Exclusive: Director Jim Fall On His New Holiday Film And (Finally) The "Trick" Sequel

(l-r) Jeff Ward, director Jim Fall and Claire Coffee during production ofHolly's Holiday

(photo by Sherry Gunderman)

It’s December, so if it means anything it’s that there are a slew of holiday-themed movies on our TVs this time of year. One of them, Lifetime’s Holly’s Holiday, comes to us from out director Jim Fall, who has brought us such fabulous films as Trick and Wedding Wars as well as Tori Spelling’s So NoTORIous series.

AfterElton sat down with the director to talk about how you put the gay in a Lifetime movie, his thoughts on the state of gay films and (gasp!) he spilled the beans to us about picking up with Christian Campbell and JP Pitoc in a sequel to Trick.

AfterElton: Holiday films are so specific in a lot of ways but as a director do you approach them differently than you would another project?

Jim Fall: I think what I love about it is that it allows me to be even more sentimental in the story, and I don’t have to worry about it being too sentimental. I mean, it’s built in so you have a little more leeway to make it sweet without worrying about whether it’s going to be cool.

With Holiday Engagement last year (the Hallmark movie starring Bonnie Somerville and Shelley Long), I had to kind of infuse it more with Christmas, because it was about a family over Thanksgiving [and] going into Christmas, whereas Holly’s Holiday is really more of a rom-com that happens to be set around Christmas time.

There was never a big agenda to make Holly’s more Christmas-y but I made sure to use Christmas music, made sure that basically there was a Christmas tree in every shot, I mean in the background it’s in almost every shot. I guess I do approach it differently in the sense that I want to make sure there’s Christmas in the movie. I approach it as a story and make sure the story works.

AE: There wasn’t anything overtly gay in the movie but I think I’m always subconsciously looking for something especially knowing it’s a gay director. But there are a few moments in this film.

JF: Drew Droege (best known for his Chloe Sevigny films), I’m just a fan. I mean, Drew is just so frigging hilarious so when I read that scene I thought, ‘this has got to go to Drew.’ I love putting my friends in these movies. I guess it’s my little nod to gay subject matter. I mean, he’s not a gay character but it’s kind of obvious he’s playing a gay guy in this.

And in Holiday Engagement I put Sam Pancake as the Mexican waiter. Originally Sam was going to play the preacher in that movie, but then my producer thought we shouldn’t really have a gay preacher character in a Hallmark movie.

AE: Because I’ve been watching a lot of these holiday movies, I was trying to think if there has been a gay themed holiday movie?

JF: You’d think there could be one. I’d love to do one where maybe there's a major gay character.

AE: How do you see gay-themed films overall? Have they progressed or not progressed since Trick in 2000?

JF: Well, since Trick, I did The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which was my Disney film, and then I did another gay film that I’m proud of, Wedding Wars (starring John Stamos and Eric Dane) which was a gay marriage movie made in 2006. I’m really proud of that little gay film. If I was going to do another gay movie, that one made sense.

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AE: I remember liking that it was about the issue of gay marriage without beating the issue itself over the head. It wasn’t an issue movie.

JF: No. Well, that’s why I thought it was kind of subversive, because it really was an entertaining comedy. But the politics are clear in the movie and so I think a lot of people watched it as sheer entertainment but there’s an explicit political agenda going on. It was a very clever way, I think. Kind of a spoonful of sugar thing.

And you know what? I have to be honest, I haven’t loved a lot of gay movies and it gets a little frustrating. It’s become so easy to make a movie now, technically. Anybody can make a good looking movie practically on their iPhone now. And if you have Final Cut you can cut it together and before you know it you have a movie and that’s great. But I don’t think everyone should make a movie, just because they can.

AE: What else do you have in the works?

JF: We’re in the early stages of doing the sequel of Trick. Very early. I’ve always sort of been adamant about not wanting to do a sequel to that movie because there’s something very special about the film and I like the open-ended question at the end, ‘what happened to these boys?’ But I think now that so much time has passed, 12 years, to revisit what actually happens to them, 12 years later…where are they now? It’s actually really interesting because so much had changed. And both Jason Schafer, the writer, and I agree that it didn’t work out with those two. They’re not really right for each other.

AE: Which is what I think lends itself to the sweetness of the movie.

JF: It does, and I think in the sequel what we want to explore is the fact that the two boys are then going to meet 12 years later and have grown up and are now actually going to meet again, and this time really kind of fall in love because the [original] movie isn’t about falling in love. The movie’s about the first blush of meeting someone you’re attracted to. Trick 2 is going to be about how they’ve grown up and they meet again and fall in love as men.

Christian and JP are both still wildly attractive, if not more attractive now. Tori [Spelling, who played Katherine] has always said in every interview that she’d love to do a sequel. I want to bring everybody back that I can from the original [and] possibly set it on the West Coast and New York. So that would really be different. It has to be different. You can’t retell the story. Of course, Miss Coco wants to call it Trick 2, Coco’s Revenge. [laughs] That’s not going to happen.

Holly’s Holiday airs Saturday at 8pm on Lifetime. And you can catch Holiday Engagement also airing Saturday at 6pm on Hallmark. Check the networks’ websites for other airdates. For more on Jim Fall, visit his website.

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