The breakout star of the holiday season is Josh Whitehouse. The actor stars as Sir Cole in ‘The Knight Before Christmas.’ HL spoke with Josh about getting the role, writing a song for the movie, and so much more.
The holiday season is officially in full swing. With Christmas right around the corner, that means holiday movies are more popular than ever. The Knight Before Christmas is the new holiday movie you’re going to be obsessed with. The movie, which is now streaming on Netflix, stars Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse. The Knight Before Christmas follows a dashing medieval English knight named Sir Cole who is magically transported to the present day where he falls for a high school science teacher, Brooke, who is disillusioned by love.
HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Josh about taking on the role of Sir Cole. He revealed that he didn’t have to audition for the role and it was a “no brainer” for him to take on the role. It was truly destiny for Josh to play Sir Cole. He also discussed writing the song “Before Christmas” for the Netflix film.
What was the audition process like for this?
Josh Whitehouse: I was really lucky on this. First of all, I share an agent with Vanessa, Tracy Brennan. She had been talking to Vanessa about me. She felt like we were kindred spirits and that we’d get along. She knew they were looking for a knight for this film, so, I went in to talk to Monica [Mitchell] and Brad [Krevoy], the producer, and I just chatted on the phone for about an hour. We seemed to really click. We shared similar ideas and they went back and they spoke to Vanessa. They just kind of felt like I should be the guy to do it. I spoke to Christina from Netflix and it just kind of fell into place. I didn’t actually do an audition in the end. And next thing you know, I was in Ontario, Canada, shooting a fun, happy Christmas film.
What stood out about the project as you were reading the script that really made you want to be a part of it?
Josh Whitehouse: I thought being able to play a knight in the 1400s who travels in time, first of all, that’s a really awesome, fun concept. For me, I have not done much comedy before. Everything I’ve done has been very serious. There is such a lighthearted feel to the film. Being able to play this fish out of water type character, just not really understanding the surroundings around him. Obviously knowing as Vanessa was in the film, it seemed like a no brainer and could be a really good time.
What was it like working with Vanessa? I feel like she’s like the queen of Christmas at this point.
Josh Whitehouse: Working with Vanessa was loads of fun. We hit it off. We felt like kind of instant friends in that sort of week build-up where we were getting to know each other and prepping for the film and stuff. She was really easy, professional, and friendly to get along with on set while we were working.
What’s your favorite aspect of Sir Cole?
Josh Whitehouse: I think the fact that Cole has a set of rules, a code that he lives his life by — the knight’s code, the chivalry, and these rules which he kind of abides by. He’s very loyal and being able to play a character that is so set in his ways is a really nice sort of theme to be able to play.
What do you love most about Cole and Brooke’s connection?
Josh Whitehouse: I love the fact that neither of them is really looking for love. Brooke, she’s just been cheated on, and the last thing she wants to think about is finding a new guy. It’s not your typical setup in a sense. I thought it was a nice dynamic that he’s kind of innocently stumbling into town, and he’s just there wondering what his quest is and trying to do the best thing. For a long time, she’s like right in front of him and even though I feel like they have kind of love at first sight, he doesn’t necessarily realize that’s what his quest was all along. I think it’s nice that we got to play with that vulnerability but also the power of Brooke.
You also recorded a song for the film. How did the song come about?
Josh Whitehouse: Even for auditions sometimes, if I’m trying to get in character or find a character, I start writing music as the character or maybe about that story. Or maybe I write a piece of music and rehearse my lines along to it to find the rhythm of the words or things like that. So I’m generally bumbling along with ideas. I was talking to the director, Monica, and she was talking about the possibility of there being a musical number in the film where we break out into song. In the end, after I’d spoken to Vanessa about that idea, we decided that might not be the best idea. But in the meantime, I still had this idea for a song that could work in the film. I worked on it for a bit and I sent it to Monica and I’d sort of written these lyrics from the perspective of Sir Cole and tried to tell the story of the film a little bit. She loved the demo so I had it professionally mixed by the same guy that mixes my albums for me. I got an amazing string player on it. My friend did some piano for me and some singing on it. And I just tried to make it the biggest and most majority of sounding thing that I could. I sent it to the guys at Netflix, our producers, and Vanessa, and everybody just really liked the genre. It ended up being put in the film in a great spot. It was just so mind-blowing for me, too. It’s a dream of mine to be able to write music for the films that I’m in and for any films. I love the idea of putting music over picture. That excites me. So to have achieved that, as well as achieving being able to be in this film means a lot to me.
How would you say this holiday movie compares to the ones that we’ve seen?
Josh Whitehouse: Well, I think the fact that this is a time-traveling Christmas movie with magic and sorceresses and the melding of two completely different time periods, that just brings this film a whole new factor. It’s a great love story. It’s very quirky and fun. And just the general quality of the whole film is different. The movie just brings a new edge to which I’ve not seen in any other Christmas film.