Interview with Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos

TV Interview!

Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos in Lifetime's "The Holiday Fixup"

Interview with Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos of “The Holiday Fixup” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/8/21

This is a fun movie, particularly if you like DIY projects, and the press panel for the movie was highly entertaining. These are some very attractive people, for one thing. Ryan was on “Passions” years ago, and he still looks great! Of course, it goes without saying that everyone’s acting is top of the line, too. I’ve enjoyed all of the Lifetime holiday movies this year. I hope you do, too.

MODERATOR:

Hi, everyone. Our next panel is “The Holiday Fixup.” Please welcome EP and stars, Jana Kramer, and Ryan McPartlin, and star Maria Menounos.

JANA KRAMER:

Hi. Hi, guys. Hi, Ryan. Hi, Maria.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Hi, guys.

JANA KRAMER:

Hi.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Hi. Can you guys hear me?

JANA KRAMER:

The team’s all back.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

I know.

MODERATOR:

Before we get into the questions, today we have a pre-submitted question. What was it like filming a holiday movie all together in the dead of summer in Connecticut?

JANA KRAMER:

(Laughs.).

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

(Laugh.) I love your laugh.

JANA KRAMER:

Exactly that. Exactly that.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It’s perfect. That’s it.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was hot. It was so fun though. I love these guys so much. Jana and Ryan are gems, and we just have the best time.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. I will say that, I feel like we got pretty lucky guys. Like it could have been —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

I mean, we had a few (hot) days, but the days that we were outside I felt like we were blessed with not like, you know (not too hot)– And I think there was only one day, I was like “I think I might pass out.” But, Ryan, it doesn’t matter if it was sunny or not, Ryan was going to always have a fan —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Oh, yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

Whether it was sunny, not sunny. I mean, that man sweats so much, like, thank God it wasn’t hotter —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It didn’t help that I was taking a supplement that I found out afterwards —

JANA KRAMER:

Yep.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

— causes excessive sweating.

JANA KRAMER:

Uh huh.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And then we’re in sweaters in the dead of summer, and I’ve done this multiple times, as Jana has as well, — so I’m always preparing the crew and production saying, hey, we need some ice packs. We need fans standing by. I need dryers to dry the hair. I didn’t want to hold up production…and somehow it’s always like the afterthought, right? And then when the sweat starts coming and you’re holding up production everybody’s like send as many people to the store as possible. We need to get fans. We need dryers. We need everything.

JANA KRAMER:

I needed Gatorade. That was my ask. I was like I need a Gatorade. I’m feeling lightheaded…but it was so fun —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I was a little upset that when I was pouring sweat, I’d look at you guys and you’re like, no, not a drop.

JANA KRAMER:

We glisten. Ryan sweats. Maria and I didn’t —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. That’s right. That’s right.

MODERATOR:

Suzanne. Please let us know your question.

QUESTION:

Oh, hi, guys. I enjoyed the movie. I’m not really into DIY, but what about you? Ryan, do you do DIY in real life? (Laughter.)

JANA KRAMER:

Wait, can I answer that, please?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Go ahead. Go ahead.

JANA KRAMER:

Because the first time that I ever met Ryan — Suzanne, thank you for watching the movie — but the first time that Ryan and I actually Facetime’d he was trying to hang blinds, I think it was, and doing a terrible job. So, Ryan,  —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And that was the last time I’ve done anything around the house. Well, no, no, no…I had to fix a doorknob last night. I went to Home Depot and then Loew’s – had three different people explain to me how to do it, and I was like, I’m just going to hire somebody. It’s not my jam.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Okay. Well, and the snowball fight was the most fun of all the movie, I thought. Was that as fun for you to shoot as it was for us to watch?

