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Sam Page Talks The Perfect Christmas Present and The Bold Type [Exclusive]

Photo Credit: Courtesy of MarVista Entertainment/Crown Media United States LLC

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Sam Page has been a recurring presence on Hallmark Channel the last few years, most recently in February’s Walking the Dog. He’s back this weekend on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in The Perfect Christmas Present. I talked to him about that and Freeform’s summer breakout, the recently renewed (for two seasons) The Bold Type.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of MarVista Entertainment/Crown Media United States LLC

The Perfect Christmas Present is a rare acquired film, which means it wasn’t produced by Hallmark or its parent company. When Page got involved in the movie, he immediately thought it would be a great fit.  “We shot this one independently last year in the spring. MarVista came to me and wanted me to read the script and they were interested in me to play Tom,” he recalls.

“I thought it was a really charming script. I suggested [they] give Hallmark first shot at purchasing this because it’s really up their alley. [I told them], ‘I’ve had really good experiences with them. I think this is the right place for it to end up,’ and sure enough, it did.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of MarVista Entertainment/Crown Media United States LLC

“Once my schedule opened up and I was looking forward to doing a movie for Hallmark, [I realized] I’ve already done one. I’m doing a New Year’s movie [instead], called A Royal New Year’s. I play a prince who’s visiting New York with the lady he’s been dating for a while and it turns into a parallel Cinderella-type story, which is a lot of fun.”

In The Perfect Christmas Present, Page’s character, Tom, who has a knack for honing in on the perfect gift, gets an out-of-the-blue visit from Paul (Sam Guinan-Nyhart), an old friend from college seeking a bailout to find the exactly right gift for his girlfriend, Jenny (Z Nation‘s Tara Holt). Things don’t go exactly to plan as Tom grows closer to Jenny than he intended while spending time with her to figure out what would make the best present. And then she finds out the truth.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of MarVista Entertainment/Crown Media United States LLC

The setup scene when Tom getting roped into helping Paul was one of Page’s favorite scenes to shoot. “[When] we meet for the first time, Paul tells Jenny that I am an event planner. She is planning a charity fundraiser, so he volunteers me to help her plan an event I know nothing about. There’s a dinner scene where this all unfolds and he’s locking me in….it’s a funny three-way dinner scene,” he explains. “Jenny is completely in the dark, I don’t want to be there, and Paul keeps spinning and spinning and spinning.”

The Bold Type ended its first season in September and was renewed last month for two more seasons. Page was thrilled with the news. “I thought maybe we’d get a season 2, 20-episode order and they would make it a longer season,” he says. “This is every bit as good, if not better.”

“I’m just glad we’re going to have that kind of engagement over a long period of time. It seems that the fans who watched the show really loved it. It really resonated with them. They really seemed to get what we were trying to do.”

Photo Credit: Justin Coit/Freeform

“It’s got some glitz and glam, but it really has a lot of heart. I think what allowed for that to manifest, and the scope and narratives…[to be] able to tell [those stories] with some real gravity was the talent on the show. Aisha [Dee], Katie [Stevens], and Meghann [Fahy] are phenomenally talented. I have so much fun working with them. We’re all good friends and get along really well and work hard. We push each other to do our best and I think it shows. I’m particularly proud of this show.”

Page points to the Richard and Sutton relationship as the major hook for him. “The whole reason I wanted to do the show [was]  right off the bat, they want to be together, and don’t question that until it becomes a bit too much in episode 7,” he shares.

“When I read the pilot script….where Sutton says, ‘I don’t want to have a secret relationship anymore, I deserve to have a more fully realized relationship. I deserve to be taken out and asked out on dates…’ and Richard says, ‘Yes, great, I’m in, let’s do that,’ [that] is what I wanted to explore. At that point, I was interested in the show. If their storyline had been ‘will they/won’t they’ or ‘do they/don’t they want to,’ I don’t know that I’d have been interested.”

Photo Credit: Justin Coit/Freeform

“I got a little frustrated because the majority of scenes throughout the season were phone calls. We were rarely on set together and I hope that changes in Season 2. Meghann is so much fun to work with. I think we have pretty excellent chemistry and we both enjoy the storyline.”

“I don’t want the storyline to be easy. I’m hoping it’s messy. The messier the better.” You want the audience to be wanting something for the relationship…to be pulling for something. It’s not easy when they’re definitely together or definitely apart.”

“Hopefully we have a really long run and we can explore all the facets of a very meaningful, but difficult in a practical sense, relationship. I did like that they established that there’s some kind of history there between my character and [Jacqueline (Melora Hardin)] that’s open for exploration. Could be a lot of fun.” If you didn’t catch The Bold Type, all ten episodes are available online at Freeform’s website.

The Perfect Christmas Present premieres Saturday at 9/8c on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Click here for a sneak peek.

 

 

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