Interviews

Victoria Rowell – A Baby For Christmas

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By: Jamie Steinberg

 

Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?

A) A Baby For Christmas! I’m also working on getting international exposure simultaneously. I just got a green light today. I will be streaming this movie in Kingston, Jamaica as a toy drive initiative for working children. It will be hosted by the Honorable Minister Lisa Hanna and she is the Minister of Youth and Culture. I’ve been on Netflix with Queen Latifahs’ produced movie November Rule and the previous two UpTV Christmas movies Marry Me For Christmas and Marry Us For Christmas. I am currently working with Harry Lennix on his Biblical film Revival!. I am an in development and one of the writers on two movies, one is entitled The Women Who Raised Me, which was inspired by my New York Times  Best Selling memoir. The other is a soap opera feature film titled The Rich and The Ruthless.

Q) How as your character in A Baby For Christmas originally described to you?

A) Stephanie Chandler is all things tradition. She is married, she has an adult daughter Marci (Malinda Williams). She is a wife, a mother and has two sisters. We are all about Christmas. She is a family person. She believes that Christmas is the time that families should be together. She does everything in her power that her family and her extended family are taken care of, eating gingerbread cookies, shopping and having a good time. The reality of the world has changed and Stephanie has a hard time accepting it. I am extremely excited that Malinda, myself and Kristoff St. John are all Executive Producers on A Baby For Christmas. That is very important, especially given the recent discussion about access to women and minorities behind the camera. This is a very, very important point at this juncture of my career to be producing, writing and an active participant behind the camera.

Q) What drew you to want to be a part of the film?

A) It gave me an opportunity to work with actors, actresses, directors and producers that were of a similar mindset. We wanted to produce family entertainment. I come from a legacy of family entertainment working with Dick Van Dyke on “Diagnosis Murder” and doing movies that were family oriented. So, it’s my brand. Then, entertainment doesn’t have to be salacious, bloody, abuse and violent. Entertainment can be family friendly where the whole family can sit on the couch and enjoy themselves without worrying about having to jump off the couch to shield their children from the content. By the way, the Christmas movies bring in the highest ratings for UpTV. We’re talking TV series now, which is very exciting.

Q) The film was shot earlier this year. How were you able to get into the holiday spirit?

A) We had an ongoing theme in the franchise of the three movies. It’s not hard for us to get into the Christmas spirit. We have an ongoing theme in the franchise where we wear these charismas sweaters. You know them. You love them. But they are actually ugly. The Chandler sisters think they are the most incredible sweaters. So, every movie we don these sweaters that we think are amazing, but not everyone thinks so. My daughter refuses to wear them. Sometime they are matching, but they are pretty ugly.

Q) Was there instant chemistry when you began working with costar Malinda Williams?

A) We have natural chemistry. I respect her as a person, as a performer and as a producer. I have natural chemistry with Kristoff as well. As you know, we have worked together going on twenty-five years. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of chemistry. We try to look out for each other and if you have a platform and there is an opportunity, at Christmas it is the only way to take it to the next level. If we’re not mentoring or passing it forward or sharing our platform, how are we supposed to excel?

Q) What is a moment you are really looking forward to fans seeing?

A) I am so proud! I was a story consultant on this movie and one of the elements that I pitched was to include an orphanage and we included that in the story. I’m really excited about people looking at that and weighing in on the true meaning of Christmas.

Q) What do you hope people take away from watching the movie?

A) I hope it stirs in people to look in their closet, look in stores and buy and to give to a shelter, a women’s shelter, Salvation Army or homeless shelters. Serve during the holiday season at food lines. It will stir that hopefully in people. I’m very proud  of being a part of the Christmas franchise because it is funny, but at the same time it packs a punch with heartfelt meaning.

Q) You are a part of social media. Will you be live tweeting during the movie?

A) Absolutely! I tweet every day from @VictoriaRowell. A lot of people can’t believe that it is actually me responding to my followers. That’s me! Every day (almost).

Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?

A) Thank you! Happy Holidays! Be your gift. Stay inspired. Pass it forward.

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