Kelsey Grammer Discusses His New Holiday Film, Christmas in Paradise

Jan 4, 2023

In the new holiday film, Christmas in Paradise, three sisters (Elizabeth Hurley, Nathalie Cox, Naomi Frederick) track their father (Kelsey Grammer) to the Caribbean to discover why he’s chosen to spend Christmas at a beachside pad rather than spend it with his family.

The movie is a sequel to last year’s holiday dramedy, Father Christmas Is Back, in which Grammer, as the sisters’ estranged father, arrives in England unannounced with his younger girlfriend, causing not only tension among the family, but also prompting family secrets to be revealed.

We caught up with Grammer to discuss Christmas in Paradise, as well as shooting in the Caribbean, what goes into choosing his roles, and what Christmas has meant to him.

Ticket to Paradise


MW: First of all, congratulations on the film.

Kelsey Grammer: Oh, thank you very much.

MW: The Christmas family is back. A bit of a location shift from the last film, I would say.

Kelsey Grammer: Yes, the Caribbean got upgraded from Yorkshire, which is where we shot in the first one. That was actually a lovely time as well.

MW: Eric Roberts once told me that the first thing he looks for in a script is the location. I can’t help but think that location had a little something to do with this as well.

Kelsey Grammer: It certainly didn’t hurt. You know, part of it was also the COVID lockdown. They allowed me to come there, which was lovely. But, I had to stay quarantined for five or so days, and that was just fine. I rather enjoyed the time. I love the weather. I was born in the Caribbean, so that’s like home for me. I was very happy to be there.

MW: I imagine your days off of filming were a little more enjoyable than many location shoots.

Kelsey Grammer: Yeah, I’d say so.

Related: Kelsey Grammer Teams Up With Hippies to Spread the Word of Christ in Jesus Revolution Trailer

Staying in the Moment


MW: I feel the first film, Father Christmas is Back, had a little more of an emotional hook than most Christmas movies, which this film seems to lean into a bit more. Was that something that made you want to return to the role?

Kelsey Grammer: Well, I don’t want to do a role that doesn’t have growth or pathos, and a little bit of joy in it as well. I think we’ve got pretty much all that. It’s about a man growing up and becoming an adult, and of course, he faces a bit of a challenge here. He also has a pretty solid foundation as a human being who will, he has great resolve. He is resolute and I like that about him. Of course, he has the added benefit of being surrounded by love and acquiescing to the idea that he’s going to be loved from now on. That’s a really great thing.

MW: What’s your process like on set? There are quite a bit of emotional scenes in the film. Are you able to walk away and turn it on and off between takes, or do you stay in character and stay in that emotional state?

Kelsey Grammer: Well, if after you’ve done this for 30 years, you haven’t got it oiled up and greased up to make transitions from one to the other pretty quickly, it’s sort of silly. Obviously, I’m not going to walk around disconsolately on a movie set. I’m happy to be there. But there’s an emotional element to the scene and to the work, and you have to show up for that. Just make yourself available without any kind of hesitation or delay to get there. And that’s what I like working anyway. Turn it on and off really fast. That makes me very happy.

Cast, Career, and the Christmas Spirit

MW: What kind of roles are you looking for at this stage in your career? Has it changed since the beginning of your career?

Kelsey Grammer: Mostly, I look for stuff that just is different, something I haven’t played before. I recently did something where I get shot in the back, and I did something else where I get tortured. It’s just like playing pretend when I was a kid. If I get a chance to do something I’ve never done before, I’m always delighted to try it.

MW: You’re you returned with a lot of the cast from the first film, including Nathalie Cox, who you’ve worked with a few times now.

Kelsey Grammer: Yeah, we’ve worked on three films together. I love her. I think she’s great.

MW: No John Cleese this time around, but you’ve got Billy Ray Cyrus.

Kelsey Grammer: (laughing) The wandering minstrel Angel. He’s quite lovely. He’s really a terrific guy. It was a wonderful group of people A really wonderful experience. [Director] Philippe Martinez has done a fantastic job with these films. He just knows what he’s doing. He created a wonderful sort of workshop there. I tip my hat to him.

Related: Frasier Revival Will Honor John Mahoney, Kelsey Grammer Says

MW: You’ve worked in nearly every possible medium; stage screen, television, voice acting podcasts, plus directing, writing, producing. What do you think best represents you as a storyteller?

Kelsey Grammer: You know, I think acting, and my ability to access emotions, is probably my greatest gift. I really like directing as well, and I’ve written a few things that I think I’m going to end up shooting eventually. It will be an exciting time for me. But, I just keep on going and trying new things don’t just keep them all in presentation. They’re all rewarding. I mean, I’m still having kids, and that’s as rewarding as anything else I’ve ever done.

MW: Which is astounding. Speaking of which, you have another Christmas movie coming out with your daughter, Spencer.

Kelsey Grammer: I do, The 12 Days of Christmas Eve. I’ve always really enjoyed Christmas, so I figured, why not?

MW: What were your Christmas experiences like growing up? Do any fond memories stand out?

Kelsey Grammer: Well, Christmas is always my favorite time of the year. I mean, all whether I was in Florida or the tropics, or Upstate New York. I’ve enjoyed Christmas at all of them. There was no happier time in my life. They all started out with my granddad, but I have now assumed the mantle of making sure my kids have the same experiences and my family looks to me to be the Santa Clause the whole thing. I keep trying.

What’s Next for Kelsey Grammer?


MW: That’s really wonderful. I don’t want to take too much of your time, but I do want to ask you a couple of quick questions not related to the film. Cheers is my absolute favorite show of all time.

Kelsey Grammer: Oh wow, cool!

MW: Is there any chance we’ll be seeing any of your old Cheers cohorts in the new season of Frasier?

Kelsey Grammer: Good Lord, you know there’s always a chance, but I haven’t really thought about it. If it comes up and it’s entrenched into a storyline, yeah, probably. You never know.

MW: And one last question. Would you be up to returning to the role of Beast if and when Disney brings the X-Men into the MCU?

Kelsey Grammer: If they don’t ask me to return to the role of Beast, I’ll never go to Disneyland again. I’d love for them to do that. I want to do that.

MW: Fair enough. Well, thank you for taking the time. Again, congratulations on the film, and good luck with everything.

Kelsey Grammer: Appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

Christmas in Paradise, distributed by Lionsgate, is available on VOD, digital, DVD & Blu-ray 0n November 15, 2022.

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