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Interview with Cameron Mathison of "Holidaze"
on ABC Family 11/15/13
I'm really, really mad at myself for missing this
interview call. I knew it was coming up but didn't realize
that they had scheduled it for last Friday. I love him, and
especially his work on "All My Children". I can't wait to
see this movie.
ABC Familyís Q&A with Cameron Mathison -Holidaze
Moderator: Whatís your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Cameron: Itís funny, because weíre a tradition overload kind
of family, but most of them are in and around Christmas. I
think our Thanksgiving tradition is the traditional
Thanksgiving meal. Itís turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing,
but the little twist is that we always buy our Christmas
tree the weekend that immediately follows Thanksgiving -- so
that we get to enjoy our Christmas tree for as long as
possible without infringing on Thanksgiving.
Moderator: Was it challenging to have your on-screen feelings
with Jennie Garth go back and forth so much?
Cameron: You know, it was in a sense. We had to keep on
remembering ďAlright, so wait a minute, whatís happened?
Where are we now? So weíre in love with each other now, this
is goodĒ. We always had to go back.
It was almost like two different characters, and the
director was very, very helpful with me, especially, because
Jennie more or less made a natural progression in her
change. Whereas, mine was a black and white change as soon
as she went into her dream state/alternate reality state. I
was a totally different guy and that was fun. It was a good
challenge and, again, like I said, our director was great
with making sure that I stayed on top of that.
Moderator: What kind of process did you have to go through to
get this role?
Cameron: Iíve got a great relationship with ABC, ABC Family,
Disney and it was kind of that once they got their female
lead locked in with Jennie Garth, they extended an offer to
me because they felt I was a good fit. Jennie and I know
each other a little bit and the way we act together. It was
just sort of like ďGet your lead female in place and then
letís go looking for the guy that would work.Ē It was a nice
phone call. It was a nice offer to get.
Moderator: What was your reaction when you found out that you
had the role?
Cameron: You know I was thrilled on a few different levels. I
was thrilled because I really like the script. I thought the
script was very sweet and I enjoyed the different elements.
I loved my character Carter McClure.
I really appreciated the decisions that this guy made in his
life to stay in a small town. Heís very grounded with good
values -- he didnít want to follow the big city and the
corporate world. He wanted to live a nice, simple grounded
life in a small town and stick to those roots, and I really
appreciate that in him because I didnít do that.
I went to New York and L.A. chasing the dream, which Iím
very grateful that I did. But at the same time, Iím at a
phase in my life where Iím probably headed more in that
direction. Iím always trying to simplify and find more
balance in my life. I loved the script. I loved the
Iím a big Jennie Garth fan. I think sheís very funny, very
good, so sweet, and it was nice to get to know her while
working together on this movie. I was thrilled on several
Moderator: What do you find most rewarding about acting?
Cameron: I think what I find most rewarding is learning about
myself through my characters and the experience.
The more deeply connected you are with the people that
youíre working with the better the work and the character,
and then I think that really translates to life. It will
help you in life to be more grounded and genuine.
The more you can get out of your own way and remove the
chatter in your head, the more the genuine character can
come out and unfold in a spontaneous way. I think thatís
also great in life to really focus on other people and
cherish others, which I align with working as an actor.
I really feel that the best actors out there are very
centric. Theyíre really connected. Theyíre not in a ďwhat
about meĒ state and I think thatís a good lesson in life. So
I think those are the things that Iíve taken away from
acting that are the most rewarding. Thereís probably more,
but those are the first that come to mind.
Moderator: How was filming on location for Holidaze?
Cameron: We filmed in Toronto! I spent half of my young life
in and around Toronto, so it was nice and chilly Ė but
beautiful - in January. I love Toronto. I organized my high
school basketball alumni game while I was there so I got to
see all my buddies. My brother and his family live in
Toronto, so I stayed with them for part of it and it was a
Moderator: Are there any correlations between your character
in All My Children (Ryan) and your character in Holidanze
(Carter)? How much of your own personality is in this
Cameron: First, the Ryan Lavery/Carter McClure connection, I
would say that my character Ryan on All My Children had a
more troubling background. He wasnít grounded and genuine in
that small-town-way in the early stages, but he kind of grew
to that. I believe he grew up to be more like Carter McClure
in Holidaze, so in that sense, theyíre sort of connected. I
think Carter is just a solid good guy and has stuck by his
values his whole life. He really knew what he wanted in
life, and I think Ryan was far, far more troubled and made
many mistakes in his life.
