Home » Paul Campbell on Tackling a Different Side of Himself in Magic in Mistletoe, and a Precarious Elf on a Shelf Journey

Paul Campbell on Tackling a Different Side of Himself in Magic in Mistletoe, and a Precarious Elf on a Shelf Journey

by Manilla Greg
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If you assume it is an absolute pleasure to look at Paul Campbell on display screen, you possibly can think about how open and fascinating he will be throughout a chat.

We had such a pleasure after we jumped on the cellphone with Paul to speak about Magic in Mistletoe, by which he stars with Lyndie Greenwood a couple of beloved creator who makes a PR mistake that calls for the companies of knowledgeable to set issues straight.

The following dialog with this pleasant man gave my facial muscle tissues an actual exercise. I hope you discover the identical pleasure in studying it because it prepares you to come across a wholly new character from considered one of our favourite actors.

Paul Campbell as Harrington in Magic in Mistletoe

Tell me, why Magic in Mistletoe? What did you’re keen on about it?

[chuckles] Well, I suppose there are two elements to that query. The why is I did not actually get a alternative essentially. I used to be provided the film. I feel the community thought the why was extra, “Let’s put Paul in it. He’s proper for this,” however then I truly actually, actually related to the character in a really stunning means.

The character that I play, Harrington, is basically completely different for me. I typically discover myself taking part in these actually form of likable, charming, fun-loving form of guys. This is just not this man. He’s a recluse. He’s a Grinch. He’s grumpy; he is disenfranchised. He needs nothing to do with Christmas — with the world.

I imply, he is actually, he isn’t considered one of these form of, “I do not actually like Christmas anymore.” He’s like, “I completely can’t stand it. I would like nothing to do with it.” He’s actually taken a tough place on this, and it creates this actually enjoyable, deep journey to search out his means again into the Christmas bliss.

It was a problem for me. Really gratifying.

Magic in Mistletoe Key Art Poster

Yeah. He’s actually salty. When you first meet him, I used to be like, ‘That’s not a Paul Campbell proper there.’

He’s actually salty.

That’s not him.

Did you see the film?

I did.

And what did you assume? I have not seen it. I’ll ask you first what you considered it usually. How did you’re feeling?

Oh, I favored it. I favored it, and I favored that you simply have been completely different.


Put on a Happy Face

It’s good to see folks taking over challenges of their roles, and for those who at all times play the identical affable man, then the place’s the enjoyable in that?

Where is the enjoyable in that? There’s slightly hazard in taking part in someone [like him]. When you begin with someone that unlikable, actually the problem is, are you able to carry them full circle? Can you win the viewers again?

The line it’s important to stroll is how salty are you able to be? How far are you able to push this with out shedding folks utterly within the first ten minutes?

I feel maybe at factors we might have gone additional, however I feel we discovered the sides fairly properly there. Yeah, it was actually gratifying. I actually loved this one — Lyndie’s so good on this film, in addition to a foil.

A Magic in Mistletoe Stroll

There have been instances once I felt so dangerous for her character, April, having to place up with Harrington, and Lyndie simply had these seems to be on her face like she was so damage. It was so unhappy! It all labored out ultimately, in fact; it is Hallmark. But wow, you guys did job.

Thank you. She has that nice second when she form of activates him and simply says, actually places him in his place about, “I did not select to be right here, and this is not what I wished to do with my time, and I’m right here to save lots of your profession, and the least you are able to do is form of placed on a smile,” however actually provides her nice company within the film.

I feel if she hadn’t had that second the place she will get to place him in his place, you’ve got a tough time respecting that character. But you see that she’s doing this for skilled causes.

It’s her job. She has to place up with this, however she’ll solely take a lot, and at sure factors, she goes, “That’s sufficient.” It was a fantastic turning level within the film for each of these characters.

I feel there is a level the place in everyone’s life the place it’s important to work with someone, it is simply not gratifying for you. There’s simply nothing you wish to do lower than go to work with this particular person, however it’s important to do it. In that respect, it did make good sense.

I’ve by no means had that have.


No. Genuinely, I’m so grateful. I genuinely have by no means needed to go to work with someone that I simply couldn’t stand to go to work with.

Lucky you!

