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Interviews

Victor Webster Talks A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe 

Victor Webster Talks A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Sunday night, Victor Webster and Rachel Boston co-star in A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe, a fun holiday outing that’s part romcom, part mystery caper, part family film, written by Robin Gadsby and directed by Jeff Beesley. 

The setup of the film involves Boston’s Annie, who’s five months into the CEO role at her beloved late grandmother’s cookie company and facing her first holiday as the head of the business. Her pragmatic, no-nonsense management style is at odds with the board, staff, and customers, but she’s so focused on keeping them out of the red that she doesn’t see it.

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

Then her grandmother’s secret recipe is stolen–along with its digital backup–and she’s forced to venture outside her comfort zone to recreate it, which includes pleading her case to Webster’s Sam, a local baker and widowed single dad who bakes from the heart. Against his better judgment and at the behest of his mystery-loving teenage daughter, Bella (Averie Peters), he agrees to help. I spoke with Webster earlier this week about the project.

“There were a few different storylines we got to play with, and a good amount of comedy mixed in with it, as well. That helped move everything along and it was just a really well-written script by Robin to bring all that together and then Jeff to captain the ship and make it really come to life on screen,” he says.

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

“It was very collaborative, with Jeff and Rachel and I sitting down and talking, remembering what genre of movie [we were making]. You don’t want to get too heavy and you know that there’s gonna be a happy ending. A whole family can watch it together.”

“You see people going through adversity, but it’s never too much. We have enough of that going on in the world and people come to Hallmark because we leave feeling better about our lives and about our families and things like that. I think that’s why Hallmark is so important.”

Webster enjoyed working with young Peters as Bella, too. “We had a really good connection. She and her mom were there every single day and I was acting like her big brother, playing practical jokes on her,” he laughs.

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

“We’d sit and talk about school. I really just tried to bond with her because if she’s [playing] my daughter, we should have a really good connection. In between takes, we’d be playing games and going over lines or telling stories about what’s going on in her life. We established a father-daughter or big brother-little sister connection on set and I think that helped translate.”

Webster’s favorite moment in the film is the first meeting between Annie and Sam. “When she comes into the bakery and she’s got her sunglasses on and she’s acting really weird and I’m talking to her…that whole thing was not originally in the script,” he points out. “We added a bunch of stuff along the way, little things here. I’d say 95% of it was all in the script and then we came in and put a little spice on it.”

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

Webster was last on Hallmark in the third The Wedding Veil film and appreciated the storytelling format of the sequential movies with both independent and interconnected storylines. “I really liked the idea of that because it’s almost like a miniseries or a limited series. And you really get invested in the characters,” he shares.

“I love that they’re traveling to exotic locations to film, which is a treat for people watching. It adds a whole other element and those locations become another character in the film. It’s really nice, especially for all the women, to be able to participate in each other’s movies and flow through and be there for each other and then also have their very own film within that. It’s an interesting concept and I think it worked really well.” 

The Wedding Veil

If you missed it, Webster recurred on the recently concluded Freeform drama, Motherland: Fort Salem, which is streaming now on Hulu, where he got to go dark. “In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what was gonna happen. I just knew that I was coming in to be the bad guy,” he recalls.

“And then they started giving me a little bit of information as we started moving along [that my character was]  gonna have to go really evil and dark. And I said, ‘Alright, let’s go.’ And that was really exciting.”

Webster has also filmed a role in a proof-of-concept short film called River of Grass that’s being used to pitch a series.”I really hope that series gets made regardless of whether I’m in it or not. It is such a fantastic concept for a TV series. It’s based on a true story back in the seventies in the south Florida Everglades,” he explains. 

“It’s a mixture of Sons of Anarchy meets Ozark. It’s really fun and dark and really delving into that whole underbelly of smuggling and gambling and the characters are just extraordinary.”

Webster recently opened an online store for his photography, with a selection of photographs available for “purchase” via in-kind donations. “I like to donate to certain charities. I work with Shantel [Van Santen] a lot with Lung Force, and I thought, rather than people just donating, they can have something that reminds them of a donation, something that they love and brings [them] some happiness that they can put up on the wall,” he says.

“I have taken so many pictures and it was just an opportunity for me to share. My plan is to keep doing that and eventually put out a coffee table book and then just take all that money and donate it and try and help out.”

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe premieres Sunday at 6 pm/5c (note the earlier time) Sunday on Hallmark Channel as the first of a double-header premiere ahead of A Holiday Spectacular, which netted its very own Radio City Musical Hall premiere last month when Hallmark Media launched its Countdown to Christmas and Miracles of Christmas programming with an all-star event. Here’s a sneak peek of both.

Photos and video courtesy of Hallmark Media.

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