Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
This Sunday December 6th Hallmark Channel’s new holiday movie, Christmas She Wrote, is premiering 8:00pm/ 7:00 central part of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas lineup.
Writer Kayleigh [Danica McKellar] has her column canceled before Christmas and decides to head home to spend the holidays with her family. Kayleigh gets an unexpected visitor from the man who canceled her column who fights to not only bring her back as a publisher but to also win her heart.
Credit: The Hallmark Channel
Chelsie Overocker connected with Dylan Neal who plays Tripp and explains his character’s motives for having to let Kayleigh’s column go but quickly discovered he made a mistake.
Thank you Dylan for chatting with us about the movie. We hope you are doing well.
“Hey Chelsie! I’m doing good. I’m multitasking and trying to clean the pool.”
Dylan explains that the winds have picked up in LA and he wants to get everything cleaned up in his backyard.
We understand about multitasking. This whole year since we have been staying home we find projects that we need to get done around the house while still working.
Let’s talk about Christmas She Wrote. From the previews we see that your character Tripp first cancels Kayleigh’s column then there is a twist where he fights to bring her back as a publisher.
Credit: The Hallmark Channel
“Really he’s just doing his job. Tripp was hired to trim the budget and help stabilize the newspaper which was struggling and Kayleigh’s column had to go. But what Tripp doesn’t realize is how popular her column was and received huge backlash. He tries to get her back and hops on a plan and tracks her down. At first she’s not interested in coming back and is still pissed but he doesn’t give up.”
We like the dynamic between the two characters and watch how their connection will grow stronger throughout the film. How was it working with Danica McKellar?
“She’s great, we casually met at a few networking places and she is a very professional actress.”
We saw her TikTok where she shows a behind the scenes video of you two ice skating and how they used a double while shooting the scene.
“She was not comfortable ice skating and when writing your own Hallmark movies if a character requires a special skill there is a 50/50 chance they can do the skill and if not you may need to get a double or maybe you can rewrite the script. For this movie we wanted to keep the skating. We built her a sliding platform and I couldn’t get too close to her. But we were worried about the camera crew who were skating backwards and carrying a heavy camera. If they would have fallen they would have destroyed the camera. For Danica’s double she had the same hair and clothing. It all blended together.”
Yes it does all blend together. Hallmark showed us a sneak peak of the movie and that scene was featured. You can’t even tell she was on a ramp or she had a double.
What were some of your favorite scenes that you enjoyed filming.
“Good question let me think. I think as a producer it is always fun to see how far along fake snow has come and in all of this movie we used snow machines. We have a special soap that gets blown with big fans. It looks good on film but does not taste good. In the old days the fake snow was not good for the environment but now it’s much better when it’s spraying all over the place. The scene is a snow day and we’re cutting down the Christmas tree. Plus, it was raining. The snow machine was good at hiding the rain. It was cool to learn coming from the production side because filming most winter scenes especially in Vancouver you have to worry about rain. But a snow machine will help eliminate the rain which is a good production note. We are also wearing a hat battling the rain. When you are watching the tree cut scene I’m curious if you will notice that it was raining.”
We will pay attention to that scene knowing that it was raining while you were filming. Thanks for sharing all of the details that took place while shooting this scene. The weather can be hard to predict especially when you are shooting a Christmas movie.
“I think it’s fun to do a Christmas movie. I’ve been with Hallmark for eight years and did one Christmas with Anne Heche four years ago. It’s fun to get in the spirit and play in the snow even though it’s fake [laughs].”
Not only do you act but you are a writer and producer as well.
“Yes! The Gourmet Detective series. My wife Becky and I are executive producers.”
Credit: Dylan Neal’s Instagram
We read that you have had some injuries while filming like setting your hair on fire, cutting your face, and sliced your finger.
“In The Gourmet Detective series I injured myself and split my head open. We were running out of time to shoot so we just shot on the side I wasn’t bleeding on. After filming I made it to the emergency room. But in all other movies I haven’t injured myself but whenever I shoot these series all bets are off [laughs].”
We’re glad that you are okay and you didn’t have any injuries while filming Christmas She Wrote.
Aside from producing and writing you also have another cool hobby where you are an avid woodworker. You have recreated eighteenth and nineteenth period furniture. Have you created any cool projects recently?
“No, because I converted my garage into a TV room. In LA every square foot is valuable. I built a shed for my tools but haven’t rented a separate garage to build. I’ve done that before. I did work as a cabinet professional during the strike of 08 with no production happening.”
We agree, living out here in LA you have to make the most of all of the space you have. Hopefully you will be able to recreate some furniture soon. But converting your garage into a TV room we are sure you will be able to enjoy that for Christmas.”
“This year I’m looking forward to it. Unfortunately we’re not seeing extended family but I hate getting so caught up in the traveling part. This year is the perfect excuse to stay home and it’s the right thing to do. We will order food. We are not big cooks which people find surprising because of The Gourmet Detective series. We can burn water [laughs].”
It is the right thing to stay at home for Christmas this year if you can. Do you have any movies that you and your family enjoy watching?
“Christmas Story is a classic and It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf.. Oh wait hold on.. Becky also says The Holiday is a good one. But we are currently writing a Christmas movie. It’s not for Hallmark but we are watching these movies to study which is the perfect time. We are fans of Nancy Myers.”
Sounds like you will have a nice Christmas with your family in LA while watching all of your holiday movies. That’s great that you and your wife are already writing some future projects. This is the perfect time to start creating new content.
Thank you Dylan for taking the time to chat about Christmas She Wrote. We are looking forward to watching it this weekend. How is your pool turning out?
“Looking nice just about finished and thanks Chelsie! Have a great weekend!”
Make sure you all watch Christmas She Wrote premiering this Sunday December 6th on the Hallmark Channel.
Credit: Danica McKellar’s Instagram
To keep up with Dylan’s latest projects be sure to follow him on IG @dylanjneal and Twitter @DylanNealStudio.
For more Hallmark related content make sure you are following us on IG @houseofhallmarkshow and on Twitter @houseofhallmark.
Keep up with AfterBuzz TV for the latest in Hallmark news as well as all your TV entertainment news.
Chelsie Overocker is a host for AfterBuzz TV. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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