TV Movie Goodness Interview: One Starry Christmas’s Sarah Carter [Exclusive]
[Warning: Includes minor film spoilers and comments on next season of Falling Skies.]
Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries dive headlong into Christmas this weekend with the launch of their nonstop festive film season. First out of the gate for Hallmark Channel, on a Countdown to Christmas slate that will premiere a dozen new holiday movies, is One Starry Christmas, which follows a young woman about to embark on her dream career in astronomy who realizes maybe the dream guy in the picture isn’t as perfect for her as the dream guy she just met.
We had the chance to interview the film’s star, Sarah Carter, over e-mail, about the movie and wrapping up Falling Skies. A lot of viewers know Carter best from her role as the fierce resistance soldier Maggie on that TNT series, but she’s been around for a good while. I started watching her way back on The WB’s one-and-done Black Sash–opposite Rookie Blue‘s Missy Peregrym and Cedar Cove‘s Corey Sevier. She’s worked consistently across film and TV ever since, but One Starry Christmas is her first Hallmark project, and her first holiday film.
“I’d never done a Christmas movie. The script was sweet, which was a welcome change from most of the work I’ve done in the past [five] years,” she explains. “I was a bit surprised I was offered the role, to be honest, but when I was, I thought it might be a fun opportunity to test out my softer side. I hope everyone enjoys the film as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Holly is definitely a softer, and if you will, “girlier” character than Maggie. We see Carter in full makeup, with curled hair and a fancy dress and high heels, and it’s a little jarring. She says she enjoyed the switch with Holly, and she loves Maggie, too. “Play[ing] Holly was a lot easier, for sure, and it was certainly fun to smile in every scene,” she points out. “[But] I have to say, I’ve enjoyed swimming in deeper waters with Maggie.”
It’s the nature of the beast that holiday movies rarely shoot during the holidays, and Carter says she tapped into the childlike wonder of the season. Her favorite memory of the film came during one of the scenes on the bus. “The best moment was waking up on the bus squished beside a huge cowboy and his saddle,” she says. “I loved imagining what that would really be like and that it’s something I could totally see happening to me.”
We caught up with Carter while she’s shooting the fifth and final season of Falling Skies, and it’s the longest amount of time that she’s spent breathing life into one character. Wrapping up that relationship is bittersweet. “It’s so sad to say goodbye to Maggie. We’ve had an awesome journey together. She’s taught me a lot about the human heart and it’s strength, which has actually been valuable in my personal life,” she says.
“I want to leave Maggie with her heart open at the end of the series, which I think the writers are on board to do. We’re in the middle of shooting season [five] right now, and although it’s complicated for her at the moment, it seems she’ll prevail a warrior with a deeply loving heart.”
Outside of acting, Carter is a musician with her band, SanguinDrake, and she says they’re equally important to her. “I need both acting and music. They come from different places and reach people in different ways. I value both,” she says. “I guess the truth is, acting puts food on my table and a roof over my head, music feeds my soul and blows my heart and mind to the stars…I’m grateful to have success in both.”
One Starry Christmas premieres Saturday night at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel and repeats throughout the holiday season.
Here is a sneak peek:
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