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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kristina Cole Teases GAC’s Christmas in Pine Valley!

Kristina Cole (The Wedding Arrangement) and Andrew Biernat (Aileen Wuornos) star in Great American Family‘s new Christmas movie, Christmas in Pine Valley, premiering Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Kristina Cole by email about the making of this movie and her experience as Nathalie, teasing what fans can expect. Check out the full interview below!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kristina Cole Teases GAC’s Christmas in Pine Valley!

What’s the main element in Natalie’s character and the movie in general that fascinates you the most and drew you to join Christmas in Pine Valley?

KRISTINA COLE: I’ve always been somebody whose friends are their family. Christmas in Pine Valley at its heart, I felt, was telling a story about how we can create our own families, in traditional and non-traditional ways. Depicting that kind of love and bond really appealed to me. Getting to celebrate Christmas everyday just made it all the more fun!

As we know quite well so far, GAC movies and shows always feature well-shaped and relatable characters – Where are you and Natalie most similar and where most different as human beings?

COLE: Thank you for that interesting question. I would say that Natalie and I have made our families from scratch.  We both have cobbled together a family out of close friends, and like Natalie, I treasure those people with my whole heart. And we’re both a bit of a ring leader.  I love bringing people together, making a project come to life- maybe most importantly I really love Christmas traditions. There’s a box of decorations waiting to go up as we speak. That being said, I’m certain Natalie is a far better and more organized business woman than I could ever hope to be. 

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What’s been the biggest challenge for you in portraying Natalie?

COLE: The funny answer is shooting a Christmas movie in nearly 90 degree temps in the South.  But in all seriousness, it was really difficult to carry Natalie’s fears of letting everyone down. Deep down that’s a fear so many of us hold onto, and making this only helped remind me that we never do anything great alone. 

To all the fans looking forward to watching the movie, how would you describe Christmas in Pine Valley in just 3 words?

COLE: Homemade With Love 

What can you tease about Natalie’s journey throughout the movie?

COLE: That letting people love you for exactly who you are, is the greatest gift.

Talking about the environment on set, how would you describe your experience while filming Christmas in Pine Valley and do you have any fun anecdotes to share?

COLE: Silly. It was such a fun cast, and that crew is like a family unto themselves. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them twice now. Walking onto a set with Damian Romay’s crew is pure joy.  The cast and I were always trying to make each other laugh to keep our energy up, even if it was four in the morning. I must have a hundred videos of all of us dancing or doing bits, playing great music. Then there was the carriage ride where our AD had to replace the horse- but the one that takes the cake is the dinner scene. It was late, and the last shot of the day.

A notorious time for the giggles to set in. We started ad libbing, and throwing out wild lines, joking with the crew about the food. Within a few takes the whole table was in fits of laughter. At some point, in an effort to stifle my own chortles, I made a noise that can only be described as a gurgling, whoopie-cushion trumpet as a response. Amie and I lost it. But, in hopes of not ruining the whole take, we just kept the scene going. Somewhere, Damian has a take of Amie and I with tears rolling down our faces, doing that scene. 

If you could choose any other character from Christmas in Pine Valley, apart from Natalie, that you would have loved to play, which one would it be and why?

COLE: Maybe Josh? It would be fun to crack the secret, get the scoop, right? Or probably Lisa, her character always made me laugh. But that might be because I adore Amie Dasher so much, and think she’s simply the funniest person on the planet. 

Did you take anything from the set, any prop or piece of costume, to remember your experienceas Natalie?

COLE: I wish I had! Just the memories. And about one hundred or so embarrassing dance videos.

Throwing back to the origins of your career, how did the passion for acting come about in your life?

Kristina Cole Christmas in Pine Valley
Kristina Cole teases GAC ‘s Christmas in Pine Valley – Credit: Shani Hadjian

COLE: This is so embarrassing, but one of my earliest memories is of this toy standing microphone. It had an applause and a laugh pedal. I would drag it downstairs when my parents were having parties, dressed up in my mom’s clothes and put on a show. There’s something radically freeing about playing make believe, just ask any kid! My mom saw how much I loved it, and I did my first movie when I was 5. A little part, playing young Lorrie Morgan. I got to get a costume and play with a vintage toy car.

On this set I got to time travel! I was hooked. Every time I made any of the adults laugh, I was tickled. I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to make people around me laugh. Now, the thing I love most about acting is the way it allows for people to feel seen. Watching stories that mirror our own, can really make us feel less alone. And there’s no greater privilege than bringing joy and laughter to someone’s day. Few things can turn a day around better than a belly laugh.

Among all the roles you’ve had the chance to play throughout your career, is there any particular role you’re most fond of?

COLE: I could never choose a favorite! Every role holds a special place in my heart, it’s a time stamp of my life. Though I will say…Christmas in Pine Valley will always be a particularly fond memory. 

If you had to give some advice to people who want to pursue an acting career, which kind of advice would you give them?

COLE: Get into acting class. Athletes are always training to be in shape when they perform, artists should be no different. Surround yourself with a community of artists you admire and love to collaborate with. Nothing will inspire you more. 

Kristina Cole – Credit: Matt Kalish

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Chiara

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Chiara Lombatti
Chiara Lombatti
When Cristina Yang’s mankind hate, and Sherlock Holmes’ deductive skills meet Randall Pearson’s anxiety and Jamie Fraser’s multilingualism (featuring Claire Fraser’s curls and Kate Pearson’s voice). Translator and feature article with a great love for cinema, TV series and books.

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