Taylor Cole and Benjamin Ayres starred in “Long Lost Christmas,” a new, original movie premiering Saturday, November 19 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Benjamin Ayres about his experience on Hallmark’s Long Lost Christmas and what fans can expect from the movie. Check out the full interview below!
What’s been the main element in Blake’s character and the movie in general the fascinates you the most and made you say yes to join Long Lost Christmas?
BENJAMIN AYRES: One of my favorite things about this is that in the book his name is Blake and in the movie his name is Jake. What I loved about this one in particular was that it was a book first and it’s not too often that we have scripts that are adapted from books. So there was a real sense of this world and back story for all of the characters. And this, you know, Nancy Ayres is her name, lifted it from the page really, really well and then did a wonderful adaptation into script. Michael Robinson, who directed it, I hadn’t worked with before. I’ve been wanting to work with him and ultimately Taylor Cole and I wanted to work together for a long time. So, you know, there are many elements.
I joke that it’s like the Batman signal.
You’re going about your day and then a phone call comes from Hallmark and they’re like, ‘We need you in Vancouver next week. Are you up for the task?’ and then you kind of ask the necessary questions. ‘Who’s involved? What’s the script? Who wrote it? Who’s starring in it?’. All these things and then you’re on a plane and we’re all flying to Vancouver. Those elements out of the gate really interested in me and this one in particular was really cool because we shot in a small town called Harrison Hot Springs, which is a natural Hot Springs location. We all stayed at a hotel, the cast and crew, for 2 1/2 weeks.
So it was a bit like summer camp in that the experience of filming it was they are small little community out there was was interesting because we haven’t done that before. Usually the actors are in a hotel downtown Vancouver, which is where I am now, and then we get in a bus. We shuttle for, you know, 30 minutes to an hour to an hour and 10 minutes to different locations, and then we go back at the end of the day. So this was nice because we all stayed at the same resort for the entire shoot.
Is there any particular feature in Jake’s character that you relate to on a personal level?
I’m able to relate to all of the characters I play. I think what I loved about Jake in particular was the fact that he had to overcome some major obstacles in having fallen out of a relationship. He sort of got lost for quite some time and found himself back in the small town he grew up in. Kind of a path that he never really predicted he would be on and the character that he really looks up to it plays a very pivotal role in the movie. He sort of becomes a father figure to him and helps him realize his passion and path.
I think that most people, if they are out there trying to figure out what their purpose is in life, and sometimes that can be daunting because you’re unsure which path to take. He’s made some mistakes in the past and he feels like he’s finally found the direction that you wanted to be on, and there’s something comforting about finding one’s purpose and path. I think I was able to relate to that.
To all the fans looking forward to watching the movie, how would you describe Long Lost Christmas in just 3 words?
Family. Means. Everything.
It’s going to make you cry in a good way. And as much as it is the romantic relationship between Haley and Jake. It’s ultimately about reminding ourselves that family is very important. Especially around the holidays, it’s important that we do our best to be together and that’s kind of what this this movie really highlights.
What’s been for you the biggest challenge in portraying Jake?
The challenge on these movies really is that we don’t have a lot of time when we make them. So you have to be very confident when you arrive each day that the choices you’re making are the ones that are right for the story and make you an artist happy. It can be tricky when I guess what I’m saying is it can be very tricky when when we when we film at the speed. So you have to arrive confident in your choices every day. That’s not just for this character that is for any job you work on as an actor. So I’m just going to say that as far as challenges go.
If you had to choose any other character that you would have loved to play in the movie, apart from Jake, which one would it be and why?
I wanna play Haley, I mean. Of course. Why not? Why wouldn’t I want to be the one who’s thrust on this journey to go find her long lost family? Yeah, you know, I also really liked the character Grant Vlahovic played and he was kind of a strong, silent type who kind of held his cards close to his chest and, you know, took some time before he began to warm up with Haley. I think that he did a really good job. I really enjoyed watching him bring that character to life, so it would probably be that character.
The interview with Benjamin Ayres has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity. Watch the full video at the top of the article!
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