20 years after Hairspray opened on Broadway, Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur is as soon as once more channeling Tracy Turnblad within the new Lifetime vacation film, Santa Bootcamp.
The movie follows occasion planner Emily Strauss (Emily Kinney) is employed by mall magnate Ed Mancini (Patrick Cassidy) to stage the last word Christmas Gala for his most vital buyers, Emily finds herself being despatched to bootcamp – Santa Bootcamp – to search out the right Santa and the inspiration she might want to make the night a hit.
Whereas there, Emily meets Belle (EGOT winner Rita Moreno), the bootcamp’s drill sergeant with a coronary heart of gold, who helps Emily rediscover the magic of Christmas and discover romance alongside the way in which. Further stars embody Justin Gaston, John Schuck, and deaf actors Deanne Bray and Zyra Singleton.
BroadwayWorld caught up with Winokur to debate the brand new movie, working with Rita Moreno, Hairspray’s twentieth anniversary, and extra.
What can audiences count on from this new film?
I really simply really feel like we double down on Christmas. So like, there’s most likely 30 Christmas films. I do not know, I really feel like Lifetime places out one every single day earlier than Christmas. I do not actually know the numbers so do not quote me on that one. However this is not similar to a rom-com. I really feel like generally Christmas films are similar to, “It is a rocom, however it’s at Christmas time!” or it is like bringing household again collectively. No, ours is actually like, you are dressed up as Christmas costumes all the entire time. We’re at Santa’s Bootcamp. It is a double down on Christmas.
I felt like the complete time we have been filming it, I used to be like, “This has gotta be probably the most insane costume I am sporting.” After which the subsequent day I am like, “Okay, this has gotta be probably the most insane Christmas costume I am sporting.” Like each single day. It felt like that. The bows in my hair, I used to be like, “Okay, that is the largest bow, proper?” Then it will be like the subsequent day she’s like, “We’re doing larger bows.”
It undoubtedly seemed like a lot enjoyable to movie, as properly. What have been your days on set like? How did you guys get into the vacation spirit?
We have been capturing on this mansion in Nashville, which is that this loopy location beause it wasn’t like we weren’t pulling as much as a set and then you definately’re like, “Okay, there is a pretend fire.” Like we have been actually in somebody’s large residence. So we might pull up on set and our set was this large home that I’ve by no means been in a home so huge, however there was an archway whenever you stroll in and the entire place was embellished and prepared for Christmas for the film. So like each room was simply absolutely Christmas and able to go to shoot. So it was like a thousand Christmas timber and like huge wreaths across the entrance door. Irrespective of the place we went, everyone was at all times in like loopy costumes. We had the reindeer and it wasn’t simply Santa’s, it was reindeers and Mrs. Claus and Mr. Claus and each single particular person and elves and it was form of ridiculous however on the finish of the day, how may you not really feel like Christmas? You stroll int and you are feeling such as you’re in a Christmas city.
It is also very thrilling that Rita Moreno is on this film. What was it like working along with her?
Effectively clearly they have been like, “Oh, do you wanna do that Christmas film? Rita Moreno’s gonna be in it.” I am like, “Effectively, is she in it? Or like, similar to a cameo?” As a result of usually it’s going to say starring Rita Moreno however then she has like a cute couple of traces and you do not actually see her. However for this she was primary on the decision sheet, not due to title however due to her character, as properly. Like she was in each capturing day. She stars on this film. She was on set every single day for 12 hours. She was unbelievable. She was instructing everyone a lesson on that set as a result of it was such as you could not complain about something as a result of she wasn’t complaining. She’s like she’s like 90 years outdated and she or he would keep on set and do all her off digital camera blocking, all of the off digital camera traces.
Alot of occasions individuals may have somebody do their off-camera traces whereas they’re preparing for the subsequent beat or one thing. However by no means her. She would keep, she did her traces, she like gave you eye contact. She was such a professional. I used to be like, “Watch her everyone as a result of like that is the way in which you are presupposed to do issues.” That is why she’s so profitable and why individuals wish to work along with her as a result of she’s such a star, however such an expert. I’ve by no means seen something prefer it. I’ve labored with lots of people which can be much less of a star than her which have acted approach worse. She’s the most effective.
