Last week, TheTalko was lucky enough to get into the holiday spirit with actress Lisa Durupt whose brand-new movie Christmas Lost and Found premiered yesterday on Lifetime! Durupt has lent her talents to many TV series such as Supernatural, Psych, Inconceivable, Heartland and Redemption and to movies such as Shall We Dance, Preggoland, and Puppet Killer to name just a few.
In honor of her latest movie, Christmas Lost and Found, we asked Durupt several Christmas-themed questions not only to learn about her heartwarming new film but to spread some holiday cheer as well.
Please enjoy this exclusive interview!
TheTalko (TT): Your latest movie, Christmas Lost and Found, which premieres Dec. 7th on Lifetime is a heartwarming story about a workaholic who learns the true meaning of Christmas through her grandmother as they hunt down treasured family Christmas ornaments. Can you tell us more about this movie and what about it will get us viewers into the holiday spirit?
Lisa Durupt (LD): Christmas Lost and Found would not be a true holiday movie without a little L-O-V-E in the mix for our conflicted ingénue, Whitney, (played by the hilarious Tiya Sircar of The Good Place). Yes, her relationship with her adorable grandmother (played by Diane Ladd who is best known for pretty much everything) could use some TLC but there is a blast from Whitney's past that enters the picture, shortly after she comes home. This adds even more confusion to Whitney's plate as she weighs out her options for where she should inevitably call home. Add in some treasure hunting, some mistletoe and well, it will be a classic case of the holiday warm and fuzzies! On a personal note, everyone got along so well and I think that really comes through on screen. I think Christmas movie fans will love it.
TT: We’d love to know more about what to expect from your character in the movie, Gloria and what it was about her and this movie in general that connected with you and drew you into this project.
LD: Gloria was a lot of fun. Unlike Whitney, she is very clear on what she wants. As the head of her family's longstanding business, she runs the major department store with conviction and poise. What I loved about Gloria was her no-nonsense attitude to ask for what she wants. When she is not happy with the work of a designer hired to decorate the store windows for the holidays, she promptly takes it all down. After a chance run-in with longtime family friend Frances and her granddaughter, Gloria hires Whitney to fix the problems. Gloria adds one more polite thorn in Whitney's side as she tries to find the missing ornaments.
TT: How did you prepare for your role as Gloria?
LD: I used to love going to the look at the holiday window displays at the local department stores so that was an easy time to go back to. The smells, the sounds, the sights of Christmas in your hometown or city, with family, there are no better memories. As for Gloria, I think every woman has a very direct, no-nonsense, confident inner voice just dying to come out. The trick is just finding the perfect shoes to put you in the mood. A great pair of flashy high heels or boots kicks my butt into gear in about 3 seconds straight. I love these types of roles so I had no problem calling on my inner Gloria.
TT: Can you tell us a bit about the characters of your co-stars and what makes them relatable to viewers?
LD: I would say Whitney is very relatable because she is a hard-working, very successful young woman who has left home to pursue her goals in life. But by doing that she had to sacrifice a lot to find her way, namely her time with family and friends back home. So many people, not just women, go through that all the time and it becomes this endless internal struggle of what is really important to each of us at the end of the day. As for Frances, she is a beaming, proud grandma that represents the opposite of the coin on this issue. She loves her granddaughter and wants her to be happy. Preferably though, happy AND closer to home. I know my grandma would say she can totally relate to this, I think it will give viewers a lot to think about.
TT: Reunited at Christmas, currently available on Hallmark Channel, is another holiday movie that you star in. We presume that neither Reunited at Christmas nor Christmas Lost and Found was actually filmed during Christmastime. How did you and your co-stars manage to get into the Christmas spirit day after day?
LD: You are so right. They never are. The colder the scene, the hotter it is outside that time of the year. It’s Murphy's Law. To be honest, it is not hard to "get into" it when you genuinely love Christmas. My casts in both movies were stellar, just so much fun and easy going. It really was a matter of putting on winter clothing and playing with my friends on set. I wish I had a deeper answer but that is the truth.
TT: You were a frequent guest star on the Canadian drama series, Heartland. We’ve heard that, in addition to your many acting credits in short films, you are experienced as a stunt worker as well. Was there any past acting experience in particular that you used to help you with your role as Gloria in Christmas Lost and Found?
LD: One example of a character that was similar to Gloria, that really taught me to speak up and be assertive as a character was when I got to play Hillary in Preggoland. I played the daughter of James Caan dealing with her troubled sister's pregnancy. Hilary was fighting her own personal battle with infertility at the time and it challenged me in ways I had not expected. I was really proud of that film and that character. I think Gloria is a little bit nicer version of Hillary so I welcomed the return of that fierce energy.
TT: Christmas Lost and Found seems like a quirky and super fun, feel-good Christmas movie. We can’t wait for it! Is there a special mini-scene that you can set up for us as a teaser? Maybe a favorite moment of yours?
LD: Oh, all I will say is that no matter the movie, the time of year, the scenario, department store mannequins are always freaky. Since I was a kid my biggest fear was that I would be locked in overnight at a mall with them. Of course, nothing scary happens in the film but watch for the one with the mannequin with their right arm on backward in the background. That is a little "Where's Waldo" trivia for you!
TT: Was there anything about the movie, (scenes, settings or characters) that reminded you of your past family Christmases?
LD: Yeah, my grandparents lived out of town so the idea of seeing them at Christmas and going to look at the store windows downtown, on route to see Santa with them, was really a throwback for me. It brought back a lot of great memories.
TT: Do you have a particular personal favorite Christmas memory that you can share with us?
LD: My favorite memory was the Christmas my family became obsessed with Wasjig puzzles and spent hours, day and night, finishing one. I woke up at 4 am one morning, thinking I would be alone and could take a huge bite out of it…only to see two other family members doing the same thing! They are epic puzzles!
TT: Finally, Lisa, do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
LD: I do. A comedy called Benchwarmers 2 comes out January 29th, 2019. You can also catch me in Ali Sweeney's newest Hallmark original The Chronicle Mysteries in March 2019. Come April, in theatres on Easter weekend 2019, check outBreakthrough, a true story with some great people like Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace.
TT: Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with us! We can't wait to watch Christmas Lost and Found!
Readers, get ready to celebrate Christmas early and get all of those warm and fuzzies by tuning into the premiere of Christmas Lost and Found today, Friday, December 7th on Lifetime. For more info on Lisa's career and her latest movies, follow her @thelisadurupt.
Festive Christmas feelings, here we come!