INTERVIEW: Nicky Whelan on Lifetime’s ‘Dear Christmas,’ Upcoming Projects, and What Role Will Always Be Special to Her

Photographer: Robert Lynden | Styled by: Joanne Black | Makeup: Sarah Sullivan | Hair: Janine Jarman

You won’t want to miss Nicky Whelan in her new Lifetime film that is guaranteed to get viewers into the joyful holiday spirit.

Nicky Whelan’s holiday film, Dear Christmas, premiered on November 27 on Lifetime. Recently, the actress was in the comedy film The Binge, currently streaming on Hulu. Nicky also stars in the indie film Last Night in Rozzie, which hit film festivals this year.

In 2019, Whelan starred as Madison in the action thriller Trauma Center. Some of her other film credits include Hall Pass, The Wedding Ringer, Inconceivable, and Knight of Cups. She is currently serving as the celebrity ambassador for Memories, a digital platform that enables users to share stories with their “inner circle.”

Read our exclusive interview with Nicky Whelan below to find out more about her new Lifetime film, how she prepares for a new role, what made her want to become an actress, upcoming projects, and being an ambassador for Memories.

GLITTER: Tell us about your new film Dear Christmas.
NICKY: I loved being a part of Dear Christmas. I’m a huge Melissa Joan Hart fan! I got to play her sister, and we had a ball! I’ve missed playing roles like this – light and funny with warm endings.

GLITTER: What was it like doing a holiday film? Did it get you ready for the holidays early?
NICKY: Dear Christmas is mainly set in a house, and the home was decorated beautifully for Christmas! It really got me in the mood for the holidays. With such a heavy year with COVID, etc., this was the perfect movie to go back to work with. The cast and crew are so warm, and the storyline is beautiful.

GLITTER: You were recently in The Binge. Do you have any funny stories you can share from filming? Did you have to do anything, in particular, to really embody your character?
NICKY: I love working for Jeremy Garelick. I did the wedding ringer with him. He’s all about throwing ideas around on set. On one take, he asked me to sing “Down Under” by Men at Work – there was a large crowd at the nightclub scene. I bolder accepted the challenge but realized I had NO idea what the correct lyrics were. Later I was corrected by an American. I wasn’t a good Aussie this day, lol.

GLITTER: Do you think the social media age has hindered or helped you in this profession?
NICKY: I think it’s allowed great talent to be seen and heard across many industries – but it bothers me when people are hired as actors for the number of followers rather than talent.

GLITTER: Last Night in Rozzie is hit film festivals this year, is there anything you can tease or share about it?
NICKY: It’s a beautiful script that came to me last year through one of the producers I worked with on Hall Pass with Kris Myers! I’m a huge fan of Kris and all the projects he’s involved with. It was kind of a no brainer- a great actors piece and an awesome opportunity to work with Neil Brown. I also love the passion our writer Ryan McDoungh had.

GLITTER: How will it be different to promote the film since most film festivals have gone virtual?
NICKY: It’s weird, to be honest. Everything is done online, even interviews for talk shows. The intimacy has gone, and it’s really challenging to connect with people. We’re going to have to get more creative. People’s energy is what creates true connection. Connecting through zoom, etc., may be convenient but takes away a huge part of the magic!

GLITTER: You’re an ambassador for Memories. Can you explain what it is and what made you want to be an ambassador?
NICKY: I’m obsessed with this app. It’s basically an everlasting place to safely store every single photo you’ve ever taken. You know I live in California and all the with all the horrible fires right now. You ask people what’s the one thing they would take with them when fleeing from their homes – they all say photo albums. Finally, this app has been created where you download every single photo you’ve ever taken, and it will literally stay in this private app forever and ever for generations to come. The benefits of this are endless besides worrying about your photos rotting away and lugging them from house to house. The access of being able to show people all over the world privately or openly is just one of its benefits. Unlike social media platforms, this is legitimately an app every person on the planet can use and safely store memories! I believe photos hold such importance, especially after we’re gone – it is really old, one of the only things we can leave behind to tell a story. It’s really easy to use, and I’m really excited to be a part of it!

GLITTER: You also starred in Trauma Center with Bruce Willis. What was filming that like?
NICKY: I had a blast shooting this movie. We shot it down in Puerto Rico, which was very lovely. But we were on night shoots, so I only got about two hours of sunlight a day. Bruce was fabulous – I mean, he’s such a legend, and I’m a huge fan. It was pretty wild having Tito and Texas chasing after me through a hospital in a pair of socks the entire time, but they were so much fun to work with.

GLITTER: Is there a particular movie genre that you enjoy doing the most and why?
NICKY: I love comedy. When I first moved to the USA, I was doing a lot of funny TV shows and movies. Somehow I’ve steered into a lot of thrillers. I think I’d like to come back now. LOL, I just feel like it’s really my personality deep down!

GLITTER: How do you celebrate when one of your films premiere?
NICKY: Depending on the size of the movie and where it’s going, if there’s a red carpet, I will tend to fly friends out and make it quite an ordeal, and we will have a blast – A lot of things now go straight to Netflix and outlets like this. Sometimes I will just see one of my shows or movies pop up on TV, and I will of had no idea it was there – I’m like, “Oh, there it is” lol.

GLITTER: Do you have a specific way you prepare for a new role?
NICKY: It really depends on the role. I like to have a solid 2 to 3 weeks breaking down the script before I head out to work. Sometimes that’s not the case, and I book things last minute. That’s OK too. I work well under pressure.

GLITTER: How do you memorize a challenging script?
NICKY: I don’t know other people’s techniques, but I sit there, and I read over and over and over again every single day leading up to the movie. It’s easier when you’re on a TV show, and you understand your character, and you’re going in every week; the dialogue seems to become built into your brain. But for movies, it’s different for me.

GLITTER: What made you want to be an actress?
NICKY: Since I was four years old, I was always dancing and performing for my family and friends. I guess it was just built into my DNA. It really has been something I’ve enjoyed and loved doing my whole life. So I never really thought about a career. This is just what I’ve always done.

GLITTER: Is there one role that will always be special to you and why?
NICKY: HALL PASS probably my first biggest movie and one of the funnest experiences working with some of the best people in the business. I have a life long family from that movie!

GLITTER: Last show you binge-watched?
NICKY: Loving Rachet! The Outsider!

GLITTER: Coffee or tea?
NICKY: Coffee every morning, tea in the afternoon.

GLITTER: Beach or mountains?
NICKY: Beach.

GLITTER: What ways do you find your Zen?
NICKY: Meditate every day.

GLITTER: Something your fans might be surprised to find out about you?
NICKY: Maybe it’s not a huge secret – but I have a massive love for animals. MASSIVE passion.

GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?
NICKY: Wait for it – Breathe.

GLITTER: Are there any upcoming projects you can tell us about that you’re working on next?
NICKY: I have an awesome film I did with Neil Brown called Last Night in Rozzie. I shot it in Boston last year. It’s a really cool piece, something I don’t get to do very often, and I’m excited for that to come out.

GLITTER: How can fans follow you on social media?
NICKY: Everything is under Nicky Whelan.


Photographer: Robert Lynden
Styled by: Joanne Black
Makeup: Sarah Sullivan
Hair: Janine Jarman

Everything Nicky is wearing is sustainable