Kristoffer Polaha Talks ‘Where The Sun Rises’ & His ‘Goal’ To ‘Create A Little Universe’ Of Movies (Exclusive)

Kristoffer Polaha's new book 'Where the Sun Rises' is out now, and the actor/author talks about expanding the 'From Kona with Love' series, his new Hallmark movie, and more.

Kristoffer Polaha
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Image Credit: MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Kristoffer Polaha is continuing his writing journey with Where The Sun Rises, the latest novel he co-wrote with Anna Gomez. The novel is the second book in the From Kona with Love series, following Moments Like This. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Kristoffer about why Where The Sun Rises is a very different novel than Moments Like This.

Kristoffer Polaha
Kristoffer Polaha has written a new book. (MediaPunch/Shutterstock)

“I will say this Moments Like This was a very frothy, escapist read. You could jam it out in a night. People loved it for what it was and for what it is. It’s a wonderful book. It’s super frothy and escapism,” Kristoffer explained. “We wanted to go a little deeper with Where The Sun Rises we wanted to get into just more complicated, hard issues about what it means to be authentic, what it means to feel like an imposter. Somebody described the book as A Star Is Born but with surfboards. You have this really troubled guy, and you’ve got this amazing, strong woman. You see how they come together, and there are a lot of twists and turns as far as a romance novel goes. I don’t want to give anything away, but we really wanted to create an anti-romance novel in the genre of the romance.”

The romance novel genre has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years. Kristoffer says the romance genre in literature is a “totally different story” than romance movies.

“My audience for most of my career has been women. From America’s Prince to Life Unexpected to all the work I’m doing on Hallmark, it’s fun to be able to tell stories directly to that audience in ways that they can take a physical book home with them, read it, dog ear the pages mark it up, give gifts, buy one for friends. It’s a really cool way or a great extension to relate to my fans and the people who like my work. So for me, it’s just another way to tell stories,” he said.

Moments Like This is now going to get the movie treatment. Erin Brown Thomas will be adapting Kristoffer and Anna’s book into a film. “Ultimately, the goal is to take these books, turn them into movies, and create a little universe,” Kristoffer admitted.

When it comes to the Moments Like This movie, Kristoffer is “all in. My ambition is to direct it. I want to play Warren for the first film. It’s going to be the whole thing.”

Yes, he wants to play Warren. “You have to invite yourself to the table,” the actor explained. “I’ve been saying it since I was a kid at NYU, but I’ve watched it happen over and over with friends of mine, but then also just historically, you have to get proactive and create your own stuff.”

Kristoffer and Anna are currently working on the third book in the series. “Each book takes place on a different island. So Moments Like This is set on Oahu, Where The Sun Rises is on Kauai, and the third book is currently called Moloka‘i because it’s going to be set on Moloka‘i, which is one of the smaller, lesser-known islands in the chain. We’ve got this beautiful love story that takes you back in time and it kind of pays homage to the place where all of the stories are taking place. This Kona kind of plantation itself, we’re getting into the history of that. It’s really fun and the fact that there are no rules, the fact that Anna and I are creating the universe as we go and on our own, it’s really about telling stories that we love.”

Kristoffer Polaha
Kristoffer Polaha with Marisol Nichols in their new Hallmark movie. (Hallmark)

In addition to the release of Where The Sun Rises, Kristoffer is also starring in the upcoming Hallmark film We Wish You A Married Christmas with Riverdale alum Marisol Nichols. Kristoffer said that the film is another example of how Hallmark is “pushing its comfort zone.”

He continued, “They’re trying to tell different stories and more diverse stories. This includes hiring more diverse actors and telling different types of stories. This one, it still lives within that Hallmark bubble, but it’s about a couple who’s already married. They’re going through it, and they’re not doing well. The conversation about divorce is on the table, so when we meet this couple, we meet a couple that’s on the brink. I liked it because it’s tricky. When you watch a Hallmark movie, you’re rooting for two strangers who have just fallen in love to come together, it’s a very simple formula, and it makes you feel all the feelings. With this one, they’re already married. There’s no first kiss, like what were we working towards? So it was really tricky. But I think we pulled it off, and it allowed me to flex some chops that a lot of people haven’t had a chance to see.”

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