Broadway star Madalen Mills has come from the School of Rock to a Christmas wonderland thanks to Netflix's original holiday film, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. The film stars Mills as Journey, the granddaughter of an eccentric toymaker (Forest Whitaker) who realizes her grandfather's latest toy has the power to change their world.
Shadow And Act's Trey Mangum recently spoke withh Mills about the film. In the interview, Mills said that getting confirmation that she had secured the main role was 'the best day of my life.' Meeting and working with the cast during the five months of shooting in the UK was even better. With a cast that includes Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, Keegan Michael Key and Phylicia Rashad, Mills said she learned a lot.
"Just being able to work with Mr. Whitaker, Ms Anika, just watching them on set" taught her a lot, she said, adding that her mother would point out to her when the veteran actors were taking time to better their performance.
"I remember sometimes when I was working with Mr. Whitaker, my mom would be like, 'Madalen, look, do you see what' he's doing?'" she said. "Because he's practicing his lines, he's into the role...it was really inspiring because, of course, he's such an amazing actor as are all the other amazing actors and actresses in the movie. Just being able to watch them all in their craft, doing what they love to do and what they're passionate about was really inspiring and I feel like I learned how I want to portray a role and act in the future. It was really an incredible experience."
Mills also created a special bond with the director, David E. Talbert, saying she would never forget her experience with him.
"I feel like we bonded so much during the five months of filming Jingle Jangle. We call each other 'twinsies' because we feel like we're so much alike," she said. "Every day when I'd go on to set, we'd have what I call 'Best Hugs Ever' and we would hug for 20 seconds every day [and say] 'Best Hugs Ever!' We just bonded a lot and he's so supportive and was an amazing director, how he directed me and really allowed me to step into the role to the scene. It was such a special experience that I'll never forget."
You can see the full interview below. Jingle Jangle is now available for streaming on Netflix.
Photo credit: Netflix