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Interview with Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar of "The 12
Dates of Christmas" on
ABC Family 12/1/11
ABC Familyís Q&A Session with Amy Smart (Special Guest:
25 Days of Christmas/12 Dates of Christmas
Moderator What was it about the character of Kate that kind of endeared
you to the project?
A. Smart I really liked Kate because first of all, she has such a
three-dimensional character. Sheís still hopelessly in love with her
ex-boyfriend and wants him back so badly. Sheís stubborn. Sheís
work-driven and stubborn. She just wants what she wants. She kind of has
that tunnel vision and doesnít see past that.
What I liked about this project is that I liked that Kate has to go
through this transformational journey where she is pushed to her limits
and has to keep reliving Christmas Eve over and over and over again
until she can start to expand her horizons and see that maybe what she
thinks she needs is not really what sheís going after. Sheís given this
chance to explore other possibilities that are better for her and her
life that open her up and humble her.
Moderator Which of the Christmas Eves was your favorite to film?
A. Smart I had such a great time working with Mark-Paul. Heís a
wonderful actor and we had fun ice skating and being freezing at night
walking down the street, and decorating Christmas trees, and picking
them out. Itís hard to say because I really liked so many different
scenes. I thought it was also fun when my character kept running into
her ex-boyfriend and trying to fixóin order to fix her relationship with
him so she can win him over and get him in the next night.
Moderator Could you describe the movie in your own words?
A. Smart Itís about this journey of Kate Stanton who is really set in
her ways and trying to make her life right and get her ex-boyfriend
back. She journeys and figures out that the way her Type A personality
is not actually helping her get what she truly needs in her life.
Through the journey she takes, it allows her to see other peopleís
perspective and a window into how other people really are. Itís
incredibly humbling and enlightening and fun, and a journey everyone
takes where you think you know what you want and then something in your
life makes you fall on your Ö and you can see clearer about what life is
really about and what really matters.
Moderator Whatís one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
A. Smart I love baking little Mexican wedding ball cookies. I love
cooking during Christmas, all smells like the hot apple cider, the hot
Moderator In the movie, your character relives Christmas Eve until she
gets it right. If you could do over any one day in your life, which day
would you choose?
A. Smart Wow. Thatís a good question. Itís funny, because in hindsight,
we have so much fear and anxiety about our future, the next day, or
whatís happening in our lives. When you have that 20/20 hindsight that
everything was going to be fine, youíre going to be okay, I donít know
of one specific day, but just trusting more in life and your journey.
I know that sounds airy-fairy, but really just knowing if I could go
back and know everything was going to be okay in certain circumstances;
not to stress out about it. I think if anything, the best gift we can
have is living in the present moment and really enjoying it for what it
is; and, not being in our heads and getting sidetracked.
Moderator There are a lot of scenes that are very similar but just
slightly different. How did you all keep track of all of that?
A. Smart We broke it down into 12 different sections. Where is she at
this point, this point, this point? It was definitely like a puzzle
because each incarnation she changes sort of like Groundhogís Day where
sheís back at square one with all this new information and these new
purposes and drives. So, it was confusing, but we just broke it down
into 12 dates Ö get through that.
Moderator Did it get complicated filming it?
A. Smart Yes, it definitely got complicated because at some points, more
for continuity-wise, like figuring out okay she didnít go there first,
and then she went here. So, maybe sheís not wearing her scarf here. But,
as far as trying to gauge where this character was at each point got
confusing at times, but weíre able to navigate it. That was challenging,
though, for sure.
Moderator Well, I love the movie and you guys did a great job with it.
A. Smart Thank you. It was the first film that Iíve ever done where I
was in every single scene. I really poured my heart and soul into this
film. Honestly, I loved the script. I thought all the characters were so
three dimensional and they all have their own voice. I like any story
that starts one place and really takes a huge journey to a whole new
place; that people in their life want to take that journey. They want to
be able to find things in their life that arenít working and work
through them to a new place of change.
Moderator How much of your own personality is reflected in your
character of Kate?
A. Smart I think as an actor, you naturally bring a lot of yourself, as
much of yourself as you can in different circumstances. So, I focus more
on what the differences are because Iíll inherently bring what I can
relate to more so. I feel like there are definitely parts of Kate that I
completely relate to, but not necessarily the parts where she has lost
her mom and sheís grieving the loss of that and trying to find someone
in her life so she wonít feel alone.
But, there were definitely parallels in my life during this film because
Iíd gotten out of a long-term relationship and fell in love with a new
man who I married. So, I could relate to her on that place of spending
so much time trying to make something work that wasnít meant to work.
