It was fate for Elizabeth Allen-Dick, Tim Allen’s real-life daughter, to play Scott Calvin/Santa Claus’ daughter in the Disney+ series The Santa Clauses. However, Tim told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that having his 13-year-old play Sandra Claus wasn’t the plan from the start. “This was really quite by accident. I wanted her in as a surprise for her and for her mom…” he said.
Tim stressed that Elizabeth’s road to getting cast “had nothing to do with me.” But then everyone realized how perfect Elizabeth was for the role.
He added, “I literally said I want to stay out of this. Casting said, ‘Oh, she’s about the right age. We’ll have a read for a part because she could say ‘hello’ then.’ She read and happened to be reading Sandra Claus that day, and I said, ‘Literally, I don’t want this. Not even sure I want her in this.’ She read it and even I heard her read and went. ‘Wow, she got the joke.’ There was a really funny joke in there between her and Mrs. Claus in the scene.”
After going through casting and all the hoops, Elizabeth was offered the role. “It happened so naturally, so organically, and she earned it. She was great at this and surprised both her mother and I,” Tim said.
For Elizabeth, getting the opportunity to have her first onscreen role alongside her dad was a dream come true. “I don’t have enough words to explain it. I had no idea what to expect, to be honest,” Elizabeth told HollywoodLife. “I mean, I’ve always been around sets and around the business but not in it. It was just incredible. It was so much fun. I never felt like I had one day of work throughout the two months of shooting. It was never work to me. It was never stressful. I was never nervous. It was just so much fun.”
This was a unique experience for the Home Improvement alum as well. “I’m on set, I’m Tim Allen. At home, I’m dad,” he said. With The Santa Clauses, he had to be both. He continued, “There are scenes that I have to deal with my daughter, Sandra Claus, as Santa Claus, that so mirrored moments that we’ve had together as father and daughter. I don’t know what else to say. That just doesn’t happen. I finished the scene, and we drilled that scene. Everybody said it was emotional. It didn’t hurt that I’m looking at my love’s eyes like this. This is my youngest, and she said it was an amazing experience. There’s no way to describe it. It was amazing.”
Elizabeth wasn’t even alive yet when The Santa Clause 3 came out in 2006. She revealed how she reacted to seeing her dad in his Santa Claus costume for the first time on set:
“I love this story. So it was the second day and the first time I’d seen him, and we were sitting in kind of the Santa room living room/area. And it was like a half circle and then like a hallway. I hear the assistant director and he’s on his walkie and he’s like, ‘Okay, everybody, Tim Allen’s entered the building.’ We got to spread out, go to the sides, and everyone’s just kind of like plastered up against the walls. What is happening? And I just see him turn around. He has the fat suit on, he has the makeup, he has the hair, and he comes down that hallway and I got goosebumps… It was just so cool to see how many people he has impacted and with the old movies and now again, it was just magical. He’s told me many times my older sister, who is much older than me, when she first saw him — she was born when the first movie came out — she cried when she first saw him. So now I can brag to her now that I didn’t cry.”
The Santa Clauses will have a two-episode premiere on November 16. The show will then drop one new episode a week on Disney+.