Pop City Life had the opportunity to chat with actress and Broadway star Laura Bell Bundy about her upcoming holiday movie, Christmas Calendar. The UPtv original movie, which also stars Brendon Zub, premieres this Sunday.
We spoke with Laura about her role in the movie, her favorite holiday movies and traditions, and what her fans can look forward to from her next.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Laura Bell Bundy below.
Can you start off by telling us a little about your character in Christmas Calendar?
Laura Bell Bundy: I play a woman named Emily who inherits a bakery from her grandmother when she passes. She was a lawyer and moves back to town and she sells everything off to run the bakery. Then she finds out that across the street, they’re putting a bakery into the grocery store and it might take her business away. She’s struggling. She meets the baker from across the street, not knowing who he is, and they have chemistry. She realizes that’s her competition and then it becomes war. Simultaneously, she gets this Christmas calendar – it looks like a big house. You open the different windows and there’s a note for every day. She thinks this has been left by a secret admirer and the entire town becomes obsessed with finding out who the secret admirer is.
It sounds like a love story perfect for the holidays.
It’s so cute. It’s very romantic and cute.
What can viewers expect from this original movie? What are you most excited for them to see?
Viewers can expect to be moved and touched and enjoy the small town. A fun, romantic story. It’s definitely a romantic story.
How was the experience working with the cast on set? Are there any fun memories that stick out for you?
It’s a great cast, a great group of people. Brendon is just a terrific actor and so easy and wonderful to work with. Laid back. Frazey Ford, who is also in our movie – she’s an incredible musician. I had heard her music prior to her coming on to the movie, so I was very excited to meet her. We had a lot of fun on and off set.
UPtv’s programming tends to be family-oriented and uplifting. What does it mean to you to be part of a movie that that the whole family can enjoy?
It’s great. I’m doing Good Behavior right now and the whole family cannot enjoy that. *laughs* It’s nice to have things that my nieces and nephews can watch at Christmas. You gotta keep a balance.
Of course, you are also known for your work on Broadway. How does filming a movie compare to doing live theater, and do you have a preference?
I don’t think it’s close. There’s nothing similar about it. *laughs* Doing a theatrical show, you’re in rehearsals for weeks before you put up a show. Then you have the element of the audience and you figure that out. It’s this long, drawn-out process. And then you’re doing things chronologically. When you do a film, you’re doing things based on location, not chronological order. The actor has to keep track of where the character is on their emotional journey. That’s their job: “We haven’t shot the scene before this yet, but I did my homework so I know where my character should be emotionally.” You just don’t know, whereas in a theatrical show, you know. You just came from that moment. That’s what’s difficult about it. There’s also more subtlety because you’re not onstage and playing to a large theater. Things are more realistic in terms of the ways you emote or act. Sometimes I prefer that. Sometimes that’s easier for me. Most of the time, I prefer the energy of a live audience and doing things in a chronological order. I like to rehearse and rehearse, and I don’t get to have that luxury when doing a movie.
Given that the holiday season is officially upon us and seasonal programming is all over TV, what are some of your favorite holiday movies?
I love Home Alone. Home Alone is like… I LOVE Home Alone. It’s such a great movie. I was friends with Macaulay Culkin as a kid – I knew him when he shot Home Alone 2. I think that movie is so cute and so clever and so funny, and so nostalgic for me. I remember seeing it when I was 9 years old. I love that movie.
We tend to watch White Christmas in our house [and] It’s a Wonderful Life. Obviously, A Christmas Story is on repeat. I actually love watching original Christmas movies on TV. The holidays are a unique time. Typically not for everybody – typically it’s when our country shuts down a little bit, unless you’re in retail or entertainment. Everybody has off. Nobody is sending me emails about work because it’s the holidays. You’re actually able to sit on the couch and veg out and watch films. It’s the only time you get to do it all year. You’ve got to take advantage.
Home Alone is also one of my favorites. You should check out the shot-for-shot remake called Kevin!!!!! in New York City.
Oh, no kidding?
It’s wonderfully creative. You should definitely check it out if you’re in the area in December.
What else do you particularly look forward to at this time of year? Do you have any holiday traditions that you enjoy?
I look forward to relaxing. I love putting up a tree. I love putting up the lights and ornaments and Christmas music. Eggnog, a hot toddy, cider… I love that. I love coming home for Thanksgiving and seeing my family. My family puts the tree up as soon as Halloween is over. My husband and I don’t really do that because we get a real tree and it takes a second to get the real trees in. We live in California but we’re from Kentucky and New Jersey so we’re never actually in California for Christmas. We’ve never actually gotten to have our family Christmas that’s just us. We tend to go home to the East Coast where it’s actually cold and it could potentially snow. We also try to take a trip somewhere where it’s actually snowing so we can go skiing. This year we’re going to Finland to see the northern lights right after Christmas.
You just hosted a benefit for women recently and we’re sure you have plenty to look forward to this coming year. Is there anything else you’re working on that your fans can expect?
I’m currently on the second season of Good Behavior, which is still coming out. I’ve been developing Honeymooners for Broadway. I don’t think we’ll come in this season, but possibly next season for Broadway. Doing a lot of writing. Just busy. I think Honeymooners and the women’s rights event definitely took up my life for a couple of months, so I’m just looking forward to relaxing for the holidays.
Thanks so much to Laura Bell Bundy for chatting with us about Christmas Calendar and her holiday plans! We really appreciate it.