*Actor Adrian Holmes joins forces with Hollywood veteran Holly Robinson Peete to spread some holiday cheer with Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Doctor.”
The heartwarming story centers on a Zoey, a traveling doctor who prefers short assignments to staying put, so when she is assigned to a small town clinic for the holidays, she is surprised when she starts to feel at home.
Holmes describes this holiday tale as a very grounded, “tearjerker” with a “beautiful twist.”
“It’s such a well written movie that pays homage to our Frontline workers, the real heroes that have done so much for us especially in these times,” Holmes tells EURweb’s Ny MaGee. “I’m proud of that aspect of it. There’s also some nice flashback scenes of her in Afghanistan as she was a doctor in the war. There’s a beautiful plot twist as well that’s quite the tearjerker… very heartfelt. I love it and think everyone’s going to be really moved by it.”
Get into our full Q&A below with Adrian Holmes.
Tell us about the character you play in The Christmas Doctor.
Adrian Holmes: I play Luke Barnes, a local engineer and graphic designer. He’s a father to an 18 year old girl name Lily, who’s getting ready to go off to college. I’m the guy in town who does all the graphic design for the various different companies. It’s a small cozy town where everyone knows everyone and looks out for one another. Holly’s character, Zoey comes to town as a locum tenant when our town doctor falls ill and has to have surgery. Zoey ends up renting out my family house for the duration of her stay. From there our characters start to get acquainted and take a liking to each other.
It’s such a well written movie that pays homage to our Frontline workers, the real heroes that have done so much for us especially in these times. I’m proud of that aspect of it. There’s also some nice flashback scenes of her in Afghanistan as she was a doctor in the war. There’s a beautiful plot twist as well that’s quite the tearjerker… very heartfelt. I love it and think everyone’s going to be really moved by it.
I think another beautiful aspect of the story is that it explores this single Black father and his relationship with his teen daughter.
Adrian Holmes: Absolutely. A lot of people can relate to that. He’s recently divorced, and feels conflicted that he has created a broken family for his daughter. Luke is doing everything he can to keep the bond between him and his daughter as strong and healthy as possible. He wants the very best for her and does everything he can to provide for her. He’s a grounded character with a lot of integrity. I genuinely enjoyed playing him.
When you take on a role like Luke, how much of your own personality or your own swag do you embed in a character like this?
Adrian Holmes: Well I think in every character there’s always a bit of you in them. In order to make the character authentic and grounded in reality, you have to connect with it by finding something that you can relate to from your personal life. Things about you that you can add to the story or subtract from the story.
I’m not a parent unfortunately but I do understand love and relationships. In a case like this you just have to use your imagination and make it real. But as I said in order to get real authentic performances there has to always be some of you infused in every character you play. I was able to relate to Luke as we both love family, and value the beauty of relationships. We’re also perfectionists. “Do things once, do things right” is our motto.
Take a look at the #behindthescenes fun of the making of the @HallmarkMovie Original Premiere #TheChristmasDoctor, and tune in Sunday at 10pm/9c to see it come to life on your screen. Part of #MiraclesOfChristmas pic.twitter.com/u4owAiroeZ
— Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (@hallmarkmovie) November 11, 2020
How would you describe the creative energy on the set of a Hallmark Christmas film, and what does a veteran Hollywood star like Holly Robinson Peete bring to the production?
Adrian Holmes: The creative energy was fantastic on set. Holly is such a professional and makes everybody feel valued. I loved working with her. There was also a strong familiarity working with her. Like we had done this before which was so beautiful and effortless. That ease really goes a long way in allowing a comfortable, safe space to create. Hope we get to do it again.
When you’re working on a Christmas movie in July, August or September, you have to create that ambiance on set. We would sing Christmas carols, play Christmas music… and it worked. Hallmark’s set design team was impeccable; the lights, the décor and the fake snow transcends your mind into believing it’s actually Christmas time. Except for the fact that it was warm when we were supposed to be cold and being all bundled up trying to play the cold – now that proved to be very challenging. Lol!
Is it important to you to follow the social media conversation to check out the viewer response to your work/projects such as this?
Adrian Holmes: It’s a lot of fun to live tweet and experience everyone’s interpretation of the film in real time. The fans appreciate having the cast to interact with. It really adds to all the work that we’ve done to put it up on the screen. That’s the cherry on top for us, to hear everybody’s love for the project and just how they connect and relate to it.
What would you say is the heartbeat of this story? Is there a central theme that you’re hoping viewers are left thinking or talking about after they watch the film?
Adrian Holmes: It’s never too late to find love. Love is always there when you need it no matter how difficult things may have been or what you’ve been through, you can always start over and get a second chance at love. Following your heart will always steer you in the right direction.
I think that’s one of the themes. I also feel allowing your children to be their own person is another theme. As much as we want the best for our children we have to step aside and let them choose what they want and trust in their choices. We can’t force our wants onto them as Luke does, wanting Lily to follow in his footsteps as a graphic designer. Luke has to grasp this concept quickly, letting his daughter be her own self and exist in her own lane.
5 more hours East Coast!! ⌛️ ⚕️❤️
I’ll be tweeting live with you make sure you use #TheChristmasDoctor when you tweet so I can see and RT you 10pm on @hallmarkmovie #MiraclesofChristmas pic.twitter.com/A6mxb5ly1n
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) November 15, 2020
Lastly, what makes The Christmas Doctor the perfect movie to get cozy on the couch with this holiday season?
Adrian Holmes: Besides having all the magical feels of Christmas that we all love so much, the twist that I mentioned is very compelling and beautiful. I feel it will tug on everyone’s heartstrings and is something that we can all use and appreciate at this time. Especially the tribute to the real heroes, the Frontline workers. The doctors and nurses that go above and beyond for all of us and our safety. This film really shines a well-deserved light on them and their services. I’m very proud to have been a part of this film and hope you all enjoy it.
“The Christmas Doctor” premieres Sunday, November 15 at 10/9c on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.