Anjali Khurana and Landon Moss on Their UPtv Christmas Eve Movie "The Snowball Effect"

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Cover image for  article: Anjali Khurana and Landon Moss on Their UPtv Christmas Eve Movie "The Snowball Effect"

UPtv is hoping for a captive audience on Christmas Eve when, as a part of their Snowed in Christmas weekend, the network presents The Snowball Effect starring Anjali Khurana and Landon Moss. The film follows the story of two rival meteorologists, Tara Washington (Khurana) and Sam Parish (Moss), both competing for the same job in Boston, who find themselves snowed in and stranded in the quaint town of Mistletoe. While the name may be suited to all things holidays, due to previous events the town has lost its Christmas spirit. So, when these rivals find themselves sharing a room at the local inn, it soon becomes apparent that saving Mistletoe is bigger than their personal issues -- if they can just find a way to work together.

Getting to do some uplifting holiday fare for UPtv turned out to be a great experience for both leads, who weren’t necessarily looking for Christmas projects. "Honestly, I was just looking for work," laughed Moss in a joint exclusive interview with Khurana for MediaVillage. "I've always wanted to do a Christmas movie because they have such a 'good feel' around them. Sometimes they can be cheesy, which is good, but I read this and just thought, 'Hey, this is going to be fun.' I'd say this one has low-cal cheese."

"I think I might have attracted it," added Khurana. "I wasn't looking to do a holiday movie; it just came to me. I read it, as did my agent, and somebody else in the cast I knew. The first thing we all said was, 'This is actually really cute.' And as Landon said, it has just the right amount of cheese."

Neither actor had met before filming, and while they play rivals, having a good working relationship was important. "We first met on Zoom, along with the director, on a virtual cast table read two days before filming," Khurana recalled. "Landon had just flown into Boston, where we filmed, and we both messaged each other at the same time. He proposed brunch and we got along instantly."

"As soon as we met, we were laughing the same way we laugh all the time we're together," concurred Moss. "It was an instant connection, which was great because it was like, 'Okay, there's a good foundation.' Now we can go into this project and feel comfortable."

An element of the project that made it even more interesting for its stars was the fact they were filming a Christmas movie, for the most part devoid of decorations, which took some adjustment. "When you hear the word 'mistletoe' your mind instantly goes to Christmas," said Moss. "So, when you have the Mistletoe Inn, it's like, 'Oh yeah, this is going to be the most festive place year-round.' Then you get there and it's not. It was odd."

"I thought that was the cutest part of the script," offered Khurana. "These characters were expecting to find this Christmas-filled place. Then they get there and they're like, 'What? No Christmas?' Even during the shoot, I kept thinking we have to add some trees and add some things because it's a Christmas film. But no. It was a cute way to allow us to do some searching for where the Christmas spirit of Mistletoe [really] was."

As for the competitive nature of their characters, both actors related on some level. "I think I am [competitive]," Khurana said. "But it's more with me than with anyone. Tara is very much on top of everything and constantly working, while I'm not at that level. I do like to have fun in life, and I enjoy seeing others rise, as well."

"Oh, I am far more competitive than Sam," added Moss. "Absolutely. I have to catch myself sometimes, but again, it's mostly with myself. I always have to do better, and what's the next thing? It's like a constant competition, which can be helpful, but sometimes not so good as you can get in your own way."

A takeaway for both stars, and a major element of the film, is the uplifting message to stop and enjoy your surroundings, because if you speed through life, you're missing the scenery. "This movie absolutely made me aware of that," said Moss. "Like I was saying with my competitiveness, I'm usually focused on what's next. I fail to sit and bask in the glory of something. Even this Christmas movie, after finishing it, I was like, 'What's next?' Dude, you just did your first lead in a feature, and it was a Christmas movie! Sit there for a second and smell the roses. My character does that a lot, so it made me sit down for a second and appreciate what we have and what we did."

"I'm not sure if the film itself changed that for me," Khurana admitted. "I do tend to stop and smell the roses and try to take in my surroundings. But I'm going to do it more as the film highlights that it's important."

Another important element to both leads was the on-screen representation when it came to being cast. "I loved that aspect of it," Khurana said. "I love Christmas films, and while it is changing, there is [often] a certain makeup of the cast. I had this weird experience reading the script, imagining a cis-white female and a white male opposite me. Then it was like, 'Wait a minute. I'm cast and I'm representing here.' I had also Googled Landon and thought, 'Oh, okay.'"

"The same for me," agreed Moss. "Reading this I pictured a certain image, and I honestly thought the Tara character would be white. I saw Anjali, who is definitely not a white woman, and it was so cool. I can't think of many Christmas movies with diverse leads like we have so it was great knowing you are representing. What a great feeling."

The Snowball Effect will be telecast Saturday, Dec. 24at 7 p.m. on UPtv.

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