Nikki DeLoach on How 'Reunited at Christmas' Is Different From Other Hallmark Holiday Movies
"I really wants fans' hearts to be warmed," says Nikki DeLoach of her new Hallmark holiday movie, Reunited at Christmas, which follows her character Samantha's bumpy journey back home.
Before Samantha's beloved grandmother passed away, she organized a way to get everyone she loves together during the holidays to remind them about the "importance of family, love and second chances."
"I want people to take away that there are many different types of the families out there," DeLoach tells TV Insider. In the movie, we'll see a family who has gone through a divorce, which has caused Samantha to doubt whether marriage is right for her.
Then, her boyfriend, Simon (Mike Faiola), proposes, which has her even more confused about how she truly feels about relationships. DeLoach previewed what's to come from the holiday flick, including the deeper meaning and why is was a risk for Hallmark.
You’re acting and executive producing… how was it balancing those jobs?
Nikki DeLoach: It was definitely more challenging than just showing up and learning my lines, but it's a challenge that I really enjoy. My days are filled with me bouncing in and out of different roles and I love it. I like to lay my head down at the end of the day and feel like I accomplished a lot. And working with Hallmark was great because I really understand their brand.
What do you think sets Reunited at Christmas apart from other holiday movies?
This is a little bit of a different movie for Hallmark. You're dealing with a family that gone through a divorce and they're all coming back together for the holidays.
You're also dealing with a character who's been hurt in the past and isn't sure she's ready to get married right now. I love how real that is and it speaks to a huge percentage of women who also feel that way. I also loved that she's a writer, a storyteller. It teaches us how to love and be compassionate and have empathy for others.
I also liked how the movie depicts the importance of multigenerational relationships.
That was such a big thing for me. When I pitched this idea, I wanted to have an ensemble cast and for them to be highlighted, not just the man and woman falling in love. I felt it was really important because it speaks to the entire family. There's somebody for everybody to relate to.
The cast was really excited as well because they usually only get a sentence here or a word there. They're [usually] in service of that lead story line and now they get their own story lines.
The mother and father story line is actually my favorite of the movie. I love that they are two people who did get divorced and now they're kind of being brought back together. What does it look like when a family's gone through that? What does it look like to reimagine what the holidays could be?
Was it hard to film those proposal rejection scenes?
Yes! Because you have to be specific about the tone. You can't have the audience hate you, so you have to be authentic and do it with a lot of heart and a lot of love.
The Christmas decorating in this movie is next level. How long did it take to decorate the main home featured?
If you only knew! That took so long. We managed to find this gorgeous house but we underestimated how large the property was because we had to blanket the whole thing with snow. There was one day we had to wait three hours for them to blanket a part of the property with snow. But if you look at the final product, wasn't it worth it?
This movie is all about passing on holiday traditions, what’s a holiday tradition you carry on?
My whole family lives together on a farm in Georgia. So I travel to Georgia and spend Christmas with them.
I also make a photo album every year. I take pictures throughout the holidays and then make a photo album and write a letter to the family. I create a theme, write quotes, if we had any new additions to the family, and then I give it everyone the following year as a Christmas gift and we all sit around the look at the photos from the previous year just to remind ourselves of all the gifts we have.
Reunited at Christmas, Movie Premiere, Wednesday, November 21, 8/7c, Hallmark