How James Denton & Teri Hatcher Reunited for ‘A Kiss Before Christmas’ on Hallmark
Nearly a decade after their marriage on Desperate Housewives ended with his character, Mike Delfino, taking a bullet to the chest, James Denton phoned (and texted and emailed!) Teri Hatcher with the idea of reuniting, for the first time, in this movie that should have a decidedly happier ending: “It’s a little bit It’s a Wonderful Life, a little bit Heaven Can Wait,” says Denton, who’s also an executive producer.
In A Kiss Before Christmas, he stars as family man Ethan, a real estate developer who casually laments to a Santa about losing a promotion because he’s too nice of a guy…and wakes up to find he’s suddenly got the corner office. The problem? He’s no longer husband to Joyce (Hatcher) or father to their two adopted children.
Denton and Hatcher tell us more.
How was it working together again?
James Denton: The first scene we did, [Ethan and Joyce, a history teacher] are having an argument about money, very real-life stuff. Some of the crew said, “It’s so fun watching you guys. It’s like you’ve been married for 20 years.” The chemistry doesn’t really change.
Teri Hatcher: It’s like putting on your favorite cashmere robe that you’ve had for 20 years, and every time you put it on, you know the world is safe and good.
Denton: It was hard not to fall back into Mike and Susan, which made me chuckle. That was a bit of a challenge that first day.
Ethan’s life has changed in this alternate reality. How is Joyce’s different?
Hatcher: This other Joyce never met that man of her dreams and went on to have a very passionate affair with her own career [as an attorney].
Denton: In this reality, Ethan is tearing down a youth center that Joyce is trying to save, so she hates me.
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And there’s a ticking clock, right?
Denton: Santa says, “You need to figure out what you really want by Christmas, or you’ll forget your life before and just stay here.” Ethan finds Joyce and tries to convince her of this crazy story and—
Hatcher: She literally slams the door in his face, like anyone would. [Laughs]
Denton: There’s a lot of me chasing her, trying to win her over. And Teri’s hilarious through all of it. So it really feels like a romantic comedy, but obviously there’s not a single shot without a Christmas tree or a candy cane because it’s Hallmark.
Hatcher: I’d never seen a special effects crew do fake snow. It looks incredible.
Denton: Wisteria Lane never had weather.
Tell us this won’t be your last reunion.
Denton: We had a ball. I think there’s a sequel in there.
A Kiss Before Christmas, Movie Premiere, Sunday, November 21, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel
This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s latest issue. For more on the Hallmark Holiday lineup, pick up the issue, on newsstands Thursday, November 4.