Discovery+ is serving up a family Christmas classic this weekend with Candy Coated Christmas, the streaming network's first original holiday film that stars The Bold and the Beautiful's John McCook (Eric Forrester) alongside his real-life daughter, Last Man Standing actress Molly McCook. Or, as John humbly tells Soap Central, "Molly is starring in it -- I just have a small part in a bunch of phone calls and a scene at the end!"
No matter who takes the top bill, the sweet film is the stuff of Christmas movie dreams. There's snow, there's holiday decor, there's comedy, there's romance, and there are even some scenes that feature Food Network star Ree Drummond. But before we get into all the delicious details, here's the premise of the holly and jolly film that begins streaming on Friday, November 19: Molly Gallant, a Los Angeles-based marketing executive, heads to Peppermint Hollow -- a.k.a. The Peppermint Capital of the World -- in an attempt to find start-up money for a new business venture. But she might walk away with love and a new understanding of the holiday spirit, instead.
Molly tells Soap Central that the producers approached her with the project because they were familiar with her work on Last Man Standing, and she was able to bring certain aspects of her sitcom character to Candy Coated Christmas.
"It's a very romantic comedy sort of script, and there are some silly moments," she says of the comedic elements of the film. "Putting my character into the world of this small town is already funny on paper, because it's not what she's used to -- she's used to living in Los Angeles and having things handed to her and living a very materialistic life, so, already, it gives you a funny plot. And then having Noah Winters, Aaron O'Connell's character, meet Molly on camera is also funny, because they're just a very unexpected couple, so it's interesting to see those kinds of layers unfold."
Of course, one of the best parts of working on the film was getting to work with her real-life dad, and believe it or not, B&B fans have Molly to thank for John's participation because she was the one who suggested that the film's producers look into casting John as her character's father!
"We couldn't believe it when it happened, honestly," she shares. "Not only for us to work together, but also because my dad has been on The Bold and the Beautiful for as long as I've been alive... and there was something really sweet about seeing him work on another project. And then to have me be there for that was really incredible, because I got to support him and have his back, and he got to see me do my thing, and now we have footage of playing father and daughter. Who could ask for anything more?"
John is equally thrilled about sharing the screen with his daughter. "It was great that they cast me in it and that we got to do it together.... We were giddy about it, and it was so much fun and so easy and relaxed, so I'm very glad and grateful that we got to do this."
However, as Molly teases, don't expect to see many real-life elements of the McCook father/daughter relationship on-screen, because fictional Molly and fictional Fred are way different from real-life Molly and John.
"I think my dad and I are a lot sillier!" Molly shares. "We laugh a lot more, our family is very warm and fuzzy and filled with hugs and tears. We're just a very emotional, warm group of people. Not to say that these characters don't show that eventually, but they have a lot of conversations about finances and things, and that is sort of their universe and all they've known, so, there wasn't a lot of McCook in there. A little bit, of course, because we're playing those characters, so, there's definitely some hidden McCook treats in there, but they are pretty different from us."
Also different: despite the fact that Candy Coated Christmas takes place in the Peppermint Capital of the World and features special guest appearances by famous chef Ree Drummond, the film unfortunately does not include the McCook family's favorite holiday recipe: John's super famous mashed potatoes.
"He makes the best, oh God, so good," Molly enthuses. "To be honest, nothing compares. I will go to restaurants or to other families' houses, and I'm just like, 'This won't do!'"
So, what's the secret? According to John: "There is no secret -- the whole thing is you just use all the butter you can get your hands on!" he says with a laugh, adding that while he didn't get the chance to meet Drummond during filming, he's pretty sure she would approve of his recipe. "She likes anything that has a lot of butter in it, so she's my friend, whether I've met her or not!"
Speaking of food and the peppermint capital that's featured in Candy Coated Christmas, Soap Central asked both Molly and John what their dream candy capital would be. And right on cue, they both immediately answered chocolate!
"Chocolate is my ideal!" John enthuses. "Actually, chocolate peppermint patties! That comes together. Chocolate peppermint patties are my favorite thing. But I like nuts, too. I like chocolate with a lot of nuts in it and a sort of nougat center. I'm starting to drool!"