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was super fun, and that was the hottest day, too, you guys. That was the only day that was excruciating —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It was the hottest day.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. That was the hottest day, and then I feel like, Maria, you and I became a little competitive. Like we were legit pushing each other at the start of doing that. We’re like “it’s going down” —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

That was Brian Herzlinger, our director – he wanted to have his “Saving Private Ryan” moment where he was going to get all this camera action and get the really artistic movement as — Well, you see it in the trailer as Maria and Jana are just unloading on each other and getting very competitive with each other.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was so fun

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Oh, thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

It was kind of funny, too, Brian wanted a “Saving Private Ryan” moment. Like you do know this is a Christmas movie, right? But it was so much fun —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, and actually these guys championed my husband having a cameo in the movie, and that was the scene he made the snow. He’s Nick the Snowman.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Nick the Snowman.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Um hm.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Oh. Great. Thank you so much.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

Thank you. That’s awesome. Damina, your question next?

JANA KRAMER:

Oh, you’re muted, sweetie. Can we unmute her?

MODERATOR:

We can come back. We’ll come back – – Oh, there you are. Damina? Okay, we’ll come back. Steven, you’re up next. Steven.

JANA KRAMER:

How’s the photo, Ryan? Do you need your ID?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I got you. I got you. You always get me every time and I never know it until later.

QUESTION:

Did you guys call me?

MODERATOR:

Yes.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah, it’s your turn, buddy.

QUESTION:

Thank you. Here we go. All right. So, yes, talk to us about this amazing film. Ryan, I see that you’re doing your thing. You’ve still out here ever since the “Passions” days.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you for that.

QUESTION:

Oh, yeah. You look amazing. All of you look great.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thank you.

QUESTION:

Happy holidays.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. Happy Holidays to you. Go ahead, Jana.

QUESTION:

So, talk to us about the film, and how is it? Is it challenging coming up with the chemistry between cast members? How long does that normally take?

JANA KRAMER:

Ryan, you kick it off.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Well, we got to Zoom…Jana and I, fortunately, had all these Zoom’ing sessions with our writer who is amazing, Jessica Etting. And so there was a couple times that Jana and I were on the same page — but not some of the other voices, because there’s a whole lot of voices — and you just look at the camera in one of these Zoom meetings and you’d kind of look at each other and try and stifle a little of laughter…it was like being in class and just locking eyes with somebody who was in on the joke. And so Jana and I felt like we were in on the same joke that everybody wasn’t in on, and that kind of kicked off our friendship.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. No, we had…I mean, pretty much instant chemistry. The same with Maria and I. Every time I’ve been with Maria, we had that and I’m like, oh, that’s going to be easy to play best friends with her, because every time I see her I feel like she’s such a close friend. And then with Ryan it’s like we had that kind of, you know — that brotherly/sister, fun banter, fun – it’s that good energy. So that part was really easy, to have the chemistry. And then we were all teammates together. We all helped each other out, and when I got super tired, Ryan was there to pump me up.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

There was no pumping you up when were that tired. When you’re that tired nobody can do anything about it. But I will say, back to the chemistry with Maria, too — Maria and I started talking about trying to do something in the Christmas space together at least two years ago, right? Sometime around two years ago…

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And when I saw her at a Christmas party, I was like, oh, my God, I got to talk to Maria about being in this space…and Maria and I have known each other for years. I threw a touchdown pass, or was it you to me? No, it was me to you, right?

MARIA MENOUNOS:

You to me, yeah. (I throw it back @ 00:28:34) —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. It was, yeah, we have the footage. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

I’m such a giver.

Ryan McPartlin and Jana Kramer in "The Holiday Fixup" on Lifetime 11/8RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. Well, you did throw an extra point then. You were playing quarterback and played like — did a two-point conversion. It was amazing. I got the footage.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, you’re right.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yep. But, no, Maria — when I saw her at this party that we were at, I was like, Maria, you have to be in this Christmas space and then…you go, Maria, I don’t want to monopolize this conversation.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Not at all. Yeah, I’ve said this, I think it was just super cool. Ryan saw a little doc that I did on my experience with my parents getting COVID at the same time, and I did this little like 19-minute piece, and he saw it and sent me this beautiful email about how much it moved him, and how he was going to really kind of cherish those moments with his family even more, and it was just a beautiful letter…and one thing led to another and all of a sudden, I was getting on a plane to Connecticut to make this movie with them. And it was very much needed for me at the time. I just lost my mom, and I got to go back to Connecticut, and stay in my bed, and be with my dad, and get to have fun with these guys every day. And I do think that it’s super rare to have just such instant chemistry with everybody, and we all just clicked so fast and so easily. I was doing Jana’s makeup at one point. Jana’s fanning Ryan. Like everybody was helping each other, and it was really special. So, I told them, I’m like, I just want to be able to do this every summer with you guys, because I love them so much, and we have just such a great team all around.

