'A Christmas Miracle's Tamera Mowry-Housley on Joining Hallmark & Playing a Mom

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Q&A
Allister Foster/Crown Media

Emma is looking for a miracle in Tamera Mowry-Housley's first Hallmark movie, and she might just find it, for her job and for herself.

While looking for the right story for the lifestyle magazine where she's an assistant, Emma clashes — and maybe falls in love — with her colleague, Marcus (Brooks Darnell). As should be no surprise to Hallmark viewers, they're like "oil and water," Mowry-Housley told TV Insider. That will, of course change during Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' A Christmas Miracle.

But what is a perfect match from the beginning is Mowry-Housley and Hallmark, especially for Christmas. In fact, it's a dream come true for the actress. "If I were a movie, I would be a Hallmark movie," she said. "Their brand, what they believe in, who they are, that's who I am. I love love. I'm always positive. I love Christmas.

Here, Mowry-Housley previews her introduction to Hallmark Christmas movies.

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Where is Emma professionally and personally when we first meet her? What are her goals?

Tamera Mowry-Housley: Emma just started working for a daily lifestyle magazine. She is an assistant to one of the main editors there. Her talents are way more than just being an assistant. But she had to take a demotion because she was getting right back into the work force after she got a divorce. When she was married she was focusing on her family and her seven-year-old son, Tyler.

How do she and Marcus cross paths? 

Emma thought Marcus was a downer. They meet on her first day on the job. It's around Christmas time. Emma is obsessed with Christmas because of the meaning of Christmas. She's a very optimistic, positive person, and she's passing around mini Christmas trees that actually light up. She took extra time in doing that. She introduces herself to Marcus, and he is like a bah humbug. He is negative towards her right off the bat and doesn't really appreciate her positivity at first. He sees it more as a nuisance.

(Allister Foster/Crown Media)

And how does that change as they get to know each other?

Emma's positivity starts to rub off on Marcus. He realizes she has talents as a writer, so they help each other. She helps him see the brighter side of life, and he helps her tap back into her talents and start believing in herself.

How would you describe Emma's relationship with her boss, Valerie? 

She obviously respects Valerie and she wants Valerie to see her potential, so she's very respectful. She is a bit of an overachiever, so right off the bat, she wants to prove herself to her. She's aware Valerie can be a little forward, but that doesn't deter her from showing Valerie who she is, that she's a warm, loving, kind, and efficient assistant.

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What do you think about Emma stands out to and maybe intimidates Valerie?

The fact that she is what she isn't. ... Sometimes people can see your sweetness and your kindness as a weakness and as annoying. She [sees] Emma [as] being so sweet it gives her a cavity at first. Maybe there's a little part of Valerie that wants what Emma has because who doesn't want to be happy? Who doesn't want to change people in a positive way just by being in their presence?

Emma sets out to help a street performer, Santa Dean. What does she see in him that draws her to this story?

She sees he's more than what he is. Maybe she sees a little bit of herself in him. Emma starts off as this assistant. She knows she is more than this. Then she sees this street performer. She's like, "Wait a minute. There's this spark in his eye and also there's this sadness that I see and then there's this happiness that I see when he's around kids." Being a writer, she naturally sees that there's more — not a story to write — but that he has a personal story. She connects with him in that way. She has empathy for him.

(Allister Foster/Crown Media)

She knows what Christmas is all about. She got a divorce from her husband. She loves love. She sees here's a man yearning for that type of family love that he can't portray or give. By her being able to possibly help him do that, she feels like she's done her duty as a human being. Emma is a person that has morals and belief and holds onto them — no matter who you are, she wants to help.

You're also an executive producer on the movie. Is there anything in particular you wanted to make sure was included for your character or the story?

I definitely wanted to make sure the film was diverse. That is a reflection of my life. I am biracial. I work on The Real, where we talk about how representation matters, and having that power of choosing the cast, I wanted to make sure we had that.

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I also wanted to make sure I was a mom. I love being a mom. That is by far one of my favorite roles. ... I've never actually played a mom in a film. Gabriel [Jacob-Cross] is so great in that role. We have natural chemistry. I told him I wanted to be his play aunt for the rest of his life. He can't get rid of me.

I really liked that relationship and the moments we got between the two, especially when he'd been sleeping on the couch.

It's so cool to hear you talk about these moments that meant a lot to me when I was filming them. I knew that moment in the film was a pivotal one, especially being a mom. All Emma wants is her son to feel comfortable because she plucked him out of where they used to live and brought him back to her hometown. He doesn't know anybody. He doesn't have any friends. He just knows Emma's best friend.

(Allister Foster/Crown Media)

A Christmas Miracle, Movie Premiere, Thursday, November 14, 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries