Kathryn Davis and Franco Lo Presti star in “Santa’s Got Style” premiering Sunday, December 11 on UP TV. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Franco Lo Presti about his experience in the making of the movie and what fans can expect. Check out the full interview in the video below!
What’s the main element in Ethan’s character and the movie in general that fascinates you the most and drew you to join Santa’s Got Style?
FRANCO LO PRESTI: As soon as I read the script, I immediately knew that I needed to do this film and tell this story because it was leaning more into the comedy. Then, you know, your typical seasonal MSW, it gets more balanced, but this was very comedic and it was pitched as a nod to Missus Doubtfire. So I was definitely attracted to that concept and comedy is something that I’ve always dreamed of.
I’ve done some in the past and guest roles and now I had the opportunity to lead a comedic film and that challenge was something that really drove me to be a part of Santa’s Got Style. It is my first number one on the call sheet. So it was pretty special. I read the script and I found it, you know, to have a lot of those funny moments. There was a lot of conflict, a lot of high stakes.
Also, I mean, the heartfelt moments that are pretty vital in this genre.
So what drew me was, you know, getting to play two different characters in this film and sometimes it even felt like I was playing three different characters because you had one, Ethan as the professional businessman, the friend, the son. Then you’ve got Ethan the excentric, quirky, big-hearted, nervous guy in the friend zone with Madison and he’s trying his best not to be awkward or weird, and then there’s Rafe, who is Santa, and he is essentially Ethan’s purely confident smooth self with like no pressure or hiding under a beard and wig.
So you know when I read it and I saw Ethan. I saw that he really wants to be, he really wants to be seen in Madison’s eyes and and hopes to build the confidence to you know. Tell her how he truly feels for her and and and doing that. It takes a lot of courage and what he did for love and and trying to express himself. I felt like I understood him and I admired all of his quirks and his personalities, and I was fascinated to tap into these aspects of Ethan. So it was, it was really fun.
Where are you and Ethan most similar and where most different as human beings?
FLP: Well, yeah, most similar I would say definitely in his creativity and the way he was always quick-witted to make situations work out and also his little weird quirks. You know I like I I tend to make my fiance laugh. Quite a bit with my own eccentricities and sometimes I am a lot. So I can relate to that and Ethan and, and of course, I mean he he was, he’s a very. Brave, brave guy to do what he did.
And so I really do his bravery. Yeah, and it’s funny, you know, because, I mean, like, it’s funny because I really was drawn to. Ethan because I mean if if we think about well suited for Christmas it was very reserved and you know. There was, there was a stoicism to to Brett Stone where and now Ethan is like has this complete opposite of the character I played and but I still related to both aspects you know things that Brett had and now Ethan there’s a bit more you know I guess personality so to say in in the character and it was fun to like make that switch.
To all the fans looking forward to watching the movie, how would you describe Santa’s Got Style in just 3 words?
FLP: Ohh. Well, I’d say it’s exciting. For sure. It’s quirky. And it’s charming. It’s really charming. Yeah, those. It’s exciting, quirky, and charming.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you in portraying Ethan?
FLP: I guess definitely the challenge came in in the voice work. I really had to try and balance 2 voices in between scenes. That was a challenge in terms of, you know, your block shooting. So sometimes we’re shooting like 7 scenes in a day. First half of the day I’m Ethan. Second-half of the day I’m Rafe. Sometimes things move on set, you got to switch a scene and then all of a sudden I’m Ethan, Rafe.
So trying to like balance the voices in between scenes sometimes is tough because I wanted to play Rafe with an accent but the network wanted to say ‘Steer away from that’. And soI really had to find these two registers in my voice. I had a higher register for for Ethan’s nervousness and then a lower-grounded register for Rafe. At times I felt like there was even three voices because I was finding a middle ground between the high and low. So those that was that was challenging you know I at times and. Yeah, I’d say that was it.
If you could choose any other character from Santa’s Got Style, apart from Ethan, that you would have loved to play, which one would it be and why?
FLP: Definitely Adam, which is Brian Sills’s character. Adam is the Paul Blart mall cop taking-his-job-way-too-seriously type and he’s constantly trying to crack down on Ethan’s disguise, he doesn’t know it’s Ethan. It was an absolute joy watching Brian work and seeing the way he played scenes and delivered his lines and his behavior and his mannerisms. It was really amazing. And every time I’d watch him, I was like, ‘this is a great role and I want to do your role’. So it’s definitely Adam played by Brian Sills.
The interview with Franco Lo Presti has been edited for lenght and clarity. Watch the full interview at the top of the article!