A year after warming our hearts with the holiday romcom flick The Princess Switch, Vanessa Hudgens is back in a new Netflix film to tug at our heartstrings! And this time, she comes across a literal knight in shining armor played by the British actor Josh Whitehouse, in a film called The Knight Before Christmas.
The Knight Before Christmas, from director Monika Mitchell, is about the gallant 14th century knight Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) who is transported to modern day Ohio during the holiday season, where he is tasked to fulfill a mysterious quest in order to return home. He meets the kind science teacher named Brooke (Vanessa Hudgens) who helps him understand the modern world while he seeks an answer to his quest. Despite having come from different eras, a budding romance soon develops between the two, making Sir Cole question himself if he really wants to return to his medieval knight-life and be centuries away from the girl he loves.
At a roundtable phone interview, The Knight Before Christmas lead stars Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse got to answer the questions from the Philippine media, sharing things like their favorite part of the film, their first impression on each other, and more! Check out how this Q and A went below:
How was it working together in the film and what were your first impressions on each other?
Vanessa Hudgens: It was great! We had a lot of fun. I was told that we were kindred spirits when we met, and we kind of hit it off right away. We had a lot of fun working together and the story is just a really wonderful joyous story to tell. So we made the best of it and we really enjoyed it.
Josh Whitehouse: I felt like we just clicked really quickly. We didn't have a long time to get to know one another but we got a quite similar sense of humor, similar kinds of people, so it was really easy to just sort of get to know each other and have a good time.
For Vanessa, I heard that this is your second Christmas movie. What urged you to star in another one?
Vanessa: I think it's such a fun time, one that I always look back very fondly on. And I thought it's very special to do Christmas movies because it's a time that can be stressful for families, and to do a film that you can watch around this time, bringing the families together, having a little bit of escapism, and just believing in love and magic is a really beautiful thing. So if I can be in people's living room and ignite feelings of joy, it's such a wonderful thing to be remembered by.
For Josh, how was it wearing that suit and how many mugs of mead did you actually drink?
Josh: Wearing the suit was pretty tough at first, especially the first day that I've tried it on and I realized how heavy it was because it's about a hundred pounds in weight. So you know, it gave me a bit of a backache, and then maybe my legs ached, but I find that I kind of gotten used to it as the days went on and I kind of looked forward to wearing it because it made me feel in character. I didn't drink a great deal of mead, I had a couple of sips of milk chocolate though.
What are your favorite scenes in the film?
Vanessa: One of my favorite scenes in the movie is a moment that we kind of came up with on the spot. It's right after Brooke walks down the stairs and she's all dressed up for the Christmas feast and Sir Cole is in his suit, and he's having trouble with his tie and Brooke goes to help him. In the script, it was written that she tied his tie and they get close. I actually have no idea how to tie a tie. And we just thought that that was kind of a funny thing to do, that kind of goes against the cliche, because normally it's almost perfect so I really love that moment.
Josh: One of my favorite moments is when we had this giant fire that the art department had put together, and I'm trying to hunt the skunk for my dinner because I'm a little famished, and Brooke comes running out with a fire extinguisher and puts it out, and Sir Cole thinks that she must be a witch because of the fire extinguisher.
If you actually met a 14th century person in your life, what would you recommend that you binge-watch together?
Vanessa: Oh man… I would say maybe The Office because it's so darn funny.
If you could time travel this Christmas time, when and where would it be?
Vanessa: Travel during Christmas… I don't know I'm just a homebody. I'm like, I don't want to go anywhere I just want to be home.
Josh: I'd like to time travel to the future, and see what's going on. Maybe the year 4000, if it even exists.
For Vanessa, what can modern day folks learn from 13th century knights, and for Josh, what can the knights learn from people living here today?
Vanessa: Chivalry is always a wonderful thing. My boyfriend has always opened up this car door for me and ages later he's still doing it, so I would say that men these days should keep in mind that being a gentleman is a very attractive thing.
Josh: I think that a knight from the 14th century like Sir Cole has so much to learn in today's day and age. From technology to new skills, to everything that happened since the 14th century; which is something that he could take a second and maybe teach the people of his time, so they can progress into the world quicker and create a better future.
To Vanessa, I saw online that you celebrated your birthday last year with a Lord of The Rings-themed birthday party. Are you a fan of the medieval fantasy genre and if yes, what was your first impression when you read the script?
Vanessa: I loved it. I love medieval times! I love going to the Renaissance Fairs and getting all dressed up and listening to people who are extremely into it. It's so fun. I think it's a really really fun time. So when I read the script, I was thrilled. I wanted to go back in time so that I could wear a corset and some medieval clothing [laughs], But I love that I got to have a knight in actual armor in this film.
For Josh, do you also like medieval fantasy? And how did it go when you read the script?
Josh: Yeah, it's a great genre. I don't collect memorabilia or anything but I love the opportunity to dress up in any kind of costume. and getting to play a knight from the 14th century is just a really fun concept to me. And when I read the script you know that the whole idea of playing somebody from such a different era coming into such an unknown territory, its quite a difficult thing to wrap your head around and I quite enjoyed the challenge of having to take myself out of what it's like to have grown up in this time, and try and think of everything that would be a surprise to me, which is everything around Sir Cole in the film. Everything is something he's never seen before. So you have to approach it with this kind of childlike vulnerability. That is such a challenge for me and a lot of fun.
What are your favorite Christmas movies?
Vanessa: There's so many. Elf, The Grinch…
Josh: Groundhog Day…
Vanessa: Oh, Home Alone, Nightmare Before Christmas…
Josh: White Christmas…
Vanessa: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation…
Josh: Home Alone 2.
Vanessa: [laughs] There's so many… Christmas Story.
Josh: Yeah. The list goes on, really.
Growing up, is there a present that is most memorable to you?
Josh: Once my brother bought me a computer game that I really wanted but he didn't tell me that he got me the computer game. He wrapped it up in a towel and pretended he gave me a towel for Christmas. So he tricked me. I always remembered that.
Vanessa: Oh, I remember getting a Dumbo, it was like a stuffed animal, like elephant thing that was basically as large as me when I was three years old, and I remember loving that thing so much.
To Vanessa, everyone knows your Mom is part-Filipino. Did she pass on some Filipino Christmas traditions to you?
Vanessa: We definitely have the Christmas dinners. We have the lumpia, pancit, adobo, and pandesal. I love pandesal so much when it's warm. It's so good!
Christmas time is really a very special time for a lot of people, do you have a favorite Christmas memory that you can share with your fans and followers?
Vanessa: I had a Christmas party a few years ago that I loved. I hired a pianist and she brought booklets with all the lyrics of different songs, and all of my friends got together around the piano with our mulled wine, singing Christmas carols as loud as we possibly could! It was just a fun way for everyone to be together and have a great time.
Josh: Every year we try and put our Christmas tree up in a different position, and that's always fun. I look forward to that each year. Sometimes we hang it from the ceiling, sometimes it's upside down… I need to see what we could come up with this year.
To wrap things up, do you have a Christmas message for the viewers of the movie?
Vanessa: Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful season. Enjoy the film and salamat po!
Josh: Merry Christmas everybody!
The Knight Before Christmas will start streaming on Netflix this November 21. For more holiday films and shows from Netflix, check out this link.