In a Facebook Live interview to promote her new Hallmark movie, The Santa Stakeout, TV veteran Tamera Mowry-Housely admitted to being a Christmas fiend.
“It’s a running joke in our house,” Mowry-Housely said. “I want to put the Christmas decorations up early, like November 1st.”
Filming The Santa Stakeout gave her a jump start on the holiday season. While making the movie, Mowry-Housely and her co-star, Paul Campbell, got to do all sorts of holiday activities — caroling, decorating, and even dressing up as elves for a neighborhood party — in the summertime.
The result is a two-hour rom-com heavy on the comedy.
“We got to be big dumb-dumbs for a lot of the movie,” Campbell said.
In The Santa Stakeout, Mowry-Housely and Campbell play detectives who pose as newlyweds and move into a cul-de-sac where there have been a series of burglaries. As the pair try to navigate their completely different work styles — Mowry-Housely’s character is fastidious while Campbell’s is more laid back — they get up to their neck in the traditions of a neighborhood crazy for Christmas.
Though both are experienced actors, Mowry-Housely and Campbell admitted to being intimidated and awestruck by their co-star, Joe Pantoliano. The Emmy Award-winning actor, who plays their prime suspect in the movie, handled his scenes with such skill, Mowry-Housley and Campbell said, they almost felt out of place on the set.
“We had been working together for three days,” Mowry-Housely said. “And Joe comes in and just kills this scene. And Paul and I looked at each other.”
“We’re like, ‘We’re in the wrong movie,’” Campbell said. “You’re making us look terrible.”
Getting to play
Apart from being left speechless by her co-star, Mowry-Housely said the film was like one long play date.
“When you have a partner that knows comedic timing, it just makes it that much easier,” Mowry-Housley said. “It didn’t feel like work.”
“It’s not always the case that you just get to show up and play,” Campbell said. “For three solid weeks, we got to show up and play every day.”
Though they both have their share of jokes in the film, Campbell was assigned more of the physical comedy. In the interview, he joked that the director had him fall off a ladder in the movie because Mowry-Housely would have made it look cool.
“I just look like a dummy,” he said.
The Santa Stakeout will debut on Sunday, October 24 on Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.