And that is the reality. I’m not simply saying that. I do know! My streak is bound to be damaged in some unspecified time in the future, however I’m 20 years deep on this profession.

Harrington Gets Into the Magic of Mistletoe

Knock on wooden!

I do know. I really feel like I would like it to occur, simply so I can say it has. It’s like visiting Niagara Falls. I imply, everyone’s speaking about it. At some level, you bought to go and say I did that.

I am unable to consider something that I’d advocate lower than having to work with someone who you simply don’t love.

I do not know. Have you been to Niagara Falls?

[laughs]I’ve. I’ve been to Niagara Falls.

Oh, it was fairly horrible. Did you do the Maid of the Mist?

Paul Campbell as Alden Case

I did not. No, I did not do any of the enjoyable stuff aside from stand round and appear to be Chevy Chase on the facet of the Grand Canyon, which can also be how I visited the Grand Canyon.

Oh, there you go. There you go. I’ll say this: the great thing about the business that I’m in, notably working for the Hallmark Channel, is even when I did discover myself in a scenario with someone that I simply didn’t get together with, these shoots are three weeks lengthy.

I take into consideration this typically. If you labored in an workplace place or some form of office the place this was your profession, you have been stationed this was 25, 30 years, and also you’re having to work with someone that you simply simply cannot stand, it might be depressing. I am unable to even think about how troublesome that will be.

Yeah, it’s. It’s a kind of issues the place everyone form of bands collectively, although. It’s often someone that everyone would not like, which is form of just like the Harrington character, the place everyone’s identical to, “Oh, come on. He’s simply being…”

They all knew he was salty regardless that they nonetheless favored him, so that they form of all banded collectively to assist, I’d say, to assist April determine him out.


I feel that in a daily office, that is what folks do. You all band collectively and take a look at to determine what the heck is occurring. Why are we having this problem?

Yeah, hopefully, there’s some compassion there. Right?


Usually, there is a root of these issues. When someone is just not very good to be round, there’s one thing on the root of it.

If we now have slightly curiosity and slightly compassion for that and attempt to perceive, slightly than simply dismiss them as being impolite or simply write them off, then perhaps there’s a path to therapeutic and a path to a more healthy relationship.

A Throng of Fans Awaits

I used to be simply speaking about that final week in my very own private life, and I put it on social media.

There’s a degree the place it’s important to simply do not forget that whoever you are speaking to, whoever you are coping with, they’re all going by one thing, and also you simply by no means know what it’s on the face of it. Don’t be judgy.

Don’t be judgy. Don’t be judgy.

Try to drag again slightly bit; have some humanity.

Yep. I agree — 100% agree.

April needed to have a variety of humanity.

She needed to have a variety of humanity, and she or he wasn’t judgy. She was extraordinarily affected person. She was extraordinarily affected person with this man to her credit score, and she or he actually did a fantastic job.

That was a tricky function for any actress as a result of Harrington actually does overtake a lot of the primary a part of the film, simply together with his perspective. His presence is so large and abrasive, however Lyndie’s efficiency lives within the subtlety and the reactions, and she or he did such a beautiful job.

Her presence is equally robust however another way.


That’s not simple to do.

The character itself, Harrington, this is this man who’s written these beloved books. The world simply thinks he walks on water from his artistic expertise perspective, after which he is simply received this depressing perspective. How do you reconcile that within the character?

Well, I imply, when you’ve got sensible writing and people — like we talked about — these issues are rooted in one thing very actual. There’s an actual ache there, and people emotions do not come out of nowhere.

If you are curious and also you dig down, and you actually outline the foundation of it, the place it is all coming from, then you’ve got a journey there, and you’ll justify the anger, the cruel phrases. They’re misdirected. They’re not truly coming from a spot of genuinely disliking Christmas or genuinely disliking the books.

They’re his cowl story for the true emotions which might be occurring, which are literally robust to take care of. When you do not have a sounding board, you do not have a group round you, and you do not have an outlet for these emotions, typically they arrive out in a very completely different means.

All Harrington Needs is a Christmas Crown

In Harrington’s case, he has a variety of deeply rooted ache, and he has issues, regrets and issues that he is been hanging on to, they usually manifest into this outward dislike of Christmas as a result of by Christmas, he associates or he associates these different issues that he cannot actually converse of and would not perhaps even actually dig into till towards the tip of the film.

