When it involves films, everyone has Christmas favorites.
There are conventional movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, and Elf. Then there are the Countdown to Christmas originals on Hallmark which have sustained repeated viewings 12 months after 12 months, at the same time as extra films are dropped by the handfuls.
The Nine Lives of Christmas is a type of movies that instantly warms the center and stands the check of time.
Cats are not often the main focus of vacation fare, so for these of us who love feisty felines, celebrating with our furry companions hits the spot.
But the actual draw was the story and the chemistry between the celebrities Kimberley Sustad and Brandon Routh.
Thanks to their relationship with their cuddly friends, their characters, Marilee and Zachary, discover frequent floor and love simply in time to have fun Christmas collectively.
It’s been seven years since that film premiered in 2014, however tonight, The Nine Kittens of Christmas brings all of it again to the floor.
We tracked down Kimberley and Brandon to get their ideas on stepping again into the Nine Lives world.
Kimberley stated followers had been showering them with concepts for a sequel for years, however she was hesitant to sully the great thing about the unique film with a narrative that may not provide a brand new path.
She stated, “And then about a couple of years ago, the producer kind of suggested a concept that, because so much time had passed, there’s a story we can tell there, that’s essentially a new movie and not revisiting a relationship that already exists.”
She likes how the passing time is addressed in The Nine Kittens of Christmas and the way it explores what occurred between Marilee and Zachary since we final noticed them.
“These two have matured a little bit, but their old patterns still exist,” Kimberley stated. “I do not need to give an excessive amount of away, however some issues occurred of their relationship. And Marilee primarily walked away.
“And this movie is about putting your heart out there again or not, or trust, or regret, like dealing with regret and decisions that were made and hearts that were broken and also finding each other again, under similar but new circumstances.”
Kimberley laughed. “So also, if the story doesn’t work, there are ten cats now at all times, nine kittens, that steal basically every scene, crawling all over me. And they’re so cute.”
Brandon agrees that the cats have one thing to supply. “Probably the cats had a big role to play in that. They were great.”
He additionally famous that The Nine Lives of Christmas may be so long-lasting due to how they performed it as a straight romantic comedy. “I guess I underplayed moments, which maybe could have been bigger. I think it had a more realistic tone overall for the film, a more grounded and realistic feel for the film.”
Brandon additionally had some hesitancy about revisiting The Nine Lives of Christmas. “I was a little bit hesitant because I wanted to make sure it was a story worth telling and also that the film was going to have the same energy, the same level of humor and fun as the first one did.”
Once that they had the story down, it was simple for each of them to affix forces as soon as once more.
“Sometimes when jokes are written, and particularly with romantic comedy, there is a tendency to essentially amp it up. There’s a high quality line between doing that an excessive amount of or too little.
It’s simply discovering that, and that is trusting your scene associate, and Kim is so humorous and nice, and we’ve got nice chemistry and are each love comedic movies. I feel we work rather well collectively,” Brandon stated.
Kimberley stated that she and Brandon have been pals since filming the unique movie, making working collectively once more very simple. “We labored so nice collectively. And really, after, I used to be actually unhappy, as a result of I used to be like, ‘Well, are these two performed now?’
“Are Marilee and Zach done? I don’t know. But it was kind of sad to hang up the hat, thinking that we were. Yeah. He’s fabulous. He’s the nicest person in the world, and he’s so kind and generous, and he’s a great actor. I couldn’t ask for a better scene partner, really.”
If their cats introduced them collectively initially, it is 9 kittens bringing them collectively once more. “She’s now a vet before she was in school and is the one that can help. So they kind of team up to save these little babies.”
Working with cats for scene companions would not come with out its challenges, although. “Well, you fall in love with these babies really quick, every single one. I mean, that’s the only problem,” Kimberley stated.
Brandon discovered one thing fairly optimistic out of the chaos kittens current. “The most challenging thing with working with cats and kittens is just staying in the scene and not letting it throw you when they are clawing you, or trying to escape, or jump,” he stated.
“You actually must be open and let the scene simply play out that manner as a result of typically they add a second of realism since you do not count on them to do issues. An performing approach, there’s one thing referred to as the second to second. That’s essential, and likewise having unbiased actions.
“You see people eating in scenes; that’s an independent activity that allows you to focus on something that’s not the scene in a way, so it keeps you from thinking about your dialog and being stiff. The cats certainly have that same ability to keep you very present.”
Brandon stated his household got here very near adopting one of many kittens, however they felt they traveled an excessive amount of to decide to a brand new member of the household.
In the film, Marilee and Zachary work laborious to seek out furever houses for the brood of kittens, however in actual life, the kittens have been simply as fortunate.”
She stated, “Our whole solid and crew adopted all of those cats. It was actually cute. Every time we yelled, ‘Cut,’ whose ever cat it was, mother or dad would pop in and be like, ‘Hi, child. We had these grown cameramen speaking in regards to the blankets that they purchased for his or her infants, getting their home prepared for them to return house on the final day of filming.
“So they got all these cute little blankets and stuffies. And I mean, that’s the only risk is how much she’d fall in love with these animals after the entire period of filming a movie. So yeah. Cute little stories there that happened with all of them.”
Kimberley is assured that those that have not seen The Nine Lives of Christmas will nonetheless fall in love with The Nine Kittens of Christmas. “We’re getting a full new story, watching these two uncover one another once more, and the pull of wanting them to be collectively, like, ‘simply say it, say it!’
That feeling of a second probability at love comes with loads of warning, Kimberley stated. “We’re coping with, ‘Can I? I don’t need to make the identical mistake twice.’ And some issues that you simply may be feeling and form of like, ‘Will this be a waste of time once more? I’m going to take a position my coronary heart and life and time into this particular person once more and actually break my coronary heart.’
“It’s extra scary the second time around,” Kimberley stated.
“So I think the stakes are even higher in this one than they were in the first. And we’re dealing with this pull of familiarity between each other, which is interesting that me and Brandon found, like, ‘Oh, I know what you’re like up close.’ And when you get a little close, you go, ‘I know you. But I can’t because I’m terrified.”
There’s one thing in The Nine Kittens of Christmas for everybody. “Marilee isn’t necessarily your polished, lip-glossed girl. So I think there’s the everyday person to that character. And Brandon’s so down-to-earth too, like blue-collar firemen, that everyone kind of relates to,” Kimberley stated of the hook the film offers viewers.
“We do not have these jobs which are above the typical particular person, or we do not have these items which you can’t relate to. And Marilee eats ice cream and loves it and wears ugly sweaters and puffy coats. And that is simply all of us.
“So there’s a relief to being able to kind of see, I think, your own lives in it like you were saying. You know? And your own relationship to animals and how they really do bring people together.”
We hope that you simply take a while tonight to observe The Nine Kittens of Christmas. It’s like visiting with previous pals or assembly new ones you hope to have round for a very long time.
The Nine Kittens of Christmas airs on Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a employees author and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of tv and movie with anybody who will pay attention. Follow her on Twitter and e mail her right here at TV Fanatic.