MODERATOR:

That’s really beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much. And, Jana, wow. Ryan really coming for you about being tired on set. We have your back.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

And, Jamie, the next question is from you. Jamie Ruby, sorry. We have another Jamie.

QUESTION:

I was going to say which Jamie.

MODERATOR:

Sorry, Jamie Ruby.

QUESTION:

It’s okay. And, Maria, I think you sort of just answered this partially but maybe you can add more to it, but for all of you, what was it originally though that made you want to do this film?

JANA KRAMER:

I’ll start — because I had had a meeting about a different movie a few days prior to talking to Ryan and the producers of this film, and it was something about… Well, one of the reasons I really wanted to do it, because I’ve always wanted to work with Ryan and it was cool because there wasn’t a script, so I was able to kind of put my two cents into it. This is Ryan’s idea that he’s had for a long time, so it was cool to be able to actually collaborate and help bring the story to life as opposed to showing up on the page. Because usually we just get the script and we read it, we like it, or we don’t. But to be able to kind of have a say was really cool and one of the main draws of doing this film. I was like, okay, cool, I can actually have a little bit of a say in it, and Ryan was open to all of that. So that was neat.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

She had a lot of say in it, not just a little bit of say, because when — It’s not that you’re that over opinionated, Jana –It’s like I really respected her opinions and she had very good input, ideas, story points. She’s done this, you know, she’s done as many of these as probably I have, I’d say. And you don’t want the redundancy of doing the same story over-and-over-again. So, you look for ways to say how can it be different? How is it different than the other stuff out there, and that’s what I’m really proud of — especially how we would talk out some of these things, if it was a real relationship and a real life and we were playing real exes. And the way that I saw the story ending is not necessarily the way that Jana saw it from her perspective. So, when our writer, Jessica Koosed Etting, heard her response if I said one thing and then Jana said, well, I would say this — it just turned everything. So, you got to kind of play like you would in, you know, onstage in a theater, in a class together. And you go, oh, that’s interesting…if that’s how you would really react let’s work that into the story and still tie it up nicely to deliver to the audience what they expect, but in a different way than that expect it.

JANA KRAMER:

Sure, yep.

MODERATOR:

Our next question is from Jamie Steinberg.

QUESTION:

Hi, thank you guys so much for your time. Jana and Ryan if you could talk about how you stepped in as executive producers. Was this something of a passion project that came across your desk, or did they offer you a role of EP after you singed on to the film?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

No, this was something where if you are involved creatively as an actor, from the get-go, like we both were you know — this started with Jessica Koosed Etting and I flushing out a different story, but then we adapted it towards Christmas a little bit, and then quite honestly the whole thing changed when Jana came onboard. We just started talking about the movies we loved. Jana, if you want to talk about that and some of the romantic comedies, some of the Christmas movies we loved…and we started saying, okay, what are those themes that we want to play with.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah, and that’s something, too, because Ryan and I have done so many of these Christmas movies it was something that I had a conversation with Lifetime about and was like, I really want to be able to bring my ideas to the table. So, I would like to moving forward be able to executive produce, just so that way I, you know — because making Christmas movies are so much fun. They’re easy. They’re light. They’re fun — but I also want to bring a little bit of complications to things, or a little bit of my own touch to things and to have that voice, and that way. I don’t know, Ryan, if it felt the same way for you, but I felt really, really, really, proud of this one, because I felt like I had so much more to…I offered so much more in this film than I have in the other ones. And, yeah, I loved all the other ones, but this one…I was like, man, this is — It’s the first thing I’ve ever executive produced! So that was kind of cool to just be like — I was proud of myself and I was proud of you. It was fun.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. And I feel like, you know, Maria, hopefully, you felt your voice was the heard the same as, any producer or actor would be — come on in if they had ideas and wanted to play. It was nice because it was like a safe artists’ space, you know. That’s what we wanted to create.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

