EXCLUSIVE | Lifetime's 'Christmas at the Castle' star Brooke Burfitt calls holiday film a 'visual romantic escape'
Burfitt revealed that besides the fact that the movie is filmed in 'breathtaking Scotland', it is 'packed full of kilts, stubborn Highland cows, a ceilidh, a fairytale castle and a thieving reindeer
'Christmas at the Castle' is a holiday movie airing on Lifetime on December 23 and stars 'Maternal Secrets' star Brooke Burfitt and 'Good Witch' hero Dan Jeannotte. The official synopsis reads, "This Christmas, Blaire Henderson, a perfume expert from New York, is sent to remote Scotland to find a rare fragrance, The Heart of the Highlands. But when she arrives, she finds the dashing license owner, Alistair McGregor is a stubborn aristocrat who won’t sell. Thinking on her feet, she poses as a documentary filmmaker to learn the secret formula. The more time they spend together, the more sparks fly. With the scent of romance in the air, will Blaire find love where she least expected?" In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, Burfitt dished on her role as Blaire Henderson in the festive movie as well as spoke of what we can expect from her future projects.
Burfitt explained that she landed the role of Henderson as she had worked with producers at Reel One on previous projects. "During this time of year, I’m glued to Lifetime holiday movies, so I had been thinking of a Christmas movie I would love to watch but hadn’t seen. I put forward an idea of a true Celtic Christmas experience. The idea was well received and the project went ahead, so when the opportunity presented itself for a role, I took it," she said. Many have also noticed that the film doesn't follow a similar plotline of a love story during a holiday time, so we wondered why 'Christmas at the Castle' stood out when it came to other Lifetime Holiday Movies
Burfitt revealed that besides the fact that the movie is filmed in "breathtaking Scotland", it is "packed full of kilts, stubborn Highland cows, a ceilidh (Scottish dancing), a fairytale castle and a thieving reindeer." She also dished what she called a fun fact, adding, "The fictional home of the Earl of Glenmorie (Dan Jeannotte) was actually filmed at Glamis Castle, the set of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which I think is a first for Christmas movies. ‘Christmas at the Castle’ is a visual romantic escape to beautiful Scotland this winter and with the sweet story of Blaire finding true love where she least expected, I think it’s a really special holiday film for the whole family to enjoy."
The actress has worked on productions such as 'Maternal Secrets' and 'Plan Z'. She revealed that while it's "always fun to play a villain like Samantha" in 'Maternal Secrets', the "warm positive energy on set ['Christmas at the Castle' set] is incredibly infectious." Burfitt said that because of the scenery and the activities, there were "many scenes where the spirits of the whole cast and crew were on a high." Not to mention, the cast also enjoyed working the reindeer, along with taking multiple selfies and "I don’t seem to remember anyone complaining when we spent the day with the Highland Chocolatier at his chocolate truffle factory!," the actress added.
The actress also spoke of her "amazing cast" spilling that actor Nicholas Farrell (who's also in the film) was someone she had grown up watching on TV. As for her favorite scene, Burfitt said it was when "Alistair (Dan Jeannotte) introduces my character to the Duke (Nicholas). Having never met Scottish royalty before, Blaire wasn’t entirely sure about proper etiquette so it’s a cute little comedy moment. My personal nerves and awe really helped Blaire’s performance."
Explaining her experience on set filming this incredibly beautiful film, the actress said, "I was a fan of Dan’s before filming. It was such a pleasure working with him. I look back very fondly on all of our adventures making this movie together, from driving all around Scotland for three weeks to accidentally eating uncooked haggis (I didn’t know the difference). But not only is he the sweetest guy, he is the consummate professional. A great example was filming the Ceilidh dance scene. There were over fifty Scottish dancers in kilts and the dance caller was in charge of teaching all the actors with no experience the moves. Dan picked it up in a heartbeat. I could not get my head around it. Thankfully that wasn’t a problem because I was supposed to be experiencing it for the first time in the film, meaning my character’s confusion came very naturally to me!! But I think Dan could become a Ceilidh instructor if he chooses to switch careers."
'Christmas at the Castle' seems to have a bit of a unique storyline with the 'remote Scotland' and 'rare fragrance' vibe, we asked Burfitt what she thought of the script compared to other Christmas romance movies. The actress revealed that the she wasn't sure the script could have been done saying, "This script is packed with so much that it was incredibly exciting to see how the crew were actually going to bring it to life. I can’t give too much away about the reindeer, you’ll need to tune in on December 23rd, but I wasn’t entirely convinced the script could ever be created. But the reindeer did an absolute fabulous job. A funny fact… my fall in that scene wasn’t scripted!" She also revealed specific differences from movies in the same genre adding, "I think compared to other scripts, there’s a little more comedy scenes and the writing has some sharp repartees. One of my favorite characters, Lady McLeod (Geraldine Somerville), delivers brilliant one-liners. As you would expect from a Lifetime Christmas film, there are also many sweet and touching romantic moments, and a lovely little twist at the end which I think might catch you out in the film’s resolution."
We're obviously expecting to see more from the talented actress, who has just finished filming ‘Deadly Doula’ (working title) where she will play the lead with the director from 'Christmas in the Castle'. Burfitt revealed that the production is a thriller "which plays on the insecurities of any pregnant woman." She also spilled a bit on her role saying, "I play boutique shop owner Hailey, who is in her third trimester of pregnancy. She suspects her midwife and closest friends hold secrets which threaten her and her baby. It was an incredible experience to shoot, with another amazing cast and crew, but I’m pleased to be finished ahead of the holidays as it was physically and mentally exhausting." As for the holidays, the actress said she's ready to "switch off" and watch feel-good Christmas movies with her fifteen-month-old baby daughter before hopefully being part of more Lifetime movies in 2021.
Catch 'Christmas at the Castle' on Wednesday, December 23 at 8/7c on Lifetime.