Aisha Dee on the Importance of Friendship in ‘Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas’
Freeform takes on “ghosting” with a quirky, holiday twist in its new original movie.
In Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas, Aisha Dee (The Bold Type) stars as Jess, a woman who has a great first date with Ben (Kendrick Sampson), only to die in a car accident on her way home. But luck would have it that death is not the end for her, as both he and her best friend, Kara (Kimiko Glenn), can still see her.
“The best part was going into it, I knew that the script was really funny and her voice is something I understood right away,” Dee told TV Insider. “Luckily [writer] Laura Donney and I clicked immediately, so it felt really easy to me. It didn’t feel like something that was totally out of my world. I could really understand Jess.”
Here, Dee previews life after death for Jess.
How would you describe Jess and where she is in her life, professionally and personally, when we first meet her (other than being alive)?
Aisha Dee: Other than being alive, which is a big detail to note about Jess in the beginning of the movie, I’d describe her as being a really free spirit with a big heart. She can get enthusiastic and lovey-dovey about almost anything, which is why up until this point, she’s never been able to zone in on the thing she’s passionate about in terms of career choices or even love.
She floats around like a butterfly a lot. She’s trying to find some kind of direction and has a hard time seeing things through. She’s going to try to figure out what the meaning of life is, which is a very low-key thing to do in a cute little Christmas movie of the week.
The most important relationship in her life is Kara, so it must be a relief that she can see Jess, right? How does Jess being dead but her spirit still being around cast a new light on their friendship?
Yes, it’s a story about love and searching for meaning in life, [but] the thing for me that takes precedence over everything else is the fact that it’s a story about a real friendship between two people who found each other. It’s the real kind. It’s messy. It means sometimes you hurt each other but hopefully you find your way back to one another. That’s the most special thing about their friendship. It’s not perfect. It’s a little flawed like most good relationship. You take the darkness with the light.
And Jess may have just met a guy she could have a future with, but then at least it turns out he can see her too. What does Jess see in Ben on their date?
I have been on countless terrible dates, so when you go on a good one, it’s incredible and you can’t believe you have this connection with someone you don’t know, especially when it is just a stranger. Just the fact it went well and they could have a conversation was kind of a whim because dating is really hard out here. It’s difficult to meet someone you even have a little bit of a connection with, and when we see them on their first date, it’s like this immediate kind of magnetic pull to one another. Even though they don’t get to see it through, you can always tell when you first meet someone.
How important is it to have a grounded perspective in the movie?
I love when [Ben’s] like, “I’m not going to date you. No one else can see you. I’ll look crazy.” That is exactly the right reaction. I would probably have that reaction if the roles were reversed. Kara is just the complete opposite. She just embraces it and needs to know all the answers right away.
You know that prank that parents play on their kids now where they put a blanket on their kid and pretend it’s an invisible blanket and pretend they can’t see their kid and their kid freaks out? I was watching these videos with Katie [Stevens] from The Bold Type coming back from set, and it dawned on me in that moment that that’s exactly what Jess is experiencing when her parents can’t see her, when all these people can’t see her. It’s kind of terrifying in a way. I don’t want to see [this] is low-key a horror film, but it is pretty scary, just the thought of it.
A common thread between this movie and The Bold Type is the focus on the main characters’ friendships, though there is romance as well. What do you enjoy most about taking on characters for which that is true?
I’ve always been a big believer in the fact that our biggest soulmates in our lives are our friends. They’re the ones that were there before you met the person who is maybe the love of your life and then they’re there in the aftermath when things aren’t going so well. I don’t know what I do without my friends and my soul sisters and soul brothers, people who are just connected to you on a soul level. It’s even more powerful than a romantic connection. Those are really the things that are going to get you through your hardest moments.
That’s important for Jess because she’s still figuring things out when she’s alive and has that one constant in her best friend.
Yeah. That’s a common thread throughout the movie, too, acknowledging that everything you need and everything you want in your life and the things you’re always striving to achieve or find are actually already in front of you. If you just open your eyes and fill your heart with a little bit of gratitude, then you’ll see you already have everything you need.
Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas, Movie Premiere, Wednesday, December 4, 9/8c, Freeform