Jessy Schram & Wes Brown In Hallmark Channel’s ‘A Nashville Christmas Carol’

Jessy Schram and Wes Brown sit down with Chelsie Overocker to discuss their new holiday film, A Nashville Christmas Carol premiering Saturday, November 21st, on the Hallmark Channel.

Vivienne Wake (Jessy Schram), a workaholic television producer in charge of a country music-themed Christmas special showcasing newcomer Alexis (RaeLynn), never lets personal feelings get in the way of business. On the verge of accepting a job in LA, and with the return of Gavin Chase (Wes Brown), her childhood sweetheart and manager to the special’s headliner, Belinda (Sara Evans), she receives a visit from the ghost of her recently deceased mentor, Marilyn (Wynonna Judd). Her mentor warns her that her current path leads to a dark future and has recruited both the Spirit of Christmas Past (Kix Brooks) and the Spirit of Christmas Present (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) to help her get back on track. The Spirits’ time-jumping adventures force Vivienne to take hold of her life. Will Vivienne ultimately choose her career or another chance at love?

What makes this Hallmark feature unique is it includes a star cast of actors and musicians, but it also relates to the classic story of A Christmas Carol with a little bit of a twist.

Jessy – “I always like to say The Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Christmas movies. So this has all of those elements tied in together. We definitely take that basic formula of looking at our past and present and making changes for the future. I feel like we definitely kept with the stencil but made our own story and shapes in it.”

We agree, and in this movie, Jessy’s character Vivian will have the opportunity to create her own future.

This is also Wes and Jessy’s first time acting in a Hallmark movie together playing the love interest. Not only do they have great on-screen chemistry, but off-screen, they still remain good friends.

Wes – “First of all, I got to start off by saying I stared at Jessy for many many weeks with blonde hair, so this is new to me” [laughs]. I mean, she had bright blonde hair for weeks and weeks. Now I’m like, who is this? It looks great, by the way!”

Jessy – “Who is this girl signing in? [laughs].

Wes: “I love it!”

You two get along so well the audience is definitely going to love the interactions between your characters, Vivian and Gavin.

Jessy – “I had fun filming with him, so I’m glad the chemistry is playing into the movie. I had a great time filming this. It was definitely different with it being Covid times and in two different cities. Adjusting to protocol and we have a lot of special effects in this movie. So doing some of the green screen for magic and some of it because we didn’t have our actors in both places because of Covid. So it was definitely an interesting filming process but fun after doing months of quarantine. Like getting to each lunch with other humans was really nice.”

Wes – “It definitely felt both big and a little small. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean that in a sense that it felt big because there is such a big cast. There was a magical element to it. We had a giant company move from North Carolina to Tennessee. So it felt big in that aspect, but also it felt a little small because it was Covid time. A lot of the scenes that could have 50 to 100 plus extras were changed. The country live was initially going to be a live show then it got changed to a taping. Which is filmed without an audience. So it was interesting filming a big movie in a time where you shouldn’t be filming movies I guess. [laughs]”

Jessy – “Right, where you have to make it small but still look big.”

Wes – “Exactly, so it was a challenge, I think, for all of the filmmakers. But hey, if it turned out great, then that’s credit to them!”

You two bring up good points that scenes would have to be shot differently because of Covid. Besides getting tested all of the time, what was different about working on set?

Jessy – “The main difference was everybody has a mask on. So you really didn’t until you took a photo with somebody at the end of production what somebody’s entire face looked like. [laughs] I was talking to Wes about this onset, and it was the first week. It was really different, and you do a scene, and you look out, and all you see are these eyes. So you’re still learning people’s expressions and feelings based on the tiniest little change in their forehead.”

Wes – “My favorite thing about filmmaking and acting is I genuinely get to go to places that I would have never gone on my own…with this film, I never been to Charlotte before. I’ve been to Nashville once, but with Charlotte during this unfortunate time, my room was great. [laughs] It wasn’t that we weren’t allowed to go anywhere, but we had to take some self responsibility. If one of us went down, then our set would shut down..but outside of Covid times, Nashville is great! Charlotte looks nice [laughs] I would’ve liked to have gone and done a lot of stuff there.”

Jessy – “They have a lot of those scooters in Charlotte. That was fun!”

Before Covid, Wes has been to Nashville before and explained that what makes the city special is the history of its music.

Wes – “It’s an insanely talented town with the musicians and songwriters. I got to record some stuff there. Actually, one of my really good friends is a composer in Los Angeles. He stirred me away from Los Angeles to Nashville because of that reason right there. It’s not really a place it’s the people, and seeing what you see in Nashville, you are not going to see that at other places.”

