Hulu is rolling out some new holiday movies this year, including the newly released Merry Kiss Cam, which stars actors Jesse Bradford and Katie Lowes. PopCulture.com recently had a chance to chat with Bradford, and he shared a little about the film and what it was like to work in Duluth, Minnesota. The actor also opened up about what it's been like to be a new dad at Christmastime, and he revealed some of his favorite holiday drinks.
Before getting too deep into the conversation, we asked Bradford about his new film, Merry Kiss Cam, which he politely obliged, explaining, "It's about a couple, or a man and woman, that go on their first date to a hockey game and they really don't know each other yet, but they get put on the Kiss Cam, and they say, 'What the heck,' and they kiss and the team wins. And they've now broken the worst losing streak the team's ever had, and the fans think that the kiss was the lucky charm that did it. So, they have to keep going to these games and keep kissing, and their relationship develops over time and hilarity ensues."
Bradford plays bar owner Danny Carmody, who he describes as "a really good guy" who "lost his parents kind of young" due to a tragic incident. "His family business was that they had this bar called Carmody's, and he kind of fell into running the bar at an early age, earlier than maybe expected," he said. "His kind of mojo is he's a really great guy, but never made it out of his hometown, never got to really kind of go see who he was in the world. Because, the chips for him just kind of fell in such a way to land him as the keeper of his family's legacy, which is this bar. It's humble, but it's his thing. And he knows everybody in the town, and it's hard for him to meet anybody, and then he finally meets somebody in Katie Lowes' character, Jess."
Revealing some behind-the-scenes details, Bradford shared, "When I speak about small town or whatever, we shot in Duluth, Minnesota, and it was awesome. And Duluth kind of feels like a character in the movie. Low grade, compared to some movies where they really play up the city that you're in, but you feel it. If you know Duluth at all, which now I do, you feel it. You feel the presence of Duluth. Like the bar actually, Carmody's, is a real bar in Duluth. We didn't change the name. Matter of fact, I think they changed Danny's character's last name just to suit the bar, because the sign was already up. I love little things like that."
Being that Bradford's character is a bartender, we inquired if he has any favorite holiday drinks for this time of year, to which he quipped, "I mean first of all, I've met very few drinks I don't like." He then added, "Go ahead and surprise me, I'll probably be okay. I like ... I mean, you can't go wrong with a little eggnog with a plug of whiskey or scotch or bourbon in it. I definitely like that one. I mean, a Hot Toddy, that's pretty classic."
The actor then noted Mulled wine as an iconic holiday beverage. "I haven't had mulled wine in a while... mulled wine's good. You just, like, heat up wine with like cinnamon sticks and other junk in it. I've never made it, but maybe it's a white people's Sangria, we could call it. I don't know." He then clarified, "I'm not like a big-time drinker, but I very much enjoy one or two drinks when given the opportunity and I'm easy to please."
Finally, we asked Bradford about being a new dad during the holidays, following the birth of his baby girl in 2021, and he said that it's caused him to make a "complete 180" at Christmas. "I mean, I went through a lot of Christmas' that I didn't do anything. I didn't care," he confessed. "I don't mean to be a grouch, a Scrooge, but I just didn't. I just didn't do anything, put in any effort, and I was kind of waiting for a moment like this in my life, to have the inspiration to dive in on that. And it's so amazing."
He gushed over how "incredible" is it to watch children "start to understand the whole thing," and added, "She's 17 months old. She knows who Santa is. She says 'Santa.' She knows what presents are. She says 'present' when she sees one. Last year, she was still just kind of a potato. She was like six months old last year. But this year, she is going to be enthralled, and I'm pretty excited about it."
We joked that maybe all this could be a basis for a Merry Kiss Cam sequel. Bradford came in quickly with a perfect title idea: Baby Kiss Cam. Hulu streamers can check out Merry Kiss Cam anytime on the service, as it is now streaming. Keep it locked to PopCulture.com for more great holiday movie coverage!