When you are being a jerk, and also you’re being salty, so long as you realize that that is coming from a spot of damage and a spot of vulnerability, it’s very easy to inform that story. I feel all of us, there’s not an individual on this planet that may’t establish with that.

Somebody makes a remark that rubs you the unsuitable means, or that is hurtful, and later within the day, you are driving your automobile, and someone cuts you off, and also you lay on the horn, and also you throw your palms up and yell at them, and you are like, that second had nothing to do with the one who was driving in entrance of you.

It had all the things to do with that remark that made you’re feeling small earlier. We all establish with that. It’s a really acquainted feeling and a really acquainted character sort. We’re all that particular person in sure methods in our personal means.

April and Harrington Enjoy the Community

So you had enjoyable letting free with that form of darker facet of your self?

Somewhat bit. Yeah. As the Hallmark channel continues to evolve in tone and forms of storytelling and push boundaries in these regards, there’s an actual form of enjoyable discovery technique of how far you possibly can take issues.

I feel two or three years in the past, I’m unsure that I’d’ve been in a position to push that character fairly as far. I do not assume I’d’ve been in a position to be fairly as edgy or fairly as salty. I most likely would’ve had a director or a producer asking me to heat it up slightly bit.

But we had an unbelievable govt, Camden, who was accountable for this film. We had a fantastic director, and everyone form of went, “No, that is truly, it is a very human factor. It’s not with out cause.”

There’s a discovery of how far we will take this and nonetheless be human and nonetheless be relatable and nonetheless have sufficient room to return again to journey again. I like the method.

Harrington Enjoying His Fame

It should’ve been slightly completely different, too. I imply, you’ve got clearly had roles in different forms of leisure exterior of Hallmark, so you’ve got had that probability to sink your chops into one thing slightly completely different. Did it really feel form of bizarre being that character in a Hallmark film?

It did. Yeah, it did. It felt such as you nearly maintain wanting over your shoulder to get affirmation that you simply’re not doing one thing unsuitable slightly bit. And once more, there’s such an unbelievable artistic group.

Everybody who pours themselves into these motion pictures is so supportive, and everyone may be very like-minded. It’s very uncommon that you simply come throughout someone who is not utterly on the identical web page as everyone else.

Had I performed something that wasn’t proper when it comes to tone or any of my selections had been unsuitable, I’d’ve heard about it. You know that when your conduct is a sure means, no one needs to be unlikable. I stroll by this world personally, desirous to be favored. I feel all of us do.

It takes a sure sort of particular person to not care in any respect what folks assume. Even although it is fictional, the best way that you simply’re saying this stuff, I get to the tip of a scene with Lyndie and go, “I simply want I might simply provide you with a hug and say, sorry, I do not wish to be that man to you.”

I do not wish to be leaving a foul style in everybody’s mouth right here. But that’s genuinely the character. You do form of really feel like, “I’m unsure that what I’m doing is nice right here,” however you rely and also you consider that someone would let you know for those who weren’t.

You simply form of maintain trucking alongside till someone says, “Hey, let’s shift gears right here slightly bit.”


How lengthy did it take you to search out your rhythm with that form of character?

Too quick, too quick. [laughs] Immediately, I used to be like, “Oh, I understand how to do that. I do know this man.” Yeah, I’m definitely removed from good in my actual life.

I’m sufficiently big that once I converse to someone rudely or when I’ve a second once I fail, like once I converse to my youngster in a means that I’m going, “Oh, that is truly not how we converse to folks.”

Or when you’ve got a sure tone, or, I discover these issues in my actual life continually and having an consciousness of that I mustn’t have spoken that means or reacted that means or that I overreacted and with the ability to apologize and imply issues. That’s how we reside glad, wholesome lives.

I can see these moments with readability within the script and understand I do know precisely how that second may come out or how that second may be performed, and whether or not he apologizes within the second for that or instantly says, “Listen, I should not have spoken to you want that,” that is a distinct story.

But I’m very acquainted with utilizing the unsuitable tone, being grumpy, snapping at someone, or having a foul perspective. I feel all of us are; once more, it’s extremely human.

