We all want things to be perfect. We all wish that life would go as planned, without glitches, drama or stress. So, what if our wish came true!?
Joy Hockstatter (Bailee Madison) is a shy 15-year-old whose mom passed away a few years ago, and now she does her best to hold her family together. Like many teens she struggles with everyday life: insecurities, high school, trying to fit in, mean girls, her love life and discovering who she is and what she wants. On top of all that, she has the added pressure of becoming the mom figure to her brothers Miles (Ethan Pugiotto) and Zack (Luke Bilyk), so it’s no wonder that she longs for the “perfect” life that her neighbours, the Wellmans, seem to have.
After a freak accident, her wish comes true. Joy wakes up with a new life: she is now a part of the Wellmans’ family! Although her life seems to be everything she ever wanted, she struggles as she realizes her real family is not doing so well without her, and this “perfect” life is not what she expected.
Holiday Joy tackles our ideas around perfection and happiness and reminds us that we’re in control of our own joy no matter what challenges life throws our way. Aww! Holiday Joy delivers good cheer, laughs and a relatable story. You’ll definitely want to add this to your Christmas must-watch-again-and-again list!
Faze caught up with Bailee, also known for her roles as May Belle Aarons in Bridge to Terabithia, as Harper Simmons in Parental Guidance, and as Grace Russell on the Hallmark Channel series Good Witch, and chatted about her role, challenges and Luke Bilyk.
What drew you to the script? Were you able to relate personally?
Bailee: I was drawn to a lot of parts of the script. It was something that I hadn’t done before and I love getting to challenge myself in different ways. I loved the fact that it had a really good message at the end of the movie. No matter how old you are or what you go through, there’s a message for everyone.
Did you learn anything about yourself while filming this? About who you are personally or as an actress?
Bailee: As an actress, this is a project that I really was just able to let loose and have fun. As a person, I think I was able to relate and learn from it. There’s so much peer pressure in the world through social media, from dating the cute guy in school to wanting to be your best and please everybody. I think one of the greatest messages in this film is that we all have the ability to put joy in our life, but we sometimes don’t just let ourselves experience it. I think it’s just appreciating what you have around you and loving it and living it. And being thankful for it. Once you accept the joy that’s around you, you’re able to live a very joyful life.
What was the most challenging part of filming the movie?
Bailee: I think the important and most challenging part of it is establishing the three elements of Joy. We first meet her as the motherly figure, who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. We had to really make sure the audience experiences that in a very quick opening but also make it seem very seamless. Also, it was just making sure that when she entered this new world, she was still the same person that was in the beginning of the film.
What would you say to people who are constantly chasing perfection? Or constantly complaining about their lives?
Bailee: I think the biggest thing to say is you’re not alone. In today’s society people aren’t always going to show you what’s going on in their lives. Usually, people try and show you the best parts of their life, even if they’re crumbling inside. You never know the full story to somebody. It’s accepting the fact that there is no such thing as perfection. We’re never gonna be perfect. We are always going to make mistakes. Our life is going to be messy at times. No matter what, we’re blessed and we’re very grateful to be living the life that we live. I think it’s acknowledging that and making the best out of it, as well as finding your inner joy and finding the joy that’s around you because it is always there.
Luke is a Canadian favourite and former Faze coverboy, what was it like working with him?
Bailee: Luke is AMAZING! I cannot speak more highly of Luke. He brought such life and character to this movie. Honestly, it was such a joy to get to watch him as an actor on screen where he just messes around and has fun with it. He is one of the most incredibly kind, wonderful and loving guys that you’ll ever meet. He and I write this backstory before every scene and we would do our lines back and forth before they yelled action to get us into it and have the kind of outlet that would make it seamless throughout the scene. I just loved how creative and open he was. He’s so talented and I cannot wait for him to take over the world, because I know that he will.
Any fun bloopers you can share?
Bailee: There were a lot of bloopers, especially between Luke and I. I think Luke and I were the worst to be put together in a scene because we would laugh at each other’s jokes, non-stop. I think we just found ourselves really funny together. I don’t know if the crew did, but we thought we were hysterical! We filmed with a dog in the movie, so I always had to have peanut butter or baby food on the side of my face so the dog would lick me. They had to roll a five-minute footage of me trying to get to the doggie-door and this dog just licking my face. That scene was just a blooper in itself (laughs!).
Rapid Fire with Bailee Madison:
Fave Christmas movie: The Holiday
Fave Christmas song: Silent Night – every time I’m at church, it makes me feel very Christmas-y. It brings back the best memories with the candle light. I’m sorry that’s more than one word – Silent Night. [laughs]
Who/what would you like to find in your holiday stocking? A puppy but I feel like I would be cheating on my dog, but I think a puppy for the whole family – a Goldendoodle.
Which celebrity crush would you like to bake cookies with? Ryan Reynolds
Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate
Curl up in front of the fireplace or snowshoe outside? Fireplace, for now.
Fave Christmas gift you’ve ever received? The pajamas that I get on Christmas Eve.
Here’s where to watch Holiday Joy:
Cineplex Store: https://store.cineplex.com/Product/holiday-joy
Also available on VOD outlets: Rogers, Telus, Shaw and Bell