She’s so unbelievable and cares a lot and it was why I wished to do the film, even earlier than I learn it. After they have been like, “She’s in it.” I used to be like, “How do you flip down working with a legend?” Such as you try this film. You stand up and also you fly to Nashville and also you do that Christmas film and also you get to work with Rita. That is what you do. Anybody that is within the enterprise that may’ve turned down working with Rita Moreno, then they’re not likely critical about this enterprise. It is only a few occasions that you just’re like provided a job to work with an icon and a legend. I felt so fortunate to have the ability to.
Watching your scenes, I could not assist however discover a bit Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray in your character. Have been you capable of like see any variations between the 2?
Oh my god, a bit? I did Tracy 20 years in the past. Are you able to imagine it? 20 years in the past. We opened 20 years in the past. I have not gotten to play somebody so excessive with a lot pleasure since Tracy. Like, actually since Tracy. I am actually giving everyone like what they need probably the most from Marissa. They’re like, “Give me bows, give me lipstick, give me hair, give all of it.” However the character known as for it. That wasn’t simply me giving it my very own spin. I am unable to think about it being performed another approach.
I used to be like, “Oh my God, the viewers is simply gonna be like, ‘Oh yay, we all know her.” It didn’t go unnoticed to me that the larger the bows bought, the extra like loopy my character was simply channeling Tracy Turnblad. She undoubtedly was not pretty much as good, I imply she’s good-spirited as a result of it is Christmas and she or he had a goal and a job, whereas Tracy was attempting to alter the world. This woman’s simply attempting to make Santa Bootcamp. However undoubtedly what individuals beloved about me taking part in Tracy is occurring once more on this character, for certain.
Vacation films are very particular to individuals yearly. How do you assume this film and its underlying message match into the Christmas catalog?
I really feel like Christmas film may change into its personal style now, you understand? They do a romantic comedy beneath the Christmas umbrella. Just like the Christmas umbrella now could be the style, like a musical. This matches in so nice. It has all of the issues that you just search for in a Christmas film. Its bought all of the Christmas sweaters, however then it additionally has the romance after which it has the message after which it like breaks your coronary heart and makes you wish to cry and makes you wish to name your mother. You already know what I imply? It has actually all the explanations. You watch it and you are like, “Oh, I do not wanna go residence for Christmas as a result of my household drives me loopy.” It’s gonna hit you a technique or one other. It checks all of the containers.
I want Rita, me and John had sung a tune as a result of then that may’ve been the trifecta of all of the issues that you possibly can probably have finished with these characters within the film. That was the one factor lacking. However I really feel like we’re so colourful that it is like we’re singing so it is okay.
What did you personally take away from the message of the film?
Oh, properly that is query. I am so dangerous at that query as a result of I am like, I did my job and I used to be humorous after which I go away. Like that is actually what occurs with me. In order that’s a very dangerous reply. I feel what’s gonna be nice about this film is there’s additionally an entire listening to impaired storyline and there is a complete signal language factor that folks will see. So I feel there’s a lot extra than simply the Christmas sweaters as a result of there’s like an entire underlining message of simply generally getting out of your consolation zone and attempting to to assist different individuals in doing issues for others, not only for your self.
I feel that the character of Emily is coming to Christmas bootcamp to get one thing for herself, however then she’s principally studying the right way to give to different individuals whereas she’s attempting to get one thing for herself as properly. I feel she goes in with agenda and comes out with one other, which I feel is form of at all times a terrific Christmas message. It is not at all times about you. Proper? That is form of what, as a pleasant blended Jewish woman doing Christmas films, I really feel like that is what the of films are at all times about. Attempting to assist assist one another out. After the couple years we have all had, I feel Christmas films are precisely what we’d like proper now.