Carlos PenaVega – Enchanted Christmas
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I’m currently in Vancouver filming on a new CW show called “Life Sentence.” My character really hasn’t been in it that much this season, but I’m there. I’m just going with the flow and it’s been fun being a part of The CW.
Q) What attracted you to the movie Enchanted Christmas?
A) We just love working together, believe it or not. So, when we get the opportunity to work together we wanted to give it a shot. Hallmark is truly our favorite network that we’ve ever worked for and they are just so loving and caring. They allow us to be a family and still be in this business, which is super, super rare. I am filming in Vancouver now and there are all these rules where the baby can’t even be on set. We’re a family that loves to be together and Hallmark really understands that.
Q) How was your character originally described to you?
A) Ricardo is a lot like me. He is kind of a guy who jumps into everything. It’s what I do and sometimes it is a good idea and sometimes it is a bad idea. When it’s scripted it’s always a good idea, right? I’d say he’s a lot like me and he’s a risk taker. He’s just fun and what I love about Hallmark is that all their characters always have some sort of redemption. They’re not always a jerk. Sometimes they might not be your favorite guy and mean, but it’s never that you hate that person. And I love that! Ricardo has done some things that he shouldn’t have, but at the end of the day he’s still the town boy who everyone loves.
Q) Were there any personal touches you gave to your character Ricardo?
A) You know what was cool? Our script (which I really appreciated as an actor) writers wanted to make it as real as possible. So, if the script didn’t have this I could add it. So, we had a lot of freedom. Alexa and I (I believe) have some good chemistry so we were just able to kind of do us and we added a bunch of little cute moments here and there (especially in rehearsals) that weren’t scripted. Some of my favorite moments were just us kind of flirting and in front of the camera and being us. I think it plays very well.
Q) What was it like having to learn eight different dances for the film?
A) We learned them in a week, which was really hard. I’m very thankful for different takes and different camera angles because I know for sure I wasn’t perfect every time. But it looks great!
Q) What were some of your most memorable moments from filming the movie?
A) Like I said before, I just loved the freedom Hallmark gave us to just kind of be us. It’s very rare in this business. Most people want it done word for word. This is my character. This is how I see it. Our director, Terry [Cunningham], and our producer Cindy Bond were just incredible. They really let us be us, which is so rare and I just enjoyed the whole experience. Alexa has been doing this a long time, a lot longer than I have. But we both agree that this was our favorite project we’ve ever done to date.
Q) What do you think it is about Enchanted Christmas that will make it a fast fan favorite holiday film?
A) I think Hallmark is amazing and they do Christmas and Christmas feels good. I’ve been recently watching the channel since we recently did our first Christmas film with them. They don’t have a lot of young couples and I think I might be the youngest male lead they have had. And I’m Latino! So, it’s super diverse and I just feel like this is going to tap into their audience now, but also a new audience they’ve never had because we’re fresh, young faced and of Latin decent. It’s bringing a lot of diversity and now we have dancing in a Christmas movie. I think it’s just a full package. It’s new and fresh and exciting. To be honest, I really hope we get to do this every single year because I really enjoyed it.
Q) What do you hope viewers take away from watching Enchanted Christmas?
A) I really hope viewers take away that second chances are great. Ricardo gets a second chance. I guess these two both get a second chance at love. Sometimes it takes second or third or fourth chances. Alexa has probably given me at least fifty chances in our marriage just this morning alone. You’ve kind of just got to forgive. Forgiveness is key!