Kristoffer Polaha Teases We Want You a Married Christmas and Shares The Finest Vacation Custom Ever

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Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas begins this weekend, and Kristoffer Polaha answered the decision.

He’ll be starring in We Want You a Married Christmas with Marisol Nichols, and we caught up with him to speak about it.

Since he is greater than a one-trick pony, we additionally talked about his newest ebook launch, and stick round till the tip to see the way you would possibly be capable to see him should you occur to be within the Nevada space this weekend.

We Want You a Married Christmas follows a pair on the point of divorce. It isn’t very jolly from an outdoor perspective, however their marriage counselor has a shock for them.

When Becca and Robby arrive at a comfy inn in Vermont to spend the vacations, Christmas magic intervenes, exhibiting the couple they may not be as far gone as they thought.

Hallmark films usually begin with long-lost loves reconnecting and discovering a recent begin, however hardly ever does a film start with a pair considering separation.

Kris mentioned, “Marisol and I learn the script, we’re like, ‘How are you going to take a pair that is actually on the point of divorce…’ I imply, the opening scene is them making the choice to separate.

“How do you place that couple within the Hallmark bubble, and the way do you get the viewers to root for that couple with out them being unlikable as a result of they’re falling out of affection? And the trick was, how can we get them again on monitor, and the way can we get folks to root for that and wish to see that? And so it was a problem.”

Kris mentioned that he and Marisol determined to go large with their characters. “We got the free vary to make large selections and to indicate anger and to indicate frustration and to indicate loads of feelings that you just usually reserve for different initiatives.”

At one level, they engaged in a pratfall, and through an entirely distinctive Christmas parade, Kris received to indicate the viewers simply how a lot Robby liked the annual custom.

“I imply, I really like the truth that my man simply loves parades as a lot as he does and actually simply goes for it. And I bear in mind Marisol, on the night time, she was me like, ‘What are you doing?’ [laughs]

“A few of that stuff is simply her and I reacting off of one another’s precise performing and her being like, ‘What are you doing proper now?’ I mentioned, ‘You have to belief. You have to belief it.'”

The couple takes their household canine on trip, and he will get to take part within the parade, including one other degree of pleasure for an already excited Robby. The canine, although, reveals admirable restraint within the face of a lot commotion.

“Yeah, that was one thing. That was undoubtedly one thing. Anytime you’re employed with an animal, you are not working with simply the animal, you are working with the animal’s coach, and also you’re working with the coach’s assistant, and it is a workforce of individuals,” Kris mentioned.

“It could do one among two issues, it could possibly sluggish the day down since you’re having to attend for the canine to hit its mark or to do its factor. However Nippy was cute; Nippy was a great little canine, and we had fun working with one another.”

Hallmark Christmas films provide views of many various vacation traditions, however the Polaha household is absolutely entrenched in their very own traditions, with little room for enlargement.

“Our Christmas is locked in. So we’re not likely out there for brand new traditions due to what now we have, and we like what we do. Nevertheless it’s all the time enjoyable so as to add.

“It is enjoyable to leap into these different lives and to see these different traditions and to do the gingerbread competitors or to do the little Christmas flea market factor, all the stuff. It is form of a deal with for me as an actor to go and be part of that.”

Kris mentioned, “So, Carissa, I do not know if you understand this or not, however should you catch Santa Claus delivering Christmas presents, he — as a result of you understand the gig is up, and you have seen him, and you understand he’s actual — he simply hand delivers Christmas presents to you after which to your kids, after which to your kids’s kids and on and on and on.

“So a protracted, very long time in the past, my spouse’s grandfather — he grew up on this little home in Florida — awakened one Christmas night time, Christmas Eve night time, and noticed Santa Claus placing presents below the tree.

“His title was Difficult Lamere; I can not even make this up. That is actually his title. His title was Difficult Lamere. And since outdated Difficult noticed Santa Claus, Santa Claus made a take care of Difficult, after which his daughter and her daughter, my spouse, after which our youngsters. And I am positive that our youngsters’ children will then get to have precise visits from Santa Claus.

“So on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus involves the home, he hand delivers the presents to us, after which he bails.