A hundred percent. I will say they were amazing executive producers. Not only did they feed the crew, got coffee trucks — they did all the things that really great producers do to keep everybody happy, keep everybody going. They always say it starts at the top and literally it was a perfect experience all the way through for everybody. We all loved it. We all had the best time. Everybody was excited, and everybody was onboard with making the best movie we could while having fun. So that is why I’m committed to how do we do this every summer together? How do we add in some time where we always can make a movie together, keep the same crew, keep the same thing…

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. I’d love that. And we also got to give credit to Stephanie and Margaret, our other executive producers —

JANA KRAMER:

Absolutely.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

— they really gave us that freedom to jump in and produce alongside them. They did a lot of the hard, dirty work, I’d say, as producers dealing with the budgets and the overtime and the schedules and all that stuff since we really want to stay in the creative space, and that’s what we were able to do, thank God.

JANA KRAMER:

Although, I think that part’s fun, but I’ll do that later.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah.

MODERATOR:

Thank you. Our next question is from Jay Bobbin.

QUESTION:

Hello, everyone. Maria, have you ever interviewed Jana? Is that where this friendship started, and if that is where it started, how do you remember the interview going?

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Well, I will say that I have zero memory. This is where I throw my brain tumor card down. I can’t remember anything. My husband’s my USB drive…but, yes, I know I’ve interviewed Jana — but we were also friendly just in the business and with Ryan the same thing. So, I can’t say I remember the first moment I laid eyes on this beautiful woman.

JANA KRAMER:

I remember you helped me out with “Dancing with the Stars” because I remember you were there at “Dancing with the Stars” and Val was your partner, right? He was like you —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah. No, Val, he was like the fake doctor on the set.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. He’s like you need to talk to Maria, because she also hurt her ribs or something like that. So, I just remember you being so nice and just so willing to… I mean, we talked for a while and then it just, again, it just felt like — man, we’re talking like we’re real friends. It was such a friendly conversation —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

I just remember hanging up on that and being like, wow, she’s special, a special person.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thanks. Thanks, friend. Yeah, I never remember how I meet anybody, to be honest, because I am just I’m so excited to see everybody and meet people when I meet them that it just floats away.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Except for when someone throws you a touchdown pass.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yes. But you just had to remind me that I threw you a two-point conversion. I don’t remember —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. That’s right.

QUESTION:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

Thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

Thanks, (Jay @ 00:38:09).

MODERATOR:

We have time for one last question. Samantha.

QUESTION:

Hi. Jana, I’m really curious about with the social media aspect of this role, I loved how you all really leaned into the positive aspects of it just with the world complaining so much about the problems, and I’m just curious about the intention behind making that such a large part of your character’s job in the film.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. It was fun. I mean, especially because I’m like “I don’t know how to do this.” Meanwhile, my whole entire life is social media, so that was kind of fun to do that. But also, I think what I learned…actually, yes, we showed how it can bring people together. But, for me, personally, what I took away from the movie the most is actually about putting the phone down. It’s what we always talked about, the one character, Rita’s character — where it’s back in the day when we didn’t have the cell phones and we were able to just disconnect and be in a room together and not be glued to Instagram or the phone. And that’s what I took away from it the most – it is just having that distraction away to really just be present with the people in front of me. So that’s something that I would like to lean more into.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I think that social media caught us all by storm, you know, and there were no rules. There was no teaching moment. We didn’t come up in school with teachers saying you should compartmentalize this. And then the job of these apps and the social media companies is to see how many hours they can get out of your day spent on these apps. So, there is a lot of benefit to it and there’s a lot of, you know, businesses that thrive from it. Our small business that we have came about because of social media and there’s a lot of charities that do very well — but it is a danger, and it’s going to be. It’s interesting that the back-and-forth that our characters had about compartmentalizing and what to use it for, and how to use it, and I think that’s a real conversation that should be had in every household right now.

