Tatyana Ali On The New, Overdue Diversity In Holiday Films And Her Lifetime Film 'A Picture Perfect Holiday'
Photo Credit: Lifetime
Interviews , Television

Tatyana Ali On The New, Overdue Diversity In Holiday Films And Her Lifetime Film 'A Picture Perfect Holiday'

Tatyana Ali is ready for the holiday season and there’s no better way to get started than by tuning into her new Christmas movie on Lifetime.

This year, Ali stars in A Picture Perfect Holiday as Gaby Jones, a fashion photographer who lands a coveted job at a magazine. When her editor encourages her to participate in the annual Christmas Photography Retreat in the small town of Pine Falls to ramp up her skills, she signs up. She arrives hesitantly, only to discover that her rental has been double-booked with wildlife photographer, Sean (Henderson Wade). The two learn they have more in common than an eye for good frames. As they fall in love, they must decide if they’re willing to take a risk in order to share a picture-perfect holiday, and life, together.

The movie is part of Lifetime’s annual It’s a Wonderful Lifetime event, which has become the network’s most highly anticipated programming from viewers. Ali says she’s stunned by the types of people who actually tune in for the sappy holiday films.

“It’s always my serious guy friends, or the most thugged out dudes who like the,” she jokes in a recent chat with Shadow and Act. 

Ali says the latest film is her seventh holiday film with the network. She gets the most enjoyment out of watching the films grow in terms of diversity. When the holiday event began over a decade ago, Ali says there weren’t many people of color being cast, and if they were, they were not in lead roles. That has since changed.

“That’s what I actually loved when I started doing holiday films with Lifetime is that they were creating these stories with diverse characters,” she explains. “They’re being representative of this country that we live in. With all of the variety, there’s so many different point of view.”

This time around, she also has a lot in common with her character in A Picture Perfect Holiday. “I loved the part of the story that had to do with her art,” she gushes. “And what it means to her and what it means to grow and let go and not control everything...anybody who makes art and that’s their business and career, no matter what, there’s this line of like, ‘Oh, it was just another day at work and this is what people expect of me, this is the product that I’m making versus remember where you started.”

A Picture Perfect Holiday premieres on Lifetime on Saturday, Nov. 13. Check out the full interview below with Ali where she discusses her original music in the film, whether she’ll release a new music project, and more about the holidays:

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