Photos: Hallmark Media
Brooke D’Orsay and Ryan Paevey star in “A Fabled Holiday” a new, original movie premiering Saturday, December 3 (8 p.m. ET/PT), on Hallmark Channel (US) and W Network (CAN) as part of the network’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” programming event.
Brooke portrays Talia a stalled writer who’s given up her pen and who unexpectedly reunites with her childhood best friend Anderson (Paevey), a doctor shaken after a patient’s passing in a curiously similar-looking Christmas town depicted in the book they loved as children.
I had the opportunity to chat with Brooke about her role, what she hopes the audience connects with and what’s next.
Kat: You’re in an exciting new holiday movie, how did you prepare for the role?
Brooke: Whenever I receive a script I break it down, scene by scene, making my own little mini script. It ends up being like a snapshot of the movie, where I can easily reference where we’re at in the story. We shoot the scenes out of order so it’s really helpful to have a little guide in my back pocket. I spent a little longer breaking down this particular script because there are so many layers to this story, so much going on both inside and outside the magical world of Wunderbrook, as well as with each character emotionally. It’s a beautifully woven story about 5 individuals regaining themselves during the holiday season.
Kat: Did you find any similarities between yourself and your character?
Brooke: I was really intrigued by Talia when I read the script. Here’s this person — a quirky, talented writer with a huge imagination, who out of fear, has made all the safe choices in life. So much so that she often opts to read about adventures instead of going on them. It’s really exciting to watch her gain the perspective she needs in order to break free and live the life that awaits her.
I would say I have similarities to all the characters I play. For me, saying yes to a project means I understand this person/character on a visceral level. I can definitely relate to having a goal and needing to flip my thinking in order to make it happen.
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Brooke: Talia is a regular person, but she’s also someone who spends a lot of time in her imagination – reading, writing, daydreaming. So the challenge with her was to create a character who is both grounded and ungrounded at the same.
Kat: What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Brooke: My favorite scene to film was the one where violinist, Lindsey Stirling, performs a song from her new album. We were outside in a beautiful field, the sun had gone down, Christmas lights were glowing all around us, and Lindsey’s stunning music was playingon a loud speaker. It was a hallmark moment come to life! I also loved filming the scene where all of the characters show up at the Wunderbrook Inn for the first time. The contrast between everyone’s personality had me laughing take after take.
Kat: Feel-good movies are more popular now than ever, what message do you hope fans take away from these types of movies?
Brooke: It’s so exciting to watch this genre grow! It’s not so much a message that I hope people take away, but a feeling. My hope is that fans continue to tune into these movies to smile and to feel good. I think when it comes down to it, all we really want is to feel good. And these movies do just that.
Kat: Do you have a favorite holiday movie?
Brooke: I’ve always loved A Christmas Story, but I have a feeling there might be a new winner
this year. So, Jonathan Bennett, who I adore as a person and actor, has a holiday movie coming out on Hallmark the week after mine. He’s so funny and I’m so excited to sit down with some popcorn and have my friend entertain me with his hilarious expressions and comedic genius.
Kat: Do you or your family have any special holiday traditions?
Brooke: My holiday tradition is pretty simple: get on a plane and go home! As long as I’m with
my family on Christmas I’m a happy girl. One of my favorite things in the world is landing in Toronto and seeing my dad’s joyous face when I come through the gate. He’s smiling, waving his arms, and barreling over to me to give me a hug. It makes my heart so happy.
Kat: What’s next?
Brooke: I can tell you what I hope it is! I just finished writing a Christmas movie and getting to make it in 2023 would be a dream. We shall see!
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