Tonight, Hallmark Channel premieres its latest holiday offering, Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle (8/7c) and they have an edge over the competition. “I don’t think everybody has Doris Roberts,” says the movie’s star, James Van Der Beek. “She’s our ace in the hole.”
In the movie, which is based on the Macomber novel, Van Der Beek plays Seth Webster, a widowed father of two in need of a nanny, and help moving past his wife’s death. In comes Roberts as Mrs. Merkle who helps Seth get his life together.
The role is a return to the lighter side of Van Der Beek who made a departure to darker roles after Dawson’s Creek ended in 2003.”I’ve done so many dark characters,” he says, like the serial killer he played on Criminal Minds and the financier he played on The Forgotten earlier this month. “The idea of going into a safe, Christmas-y world where I played a father, which I hadn’t done before, where I didn’t kill anybody and I didn’t have any severe mental disabilities … it just appealed to me, to kind of go back and play a nice guy for a change.”
But his biggest motivation for taking the part was the opportunity to work with Roberts. “She’s one of those iconic actors and just such a force of nature,” he says. “She’s so good, and I thought this could be really fun.”
It was also appealing to Van Der Beek to be a part of a holiday movie that everyone will enjoy. “People just love this kind of movie,” he says. “When it gets to that season, it’s fun to just kind of curl up and enter a little fantasyland and forget about your day for an hour or two.”
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