“However here is the factor about Santa Claus. What you see on tv is completely unsuitable about him. He isn’t boisterous. He isn’t loud. He isn’t this like, ‘Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas.’

“He would not speak. He is very shy. He is very elf-like. He is large. He is a grown man dimension. And the reindeer parked in a spot the place you may’t see them on the roof, and he’ll simply seem. He’ll simply be in your entrance yard, and he’ll form of come out of the darkness and hand you a present, after which he’ll disappear for a minute.

“So it is truly form of scary just a little bit. Like there’s just a little little bit of depth to the night time. And it is fast. It is like a 10-minute go to. And he simply does his factor. He’ll allow you to take a few photos with him, after which he is off as a result of he is received, clearly, a giant job that night time. And so that is what we do.”

It is arduous to think about the Polaha household’s Christmas Eve getting any higher than that, however after Santa goes on his elfish means, they’ve a feast and watch Christmas Trip.

Naturally, I pressed Kris additional about his visits with Santa Claus, assuming that he, in actual fact, was Santa. I used to be lifeless unsuitable.

“No, I am telling you that it’s Santa Claus. It isn’t me. It isn’t a good friend. I am telling you, Santa Claus. That is the purpose. So that you see him. He reveals up. I imply, it is form of an incredible factor.”

This man is an impeccable storyteller. His story continued once I requested how the youngsters loved their first encounter with one of the crucial vital figures of Christmas.

“Oh, they freak out. They freak out. They conceal, and so they cry. As a result of I am telling you, it is just a little scary. After which the subsequent yr, they’re excited on the anticipation of Santa Claus exhibiting up; you may hear the bells at first, after which actually, you may simply see this determine emerge out of the darkness, and he’ll be jolly outdated St. Nick.

“After which his presents come wrapped, however particular person. I do not know the place he will get them from. He’ll like stroll, after which unexpectedly, he’ll provide you with a present. He’ll go to a special a part of the yard, after which he’ll deliver a present from it. So the presents is perhaps like…

“I do not know in the event that they’re manifested. I do not know if elves are doing it. I do not know what goes on, however he brings every child a number of presents, and so they’re wrapped for the kid. I suppose he is aware of which matches to what. I do not know. It is magical.”

I instructed Krist that I did not suppose Santa had ever come to my home as a result of we by no means caught him.

“See, that is the factor, you have to catch him. Someone has to catch him, and you then truly get to see. Yeah, it is a particular factor.”

It sounds fantastic.

“I married into it,” Kris mentioned. “After I was a child, I didn’t have Santa Claus. I didn’t have that have. And so we’d open up our household presents on Christmas Eve, after which on Christmas morning, there have been a number of extra presents that Santa introduced.

“And we might get up early, and people can be below the tree. We’d open these on Christmas morning. We’d do midnight mass. We’d do the entire thing, however I by no means had Santa Claus like I did till I met my spouse. After which the deal, she instructed me concerning the deal, and I used to be blown away by it.”

And if all of you might be like me, you, too, at the moment are blown away by it. It is probably the most magical factor I’ve ever heard described about an already magical night time.

Our dialog pivoted to a different fantastic factor in Kris’s life — his writing partnership with Anna Gomez, which has now produced two novels within the From Kona with Love collection.

Their first ebook, Moments Like This, featured characters Andie and Warren, and so they’re current within the follow-up, The place the Solar Rises. Kris mentioned arising with the story for The place the Solar Rises was simple.

“I imply, as soon as we hacked our means by means of — and by that, I imply with machetes by means of a jungle, we needed to clear a path for Moments Like This out of nowhere — we noticed the characters that we wished to jot down about.

“And as we have been writing Moments Like This, this different story began to spring forth. It was form of eager to be instructed. And so we knew precisely what we have been going to get into as quickly as Moments Like This was completed.”

They usually did not waste any time. Moments Like This was printed in March of 2021, and so they began writing The place the Solar Rises in Could of the identical yr.

“We had a draft executed a yr later, so February, after which we had editors, editor notes. In March, April, we had a revision executed, and we had our remaining ebook turned in in June of 2022, which is form of superb. So from June to October, we did the entire thing of getting it printed and all of that stuff. So it is superb. The ebook world is fairly spectacular to me.”