Second, my connection to Carter, I would say I always bring
part of myself into the characters. I really admire Carter.
Itís the aspect of me that is trying to have more of a
balance in a small town feel of a life - but also be able to
continue in the entertainment world, which is typically a
big city experience. I crave a simple, content, peaceful
life. I really, really enjoy that and that to me is the real
solution. That aspect in me is probably where I bring in
Iím able to find a little bit of balance. For example, I
live in L.A., but I donít live right in L.A. I live in the
mountains in Altadena so I feel like Iím in this little
mountain town and itís a small community, which I love. Iím
trying to say no to more jobs so I can be around and coach
basketball. There are definitely things about me that are
like Carter, but I certainly didnít make that decision my
whole life, thatís for sure.
Moderator: Were you able to show any of your co-stars your
dance experience after being on Dancing with the Stars?
Cameron: Jennie and I were on Dancing with the Stars in the
same season! And she did better than me by one place ó she
used to bring it up in a quite sweet and funny way. She came
fourth. I came fifth. She beat me by one spot, so if
anybodyís showing anybody moves, I donít have the unwritten
authority to do that. She would lay into me.
Moderator: Would the two of you ever put your dancing shoes
together in film or on the road?
Cameron: That would be fun! Anything that I can do with
Jennie Garth, I would love to do it. I really like her. I
got along with her really well and I enjoyed her perspective
on life. I think sheís really talented and very, very funny.
We did a little skating scene in the movie, and there ended
up being a little bit of a dance there, but thatís as close
as we got to dancing in the movie.
Moderator: What is your favorite holiday movie?
Cameron: Well, Iím just going to go back to a classic, Itís a
Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story are some favorites for
me. The animated original version of The Grinch That Stole
Christmas is a classic for me. But my modern favorite movies
with my family -probably Elf. My kids love Elf. They just
think itís so funny.
Moderator: What is your favorite thing to eat around the
Cameron: Itís the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal. We even
have it every Christmas, too. Itís turkey, mashed potatoes,
and stuffing. Thatís probably my favorite meal of the whole
Moderator: Do you prefer to act in dramas or comedies?
Cameron: I probably prefer comedy. Why? Iím not sure. I feel
like the energy of a comedy is a better fit for me. I try to
be a happy guy! It seems that most of my life has the energy
more for a comedy than for drama. Iím grateful to do both,
but I would have to lean towards the comedy side of acting.
Moderator: Do you prefer acting on television or film?
Cameron: The movies that Iíve been doing lately have been
mostly for TV - so itís sort of the same thing. I would say
movies because you have more time and it feels less rushed.
When youíre acting for TV, often the budget is more of a
concern and you just have a crazy pace. But then again
movies also probably shoot like that sometimes. Iím just
happy to work!
Moderator: Do you have a particular attraction or show that
you like from any of the Disney parks?
Cameron: Yes! I would probably say Soariní is one of my
favorites. I think itís ďSoariní Over CaliforniaĒ in
Disneyland and itís just called ďSoaringĒ in Florida.
Space Mountain has got a very special place in my heart.
Iíve always loved Space Mountain. Iíve got a good story that
goes way back to when I was a kid at Space Mountain, so
thatís just a classic ride for me and I still really, really
like it. I think it still holds up. Even with all the roller
coasters, I think it totally holds up.
Moderator: What advice do you have for up and coming actors
Cameron: I would say - study, study, take classes, take
workshops, do as much as you can, get involved in a theater
project, just as much as you can to study the art. Volunteer
in a theater, whatever you can do to train with people,
train your voice, train for the physical training in improv.
Do as much as you can even if you donít think itís going to
be something that youíre going to want. Itís all going to
help you so much.
I didnít start in this business at all like that. I started
in a completely different way and I really wish I had, which
is why Iím so enthusiastic about it. Thatís the number one
thing that I would say to people.
