Nikki DeLoach joined Chelsie Overocker on the House of Hallmark to discuss her new Christmas movie Cranberry Christmas premiering Saturday October 31st on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. Nikki highlights her favorite moments on set, working with her co-star Benjamin Ayres, and director Linda Lisa Hayter.
Cranberry Christmas is about a secretly separated couple who comes together to promote their hometown’s Christmas festival and their company Cranberry Lane on national television. But while they are trying to be the ideal married couple on camera they start to grow closer together again. Will they be able to rekindle their love or will new opportunities complicate their relationship again.
Before discussing Nikki’s new movie we wanted to check in and see how she was doing.
“I’m currently out in LA. I’m glad it’s not 108 degrees anymore. [laughs] It’s 2020 so we have to really take our blessings wherever we can get them.”
We agree with Nikki. Life is unpredictable especially this year in 2020. We can’t afford to take anything for granted and be thankful for our family, and health.
“This is hard for everyone..my family is really fortunate. I’ve been living some type of life like this because of my youngest and how compromised he has been since he was born. This wasn’t that foreign to me even though it is an extreme version to what we have been living. So I think that I already knew how to do this which really helped on an emotional and mental level. I’ve been able to work. I did two movies and we have a roof over our heads and been able to stay healthy.”
We’re glad that you are able to maintain a positive mindset during these uncertain times and was still able to continue working.
We had a chance to watch Cranberry Christmas and really enjoyed the movie. We like how this storyline emphasizes that even if a marriage is going through a hard season in life it’s still important to fight for what you love.
“I love that we get to tell that story. We see these two characters at the start of the movie. They are secretly separated because they do have this lifestyle brand that they are building together. They are known on a national stage. They have this following and they are secretly separated but they still have to put together this festival. They have decided that they are going to avoid each other, do their jobs, and we’ll deal with this after Christmas.”
Of course with all plans unpredictable things can happen and in this case the characters have to learn how to navigate through some hard situations.
“It really forces them to have to communicate and it forces them to have to be together and forces them also to really remember the why. Remember the love and remember the respect and remember the trust and remember all of the beautiful things that still exist inside their marriage. This is not a situation where two people don’t love each other. It’s just a situation where two people got so caught up and busy in their lives that they forgot about the love.” DeLoach continues, “I’m really hoping other people can relate to it. I think that they will and I also think it’s a really sweet well crafted story.”
We think the audience will connect with this story too. Especially your on screen chemistry you have with Benjamin Ayres. How was it working with him?
“Thank you, I really appreciate that. I collect people. Everyone always says, ‘you work with the same people in Hallmark.’ I say, ‘I know’ because when you find something and it really works and you fall in love with a human being you worked with and their so good and their also wonderful people. I just want to collect them and keep working with them. So Ben is now one of those people because we have a lot in common besides the fact that we’re both actors and both parents and we’re married and we have families…we talk a lot about that off camera.”
That’s great that you were able to build a strong connection with Ben and us Hallmark fans would love to see you two together in another movie.
Nikki has had a very successful acting career especially with Hallmark. She gets candid about how she preps before each movie to make sure the time she arrives on set she is ready to go.
“At the beginning of each movie that I do. I do something a little bit different. Which is after I poured through the script and spent 10 to 12 hours looking at the arc of the lead and the co-lead. Are there holes? Are there troubleshooting that I need to do? How can we deepen this and how can we add humor? All of those things and I make all of my notes. I like to sit down with my co-star and the director. I like for all of us to pour through it. I do this because especially when you’re doing these 15 day shoots where you are running and gunning the whole time. There is no time to have a conversation about what the scene means. You have to have those conversations beforehand..if someone is giving you 90 minutes of your time to watch you on television you need to bring it.”
You definitely brought it for Cranberry Christmas and what we love the most about this storyline is it’s a movie about real issues that a lot of married couples face. But at the same time you and Ben kept the dialogue fun that the audience is going to enjoy.
“Specifically with this movie we’re playing a married couple. We have a history and not just that, a married couple who have known each other since they were kids. What did our childhood look like? What did we use to do as kids? When was the first time you kissed me? What was the first date we went on? These were all things that we needed to talk about and build so that the layers were there. Ben being just like me and being so into it. He brought his own ideas and once I realized he was so good with comedy I was like ‘oh game on!’ [laughs] The humor wasn’t really on the page but this could get heavy for the audience because it’s a serious subject. We don’t want it to be slow and heavy. We want to earn those moments when we really have emotion in there..it was just a seamless beautiful connection that we made.”
It’s a beautiful movie and the audience is going to appreciate both you and Ben taking the extra steps to want to come across as a married couple that’s known each other since they were kids.
Nikki also gives credit to Linda Lisa Hayter who was the director of Cranberry Christmas and very detail oriented with the decorations on set.
“To have Linda Lisa Hayter who is our director and first time director for Hallmark. She knocked it out of the park. She was so precious and specific about every little thing down to even the decorations. She had the art department put on the tree and the colors and just a joy to work with and so on the same page as myself and Ben. So I think that’s what happened. You get a director and some actors that are all on the same page and all want to do everything they can to make the best movie possible and you get that chemistry.”
All of the actors have great on screen chemistry together and we can tell that everyone worked hard for the film. Are there any favorite scenes that you enjoyed shooting that you can’t wait for the audience to see?
“Yeah there are a couple of them. One being the very end because we surprised Ben. That final combination scene we were talking about with the tears and the happiness and all of that. I surprised Ben and me and the director kind of came together… we were always in the corner whispering to each other. This is one of those things you can talk about you and your director being on the same page.”
“I had this idea of something I wanted to do that I felt like a behavior that would say I was on the same page as you. You probably know what I’m talking about. No one person is above the other. You and I are equals and we are on the same page…so when you find that beautiful connection of two creatives it’s such a magical thing. You can’t fake it. It just happens. So I’m excited for the audience to see that scene because it’s a little different and also know Ben’s reaction in that moment is absolutely real because he had no idea I was going to do that.”
The ending scene is one of our favorite moments as well and the audience is going to love the interaction between the two characters.
Before we let Nikki go we wanted to highlight her acting career with the Hallmark Channel. Every character that she plays she always brings woman empowerment with her role.
In Cranberry Christmas her character Dawn fights for her career but also her marriage. Another Hallmark movie that Nikki starred in was Love Takes Flight where she plays a single mother who also runs a hospital wanting to provide a good life for her and her daughter.
“The one thing that Hallmark does really well is they highlight and reflect what it is like to be a woman. The more we can do that in movies, with Lizze for example in Love Takes Flight it’s a big important thing for me because I look at all of my friends and look at what they are going through. I want to put that up on television. I want to tell that story.”
You tell many great stories with your acting Nikki and we are looking forward to watching more characters that you play on screen.
Thank you so much for coming on the House of Hallmark and chatting with us. Please keep us updated on all of your projects we would love for you to come back on.
“I would love to come back on. Thank you so much.”
Make sure you all watch Cranberry Christmas premiering Saturday October 31st at 10pm/9c on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.
Keep up with Nikki on IG @NikDeLoach and on Twitter @NikkiDeLoach.
For more Hallmark related content as well as interviews with different artists that inspire and elevate be sure to follow The House of Hallmark on Instagram @homeofhallmark and Twitter @houseofhallmark.
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