JANA KRAMER:

Um hm.

MODERATOR:

Thank you so much. Thank you to the cast and Eps of “The Holiday Fixup.” Please make sure to tune in on December 11.

JANA KRAMER:

Thanks, guys. Appreciate it. Thank you very much —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

Thank you very much.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Bye.

JANA KRAMER:

Do we hang up now? Okay. Bye, guys.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Bye, guys.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Okay, bye.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

We’ll talk to you all later.

JANA KRAMER:

Okay.

MORE INFO:

Preview

Lifetime Reveals Full Holiday Movie Slate for Annual IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFETIME Programming Event Beginning November 12th, Including 30 New Premieres In 30 Days Kicking Off After Thanksgiving to Count Down to Christmas

Lifetime Reveals Full Holiday Movie Slate for Annual

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFETIME

Programming Event Beginning November 12th, 

Including 30 New Premieres In 30 Days

Kicking Off After Thanksgiving to Count Down to Christmas

Talent Around the Tree This Year Includes

Kelly Rowland, Reba McEntire, Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, Tia Mowry, Smokey Robinson, Jana Kramer, Marie Osmond, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Tatyana Ali, Roselyn Sánchez, Jacky Lai, Mýa, Ryan McPartlin, Thomas Cadrot, Bresha Webb, Candice King, Emeraude Tobia, Aimee Garcia, Haylie Duff, Ricki Lake, Kirk Franklin, John Schneider, Maria Menounos, Chad Michael Murray, AnnaLynne McCord, and Many Others

Los Angeles, CA – September 28, 2021 – Get ready for the most cheerful holiday season yet! Lifetime announces its largest holiday movie slate ever for the network’s annual It’s a Wonderful Lifetime programming event, kicking off November 12th with five new movies Fridays and Saturdays, and a premiere on Sunday, November 21st.  Then, once the Thanksgiving feast is over and for the first time ever, Lifetime will premiere 30 new movies, in 30 days, with a new movie EVERY DAY from November 26 through December 25. As the #1 holiday movie destination, Lifetime’s 2021 It’s a Wonderful Lifetime slate will feature 35 new movies and over 1000 hours of holiday programming.

In case that’s not enough excitement for you – get ready for It’s a Wonderful Lifetime Holiday Movie Preview hosted by Tia Mowry (star of this year’s Miracle in Motor City)! This special will preview Lifetime’s upcoming 2021 Christmas Movies and will be available on VOD beginning October 24 and will premiere on Lifetime November 7 at 10am ET/PT. In addition to sneak peeks and cast interviews, Tia will share a special holiday treat or cocktail recipe to go with each movie previewed!

At Lifetime it’s never too early to get in the spirit! Beginning October 15, Lifetime VOD will have 10 of your favorite holiday titles available to screen. And if you just can’t get enough – starting November 12, LMC will have 50 of Lifetime’s best holiday movies available to stream!

The Holiday Fix Up

Starring Jana Kramer, Ryan McPartlin & Maria Menounos

12/11 at 8pm / 7c

When Sam (Jana Kramer), the designer behind a popular home renovation show, returns to her hometown during the holidays to help renovate the Bell Harbor Inn, she gets paired with Coop (Ryan McPartlin) as her lead contractor. The only problem – he’s the guy who broke her heart and she’s the one who got away.  Sparks fly as they work closely to get the renovations done in time for the inn’s annual Christmas Eve Harborfest. Will they be able to fix the mistakes of their past to build a future together? Maria Menounos also stars.

The Holiday Fix Up is produced by Off Camera Entertainment with Stephanie Slack, Margret H. Huddleston, Jana Kramer and Ryan McPartlin as Executive Producers. Written by Jessica Koosed Etting and directed by Brian Herzlinger.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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