Moderator: If you could revisit any time in your life, what
would you go back and do differently?
Cameron: Thatís a good one! I would definitely go back and
work on what Iím doing now, in terms of acting. I would make
different little decisions Ė like choosing not to play my
first year at college in McGill basketball. I ended up
playing from my second year on, you know I really regretted
that. I would go back and in any way possible minimize
causing any problems with people.
Moderator: What was it like working on set during Holidaze?
Are there a particular funny stories from behind the scenes?
Cameron: Thereís one scene in the movie where I have to stand
there without clothes on Ė but obviously I wasnít standing
there naked. It was on the third day of filming together
with Jennie. So Iím standing there in my underwear for a
long time which was awkward! There was another scene when my
character and Jennie Garthís character are being romantic
and kissing Ė in between takes Jennie would check her emails
on her phone and it all just looked so funny. So I came to
the conclusion that I must not be that mesmerizing!
Moderator: If Jennie [Garth] is the better dancer, who is the
Cameron: Probably Jennie! I mean Iím Canadian, so itís really
embarrassing for me to say this, but I think I may have
passed her. Iíve had to do some skating in other roles and I
took some lessons and I got much better. I took lessons
during Holidaze and I was very grateful for that, but it was
very humbling as a Canadian to have to take skating lessons.
Whereas Jennie just kind of threw on the skates and got out
there and did her thing. She was pretty good!
Moderator: Was it difficult to get into the holiday spirit
when you were shooting the movie in a non-holiday season?
Cameron: Itís only difficult when youíre just sitting there
reading and working on your scenes at home. But then you
show up on set - youíre in the costume and the set
decorators are always fantastic. So youíve got all the
Christmas decorations, youíve got the Christmas lights, the
Christmas tree, youíve got the smell of the turkey - that
all really helps. Then you just try and believe it! You just
make the decision and you get lost in that character and
It can be difficult, but if the conditions are right around
you it makes it much easier. There were a lot of really
talented people working on this film, so they made it very,
Moderator: What are your plans for this holiday season other
than watching Holidaze with your family?
Cameron: Of course! My family and my wifeís family alternate
Christmas and Thanksgiving, so this year weíre on
Thanksgiving with her family in California. My wifeís
sister, Denise, puts on an amazing spread. Weíll spend
Christmas in Colorado with my family. Weíll be skiing and
itís a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas Ė itís very
snowy and fits the holiday!
Moderator: Are there any current projects that you may be
Cameron: Iíve got a couple of things going on! My main gig at
this moment is contributing on Good Morning America. I shot
a pilot in the summertime for Hallmark Channel and Iím
waiting to hear if that gets picked up. Itís tough to do too
much when youíre waiting to hear about a pilot getting
My whole family is going to be part of the Disney Christmas
Special on Christmas morning, which Iím really looking
Moderator: What do you like to do for fun outside of acting?
Cameron: My number one thing that I do outside of acting and
any work at all in my career is be with my family, be with
my kids and my wife ó just the simple things. I love to do
school drop-offs and pickups, play basketball, run around in
the yard, play with my dogóall that stuff is my absolute
favorite thing to do.
The other thing I like to do is that Iím a big meditation
practitioner. I love to meditate. I love to train my mind in
love, generosity and compassion -- I really practice those
in formal meditation and in informal meditation. So thatís
something a lot of people may not know or guess about me.
Moderator: If you could have one superhero power in real
life, what would it be?
Cameron: I guess it would probably be the ability to control
otherís minds. You could stop all war, hurting and harming
if you could just stop people from making these decisions.
Moderator: What is the nicest thing a fan has ever done for
Cameron: Iím sure everybody thatís in the entertainment world
says the same thing, but I have had such incredible
experiences with the fans and so many nice elaborate gifts.
The nicest things that the fans have done for me - is
usually when they do things for my kids or my wife. Theyíve
done things that have gone way out of their way. Itís just
so generous of them to think of it. I feel like itís such an
act of extending themselves - itís so kind.
Ultimately, though, the nicest things are just like support
and saying kind words. Especially for actors, we really
appreciate hearing those things!
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