There are one other three books coming within the universe they’ve created. “We have already began ebook three, we all know what ebook 4’s about, and we all know what ebook 5’s about,” Kris mentioned.

In the event you learn Moments Like This, you may be launched to who shall be featured within the later books. The collection will observe the identical sample till ebook 5, which shall be a standalone ebook and the conclusion of the universe.

Kris and Anna have structured all the books so that you could decide them up at any level within the collection with out being misplaced. Whereas the characters’ tales proceed because the books progress, you may nonetheless get pleasure from them with out studying what got here earlier than.

“What we’re doing is making a universe. We wished to create this atmosphere that you just enter into. Every ebook takes place on a separate island. So the primary ebook takes place on Oahu. The second ebook takes place on Kauai. The third ebook is going down on Molokai. The fourth ebook shall be on Maui. And the fifth ebook shall be on the large island itself.

“And we wished every ebook to even be a standalone in order that if readers enter the collection, it would not be a must-read to must [read the others]. In the event you bounce in on ebook two, you’ll decide up a ebook and skim it from cowl to cowl and have a full story with out it being depending on Moments Like This.

“However should you have been to then go and skim Moments Like This, a floodgate of data will confide in you the place you would be like, ‘Oh, I perceive the place these folks come from and who they’re.’ So it is nearly such as you’re these characters from a three-dimensional perspective, ebook to ebook to ebook to ebook.”

Kris described his writing partnership with Anna as loads of choreography, making a blueprint for what was and what’s to return to make sure a flawless timeline.

For the primary two books, they labored forwards and backwards, with every of them writing and giving it off to the opposite for the subsequent and so forth. It takes coordination and open strains of communication. “We’re interdependent on each other, so now we have to know the place we’re going so the blueprint is sound.”

“This time, we took {that a} step additional, and as an alternative of breaking the story up into elements — it is Warren’s POV after which again to Andie’s, after which all my writing is, in fact, infused in Moments Like This all through — with The place the Solar Rises, we determined, ‘Why do not we do one chapter for Maele, one chapter for Adam, one chapter Maele, one chapter Adam. And we’ll simply ping forwards and backwards.’ Bing, bing, bing, bing, bing.

“And someone wrote this actually lovely evaluate that it creates an ebb and circulate nearly just like the tides themselves. This vitality that washes in with Maele, after which it washes again out. After which Adam rushes in together with his personal vitality, after which it rushes out.

“So, as you learn, you actually are form of pinging between these two folks’s lives. And I am happy with it. I feel we did a extremely fantastic job. And in contrast to different books that I’ve learn, I’ve by no means learn a ebook prefer it. And it is nonetheless mild studying, nevertheless it nonetheless drops you into, I do not know, some emotional territory that is just a little deeper than what you would possibly anticipate.”

Kris explains, “I simply love the truth that we have got these two damaged folks. She bodily broke her neck six years earlier than the ebook begins, and Adam, he received entangled with medication and alcohol and form of broke his soul six years earlier than the ebook begins.

“And I really like how love is that this therapeutic like a balm between the 2 of them. And unexpectedly, power and braveness and fearlessness and the need for sobriety and self-control. All these items form of kick in after they meet one another. They activate all these lovely qualities in one another. And I really like that as a result of I feel that is what love can do.”

Kris mentioned, “It is a completely surprising reward in my life to have met Anna and to have turn out to be a writing accomplice together with her and to turn out to be an creator. It was out of the blue. Only a reward, actually a present, as a result of it wasn’t part of the plan.”

Kris has lots occurring with the vacations and writing with Anna, however that is not all he has on his plate.

Kris shall be starring in an upcoming Amazon present in partnership with MGM known as Harlan Coben’s Shelter. He is working with Harlan Coben, Allen MacDonald, and Charlotte Coben, who created the present.

“Harlan already did what we’re attempting to do with Moments Like This; he created a literary universe. He has this sports activities agent named Myron Bolitar, who solves crimes and has over 30 books which were New York Occasions bestselling books.