Moderator As an actress, is there a particular comic inspiration for
your work? Or, is there a particular actor that you draw influences
from; especially in regards to taping this new Christmas classic, 12
Dates of Christmas?
A. Smart Honestly, there are so many wonderful female comediennes that I
love. But, Iím not necessarily trying to copy any one. I feel like it
really has to be an authentic experience yourself as an actor. So, I
really find a lot of humor all over life. I love more than anything
watching people be scared or trip and fall. I donít know why, maybe itís
a bad thing. So, for me, itís not necessarily that Iím trying to imitate
or copy other amazing actors. But, I just try to have the experience
Moderator Is there a particular actor/actress that really makes you
laugh out loud?
A. Smart Lucille Ball, who is so incredible and so over the top, but who
could just hold that stage in all these funny, ridiculous scenarios. I
think she was such a great woman to really bring comedy to females to
start it off. There are tons of others. I thought Bridesmaids was such a
funny, female driven comedy where all the women that you truly believe;
they are such good actors because you really believe that they were
living this hilarious journey.
Moderator If you had to tell viewers one thing to get them to watch the
film, what would it be?
A. Smart I think whatís endearing about this film is two people keep
missing each other, who are meant to fall in love, but things keep going
awry. Itís like this funny tale about two people wanting to connect and
they always keep missing each other.
Moderator Have you ever been on a date that you wish you could relive?
A. Smart Thatís funnyónot really. Thereís dates that I would have liked
to pass on.
Moderator Did you have any issues with mixing up what you say in
different scenes because they are so similar?
A. Smart Again, that got really technical because it was the director,
myself and the script supervisors really making sure that we, yes it was
hard because there were just so many, it was written really well. So in
the story and in the dialog, itís all mapped out. But, as far as the
attitudes and where she was at emotionally at that point, it was
definitely challenging, too, to switch gears so many times.
Moderator This is your first married Christmas. So, I was wondering
maybe what youíre looking forward to that going to be different from
A. Smart I really feel like this year, we had a gorgeous, beautiful
wedding. Iím really looking forward to just enjoying the Christmas
spirit, not about being materialistic, just about the celebration of
friends and family and cooking and singing and enjoying each other; just
using this time to really enjoy our new marriage. Thatís pretty much
what Iím looking forward to.
Moderator How did you get involved with the movie?
A. Smart I actually got offered this role. I read the script and I
really, really loved it and wanted to do it. Then, I was so happy that
Mark-Paul signed on to do it afterwards because I think heís so
talented. Everyoneís a huge Zack Morris fan. So, thatís kind of how I
Moderator Is there something about this character that you admire or a
quality that you wish you had?
A. Smart I think that because of the film, it kept opening the character
Kateís eyes to other people. She was pretty self-absorbed. Each time she
opened herself up more and more to a different character in the film,
and their lives, and their stories and how she could maybe make their
I admire that because I really do think that life is all about balance.
You have to obviously take care of yourself. But, then itís so important
to give back and find ways of being generous and thoughtful with other
people. I really liked that about her toward the end of the film.
Moderator Whatís your favorite holiday film?
A. Smart I have a few that I love. I really like A Christmas Story.
M. Gosselaar (Surprise Guest Caller)
This is Miles Meyer from ABCís Family. I have a question. Can you
elaborate further on how talented and handsome your co-star, Mark-Paul
A. Smart Mark-Paul is one of the nicest people Iíve ever met. He is such
a generous actor, so caring. He definitely is a male. Heís not a boy.
Heís a man.
M. Gosselaar Oh, really? Heís a man. Yes. Oooh, that sounds so sexy. I
mean the man has the nicest butt in Hollywood. Did you ever get a look
A. Smart No. I did not. Iím sorry.
M. Gosselaar Was he wearing snow pants?
A. Smart No. He wore jeans most of the time.
M. Gosselaar Does he have nice feet?
A. Smart Honestly, I did not check out his feet.
M. Gosselaar Yes, heís got great hair, too. Heís just the perfect man.
Moderator What was it like working with James Hayman?
A. Smart He was wonderful to work with. He really has such a great sense
of comedy. That helped me tremendously. I trusted him so much because
what I like about this film is it is a romantic comedy. You want to
laugh and you want to play and enjoy.
He just has such a great way of giving notes and expressing himself, and
an eye for comedy. So, it was fun taking it to all these different
levels. He helped to push me farther and farther. So, I hope I can work
with him again.
Moderator Amy, I think we have a mystery guest. The previous caller was
actually complimenting himself.
A. Smart Are you serious?!
Moderator Mark-Paul Gosseler has just surprised us on the line. Hello,
Mark-Paul. How are you?
