In a small, quaint room on the highest flooring of a sprawling mattress and breakfast in Bridgeport, Canada, Vanessa Hudgens curls up in a wicker armchair and releases a deep sigh. She spent the afternoon unpacking and repacking a cardboard field stuffed to the brim with Christmas ornaments as a picturesque sprinkle of snow fell gently exterior the window, and now she lastly has a second to place down the glittery tree toppers and take a breather. No, I am not casually hanging out with the famous person at residence for the vacations – I am getting a glimpse of what it is like on the set of Netflix’s latest vacation rom-com, The Knight Earlier than Christmas.
Beforehand a staple of networks like Hallmark and Lifetime, holiday-themed romantic comedies have grow to be one in every of Netflix’s most beloved seasonal choices ever since its breakout hit A Christmas Prince in 2017. Cherished for simply how unabashedly tacky it may very well be, the movie took off on social media, drawing loads of good-natured jibes about its questionable set design and plentiful plot holes.
Now, arising on two years later, the streaming big has expanded its Christmas rom-com assortment significantly. In November 2018, as an example, we have been gifted with The Princess Change, which stars Hudgens as a Chicago baker who discovers she has a royal doppelgänger midway world wide (she performs each roles, à la Lindsay Lohan in The Mother or father Lure, and describes it as “by far the hardest I ever had to work”). The film’s near-instant reputation with followers had Netflix turning to the Excessive College Musical alum for a second vacation outing, and Hudgens got here on board The Knight Earlier than Christmas as each star and government producer.
“I was really excited by the idea of being a staple in people’s home for the holidays,” she says, leaning again on the chair and briefly startling when she realizes it is a rocker. “If I can be a part of bringing families together at a time that can be difficult and allow them a little escapism or inspiration, I think that’s just a wonderful and beautiful thing to be.”
“I was really excited by the idea of being a staple in people’s home for the holidays.”
Her upcoming movie, which is due out on Nov. 21, revolves round a medieval knight named Sir Cole (Poldark‘s Josh Whitehouse) who is distributed by a sorceress to current day and meets a jaded science instructor, Brooke (Hudgens), who’s all however given up on love. Brooke agrees to assist the confused and overwhelmed Cole navigate the ups and downs of the fashionable age – let’s hope she does not introduce him to the black pit of social media – and take a look at to determine how they will ship him again residence. However, as luck would have it, sparks start to fly, and Cole wonders if he ought to return to his former time in any respect. (Notice: that is once you’re presupposed to swoon.)
So: time-traveling knights, sorceresses, and . . . Christmas? Sure, sure, Hudgens is aware of it is just a little out there.
“In my career I’ve made it a very prominent point to not do the same thing twice. It’s so important to constantly evolve and grow and do things that scare you,” she explains. “Clearly, the idea is totally totally different [from The Princess Change]. It’s one other high-concept love story – with Change it is twins, and with this, it is a time-traveling knight – however the character herself was one thing that was actually interesting to me. She’s a powerful, logical, clever younger girl who, on the finish of the day, is searching for love however is not somebody that must be rescued.”
Hudgens, who cites The Marriage ceremony Planner as her favourite rom-com of all time, appeared in Second Act alongside Jennifer Lopez in late 2018 and has Unhealthy Boys For Life hitting the large display in 2020 with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The Knight Earlier than Christmas may appear small compared, nevertheless it’s these sorts of female-led initiatives, each in entrance of and behind the digital camera, that enchantment to the 30-year-old most.
“It’s really amazing having strong women on set,” she says whereas discussing director Monika Mitchell, author Cara J. Russell, and costar Emmanuelle Chriqui, who Hudgens hand-picked to play Brooke’s older, protecting sister. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I need Emmanuelle Chriqui to be my sister. There’s no one else.’ I called her like, ‘Please, please, please do this with me. It’ll be a quick shoot. It’ll be fun. It’ll be easy!’ . . . We’re still doing 12- to 15-hour days, but it’s the process that I enjoy. It is work, but it’s also just play time. I get to be like a kid playing pretend all day, every day.”
“It’s so important to constantly evolve and grow and do things that scare you.”
Given that ladies are the first viewers for movies like this, it is sensible to have a forged bolstered by feminine expertise. So typically the rom-com style is ignored as fluff, an ephemeral enjoyment meant solely to occupy your mind for the extent of its runtime and nothing extra. However over the previous few years, the style has seen a resurgence in reputation and significant acclaim, with Netflix movies like To All of the Boys I’ve Cherished Earlier than, Set It Up, and Somebody Nice serving to lead the cost. And now, because of Hudgens, we’ve got a time-traveling knight and an unbiased AF science instructor within the combine.
“I think it’s a crazy time in the world,” Hudgens smiles. “Everyone could use a bit of lighthearted love.”
The Knight Earlier than begins streaming on Netflix on Nov. 21.