proper now, and I don’t suppose it’s any coincidence that over the past like, 5 to 6 years, Hallmark has kind of exploded in reputation,” the actor noted. “I’m actually working on this different factor that I can’t really divulge proper now, but I know that it’s so beloved, and here’s an instance: I was having dinner one evening a couple of years in the past, and there was one other Hallmark thing that had kind of come my means, but I was like, ‘oh, scheduling-wise, I simply can’t do it,’ and one of the attendees of this dinner was this female politician, who was like crème de la crème. She is such a badass and has made history in multiple ways, has been part of large decisions which have formed this country, the world, and people’s lives and she heard me say that and was devastated. She was like, ‘What? I love Hallmark motion pictures.’ I was like, ‘What? Is this in between deciding the face of the fate of the nation?’ I think we simply know that it is optimistic, it is playful, and I additionally like the place it’s going. I suppose underneath all the new type of folks that have are available and are running the factor, it’s increasing within the tales which might be being informed, the people who are being represented, and likewise it’s walking that line between like a little– not an edge, I imply nobody’s lighting up a joint in a Hallmark movie, however I suppose there’s something that’s really pretty about one thing that the complete household can watch and have fun with, and is funny and entertaining. So I suppose that’s why because I suppose individuals ultimately as much as actors like to do these hard-hitting indie movies where I drop 20 pounds in every week to play like a sex-crazed vampire, lots of people don’t watch these. They have a tough day, they look at the news and that scares them, they have all this other stuff, they usually need hope and I think Hallmark is basically good at giving hope.”

2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Scott Holloway

Of course, with this being a holiday film, we needed to speak about our personal favorites to observe in the course of the season.

“I suppose one of the many reasons that I’m an actor is my dad actually liked films and TV. For occasion, when Jurassic Park came out, he took us out of faculty. He was like, this is monumental, he lied to the lecturers like, ‘yeah, they’re both sick,’ and we went and noticed Jurassic Park. So for some time, like Christmas Eve as a family, we might watch A Christmas Carol but with George C. Scott, which is the darkest film you’ve ever seen. Finally, my mom was like, ‘I don’t think we should always watch it anymore as a end result of Ian has nightmares and he’s 15 now,’ so I assume that jogs my memory somewhat bit but mainly my sister made this playlist back whenever you needed to burn CDs, and she’s added to it since then and put some more recent songs however it’s not Christmas until that is enjoying on repeat,” he answered. “I try to sing Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ or Shirley Temple’s ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,’ and I even have this complete factor where I’m like screaming at the stereo as a outcome of it’s insane that you’d want the most dangerous animal in Africa for Christmas. So yeah we now have many a convention that if somebody suggests like, ‘Hey, we don’t have to do the cookies this year,’ it’s the equivalent of saying like, ‘You know what I think we should do, why don’t we burn the home down?’ It’s that stage of blasphemy, but yeah, so we obtained a ton.”

As for actual traditions, there’s one that actually sticks out:

“I do love, we used to as a result of I guess my sister and I were too much of maniacs, we couldn’t anticipate Christmas morning for the presents, my dad and mom began this thing that we do stockings the night time earlier than, you know? Because we obtained to offer them one thing so they shut up and go to bed. Then we’d open them up like, NyQuil? And they’re like, ‘Yeah, chug this really quick so we can sleep,’” the actor joked. “But I think that even now, as an grownup, someone shall be speaking and I’ll be sort of like looking at the clock, then look over the stocking, it could presumably be a really deep dialog, they’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m having these well being issues,’ I’m like ‘I’m so sorry, we gotta wrap this up as a end result of I gotta get to my shortbread cookies within the shape of a snowman.’”

He then added, “It’s just been great, particularly as I’ve gotten older and now can introduce Christmas to my child, and now residing back on the Eastern Seaboard, there may be snow on Christmas. We’ll see. It’s at all times different in LA when you’re like, ‘It is 70 levels.’”

As for what Harding is most excited for followers to see in relation to Ghosts of Christmas Always, that’s easy:

“I’m most excited for folk to hopefully just laugh with their household and once more, have as a lot fun watching it as we did making it and hopefully see one thing that’s slightly totally different than the other Christmas movies that have been on, but in any other case, I suppose folks will get pleasure from this one. I nonetheless don’t know how you might have a foul time making a Christmas film. I mean, until you’re shooting it in July or something in like Burbank and you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s blustery outdoors.’ Yeah, that’s in all probability depressing. But, no, I hope that folks have as nice of a time watching it as I did making it.”

Working on the project additionally put him right again in the Christmas spirit. “Well, we made it, speaking of the Northeast in February, I guess it was possibly March, and so the Christmas spirit had already departed, but I received to revisit it and it was just a pleasure, I suppose. I received to kick the winter distress can down the road,” he concluded.


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