Kim Matula on "Ghosts of Christmas Always," Hallmark's Refreshing New Take on A Christmas Carol (Exclusive)

By Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Archives
Cover image for  article: Kim Matula on "Ghosts of Christmas Always," Hallmark's Refreshing New Take on A Christmas Carol (Exclusive)

Hallmark Channel welcomes a new member to its family this weekend when former The Bold & The Beautiful and LA to Vegas star Kim Matula joins the fold in Ghosts of Christmas Always. The film is an innovative and enjoyable take on the classic evergreen Dickens tale of Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. However, before you say to yourself, "I've seen it," you haven't seen it done like this. The film is Matula's first for Hallmark Media, and this fresh new take on the story proved to be the perfect introduction to the world of Hallmark Christmas.

"You know, this movie really found me," she revealed in an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. "And I think it found me at a great time. I have lots of friends who've done Hallmark movies, specifically Christmas ones, and they've always had such great experiences. This script came to me through my manager, I read it and knew I wanted to do it immediately.

"I was so thrilled that it had so many fun elements," she continued. "I was so happy to be part of a comedy that had heart. I did look at it and thought, 'There are the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future; that's cool.' But I had never seen the Department of Restoring Christmas Spirit before. That was new! Then there were cute little things like my character Katherine's last name is Marley -- like the Marley who owned the business with Scrooge. I thought that was so clever. The movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and I loved that. Plus, I got to be kind of silly and funny, and that's right up my alley."

Matula portrays Katherine, the Ghost of Christmas Present, who is sent to Earth alongside her fellow "Ghostmusters" Arlene, the Ghost of Christmas Past (Lori Tan Chinn, pictured above right), and Roy, the Ghost of Christmas Future (Reginald Vel Johnson, above left), to inject some holiday cheer into Peter (Ian Harding, pictured below with Matula). But when it becomes apparent that Peter is all-good regarding his Christmas spirit, the trio begins doubting the efficiency of their cosmic agency. So begins a deeper dive into what their mission should have been, and that's when things get interesting concerning Katherine.("Ghostmusters," by the way, muster Christmas spirit.)

One element of the story that adds fun is the fact that Peter is completely aware of the Scrooge story and welcomes the Ghostmusters with open arms. He even references his favorite on-screen version of the classic tale. "I don't want to be a cliche, but Scrooged, [as it is with] the Peter character, is one of my total favorites," Matula said. "Reading the script, when I got the line about Scrooged and Bill Murray, I went, 'Oh my Gosh!' I threw up my hands and I was like, 'Well, I have to do this. They're referencing my favorite Scrooge movie." Actually, it's a tie between Scrooged and The Muppets Christmas Carol with Michael Caine. But now I have to see the Hallmark one with Carrie Fisher, It's Christmas, Carol, because we reference that one, too."

She also enjoyed that in their ghostly endeavors, what these Ghostmusters do is referred to as "Scrooging" someone. "One thousand percent I think that needs to absolutely be a verb from now on," she laughed. "If someone is in a bad mood, or not feeling the holiday spirit, you have to 'Scrooge' them into it and make that person see the light. From now on, it's going to be in my thoughts, and I'll be asking people if they need to be 'Scrooged.'"

Shot in Connecticut, Matula was thankful that the weather added authenticity. "It was very chilly, and we really wanted our coats," she recalled. "There was real snow on the ground, and I really was thrilled about that. It wasn't like it was July, and we were sweating and regretting every life choice ever made. I got to wear some really pretty Christmas outfits.

"Another thing that was great about this was the cast," she added. "We had such fun working with Ian. It's always fun to be funny, especially when you find someone who understands your personal style of comedy. I lucked out and won the lottery working with him. We have a ton of mutual friends in real life but had never met. When we finally did it was like meeting an old friend. We understood each other and our comedy style was very similar. We also got to adlib some of the banter, which is always creatively fun, and I thank our director Rich (Newey) for that."

While the entire movie is an incredibly fun ride, hidden (or maybe not-so-hidden) is the theme of taking a leap of faith. It's something that resonated with Matula. "Often people get caught up in taking life by the reins and trying to force the things we want," she said. "It can get overwhelming and disheartening when [those] things aren't happening. Sometimes you have to let go and trust that it's all going to be okay. If you just let life happen, sometimes you will find things presented to you and it's the best gift you [could] get. It's scary, but just let go and follow the wave. There could be something really beautiful waiting for you on the other side. That's what happens with Katherine."

With one Christmas movie to her credit, Matula is hoping that her next might be a Hallmark sequel. "Halfway through shooting this, Ian and I were joking with the director and one of our producers about being ready to sign on for a sequel," she laughed in closing. "We [all] want to find out what happens with these characters as life goes on. But it would have to be the whole cast reuniting because they were all amazing."

Ghosts of Christmas Always will be telecast Sunday, October 30 at 8 p.m. on Hallmark Channel as part of their Countdown to Christmas Programming Event.

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