For many generations of fans, Kurt Russell is the ultimate badass, playing a range of alpha male roles from Snake Plissken in Escape From New York to Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. Now, director Chris Columbus revealed during a chat with Yahoo Entertainment that Russell, who stars as Santa Claus in their new movie The Christmas Chronicles 2, wants the role of Saint Nick to be the last one he ever plays.
"[Kurt] said to me, 'I want to walk into the sunset, this being the last role I play. He wants to continue doing it. Deep down into his soul, he's committed to this role. That means eight weeks growing the beard with little additional flourishes, working with the script every night before he shoots with me. It's an intense commitment. And he takes it very seriously."
While fans might argue that Kurt Russell will forever be known as Snake or any other iconic role he has played, his role as Father Christmas is no less memorable. Especially since, as Columbus went on to reveal, Russell's approach to his latest role was to prepare for it with all the intensity of a seasoned method actor.
"When a guy plays Santa Claus, most of the time it's not taken seriously. When Kurt Russell plays Santa Claus, he writes 170 pages about the guy's backstory and mythology. That is an actor's commitment. He is committed to this role in a way that you would expect [Robert] De Niro to be committed to Jake LaMotta [in Raging Bull]. When you see that kind of passion in an actor, to play a role that some people don't take seriously, you realize I want to go there."
Netflix's The Christmas Chronicles 2 is a follow-up to 2018's surprise holidays hit The Christmas Chronicles. The first movie in the series saw a young brother and sister who had suffered a personal tragedy meet the real Santa Claus, played by Russell. In his own words, Columbus describes the movie as "basically a remake of my first film, Adventures in Babysitting, a night out on the town with Santa."
The sequel sees the little girl from the first movie, now a cynical teen, traveling to the North Pole to help Santa and his wife, played by Goldie Hawn, foil a plot by a bad elf to cancel Christmas forever. It's not exactly Citizen Kane-level storytelling, but the success of the original movie in the franchise has Netflix confident that The Christmas Chronicles 2 will also prove to be a big hit with audiences. If Russell's final role as an actor is one that spreads good cheer during such troubled times, that is definitely not a bad way to go.
Directed by Chris Columbus, based on a script by Columbus, Matt Lieberman, and Axel Gugenreedburg, The Christmas Chronicles 2 features a lead cast consisting of Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Judah Lewis, Darby Camp, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Julian Dennison, and Tyrese Gibson. This news originated at Yahoo.