Taking in the Christmas Decorations

It is, certainly. I used to be your Instagram web page and watching folks’s reactions to you saying that he isn’t the nicest man and stuff, and someone identified that your hair seems to be completely different. Was that for the function, or are you simply making an attempt one thing completely different along with your hair?

I did not see that remark. I’ve been making an attempt one thing slightly completely different with my hair. I’ve been making an attempt to develop it out slightly bit for the final yr. After Three Wise Men — my hair was slightly bit longer in Three Wise Men on prime — I simply form of stored rising it.

I believed, “I’ve had the identical haircut for 13 motion pictures. Maybe I ought to attempt to take a web page out of Tyler Hynes’s playbook and take a look at one thing slightly completely different.” It’s undoubtedly longer within the film. I’ve form of held on to it.

Somewhat wavy flip. I prefer it.

I attempted one thing slightly completely different.

Paul Campbell, Andrew Walker, and Tyler Hynes

It form of suits the character, too. It’s such as you’re introducing a brand new Paul to the viewers.

Well, yeah. The concept that he is a little bit of a recluse and also you choose him up off the highest, he is residing in the course of nowhere. It’s a small city in the course of nowhere, and he isn’t staying camera-ready. Originally, he was written with a full beard — a full scruff, however only for manufacturing causes, it is actually troublesome.

You cannot shoot a full scruff after which shave it. But yeah, he was actually unkempt. I feel you possibly can see because the film evolves, his wardrobe will get slightly sharper and slightly extra cleaned up. But the thought was he begins off fairly unkempt as a result of he is simply form of given up slightly bit. I like that as properly.

Do you’ve got a favourite e book sequence that you simply grew up with? Who was your Harrington?

Oh, man. I imply, yeah, Lord of the Rings. I grew up with Lord of the Rings. I’ve learn all the things. I grew up with the Hardy Boys. I grew up with Nancy Drew. I grew up with The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, which I’m studying to my son proper now.

Paul Campbell is Michael

I learn all the things and something that was inside my attain, however I feel Lord of the Rings was most likely the primary sequence that basically modified my perspective on what writing could possibly be.

I bear in mind simply being so engrossed, so enthralled by these books, and simply completely taken away to a different world, which was the primary time, and it was the primary time I had skilled literature in that means.

The discovery that you may be transported to a very completely different world was so essential to me and so influential to me. I feel after The Lord of the Rings, that was it.

I simply learn something and all the things that I might get my palms on. I learn the complete Babysitter’s Club sequence. I learn Sweet Valley. My sister had all of the books. I learn all the things.

That’s superior as a result of it provides you a large image of the world as a substitute of simply selecting one style. Try all the things.

I simply cherished tales — tales and characters.

Kimberley Sustad and Paul Campbell 2022 Countdown to Christmas

It helps.

Exactly. It actually does. I feel that is why perhaps writing has come comparatively simply as a result of I’ve simply learn a lot. I’ve a lot supply materials to work from, and I’ve simply spent my life with my nostril in a e book.

I perceive construction and dialogue and character and battle, and I perceive all these issues very, very deeply on a mobile degree at this level.

I’ve typically loved seeing how typically you and your writing associate and fellow actor, Kimberley Sustad, work collectively on and off the display screen. What are you writing now? Are you engaged on initiatives?

Couple issues. We’ve had a few issues we have been tinkering with. This has been form of an odd yr. We had each the author’s strike and the SAG strike, which [affected] getting issues by growth and into manufacturing.

We have two issues that we have been engaged on that have been each doubtlessly going to occur this yr after which ended up being shuffled round. Hopefully, a few issues will transfer forward for subsequent yr. But yeah, we’re at all times tinkering.

We’ve received a variety of concepts and a variety of roads we would like to embark on. But we’ll see. I feel you will most likely be seeing a few issues from us pop up subsequent yr. Fingers crossed.

A Goodwink Christmas Photo

How about your holidays? Is the household getting excited? Are you adorning but?

Oh, the tree’s been up. November twenty sixth, I feel my tree went up and was completely prepared. I have not performed any Christmas buying but. [laughs] I’m going to go away that till December twenty fourth. Then it is most likely simply going to be a handful of reward playing cards. [laughs]

So you’ve got good materials for a future film!

