Jesse Bradford is getting into the Christmas spirit with his new holiday movie Merry Kiss Cam, which premiered November 24 on Hulu. The actor stars as a sports-loving bartender named Danny who winds up going on a date to a hockey game with a widowed artist named Jess, played by Scandal star Katie Lowes. When their lip lock on the kiss cam seems to be magical in more ways than one, sparks continue to fly between Danny and Jess.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Jesse about taking on his role in Merry Kiss Cam, which marks his return to the Christmas movie genre. “The only other Christmas holiday-themed movie I’ve ever done was called Prancer, and I did it when I was like 11 years old or something. If you blink, you’ll miss me. I have like two scenes, and that was a long time ago. But that movie plays every year. I still get a residual check every Christmas for Prancer,” Jesse quipped.
For Jesse, he was drawn to Merry Kiss Cam as a whole. “I just thought it was cute and sweet and light-hearted and fun and kind of had a gimmick or a catch that I hadn’t really seen before with the kiss cam and everything,” Jesse said. “I thought the character was just really straightforward, vulnerable, honest, a good guy, funny, and charming in his way in terms of the dialogue and stuff. It just seemed like a really nice opportunity to play a really straightforward leading man-type role, something I haven’t gotten to do in a minute. I’ve been doing a lot of supporting-type stuff. I just saw the opportunity to dig in and try to make a really vulnerable, likable character.”
Jesse and Katie’s chemistry is effortless in the Hulu film. The actors had never met prior to filming, but they hit it off instantly. “I thought she was great, and the thing I knew her from the most was actually Inventing Anna. I was really excited to hear her name attached to the project,” Jesse told HollywoodLife. “It was definitely a big, big nudge for me to want to be a part of it, and you couldn’t meet a nicer person. She’s just a barrel of monkeys and really sweet and kind and open.”
The pair had things in common right off the bat. The fact that they had to play onscreen love interests was a “nice foundation for you to do it in real life. It’s like, the door’s wide open. We have to fall in love on camera, we may as well get to know each other. We may as well put our cards on the table and be honest with each other about this, that, and the other and not hold back on our personal experiences and how they’ve affected us. Go ahead and share your trauma I think that’s the motto. I think it generally helps what you end up with.”
The Bring It On alum also noted that both he and his wife, Andrea Watrouse, and Katie and her husband, Adam Shapiro, have kids around the same age. They’ve all been “hanging out since the movie. It’s always fun to make a friend.”