The It’s A Wonderful Lifetime holiday goodness continues with Too Close for Christmas, which premieres Dec. 4 on Lifetime. This isn’t Chad Michael Murray’s first holiday movie, and it won’t be his last. He talked EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about the major role his family plays in him taking on roles in heartwarming holiday films every year.
“I think a big part of it is I’m a dad,” Chad told HollywoodLife. “I’m a family guy. Put God and family first, that’s how we run, and these cater to that in a large way. They’re family films. I believe in that. It’s better than my kids going to school in the upcoming years and having their dad’s posted up someone’s locker or something like that. It feeds the soul for the current place that we’re in, and I personally think that the world needs more of it. I think the light there is good for the world. It feeds the spirit and that’s what we need.”
Chad’s latest, Too Close for Christmas, follows Hayley (Jessica Lowndes) as she accepts an invitation to spend Christmas with her sister’s new in-laws. Her seemingly perfect holiday takes a turn when Paul, her brother-in-law’s brother, shows up. She still has a grudge against Paul for ending her last relationship, but the more time she spends with him, the more Hayley begins to realize she was too quick to judge.
Chad loved Paul’s “take on life. He just felt very ironic in each scene, and it just gave me the opportunity as an actor to always find something fresh and fun in the scene to keep me alive and keep the scene alive. Instead of just kind of doing a still two-hander and feeling flat in a typical scene. I just found a lot of ironic moments to kind of bring things to life in Too Close. I loved it.”
The actor also executive produced the film, and it allowed him to take “a lot more ownership” with his character. “It was a script that had been brought to me earlier in the year during lockdown,” he continued. “When I read it, again, the character really jumped off the page to me, and I felt like we can all really relate to it being that they were kind of stuck at home. I felt that was relatable and what really just drew me is just how widely the characters were. I love the relationship between Paul and his brother. I love the relationship that he ends up having as we move throughout the story and how the love relationship blossoms, I really just felt that it was organic. Again, it was just one of those things where I felt like every scene, there was nothing that was really off the table, I had an opportunity to really bring it to life and play with it and bring the irony out, which is always just a lot of fun for me.”
He raved that working alongside Jessica was “fantastic.” Chad noted that he’s been “really blessed to work with a lot of great female actresses doing these in that they are professional, they’re on point, and they get along great with my wife [Sarah Roemer] and my kids. That’s huge for me. You want that really easy transition. I find that they end up spending more time talking to my wife than they ever do with me. On Saturday, they’re having a glass of wine and just talking, doing their thing. I’m like, ‘Cool, I got the kids. Want to go fishing? You girls do your thing, and I’ll see you later.’ It was great.”
Many of Chad’s former One Tree Hill co-stars like Hilarie Burton and Tyler Hilton are also major holiday movie stars every year. Could we see Chad and Hilarie grace the screen together again à la Lucas and Peyton? Don’t rule it out.
“A year ago, we had a conversation, and I’ll just say it was a good conversation, Chad revealed. “We discussed a multitude of things and seeing what we would ultimately want to add up to do, but we want to get back together and do something together. We just don’t know what that’s going to be yet.”