Wes and Jessy are also musicians, and they, unfortunately, didn’t get to sing a duet together in A Nashville Christmas Carol, but we are keeping our fingers crossed for next time. (Spoiler Alert).

Wes – “You record it and send it to them.” [laughs] I like it. I like the idea.”

If you had to choose a duet to sing together, what would you like it to be?

Jessy – “The movie Once with Glen Hansard. That kind of duet would be amazing.”

Wes – “My favorite duet is “Something Stupid” by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. There is also a version of it with Michael Buble and Reese Witherspoon. I love that one.”

Jessy – “Where not thinking Christmas” [Laughs]

It’s alright if we were to have a sequel for this movie; we can make it a fall harvest film.

While watching this movie, you want to pay attention to the props they use, especially when they shoot scenes from the past.

One of our favorite scenes is when Vivian and Gavin are sitting together on a bench. They want to get their picture taken and pull out a digital camera. The movie does a great job of making you feel like you are living in the 2010 era again.

“I love that we had the digital camera and we have flip phones. One thing that you probably won’t see in the movie because it was just too perfect of a moment and everybody died laughing was our lovely actor Wes here would get on the flip phone, and every time he would bring the antenna up just to make sure it worked. It was just something to the point that we would always laugh, and it would be in this very serious moment where my character is upset, and he is trying to stop me. It’s this really emotional moment, and he commits so hard and puts up that little antenna. If you’re talking about a time period, he committed.”

Wes – “We always try to find a little bit of humor with any scene and go with it. That was the first time I ever did some action. As soon as I did it, I could feel the crew trying not to laugh because it was just so ridiculous. I felt like Zack Morris with the big satellite phone.” [laughs].

Another flashback scene that the audience is going to enjoy is when Vivian is reconnected with her mom [Amanda Baker]. As part of her Christmas past, Vivian is pulled back in time and watches a younger version of herself interact with Gavin and her family.

Wes – “It wasn’t until that scene where my character sees her mother in a past flashback. That, to me, just brought me into this movie into a different way. I think it just hit the heart and grounded it in a way. That’s the scene for me; that kind of changed in the movie where I’m invested in this. It has a little bit of heartache to it, and I think that sometimes you know we want to feel good. We tend to skip over the heartache a little bit, and I think in this movie, we get to see those moments as to why Vivian, my character, is the way she is.”

That scene is definitely an emotional part in the movie, and the audience is going to connect with your character. You’re right we get a better understanding of Vivian and why she is the way she is.

But the fans are also going to enjoy the flashback scenes because Kix Brooks plays the spirit of Christmas past. What a great opportunity to have him, Wynonna Judd, and Sara Evans be part of this film.

Jessy: – “It was awesome. Kix Brooks got to come to the different states with us and everything. It was so much having the musicians act with us. It made it a different experience. It was such a cool group of people.”

Wes: – “Kix Brooks from Kix and Dunn, that’s the largest duo in music history. It’s not country music it’s music history, so I grew up as a huge fan of Brooks and Dunn. Of course, Wynonna Judd and Sara, they were all such good people. We thought how sweet, kind, and generous they were. Especially Kix, we got to go on his tour bus after we would wrap and just hang out for a while.”

What a cool opportunity to hang out in Kix’s tour bus and act with legendary musicians. Wes explains that it was a special time to be able to combine the two crafts.

Wes – “They’re doing their craft at the highest level and then to come join us and combine the two. Jessy being a musician as well. It’s not too often you get to combine the two crafts that you are going at right now. Music and movies, it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it’s a lot of fun. It’s really special.”

We agree, and when you have the chance to mix music with acting. Those films always leave us with a good feeling.

Make sure you all watch A Nashville Christmas Carol airing Saturday, November 21st, on the Hallmark Channel.

Watch the full interview here.

To keep up with Jessy, you can follow her on IG and Twitter @jschramer and follow Wes on IG @wesbrown225.

For more Hallmark related content, make sure to subscribe to the House of Hallmark on YouTube. Follow us on IG @homeofhallmark and Twitter @houseofhallmark.

Keep up with AfterBuzz TV for the latest in Hallmark news as well as all your TV entertainment news.

Thank you, Jessy and Wes, for coming to the House of Hallmark!

Wes – “Thank you for having us.”

Jessy – “Thank you, bye!”

About the Author

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Chelsie Overocker

Chelsie Overocker is a host for AfterBuzz TV.