ARTNEWSPRESS: Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse merge medieval magic and Christmas charm in Netflix’s The Knight Before Christmas, which dropped on the streaming service today. Their characters fall in love with the help of a little time-traveling and a lot of family bonding, making it a story that appeals to all ages. No stranger to Netflix holiday flicks, Hudgens explained how excited she was to take on a producing role in her latest venture. Whitehouse, jumping back a few centuries after his stint in Poldark, shared some fun discoveries he made in his research for the role.
Congratulations on Knight Before Christmas. I loved it and was squeeing the whole time. You both did an excellent job of giving in-love looks, which led us to believe that you were in love over the course of three or four days. How do you guys perfect that?
Vanessa Hudgens: Acting!
No. I mean, we really get along, and I think that we grew a love for each other in our friendship. We had so much fun doing this project together. It’s a fun, light-hearted set, you know? And acting in love is always a beautiful thing.
Josh Whitehouse: Yeah, that rounds it up pretty nicely.
And not only was it just a romance, there was also the communal love and even sibling bonds that were really important in the film. How important was it to make those other dynamics pop?
Vanessa Hudgens: It was really important to me. I mean, I want all of it to ring true because I think that each storyline brings something different to the table and allows a lot of people to connect to the story.
I saw a sister on the script and immediately thought, “Who should be my sister?” Then I was like, “Oh my gosh, Emmanuelle Chriqui!” She’s such a kindred spirit, I love her. We look like sisters. Perfect.
And I feel like once we had her and Josh and me, our director Monica was like, “Okay, we got this.”
Josh, I know you did some research into medieval codes and knighthood before the film. What was the strangest or most exciting thing that you learned?
Josh Whitehouse: The strangest thing…
Vanessa Hudgens: What about the sheet? Remember the sheet, and you said you could put any of the words together?
Josh Whitehouse: Right. That’s a good one.
Vanessa Hudgens: That was weird.
Josh Whitehouse: I found a big long list. You got three columns, and you can put a word from each column together to make insults from the 14th century.
In between takes I was kind of just reading them off. “Pickle-headed Bob Scott beggaret,” or something. I don’t know; I’m making up words, but there was loads of them. It was fun.
Vanessa, you were a producer on the film. What was it like making that leap, and what inspired you to start producing?
Vanessa Hudgens: I think that it was a special opportunity to be able to do that. I feel like, as a woman, it’s smart to look out for yourself in every way possible. And I know that [executive producing] allowed me to feel heard, more than I ever have before. When I would make notes on the script, they would actually turn into lines in the script; and then casting… It was just nice to really be heard.
Finally, I love that you guys had a Netflix binge as a way to get closer. What is your go-to binge series or movie that you could watch over and over again?
Josh Whitehouse: Honestly, recently I’ve been bingeing Trailer Park Boys. I found that really addictive and just good. I like sticking something on that you don’t have to focus too hard on the storyline, and it’s just going to keep providing you that couch comfy entertainment that you’re looking for.
The Knight Before Christmas is now streaming on Netflix.