Adds Molly, "Chocolate forever is my number one. I know that that it is a wide stretch, but that's why I'm saying it -- chocolate everything. Chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate with caramel, chocolate with any sort of nut, I'm a chocolate fiend. That's why I love Willy Wonka, because you just watch these kids live out candy dreams, and I'm like, 'Yeah, I would jump into a river of chocolate!' Honestly. It's the best. I love baking with it, I love eating it, and honestly, even if I'm trying to eat really well, if there's chocolate in front of me, whew, I can't resist! So, that would definitely be the choice for me."
So, we know that Molly takes after her father when it comes to his choice of holiday treats, but what about when it comes to his choice of starring on a soap opera? Molly has appeared on B&B, but would she ever consider taking on a soap role full time?
"I used to consider it a lot when I was a kid, because I watched my dad do it, and I thought, 'That's the life,'" she shares. "He truly lives an actor's dream, the fact that he's been able to have a secure actor's job for this many years, playing the same character and exploring that. He hit the jackpot. But I don't know -- I don't think so. I think I'll leave that to my dad. There's only room for one family member to really be seriously killing that game, and he's truly a soap opera icon. I can't beat him at that! I'll let him take the reins on that one."
That being said, Molly admits that she occasionally tunes in to B&B to watch her dad's work, and while he always knocks it out of the park, she has one favorite Eric Forrester moment.
"He had this scene a couple of years ago that I know he worked really hard at. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for it, and it was a beautiful father and son scene with Thorsten Kaye [Ridge Forrester] that he was so proud of," she recalls. "It was a special moment where Eric kisses Ridge on the forehead, and they're in this awful family fight, and Eric tells Ridge basically, 'You're not my son anymore,' because he did something so hurtful. It was just the most heart-wrenching scene, and I was so proud of him. I couldn't believe that he didn't win the Emmy, and to be quite honest, I can't believe he hasn't won one yet, because his work has been so amazing over the years!"
Molly also loves the B&B Christmas episodes. "He always sits down and plays the piano, which is a John McCook theme in our house," she shares before joking, "I don't watch every episode of the show, though -- there's too many to count! And also, I don't want to watch him kiss all these women!"
Speaking of B&B Christmas episodes, John shares that this year will be a real treat for viewers.
"We just shot our Christmas Eve episode earlier this week at the Forrester house with a lot of people, and Eric plays the piano, and people sing, and the little kids are running around, and that set always looks so beautiful," he enthuses. "For the last couple of years, we haven't been using real flowers as much as we always did. I was always proud of our show for putting real flowers on every set, even on non-holidays, but this year, we went back to it, and the house was full of beautiful, real flowers everywhere, mostly red, and it just blew me away, how our set decorators decorated it. We even have a little toy carousel that goes around, and it lights up."
That's the magic of a B&B Christmas -- and it's also part of the magic of holiday films like Candy Coated Christmas. As John points out, it's all about feeling good and embracing the holiday spirit.
"People love to see a movie full of Christmas trees and decorations and all the accoutrement that goes along with Christmas, and they love the sweetness of these movies -- they're always very sweet and romantic," he says. "There's a little bit of a challenge in the middle of it, but it always turns out fine when the turkey comes out of the oven, and everything is okay."
And, as he points out, it's especially fun when you see people you know in the films -- like him, for instance!
"Sitting down and watching a Christmas movie, even with people you don't know, is nice, and when it's with people that you do know, actors and actresses that you've seen in other things, and you see them doing a Christmas movie, it's really nice. It's very sweet. It's like singers over the years, when they sell a lot of records, along the way, they make a Christmas album! And it's really fun for people to hear their rock-n-roll stars or their pop singers do Christmas songs. That is the fun stuff, seeing somebody that you watch -- on a soap, for instance -- doing familiar sort of Christmas material. It's nice."
The only thing nicer, as Soap Central points out, is the possibility of Candy Coated Christmas becoming so loved that it becomes a part of fans' annual holiday traditions.
"Oh, my gosh, I am smiling so big right now! That is a really sweet thought," Molly shares. "I hope people love it. I really think they will, and if it becomes part of their tradition that it's on in the background at dinner or in the morning at Christmas, that would be wonderful. I'm so excited that it's coming out on November 19 because it gives people room to fall in love with it and watch it as many times as they want!"
Check out the teaser trailer for Candy Coated Christmas below, and don't forget to let us know your thoughts in our Comments section at the end of the article! For information on how to subscribe to Discovery+, please visit discoveryplus.com.
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