When last we saw Priscilla Faia, her Rookie Blue character Chloe Price was celebrating a wedding. Now she’s moved on from the ABC show to celebrating the holidays in the UP TV original movie My One Christmas Wish. LA Fan Cultures Examiner spoke with Priscilla to talk about being a part of her first Christmas film, and moving on from three seasons of Chloe.
“Being in Vancouver, so many Christmas movies get shot here and because I’ve been away in Toronto, I’ve never been a part of one,” she told us. “I came to Vancouver and I left here quickly, so everyone talks about the Christmas movies they’re doing, and I said I haven’t done a Christmas movie, I have to do that. One of the first things I got when I got back was a Christmas movie script. My family was very excited to sit around with popcorn and watch me and celebrate Christmas on TV!”
But My One Christmas Wish isn’t your average holiday movie. “It’s based loosely on a true story,” Priscilla explained, “and I think that’s what made it so cool for me. I didn’t know it was based on a true story until I got the movie, so I kind of got to explore and see what that was all about, and I think that’s part of the charm about this movie – that someone actually did this and it just is a nice little window into how wonderful human beings can be. There’s a lot of darkness in this world, so it’s nice to have this snapshot of someone who’s really good.”
The film tells the story of Jackie Turner (played by Amber Riley of Glee fame), a young woman who grew up in the foster system and thus, is so motivated to post an ad on Craigslist looking for a family to spend the holiday with. Priscilla plays Jackie’s co-worker and best friend Kate, who supports her on her journey.
“Jackie’s past is quite painful, and she opens up to me about what it was like for her as a child. We become quite close and she confides me about her past and about this group she’s working with,” she said. “She takes on this mentor role with young women who are troubled, and that inspires her to put out this Craigslist ad to bring people together who don’t have the typical family relationship, and I am her support. Basically Kate is the one that jumps in and says ‘Whatever you need,’ and it brings them closer together. It’s lovely.”
It’s the first time that American audiences will have seen Priscilla on our small screens since the end of Rookie Blue, which was quietly brought to a close after its sixth season ended this summer. We asked her what it was like to say goodbye to Chloe and get to know a new character after so many seasons in the same world.
“It’s always exciting to dive into someone else’s world and figure out who you are in that story,” she told us. “[It] is so easy for me to be the best friend, the support, so that was a really fun transition for me to make.”
“When we wrapped the last season, we didn’t know if we were coming back or not,” she said of Rookie Blue‘s conclusion. “The plan was to end the show with the wedding [between Sam and Andy] as an homage to what the fans want, and the writers worked really hard to make that last season come to somewhat of a close, but then they weren’t sure what they were going to do. So after some time, they decided it was going to come to a close, so we had to say our goodbyes.
“Even though it’s really sad and a lot of people were disappointed, we were really proud of what we did with the show,” she continued. “I only came in halfway and I know my cast mates feel the same way. It was a huge success and we made incredible friendships and working relationships in the process, and every part of that experience was amazing.”
Now in addition to this movie, she also has another TV project in the works, and she’s looking forward to spending her actual Christmas with her family. “There’s a lot of food, there’s a lot of loud noises,” Priscilla laughed. “I have a very big family. I love the kids screaming, the loud clinking of glasses, et cetera. Every year I make my brother sit with me and watch Home Alone; I guess you could call that a tradition. I always go home for Christmas.”
My One Christmas Wish airs Sunday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on UP TV.