For her first series regular role, Rupali Redd plays Grace in Series 1 of The Santa Clauses, which was released on Disney+ last year, filming alongside a cast including Tim Allen as Scott Calvin/Santa Claus and Kal Penn as Grace’s father Simon Choksi/Santa Claus. The series is a sequel to The Santa Clause film franchise starring Tim Allen, and Rupali attended the The Santa Clauses’ premiere event in November last year and was a guest at D23 Expo. In 2021, at the start of her acting career, Rupali played Strawberry in the Bear Girl episode of Bite Size Halloween, and she has previously worked on commercials such as for Etsy, which she filmed with her brother August Redd. Rupali chatted to us about filming for The Santa Clauses, having Grace as her first series regular role and working on commercials.
You play the series regular role of Grace in the new Disney+ series The Santa Clauses, can you tell us about your character and what she is like to play?
First of all – thank you for interviewing me! It has been a very exciting year. OK, to your question: my character Grace is very supportive of her dad (Kal Penn) and bubbly and kind. Like me, Grace likes to play the harp and loves art, Santa, and MAGIC.
How did you prepare for filming and what is it like having Grace as your first series regular character?
It was one of my very first auditions and I really wanted the role. I worked with a lot with my dad, Rupak Ginn, who is an actor, and my audition coach Shelli Boone, to really understand the character of Grace, and what motivated her.
How much did you know about the original The Santa Clause films before auditioning?
I didn’t know much! We hadn’t watched any of the movies yet. But, I have always very much loved Santa and my house was filled with Christmas decorations, even though it was spring, because my mom had just written a book called The Real Santa.
Do you remember how you felt booking your role in the new series?
I was so surprised when I booked the role – I was about to go to bed when my dad called me and he was on a call with my manager Annet (Artistic Endeavors) and my agent (Sloane Fitzgerald at A3) and they had me come to the phone to tell me the great news. My second grade teacher had told me she had cast a magic spell for me to book the role so that evening I sent her a video message telling her that her magic spell had worked!
What was it like on set of the show and working with the rest of the cast, which includes Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd and David Krumholtz reprising their roles from the films and Kal Penn as your on-screen father?
It was amazing working with Tim – he was always so funny and he did a great job acting. Kal Penn was a great on-screen dad. Elizabeth Allen-Dick (Tim’s daughter both on and off-screen) gave me piggyback rides on set.
Is there anything you enjoyed most about filming for a Christmas series and being part of a new Disney show?
I will never forget seeing the behind the scenes stuff, or “movie MAGIC” as some people call it.
How has it been seeing the fan response to the release and why would you recommend watching The Santa Clauses on Disney+?
I have felt so lucky to see how excited fans were for the release, and to hear from people who loved Grace, and to be a part of this iconic series. I would recommend watching The Santa Clauses for all ages and you don’t have to watch it at Christmas – you can watch it at any time of the year. It is a great show. 😃
What was it like seeing the completed episodes for the first time and how was it attending the premiere event in November last year?
It was AWESOME to see all the scenes put together. At the premiere it felt great to see all the cast again – and have a big party after!
How did you find the experience of being a guest at the D23 Expo alongside your fellow cast members?
I was a little nervous, but it was cool to be on such a big stage for the first time. I was only eight years old and everyone had such nice things to say about me. This made me feel really good.
Can you tell us about playing Strawberry in the Bear Girl episode of Bite Size Halloween for Hulu in 2021?
That was my very first acting job! I thought it was a cute costume and it was a funny ad.
We understand you have worked on commercials, can you tell us about some of them and what are they like to be a part of?
I think one of my favourites was the Etsy ad I filmed with my big brother August Redd, where I was running through a forest and jumped out of the forest to bounce on a handmade bed. They made a whole forest inside a warehouse! The entire forest was fake!
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?
My dad is an actor and my mom is a host and they encouraged me. I told them I wanted to pursue acting to overcome shyness. I think it is working! My friends Peyton Perrine and Randy Perrine are also great actors and they inspired me to be a great actor too.
What are some of your favourite TV shows and films to watch?
I love to watch The Simpsons and That Girl Lay Lay, which my friend Peyton is on.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
I have an art station in my backyard and I like to do pottery and art. I have a slime OBSESSION so I also make slime at my art table.
What are you hoping 2023 brings for your career?
I recently have been working on my voiceover technique and I hope to book more voiceover in the future because I liked doing ADR for The Santa Clauses!
Thanks for interviewing me. Rupali Redd
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