This new rom-com about writing a Christmas #1 is absolutely going to make you cry (in a good way!)
It features the stars of Game Of Thrones, Slumdog Millionaire and songs written by Guy Chambers!
Remember that section of Love, Actually which centred entirely around an ageing rock star (Bill Nighy) who was doing everything he could to get a Christmas Number One?
It was arguably the best part of the whole movie - maybe tied with Emma Thompson's staggering reaction to a Joni Mitchell CD - so the folks behind new movie A Christmas Number One have clearly been taking notes!
Telling the story of a boyband manager, Meghna (Freida Pinto - Slumdog Millionaire, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), who has been tasked with finding a surefire festive hit, she crosses paths with a gifted songwriter, Blake (Iwan Rheon - best known as Ramsey Bolton from Game of Thrones).
He happens to be the front man from a heavy rock band, but he has also composed a massively emotional Christmas song for his very ill niece. When Meghna hears the song, she attempts to convince Blake to sell it to her for the boyband, but instead he makes a proposition: he'll record it with his rock band and release it too, creating a Christmassy Battle of the Bands!
Plus, the actual songs in this movie are original compositions by Guy Chambers, the guy behind some of the biggest hits performed by Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Katie Melua, Katy B and many more.
In the run-up to the movie's release, JOE was lucky enough to sit down with both Iwan Rheon and Freida Pinto to discuss their roles in A Christmas Number One, but also about the concept of Christmas movies in general!
First up, the most difficult question...
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Simultaneously, Iwan answered "Yes" and Freida answered "No", before giving their full reasons:
Iwan: "It's got snow in it! I think it is a Christmas film, but you don't have to watch it at Christmas."
Freida: "It just isn't a Christmas movie! I don't associate anything blowing up with a Christmas movie, so nope! Not a Christmas movie for me!"
What is your favourite Christmas movie of all time (not including A Christmas Number One)?
Freida: "The Holiday."
Iwan: "Home Alone."
What was it like to work with Guy Chambers on the songs for this movie?
Iwan: "It was really exciting to work with Guy, what a dream. To get to go into the studio and work with him. It was absolutely brilliant, and in order for a film like this to succeed, the music has to be really good."
How weird was it to be making a Christmas movie in the depths of a summer heatwave?
Freida: "For sure, wearing coats and jackets and scarves while it is boiling outside in London, that was kind of tough for me, for everybody! It was really funny, we were all in these puffer jackets and warm coats, but then you'd look around and the crew were all in shorts and having ice lollies and I was just like 'What is going on?' The fact that it was July was the only thing that wasn't Christmassy, because all of the music and the set designs and the cheer that everyone just brought helped us to stay in that head space."
And how difficult was it to balance the romance, the comedy and the sadness of this particular story?
Iwan: "Yeah, I think they definitely will cry. It was a very emotional shoot for me, to have to go to some of the places that Blake is in his head. So I think it will be very emotional and hit all of those beats, but I think we were also very conscious not to just completely go down that route. I think Chris [Cottom, director] is very good at doing is finding a little bit of extra comedy in those situations that I might not have noticed.
A Christmas Number One will be available to watch on Sky Cinema and NOW from Friday, 10 December.
Check out the trailer right here:
Clip via Sky TV