Photos: Hallmark Media
Corey Sevier (“Key to Love,” “A Dog Lover’s Guide to Dating”) and Vanessa Lengies (“True Lies,” “Turner & Hooch”) star in “Take Me Back For Christmas” a new, movie premiering Saturday, July 15 (8 p.m. ET/PT), on Hallmark Channel (U.S) and on W Network (Canada) as part of the network’s annual Christmas in July programming event.
Renée (Lengies) always dreamed of starting her own business but when her mom got sick, she and her husband Aaron (Sevier) moved back to the suburbs to care for her and were forced to put their dreams on hold. Now 10 years later, she is officially stuck in a rut with mounting bills and a dead-end job putting pressure on her normally happy marriage. After a particularly disheartening day working at a local gift shop, an elf running the Santa display offers to grant Renée a Christmas wish. Although skeptical, her exasperation gets the best of her, and she wishes for a different life…only to wake up in a New York City high rise as CEO of one of the most successful meal kit delivery companies in the world. To top it all off, her mom is still alive. It looks like her wish came true and her new reality is seemingly perfect, except for one thing – she is no longer married to Aaron. In a desperate attempt to win him back, Renée hires Aaron, now a successful chef, to develop a Christmas dinner meal kit benefiting local food banks. With her new plan in place, she and Aaron begin to fall in love all over again, bringing her one step closer to “having it all.” But as complications arise in this new reality and the clock ticks closer to Christmas Eve, Renée is forced to ask herself if going back is the key to moving forward in life and love.
I had the opportunity to chat with Corey about his role, what he 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?
Corey: My experience prepping this one was a little unique, as I was directing the film and my wife wrote the script. I was involved at every phase, from concept through to post production, which was a real joy for me. So my prep work began first at the story stage as a whole, then into the film’s visual language working with our director of photography, then finally into the character work, alongside our wonderful cast.
Kat: Did you find any similarities between yourself and your character?
Corey: I think you always try to find parts of yourself to bring to every role. I certainly related to Aaron’s desire to dream big, and perhaps more importantly, to dream big with your partner. That’s a big part of what drives the emotional arc of Aaron and Renee’s relationship in the film. I also love to play hockey, so it’s not a coincidence that Aaron’s character gets onto the ice for this one!
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Corey: Vanessa Lengies, our incredible leading lady, did a lot of the heavy lifting in this one as the story is really told from her perspective, but wearing both hats as actor and director does come with its challenges. That said, they are challenges I really enjoy and it allows me to be engaged in the whole process every single day. There was never a dull moment on set, that’s for sure!
Kat: What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Corey: The skating/hockey scenes were very fun for me personally. I also enjoyed the scenes where I got to play “chef”. On the directing side, I loved watching the comedy Vanessa and Miguel Rivas (who plays “Jerry”) brought to all their office scenes, as well as the incredible emotion in the mother/daughter scenes between Vanessa and Paula Boudreau.
Kat: Feel-good movies are more popular now than ever, what message do you hope fans take away from these types of movies?
Corey: First and foremost, I think you just hope that people are thoroughly entertained. Whether from laughing, getting lost in the romance or shedding a tear, I think the goal is to leave people feeling good and uplifted in the end, and hopefully in some cases, moved or inspired in some way.
Kat: What’s it like to have your Christmas movie premiere in July?
Corey: It’s really fun. I am a Christmas lover at heart, and getting a chance to celebrate and be festive more than once a year, what’s not to love!
Connect With Corey On Twitter: https://twitter.com/corey_sevier