The delightful fairy tale romance A Princess for Christmas is now available on DVD. I spoke to British actor Sam Heughan, who plays the prince, about shooting in Romania, playing the son of 007 star Sir Roger Moore, and the very surprising part he played after this movie was completed.
Tell me first of all how you came to this project. Did you audition, did they call you, what happened?
I was working on a play in London. I just went in to audition and after a couple of rounds with the guys the next thing I knew I was out in Romania with the whole cast.
It must be a challenge to play the Prince Charming character. Tell me about the role.
He’s quite uptight and was quite reserved and part of this very rich, very affluent family. And I had to do horse riding and archery and dancing as well. I added some dance moves of my own and I’m very proud of them, too. It really was quite fun, there was a lot of laughter on the set. It was very nice company to work for.
I have heard from other people who have made films in Romania that it is a very magical setting. Did that contribute to the feeling on the set?
Absolutely. I think Castlebury is sort of this magical place somewhere in Europe. It is kind of a fairy tale place and we needed a location that reflected that. This wonderful castle that we filmed at and the set, it was just beautiful, and I don’t think you can really get that anywhere else, certainly not in the UK and maybe not on such a grand scale. It was great filming in that castle. The only thing was it was about minus 15. Pretty, pretty cold. And actually by the end of the movie we had to try and get in some snow machines because it all melted and it was very warm–it went from one extreme to the other, but it was a great country to work in.
And I must ask you about Roger Moore. What was it like working with 007?
Wow. We were all really excited to work with Sir Roger. He walked in the first day and really set everyone at ease. We just had lots of fun. He was very naughty, extremely flirtatious, with a lot of great stories to tell in between takes as well. He’s a real really great actor. It was kind of like a boy’s dream here to work with Roger, I’m sort of a huge fan of the Bond films and also “The Saint” as well. Playing his son is magical really, and I think everyone was really excited to meet him. There was a lot of photo-taking on the last day.
Would you say that you learned anything from him?
I watched him so much, especially during his own takes, and talk about the craft of acting, he did so little when you were watching him acting, but then on camera, it just was everything. There’s a scene where we are having an argument and we leave the room and he’s sort of left contemplating, holding a brandy glass, but it he made that moment so powerful and read a lot into it. It was a wonderful bit of acting. He’s just a real delight to work with.
What do you think is the reason for the enduring popularity of fairy-tales like the Cinderella story in this film?
The girl in this story is kind of an outsider, I guess, and she’s in this world that’s very magical and she doesn’t quite fit in. I think we all feel that, in life you sometimes don’t feel like you don’t quite fit in or you think there may be something destined for you. And she stick to her own beliefs and be true to herself and I think that’s maybe the message that we were trying to put across. I guess that what happens in fairy tales as well, and hopefully, we all dream that that could happen in real life.
And what’s the next thing you’re working on?
Well, I literally finished, two days ago–I’ve been playing Batman on tour. I just did Vegas last week, and I just finished now except I’ve been touring out for, since actually this Christmas, we’ve done the whole UK and Europe and South America.
So you’re playing another upper-class loner?
Another upper-class loner, yeah, not type-cast at all–but this one dresses up in strange costumes and flies around.