Tyrese Gibson and Jazhir Bruno talk about playing father and son in the new Netflix holiday-themed family adventure, The Christmas Chronicles Part 2.
The eagerly anticipated holiday sequel, The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 features many returning cast members from the first movie, but also several newcomers, including Tyrese Gibson and Jazhir Bruno as a new parent/child team alongside returning champions Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Darby Camp.
The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 follows two children (Camp and Bruno) who embark on an adventure with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) while coping with conflicting feelings about their parents moving forward with a romantic relationship. It’s a sweet mix of family drama, visual splendor, delightful acting, and director Chris Columbus (Home Alone) is clearly in his element with this family-friendly cocktail of kind-hearted whimsy.
While promoting the release of The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2, Tyrese Gibson and Jazhir Bruno spoke to Screen Rant about their work on the film, from taking time to build their chemistry to their preference of snow or palm trees during the Christmas season. Jazhir also talks about shooting his big action sequence, in which he uses a magical Nerf-style bowgun to fight back against some corrupted (but still adorable) elves.
The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 is out now on Netflix.
I just saw your movie, and I loved it. Oh my God, such warm, jolly vibes. Cozy feelings. My kind of adventure. Jazhir, first things first. You get to kick a ton of butt in this movie.
Jazhir Bruno: (Laughs)
I know there’s a lot of computer stuff going on to make your enemies look real, but how do they make it feel real on set when your swinging that thing, you know?
Jazhir Bruno: You know, we would actually rehearse it before we would do it. There was stuff falling from the sky, there were bombs going off in the back, there was smoke… It was just crazy to comprehend. And when we actually shot it, it looked way cooler than I thought it was, because I was just originally hitting tennis balls.
When you’re playing father and son like this, is there anything in particular that you do to bond before you shoot scenes or during rehearsals? Something so that you can have a connection where people can watch you and go, “They’re related!”
Jazhir Bruno: Probably our handshake. Our little secret handshake that we made up.
Tyrese Gibson: Yeah, it was a secret handshake, and it was definitely all the time we spent before filming. One of the classic ways of breaking the ice is just to say, “Let’s do a table read,” and just go into the dialogue and go, “Would you actually say that?” And get some more information to tweak and make certain changes pertaining to dialogue and the script. The dialogue could skew the relationship in a good way or a bad way, or it could make it feel like these guys really do have a relationship because no one with no relationship would ever say these words. The director was very kind to let us tweak and change things and let us play with the handshake, as he mentioned. No one has a special handshake unless you have a relationship. So it was kind of (pantomimes a secret handshake), with the ear grab, you know? We had a lot of fun with that. I just think he’s a good kid and I’m not surprised at all about the calls that are coming in, the opportunities that are flooding in, and I’m just very happy that things are happening so fast for him so early.
Tyrese Gibson: How old are you now, Jazhir?
Jazhir Bruno: I am 11.
Ah, that was a good year for me. I bet it’s a little better for you!
Jazhir Bruno: (Laughs) I guess so!
Tyrese Gibson: Oh my God, 11. I didn’t get on until I was 16, man.
I never thought much about it, but… I’m East Coast, New York City. It’s always snowy, or at least very cold for Christmas. The movie has a lot of that contrast between the Cancun Christmas with the palm trees and the beach, with a snowy North Pole Christmas. What’s your ideal Christmas? Do you like the white Christmas, or do you like the palm tree Christmas?
Jazhir Bruno: I like the white Christmas.
You like the white Christmas?
Jazhir Bruno: Yes.
Snowball fights, sledding, that kind of thing?
Jazhir Bruno: There’s not much snow in Atlanta, so every Christmas, there would be just little tiny things of snow, but it would be way too cold to go out, so it’s, like, a bummer.
Tyrese, did you grow up with white Christmas or palm tree Christmas?
Tyrese Gibson: L.A., man. Palm trees, baby! Only in L.A. can you swim on Christmas day in the ocean and go sunbathing. But, you know, people don’t think about this… Only in L.A., unless you’re able to tell me otherwise, can you go to the snow, go to the desert, go to Disney Land, go to the ocean, a mountain hike, and do it all in one day. If you start your morning and say, “I want to go hit the slopes,” at, like, 6:00 A.M. in the morning, go to Big Bear. By the time you get down the hill, you are in the ocean, surfing, that day. Once you come down that hill, it’s back to the 90 degree weather again, it’s wild. I heard somebody say, who was a visitor… We’re from L.A. so we’re kind of used to it, and we don’t understand that we’ve got all these different seasons happening at one time in one place, so it’s pretty cool.
Tyrese Gibson: I just discovered that out near Santa Barbara, they have white sand dunes. Did you know that?
I’ve heard of those, but I’ve never been.
Tyrese Gibson: It’s wild.
Well, thank you so much. The movie is fantastic. You two are both darling in it. I see, Tyrese, that you have a Black & Blue poster behind you, that’s one of the greats. Thanks so much for that, also! And Jazhir, I know for a fact that you’ve got great things coming in your future. So I can’t wait to see what you do next, and I’m gonna be there to see it.
Next: Darby Camp and Kimberly Williams-Paisley Interview: The Christmas Chronicles Part 2
Key Release Dates
- The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)Release date: Nov 25, 2020
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