With the holiday episode of Chasing Life just around the corner, we chatted to Italia Ricci (April Carver) about some of the surprises in store for the viewers, as well as how she found out the show had been renewed for a second season and what seasonal traditions she enjoys.
Check out our exclusive interview with Italia Ricci, who was battling a cold but still managed to be as sparkling as usual!
First of all, last month, the show got renewed for a 13-episode second season, so congratulations on that!
Thank you, I’m so excited about it!
During one of our other conversations, you told a great story about how you received a call about securing the role of April while you were at McDonald’s, and you proceeded to forget your fries and went to your manager’s for champagne.
And Big Macs.
And Big Macs! Where were you when you got the news about the second season and did you leave any parts of your order at a fast food restaurant this time?
I did not – I was in a hotel room alone, packing to go back to L.A. after shooting a movie in Vancouver, and so I just ran around my hotel room like a crazy maniac, and I’m pretty sure I just smiled like a freak the entire flight home, which didn’t have Wi-Fi, so it was like people were just finding out and I couldn’t talk to them. It was just so stifled, so when I got home I was ready to combust, I was so excited, and my buddies and I all just ran around the backyard and giggled and – actually, they didn’t do that, I did, but I was pretty excited.
That’s awesome. When something like that happens, do all the members of the cast just kind of call each other and scream?
We all sent an email, like a chain email to one another. A couple of us got together for a brunch, and tonight is our big actual official celebration dinner. I’m trying to drink my fluids to feel better for that because I don’t want to get anyone sick.
The teaser for the Christmas episode, which airs next Tuesday [Dec. 9], promises “a holiday surprise you’ll never forget,” so without giving away the surprise, what can viewers expect from the episode?
There are a few surprises. You can expect a lot of comedy from the grandparents, you can expect some great hairstyles from Beth for April, you can expect to hate us again for the way that we end the episode, you can expect the warm fuzzy feelings and the joyful Christmas and an amazing soundtrack.
Obviously the big cliffhanger at the end of the last episode was Leo, so is that whole situation addressed at all, or do we have to wait?
Yes, you will hear the rest of the voice mail. The Christmas special picks up exactly where the mid-season finale left off, so you will not miss a beat, and you will see what happens! You see April and Leo appreciate the fact that he has decided to consider having the surgery and how much they’re grateful for having each other to get through the fight and the ups and downs and decide what’s going to happen from here. And now you know with the pictures that came out, we have Leo for at least one more episode.
Kind of related to that, April is obviously the show’s primary character, but viewers have also become invested in the lives of the people around her – like Leo, Beth and her family – so is the Christmas episode mainly focused on her or do we also get to see the effects of things like Sara and George’s kiss and Greer’s parents trying to keep her away from Brenna?
It is definitely not all about April. It doesn’t do a whole lot of advancing other characters’ story lines because it’s more about, you know, bringing the holidays to the Chasing Life universe in May in their world, and how the family gets together and how they exist with the other grandparents in town, so you definitely see Dominic and you see Beth – well, Beth is a big part of it – and you see Brenna, who is of course another big part of the family, but the stories aren’t going to be advanced. But then in the second half of the first season, when we come back in January, a lot of the episodes explore more deeply than they previously have into the other characters’ story lines, so into their lives completely separate of April. I feel like Brenna’s really the only one so far that you’ve gotten to see what she’s like outside of being April’s sister and the whole April story. So in the next 10 episodes, you’ll get to see more about Beth and more about Natalie and more about Dominic.
In the spirit of the season, what’s your favorite winter holiday tradition and why?
Ooh, let’s see, my favorite winter holiday tradition. Hmm, that’s hard. I mean, I love board game nights with my family when we’re all inside and warm and I’m always in my onesies. I have probably a collection of like 20 onesies and I love them and I always wear them and I never take them off and people think I’m crazy. I will go out to restaurants, like for lunch with Robbie [Amell, Flash actor and Italia’s fiancé] and his family, and they’re like, “Are you seriously wearing that out?” and I’ve got, like, boots, a onesie and a big jacket, and they’re like, “You’re insane.” And it’s got a butt flap and everything. But I just love when our families get together, and we’ll play Head’s Up or Cranium or Cards Against Humanity or whatever it is that we’re going to play, and we just sit around a huge table and have a lot of fun hanging out.
I love Cards Against Humanity.
Oh my God, it’s so bad it’s good.
Thank you very much for your time and feel better!
Thank you so much!
The Chasing Life Christmas special airs Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 9/8c on ABC Family. Check out the official preview below and keep up with Italia Ricci on Twitter: @italiaricci!