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Review of Interview: Brooke Shields & Cary Elwes Talk Netflix’s A Castle for Christmas

The holiday-themed rom-com A Castle for Christmas is now streaming on Netflix. Set in Scotland, the film stars Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes.

“Famed author, Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields), travels to Scotland hoping to buy a small castle of her own, but the prickly owner, Duke Myles (Cary Elwes), is reluctant to sell to a foreigner,” says the official synopsis. “Working to find a compromise, the pair constantly butt heads, but they just may find something more than they were expecting.”

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ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with A Castle for Christmas stars Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes about their on-set chemistry, the humor of the film, and Elwes’ surprising relation to the man that inspired Ebenezer Scrooge.

Tyler Treese: Brooke, you have a great scene, right at the beginning where you’re on the Drew Barrymore Show and you’re having a bit of a meltdown on stage. Acting is often so much about the subtleties, so how fun was it getting to just go all out in that scene?

Brooke Shields: And there is nothing subtle about that scene or the acting in it [laughs]. That’s what I love about comedy is that it’s not safe and you really can’t pull back on any of it. Otherwise, it’s just not comedy. So I love any time I play a character that is a bit unhinged. I just think the messiness of it and the awkwardness of it and the sort of hysteria is really appealing, especially because she’s in this great suit and she has her hair done and she just loses it. And that’s funny to me.

Cary, I thought it was so interesting that you’re related to the real-life inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge. While your character in A Castle for Christmas is quite different, you get to play a sort of grumpy role at first. Was it fun kind of connecting to your past in that way?

Cary Elwes: Sure. The similarities are that he’s obviously someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas and doesn’t understand that. He’s a little bit of a bah humbug, and he’s a little bit of a hermit too. So yeah, there were some similarities and it was nice to touch on that. I mean, I can’t believe I’m related to the guy that Dickens based Ebenezer Scrooge screwed on, but I am. But I actually, as Brooke will tell you, I’m very generous when it comes to paying bills. I always try and buy people dinner and lunch. So I’m not that guy at all.

Shields: He’s the anti-Scrooge when it comes to generosity.

Elwes: Thank you.

There you go. I’m glad that broke off in the generations between. So Brooke, I was so impressed by the chemistry in this film. There’s a real electricity in the early interactions, even though you’re not getting along, but you can still tell there’s a spark there. Did you get to do much bonding off-set, or how did you build that relationship?

Shields: We did. I mean, we were so lucky because we really couldn’t leave our bubble as a crew and cast. So we were kind of out in the middle of nowhere and many a meal, many a dinner, many days that we had off, we would explore and it’s really important. It was a lovely experience because it reminded me of the way movies [were shot] when, like The Blue Lagoon, where we lived on an island for forever. That kind of similar focus, similar camaraderie. We all had to learn how to do the dances. I had to practice drinking whiskey every day. I just wanted to really get good at it. And he helped me or encouraged me with that.

Elwes: [Laughs] It’s great. Yeah, no, it is true. We had dinner pretty much every night. We have a wonderful producer, Brad Krevoy, who believes in all of us having dinner together and keeping the cast together. So yeah, I bonded right away with Brooke. I’d met her briefly many, many years ago, even though she didn’t remember, but I shook her hand once at Studio 54 back in the early eighties. I knew all about her and followed her career. So when they told me she was gonna be playing Sophie, I was like, “Oh, well, where do I sign on this? Perfect.” And we hit it off right away. I just found the whole experience so joyful.

Shields: And also the culture, we really appreciated the culture, and the dances and the music, and really just sort of celebrated that. It didn’t feel like work at all.

Elwes: No, it didn’t.

Cary, I always enjoy seeing love stories that don’t really focus on people in their twenties and show that romance doesn’t end after you hit 30. Can you speak to just that aspect of the film and the theme of finding second chances after past relationships didn’t work out?

Elwes: Yeah. It was refreshing to come across a script where we didn’t have to play characters who were trying to be younger than themselves. That they’re showing that people of our age, our generation can fall in love. I mean, I think it’s particularly harder for women today than it is for men, but I think I can speak for Brooke when I say we were both excited about that because it’s refreshing, and these two characters, they may not be victims or looking to be saved, but for some reason they bring something to this journey with this relationship between the two of them, where they completely unexpectedly end up teaching each other a number of things, which is lovely.

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