Morgan Wyllie is ready to star as Ella in “Our Italian Christmas Memories,” a new, original movie premiering Saturday, November 12 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Morgana Wyllie about her experience in the making of Our Italian Christmas Memories and what fans can expect from the movie. Check out the full interview in the video below!
What’s the main element in Ella’s character and the movie in general that fascinates you the most and drew you to join Our Italian Christmas Memories?
MORGANA WYLLIE: I think, for me, the film as a whole and also for Ella, it’s all about family. And that’s why I really love this movie. I mean, there’s Christmas and there’s love and there’s a lot of stuff going on, but really the heart of it is family and for Ella, she’s got her family, her siblings, but she also has a new adventure, starting with a family of her own, which is exciting and I just think that what a wonderful thing to take on as a character.
As we know quite well so far, Hallmark movies and shows always feature well-shaped and relatable characters – Where are you and Ella most similar and where most different as human beings?
WYLLIE: She is so caring about making sure that everyone else is OK, and she kind of avoids conflict whenever possible. So when there is conflict, it does come from a place of of of of trying to either make someone understand or connect or help. And I definitely do like, I hate conflict. I hate it, I will avoid it at all costs. So there’s a few times where Ella is kind of nudged in the direction of speaking. Your mind and and really sharing what she needs to share with her family and that’s something that I absolutely can relate to.
[On the other hand] I think she’s more self sacrificing than I am. It’s an amazing quality and I learned a lot getting to to drop into Ella and and explore her as a character. Sarah’s character Anna is a little bit more like pursuing her dreams and I think that I personally resonate more with that. So it was it was really interesting to to see the two sides of their their personalities and their arguments and and actually relate more to the other sister and have to work hard to to to drop in to the self sacrificing side of it.
To all the fans looking forward to watching the movie, how would you describe Our Italian Christmas Memories in just 3 words?
WYLLIE: Italian. Family. Christmas – It is focused around Christmas and the title really is a good title. It really is reflective of what’s going on.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you in portraying Ella?
WYLLIE: I think, finding that line where there’s a sibling dynamic that is so wonderful in this film. And you guys, I can’t wait for you to see it. Not everyone always gets along, but doing that in a way where, again, this is a little different from myself, finding ways to approach the elements of maybe conflicts, not the word, but just seeing things differently. So approaching seeing things differently in a way where it isn’t explosive and it isn’t really dramatic but it’s truthful and it’s honest and it’s grounded.
Sometimes as actors, we want to you know make really big choices and really like give it 110%. But that’s not always what the character or the story needs and so finding the truth of it was something that was a bit of a challenge and our director Catherine was so amazing. She was really with me the whole time. We would check in and say ‘how is this scene feeling’, you know, ‘let’s talk about this arc’ and it was wonderful to have her guidance with that.
If you could choose any other character from Our Italian Christmas Memories, apart from Ella, that you would have loved to play, which one would it be and why?
WYLLIE: That’s so hard. There’s two. I would have to live a lot longer before I could even begin to tackle Bo’s role. He was just brilliant. But that’s like his performance is. It’s incredible and it’s heartbreaking. He’s a wonderful man and so it was really wonderful to work with him, but so obviously that’s a great role.
I think the role of my brother RJ, played by Jesse Irving and he does it better than anyone could I’m sure. But it is such a complex character. Our movie deals with food a lot and family and tradition. And his character especially deals with food. And so there was some really cool new skills that he got to explore and challenge and research and again, not always getting things right. I just love characters that I can relate to. I know I get it wrong all the time in my life. So what a beautiful thing to see a character that’s going through that as well.
The interview with Morgana Wyllie has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity. Watch the full video interview at the top of the article!
Our Italian Christmas Memories premieres November 12 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Watch an exclusive preview and sneak peek below!
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