Kelsey Grammer and daughter Spencer Grammer have teamed up to star in a new Lifetime Christmas movie.
During an interview with Fox News Digital, Spencer discussed what it was like working with her father on “The 12 Days of Christmas Eve” and whether he tried to give her advice while filming.
“I had a really great time. It’s funny to work with my dad. You know how people always talk about how terrible it is to work with their family? I actually found that to be quite the opposite,” Spencer said. “It was fun to make him laugh on set and to show him my skill sets as well.”
She wasn’t surprised she and her father worked so well together. Spencer “grew up on sets” watching Kelsey work, and considering her mother was also a performer, she thinks of her family as “a vaudevillian family.”
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The movie features Spencer as a single mother trying to find someone to look after her child on Christmas Eve. She asks her father, played by Kelsey, but he backs out to focus on his work. Spencer describes the movie as “‘Groundhog Day’ meets ‘A Christmas Carol'” because Kelsey’s character is able to relive that day until he makes the right choices.
Kelsey has been in the industry for a long time, so it would be natural to assume he’d want to give his daughter acting advice on set. But she says he was “very respectful.”
“It was such a joy, truly. You just have to know your lines, hit your marks and then play,” Spencer said. “It’s really an incredible business when you’re lucky enough to get to do it, like I am on occasion.”
Spencer hopes everyone in her family is looking forward to seeing the two of them on screen together, even if it means watching the movie over and over again.
“I think it was really, honestly, very exciting for my son and will be. I mean, he might get really bored of it. I’ll just make it the new family tradition, where every Christmas Eve we’re watching ‘The 12 days of Christmas Eve,'” she said. “My dad and I will be like, ‘Maybe we should have tried that scene differently.'”
Her son actually had a lot to do with her preparation for the role. Aside from the usual prep work, such as “creating a history with the other characters” and putting herself in her character’s shoes, she thought of her relationship with her son and her family in general, which inspired her not to play the “character as petulant in any way.”
“I thought it was a much more interesting choice to say, ‘This is a grown-up human being who has learned and forgiven her father already.’ He has to work harder to get her back on his side. So I kind of went from that approach because that’s sort of how I feel about my family,” she explained. “To be pulled in those different directions, when you’re developing a career and to be young and finally grow into it, I really felt those things.”
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Through watching the movie, Spencer hopes her fans will learn that second chances aren’t guaranteed in life. The movie centers on “a guy who gets about 12 different chances at life to do it right,” but not everyone will have that opportunity.
“Be appreciative of the life that you have and how you could really improve on it,” she said. “I think every day I wake up, and I try to do the best that I can. Not every day is like that and every day isn’t great, but every day you get to wake up is pretty much a joy, and I think that’s really what the heart of this movie is truly.”
When it comes to working with her father in the “Frasier” reboot, Spencer joked that “he’s got so many kids” and that they should try to “get one of the other one’s in there.” While she doesn’t think she’ll be a part of the reboot, she says working with her dad made this film “really special and really unique.” She added that she feels lucky to have been able to work with him after waiting such a long time.
While this was Spencer’s first movie with Lifetime, it wasn’t her first big role in Hollywood. She has been voicing one of the characters on “Rick and Morty” for the past 11 years. At the time she landed the job, Spencer was pregnant and struggling to find work that would accommodate her schedule, and voice acting seemed to be the perfect solution.
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“We didn’t know ‘Rick and Morty’ was going to be the huge success that it was, but I really felt like it had something really special about it, something so authentic about the family dynamic, but placed in this other kind of world where any dimension is possible,” she said.
“It’s also just completely silly and stupid and irreverent and makes fun of society in a really great way. I would like to say that my voice portrayal has had some part in its success, but I would also argue that the storylines and the writers and everyone else who’s a part of it has also made it that.”
Spencer said she’s close to graduating with a masters from Columbia and is “currently in pre-production on (her) thesis film.” Once that is complete, she says, she’s looking to move into directing.
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“The 12 Days of Christmas Eve” premieres on Lifetime Nov. 26.