In a small, quaint room on the highest ground 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 celebrity at dwelling 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 change into considered one of Netflix’s most beloved seasonal choices ever since its breakout hit A Christmas Prince in 2017. Liked 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, for example, we had been gifted with The Princess Change, which stars Hudgens as a Chicago baker who discovers she has a royal doppelgänger midway all over the world (she performs each roles, à la Lindsay Lohan in The Father or mother Lure, and describes it as “by far the toughest I ever needed to work”). The film’s near-instant reputation with followers had Netflix turning to the Excessive Faculty 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 used to be actually excited by the concept of being a staple in folks’s dwelling for the vacations,” she says, leaning again on the chair and briefly startling when she realizes it is a rocker. “If I might be part of bringing households collectively at a time that may be tough and permit them somewhat escapism or inspiration, I believe that is only a fantastic and exquisite factor to be.”
“I used to be actually excited by the concept of being a staple in folks’s dwelling for the vacations.”
Her upcoming movie, which is due out on Nov. 21, revolves round a medieval knight named Sir Cole (Poldark‘s Josh Whitehouse) who is shipped 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 would not introduce him to the black pit of social media — and take a look at to determine how they’ll ship him again dwelling. 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. (Be aware: that is while you’re speculated to swoon.)
So: time-traveling knights, sorceresses, and . . . Christmas? Sure, sure, Hudgens is aware of it is somewhat out there.
“In my profession I’ve made it a really distinguished level to not do the identical factor twice. It is so vital to continually evolve and develop and do issues 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 robust, 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 Wedding 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 massive display in 2020 with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The Knight Earlier than Christmas might sound small as compared, but it surely’s these varieties of female-led initiatives, each in entrance of and behind the digital camera, that attraction to the 30-year-old most.
“It is actually superb having robust ladies 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 used to be like, ‘Oh my God, I want Emmanuelle Chriqui to be my sister. There is not any one else.’ I referred to as her like, ‘Please, please, please do that with me. It’s going to be a fast shoot. It’s going to be enjoyable. It’s going to be simple!’ . . . We’re nonetheless doing 12- to 15-hour days, but it surely’s the method that I get pleasure from. It’s work, but it surely’s additionally simply play time. I get to be like a child enjoying faux all day, every single day.”
“It is so vital to continually evolve and develop and do issues that scare you.”
Given that ladies are the first viewers for movies like this, it is smart to have a solid bolstered by feminine expertise. So usually 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 important acclaim, with Netflix movies like To All of the Boys I’ve Liked Earlier than, Set It Up, and Somebody Nice serving to lead the cost. And now, due to Hudgens, we now have a time-traveling knight and an unbiased AF science instructor within the combine.
“I believe it is a loopy time on the planet,” Hudgens smiles. “Everybody may use a little bit of lighthearted love.”
The Knight Earlier than begins streaming on Netflix on Nov. 21.