By Jean-Paul Eliard
The 01 December 2020
Hi Xavi, I'm very happy to do this interview. And I hope this finds you and yours safe and healthy.
What did you like most about your character John-Michael in Operation Christmas Drop?
What I liked most definitely was his background.
The story opened up an opportunity for people who look like me to be a driving point for the plot. But shooting on location is definitely a close second.
What did you like when you read the script? What drew you to the role?
I loved that it was an island Christmas. It separated it from the rest of the other snowy Christmas movies out there.
And what drew me to it, every actor can attest, it was a chance to be in a Christmas flick.
How was filming with Kat Graham, Janet Kidder, Trezzo Mahoro, Alexander Ludwig, and Director Martin Wood?
I only got to work with Kat, Alexander, and Martin. I couldn't be happier with the experience. Alex is more hilarious than I imagined, Kat is an activist queen, always looking at the bigger picture of life, and Martin is such an easy going creative that just makes the day go by so smoothly.
I didn't have scenes with Trezzo, but we got to hang out at the hotel, beautiful soul to be around off camera.
I never got to meet Janet, but I'm sure she's wonderful as well, But that's the magic of cinema, the common thought that the whole cast gets to meet, which is rare.
Did you work with any of your
co-stars before this movie?
I have not, I did work with some of the crew though, so it was great to reconnect halfway across the globe.
How long did the shooting last
for this movie?
The shooting itself was under four weeks in Guam, then I believe three weeks for the other snowy shots in North America.
What do you like about
It's not just specifically Christmas, but this time of year; Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, winter solstice too, oh and of course Festivus (laughs).
I identify with Christmas more just because of how I grew up, but it's the magic of this time of year.
I couldn't care less for the presents, but I love how everyone's attitudes seem brighter. More people are smiling.
And it puts people in a more likely position to give. Give love. I also love hot beverages and winter activities. A little mulled wine and some slopes is necessary.
You've participated in boxing,
Muay Thai, and you were in line to go AAA in hockey. What do you like most about these sports?
High level sports is a whole other world of self awareness. Especially when it's just you in the ring. Hockey being a team sport, the self awareness now becomes collective and every player on the ice needs to be in sync to be effective. But in any aspect of life, it's all about self awareness, and in sports, especially in acting, when you're called to perform, it's a test to see if you really got your "bleep" together.
Your first acting experience
was on the show Rookie Blue, you were a boxer. What did you like most about this character and experience?
At the time, what I loved the most was that I got to get paid handsomely to do what I already knew how to do, and not get hurt.
I know it is difficult to
predict what the future holds for movies, TV series, etc. for the moment with Covid-19, but what is your next challenge/project?
I've already been lucky enough to book one of the first projects back since the industry opened up.
So I'm ending this year working and starting 2021 working. I couldn't be more grateful. But I guess the challenge is to stay sane & self motivated to just be ready for what's next.
Is there anything else you
would like to add?
Myself, Kris Andre Smith, Ignatius Lewis, Jordan Johnson Hinds, and Alex Mallari Jr. started a charity, The Play On Foundation, that revolves around neurological research for brain aneurysm prevention.
A medical condition that we hope to be able to prevent, like Emilia Clarke bringing light to rehabilitation after a rupture. Check out www.letsplayon.org or @playon2013 on social media for more information.
Thank you very much for your interview Xavi. I wish you all the best.