Kristin Davis, Shirley MacLaine and Eric McCormack star in Saturday’s A Heavenly Christmas, one of five festive films offered by Hallmark Channel this Thanksgiving week. In the star-studded Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Davis plays Eve, a workaholic who, upon her untimely death, finds herself tethered to a guardian angel (MacLaine) and learning to become a Christmas angel. Although Eve is a terrible recruit, she is assigned to help a struggling singer (McCormack) use his musical gift to heal family wounds.
“It’s a really nice mashup of A Christmas Carol and Heaven Can Wait,” says McCormack. “That idea of someone becoming an angel and realizing, ‘Hey wait, wait, wait! I’ve got stuff left to do back there!’” Davis says the film is full of surprises and holiday charm. “It has a romantic comedy element — which is Eric and I — then [with] Shirley and I, it’s almost like a buddy film.” The former Sex and the City star laughs as she marvels, “It’s a buddy-comedy-angel movie — which is really weird, but so much fun!” She also notes that she was thrilled to share the screen with her longtime friend McCormack, and calls him “one of my top leading men ever.”
MacLaine reveals that when she first read the script, she felt a strong connection to the role of guardian angel Pearl. “When I read the script, I felt like it was written for me. In particular, I wanted to play a mentoring angel to prepare me for 20 years from today!” Davis admits that she was very nervous before her first scene with MacLaine, saying, “I really thought that I would look at her, and that those eyes would look at me, and all my lines would go out of my head.” McCormack says he had a lot of fun working with MacLaine, whom he calls “a feisty broad,” and reveals that in between takes, the acting legend shared anecdotes from her music and movies, including tales from The Apartment and Being There, which McCormack says is “one of my favorite movies of all time.”
In addition to A Heavenly Christmas celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise, MacLaine has the distinction of being the 65th Academy Award winner to appear in one of its movies. MacLaine shares, “I love the idea of being part of something that has stood the test of time.” Davis echoes the sentiment and recalls, “I have almost preconscious memories of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies being on.” She adds, “You knew it was something special if it said Hallmark Hall of Fame; you knew that it would be something that everyone could watch together.” MacLaine concurs and sums it up best, saying, “Hallmark is one road to heaven for Christmas.”
Other Hallmark Originals This Week
Wednesday — Broadcasting Christmas
Starring: Dean Cain and Melissa Joan Hart
Hart — in her Hallmark Channel premiere — plays an ambitious television anchor who competes against her rival (Cain) from another network for a prized reporting position. For the two weeks leading up to Christmas, the duo try to scoop each other for the best and most meaningful Christmas news story.
Thursday — Christmas in Homestead
Starring: Taylor Cole and Michael Rady
Cole stars as a famous actress who heads to the Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed movie. A romance brews between her and the local mayor and single dad (Rady), and as she gets a taste of small-town life, she discovers the true meaning of Christmas.
Friday — Christmas List
Starring: Alicia Witt and Gabriel Hogan
Alicia Witt stars as Isobel, a young woman who travels with her boyfriend (Hogan) to “the perfect Christmas town” to accomplish the Christmas bucket list she’s had since childhood.
Sunday — Journey Back to Christmas
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Oliver Hudson and Tom Skerritt
Bure stars as a World War II-era nurse who is transported to 2016, where she discovers the bonds of family and that the true meaning of Christmas is timeless.