Josh Swickard can be seen starting now in Netflix’s A California Christmas: City Lights. The General Hospital heartthrob, who plays Det. Harrison Chase, appears onscreen alongside his wife, Lauren Swickard, who wrote the film. The picture is a sequel to last year’s successful film, A California Christmas.
Josh Swickard and Lauren Swickard Talk A California Christmas: City Lights
When we pick up Callie (Lauren Swickard) and Joseph’s (Josh Swickard) lives, we see that they’re happier than ever running their dairy farm and winery. Conflict arises when family and business obligations necessitate Joseph’s return to the city and threaten his romance with Callie.
“It was pretty easy to get back into playing Joseph,” Josh Swickard tells Soap Hub. “The last movie was so recent. You read the script and go down a list of your intentions and your thought process behind it. [Joseph’s] a fun character to play. It’s a fun, ‘feel good’ movie.”
“There was no sequel in mind when I was writing the first movie,” Lauren tells Soap Hub, “so that made writing the second movie a bit of a challenge, a fun challenge.” The writer says that if she’d known for sure that there was going to be a sequel, she probably wouldn’t have killed off Callie’s mother Wendy (Amanda Detmer) in the first film.
“There was a whole storyline in the first movie [A California Christmas] with Wendy’s illness,” recollects Lauren, adding, sadly, that loss is something many audience members can relate to. “People who have had to deal with that kind of loss can relate to the movie in a very different way.”
Josh And Lauren Swickard’s California Christmas
The first film had a lot of, well, ‘firsts’ between Callie and Joseph — their first meeting, first misunderstanding, first reunion, etc. How will City Lights be different? “Without giving too much away,” Lauren says, “in the first movie, Joseph immersed himself in Callie’s world. [Now,] Callie has to immerse herself in Joseph’s world in the city. Some personality traits will come out in Joseph that Callie hasn’t yet seen before and issues arise out of that.”
A California Christmas: City Lights shot in Petaluma and in San Francisco. “We stayed in the Fairmont [made famous as the real-life backdrop for ABC’s mid-1980s primetime soap, Hotel] and filmed there,” Lauren shares. “It was amazing. We found a little coffee shop that we’d go to each morning. I love San Francisco.”
You’ll see that most of the cast from the first film reprise their roles. Watch for Callie to meet Joseph’s mother Ms. Van Astor (Julie Lancaster). “She’s amazing,” Lauren says. “She played my mom in a Lifetime movie. [Her character in City Lights] is intimidating but because of Callie and Joseph’s love story, she decides to have a different outlook on life.”
The Holiday Romantic Movie Genre
Audiences have come to expect happy endings in romantic, feel-good movies. How do Lauren Swickard and other writers make such films suspenseful while still holding onto their audiences? “These types of movies are about relationships,” Lauren says. “There’s always conflict but when you love somebody, the conflict is never too much to handle. It’s about focusing on how much these characters love each other and [how] they can get through anything because of the love they have for one another.
“We’re not going to make Joseph do anything too unforgivable so that the audience would think Callie would be crazy to stay with him — or vice versa,” Lauren says. “What I’ve found is that we take the Christmas movie genre and we shake it up a little bit. We add more comedy and some spice that you may not find in other holiday movies. That’s what sets us apart.”
Will Callie and Joseph make it to the altar? Mr. and Mrs. Swickard aren’t saying but a Netflix Instagram post, shown below, strongly hints that “I do’s” will be exchanged!
Might the couple’s daughter, Savannah Kaye, born in April, make a cameo in the movie? “You’ve got to watch and see!” hints Lauren. “She just might make an appearance!” A California Christmas: City Lights is available on Netflix now.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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