“He is written a ton of thrillers and mysteries and created this actually lovely universe. After which Myron has a brother named Brad, who’s received a son named Mickey. And I play Brad, and this present, Shelter, is about Mickey, and form of the place is dad in season one.

“And so, being dad, I get to have just a little enjoyable on this universe. And it has been a deal with. We shoot in New Jersey, and we began in August, and I’m going again in every week or two to complete up the primary season.”

Kris and Anna are additionally actively turning Moments Like This right into a characteristic movie. “We employed our screenwriter; her title is Erin Brown Thomas, and she or he’s fantastic. And she or he’s simply received a knack for construction so far as screenplays go and has additionally received a present for dialogue. And so we form of hit the jackpot together with her so far as writing goes.

“We employed her and introduced her on. So she’s already adapting. She’s 80 pages into the script at this level as of this interview. And now we have Michael Goldstein, Basset Hound Productions. Your readers would know him from Pearl in Paradise. I’ve labored with Michael on a number of events now, however he has this manufacturing firm, and they’re additionally reaching out in each route.

“So that they’re pitching tv reveals to Peacock and NBC and making films for Hallmark. However they’re additionally doing an entire lot of stuff. And when he learn Moments Like This, he was like, ‘I feel we are able to do what you wish to do with this, which is a theatrical launch so far as a film goes, and I feel we are able to make a extremely nice film collectively.’

“And so we have got a producer lined up who will co-produce with me. We have our screenwriter, and so we’re off to the races. It is only a matter of as soon as that script is completed, we have got to safe some money, after which we’ll make a film.”

With as a lot as he has occurring, Kris is all the time thrilled when he can lend a serving to hand to his followers and to individuals who share related viewpoints. In the event you’re a fan of his, you’ve got probably seen his Polaha Chautauqua movies on Instagram or different interviews the place he invitations mates and colleagues to share their experiences.

It was on one among his movies that I realized concerning the work Marisol Nichols does with regulation enforcement to cease trafficking, which can also be one thing near Kris’s coronary heart, and I can not suggest sufficient listening to their dialog collectively. You are able to do it here.

This weekend, he’ll be sharing his time with one other excellent trigger. Katie and Christina of the Down Syndrome Community of Northern Nevada reached out to him to ask if they may assist unfold the phrase about their work.

They weren’t fairly positive how he may assist, however Kris began arising with concepts, in the end touchdown on doing one thing in Reno, the place Kris grew up. He mentioned Reno has every kind of thrilling issues occurring through the summer time, however come mid-September, every little thing shuts down as a result of the climate will get chilly.

“I mentioned, ‘However what if we put collectively a household day on a farm someplace, or in San Rafael Park or someplace the place folks can come, and we’ll simply do an enormous fundraiser on your group.’ They usually have been like, ‘Nicely, what does this seem like? And so we simply began hashing it out, and we simply began placing collectively what today would seem like.

“So Friday night time, there’s going to be a film, and we’ll display The place Hope Grows. And my co-star David DeSanctis, who has Down Syndrome, goes to fly out together with his household, and he’ll be there for the film and all day for the autumn competition.”

For the worth of a ticket, you get lunch, a hay experience, a corn maze, and a pumpkin patch, and also you get to hang around with Kris and David, all within the title of the Down Syndrome Community of Northern Nevada.

They will be joined by Western Nevada Provide, Rick Reviglio, and his household, who made a large donation to kick issues off, so the occasion is within the black proper off the bat.

In the event you’re within the Reno space and wish to be part of Kris and David and have an excellent household time for a beautiful trigger, go to DSNNN.Org for tickets.

Later that night time, Kris will spend time together with his household watching We Want You a Married Christmas, which comes extremely really helpful by Kris, who starred in it, and by me, who watched it.

You’ll be able to decide up the primary two books in his From Kona with Love collection at your favourite booksellers, and remember to regulate his social media websites for extra superb interviews, considerate discussions, and information of what he’ll be doing subsequent.

We Want You a Married Christmas on Hallmark Channel premieres Saturday, October 22 at 8/7c.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a workers 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. Observe her on Twitter and electronic mail her right here at TV Fanatic.

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