M. Gosselaar Hi, Amy. Itís ďMiles Meyer.Ē
A. Smart No way! I was like who is this crazy guy who wants to be
M. Gosselaar I love how you didnít want to take it at all. Youíre like,
ďI have the feeling that youíre trying to get me to say really risquť
stuff.Ē I was like, yes, I am. Oh, man.
A. Smart Oh, well, if itís you.
M. Gosselaar What do I call this? Itís like a photo-bomb, but itís like
an interview bomb.
Moderator Mark-Paul, what was your favorite part about filming this
M. Gosselaar Well, it was a pleasure working with Amy. My co-star that
Iím currently working with now worked with her and always spoke very
highly of her. Working with her was a pleasure. So, the reason I came on
board with this film was because she was attached to it. So, for her to
follow-through with all the high praise that sheís gotten from so many
people that I know was something that I appreciated. Yes, I think it
shows on the film, too, that we enjoyed each other. We had a great
Moderator What has been the best date that youíve ever had?
M. Gosselaar I donít know. I havenít dated a lot. I canít really answer
that question, but I would say that the date that my fiancťe went on was
pretty damn good and thatís why weíre still together now. Yes. I would
say the date that I had with her.
Moderator What are your favorite Christmas traditions?
M. Gosselaar Usually decorating the tree after Thanksgiving. We just did
that with the kids. I love the way the house smells during the holidays.
We try to light as many scented Christmas-y candles as possible, the
pine cones. Weíll put on the stove cinnamon and cloves and heat those
up. I like the music, too. I just like the atmosphere of Christmas.
Moderator How do you deal with a bad date? Have you ever been on a blind
date and do you have any advice for people that have gone or will go on
blind date or a date and how to deal with it if it turns south?
M. Gosselaar I donít like confrontation. Iíve been on a few bad dates,
but nothing horrible, but knowing there was no chemistry there. I have
such a hard time letting that person know that this is not going to
work, unlike your character in the movie who was very honest and said
this isnít going to happen.
I tend to just put my head into the sand and hope it goes away, which
sometimes makes it even worse. It elongates the issue. But, I tend to
just turn my back and hope that the scary thing goes away.
Moderator Amy, how about yourself?
A. Smart I, again, havenít had as many dates because Iíve been in long
term relationships, but I just remember this one date I went on that I
had no interest. So, he was nice. But, I think itís worth being kind to
the person that youíre on a date with, but also being pretty honest so
you donít lead people on.
Moderator If you could portray any Disney character, animal or human, in
an upcoming remake what character would it be?
M. Gosselaar Oh, wow. Amy, you got something off the top of your head
while I think about that one?
A. Smart Iím sitting here thinking, you have The Little Mermaid.
Moderator Yes, Little Mermaid. Absolutely. You could be Ariel.
A. Smart I would be Ariel. I love her.
M. Gosselaar Iím trying to think. Theyíve done The Jungle Book, right?
Theyíve made a remake of that.
Moderator Well, if you like Mowgli, you could definitely do that if you
M. Gosselaar Yes. Mowglióno, Mowgli has his shirt off. I donít want to
have to work out. Gosh. Weíll do The Little Mermaid together. You can be
Ariel. I donít even remember what her name was though.
A. Smart You could be Prince Eric.
Moderator Ariel and you could be Prince Eric. How about that?
M. Gosselaar What was it? It was Eric, really? Wow, look at that.
A. Smart I have to say Iíve thought of my favorite Christmas movie that
I love to watch almost every Christmas, which is Christmas Vacation.
M. Gosselaar The best. All right, Amy. Iíve got to go.
A. Smart All right. See you next week.
Moderator Thanks for talking with us, Mark-Paul!
M. Gosselaar All right. Cool. Thanks for letting me interview bomb you.
Moderator Amy- Youíve been in so many different roles. Do you have a
dream role or part that you would love to play?
A. Smart I donít have a specific dream role that I would like to play. I
just always yearn for new roles that have incredible actors and great
writing that challenge me; that push me out of my comfort zone. So, for
me, I really enjoy going back and forth through all the different genres
from drama to horror to comedy to doing someóI always am drawn back to
comedy to be honest. I love doing comedy. So, that would be probably my
first thing. But, I would love nothing more than to work with the most
incredible actors on some great piece of film.
Moderator Can you talk about any other projects youíre currently working
A. Smart I actually just finished working on a horror film that the
Japanese director Takashi Shimizu directed. We did The Grudge. It was
with Leslie Bibb and Ryan Kwanten and a bunch of other great actors. It
all takes place in an airplane. That comes out next August, I think.
Then, I had a re-occurring on the second season of Shameless. Thatís
really fun to work on.
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