Exactly. It’s simply known as, ‘Oh, my God, Christmas is Tomorrow.’ That’s going to be the film. It’s going to be real-time. Somebody scrambling. Actually, that is a extremely enjoyable thought. Could you think about actual time, 83 and a half minutes, someone displaying up? Okay, that is truly actually good.

The 83 and a half minutes earlier than you are imagined to be on the household Christmas, and you have not purchased a factor, and it is your journey to give you presents. It’s like your journey by city going to the neighbors’ grabbing, and it is like Christmas morning, simply making an attempt to point out up and never be a complete catastrophe.

That’s form of a enjoyable thought. You might do real-time. It begins at like 8:00 am.

An Adoring Crowd

So many individuals would perceive that as a result of as a lot as we wish to plan, it would not at all times work that means.

Yes. You have been imagined to carry the casserole and have the reward, and you don’t have anything. That’s actually enjoyable. I do not know if it might be attainable to do it, however that is a extremely enjoyable thought.

Christmases, we have got the elf on the shelf goes robust over right here. That little man’s been popping up in all types of enjoyable locations. I feel the vacations have turn out to be slightly extra relaxed for me. It’s not such an enormous factor anymore. It’s not such an enormous manufacturing anymore.

We nonetheless actually find it irresistible, but it surely’s not like 20 relations flying in for dinner. It’s simply gotten lots smaller and manageable, which I’m very, very glad about.

Harrington and April on the Move

That’s good! What’s been your son’s favourite Elf on the Shelf location? Where has he been to this point?

Well, that little stinker, let’s examine, in the present day’s the fourth. He confirmed up on the primary. Actually, we did not actually discover him till the second — he was buried. My son has a show of all of his little stuffies, and so the primary day he confirmed up, he was up on the shelf amongst the stuffies, simply his eyeballs peeking out.

But he’d taken this little snow hat from the Christmas tree that is an decoration, and he pulled it over his head. He was simply eyes seen that day. That was a enjoyable one.

He’s been jammed in all types of sunshine fixtures, and he is been the favourite one, I feel, as a result of we’re up on the twenty sixth flooring of a constructing in downtown Vancouver, and one morning, we opened the blinds, and he was on the skin of the window wanting in.

He was dangling from the skin, and he’d been on the market, I suppose, all night time. But he was on the skin of the constructing wanting in by the window, 26 flooring above the bottom. That was an enormous shock.

There was an enormous debate there about whether or not or to not reel him in, however finally determined to respect the do-not-touch rule and simply left it as much as the magic of elfishness, I suppose.

Paul Campbell HMM Winter TCA Tour 2019

[laughing] Oh my gosh. Do you’ve got a balcony, I hope?

Oh, no, no, no, no, no balcony. He was simply 260 toes above the bottom.

Oh my gosh. Your son should have been freaking out.

Really. Really. Yeah, and there was slightly wind. There was slightly wind, so he was form of bouncing round slightly bit on the market. It was fairly humorous. But he survived the night time.

Did you’ve got a backup?!?

There was no backup.

Paul Campbell 2019 Closeup

Just in case?

Honestly, I spotted it did not happen to me the wind would come up. I believed it might be fairly calm, however as quickly as I noticed him, I used to be like, “Oh man, this might go sideways actual quick.” No parachute both. But all of it labored out, fortuitously.

Not that he’d know how you can use it.

No, it is so true.


[laughing] Or that it might do any good. He would land in the course of site visitors in downtown Vancouver.

Oh, do not even say it. [laughing]

Car tire. Yeah. No, no. No.

Paul Campbell for Dating the Delaneys

Too a lot sport for slightly elf. He must be on his shelf the place he is secure.

He actually does. He got here again in fairly rapidly after that night time. That was his final foray into the world exterior the constructing. He’s an inside elf now.

Oh my. There’s your story. That’s received to be a part of your 83 minutes — the elf!

That’s so true!

Now that you’ve a good suggestion of what Mr. Campbell is doing now and a peek into his mind in regards to the future, make sure to tune into Magic in Mistletoe tonight at 8/7 on Hallmark Channel. It’s one other one you do not wish to miss!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a workers author and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of tv and movie with anybody who will pay attention. Follow her on X and e mail her right here at TV Fanatic.

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