'The Mistle-Tones': Tori Spelling aims to take down Tia Mowry this Christmas
The "Beverly Hills, 90210" alum and actor husband Dean McDermott welcomed fourth child (and second son) Finn in October. Months before that, she finished her first TV movie in several years: Sunday's (Dec. 9) serio-comic ABC Family musical "The Mistle-Tones," casting Spelling and Tia Mowry ("The Game") as the leaders of rival groups in a Christmas Eve "sing-off."
"It has been a while," Spelling confirms to Zap2it, "so it was great to be able to do comedy, and to dance and to sing. It was totally my dream come true, to be able to do all that. And in a Christmas movie."
Spelling's "Mistle-Tones" character inspires Mowry's to become a challenger by denying her entry into an existing group. "It's the right amount of camp and the right amount of glam, so it's perfect," says Spelling of her role. "There's definitely a fine line, but our director [ Paul Hoen] had the right vision and tone.
"I saw my character as the mean girl who has the heart of gold underneath, just desperately trying to hold onto her title. I like being able to find vulnerability in anything I do, and I never get to play the mean girl. Those roles usually make me completely uncomfortable, but playing this one, there was so much heightened comedy that she wasn't a straightforward villain. I loved that."
Spelling has done a seasonal movie before: "A Carol Christmas" -- a variation on, you guessed it, "A Christmas Carol" that cast her as a Scrooge-like talk-show host -- for Hallmark Channel in 2003. Since "The Mistle-Tones" adds a layer of music, "I took some singing lessons," Spelling reports. "I'm not a great singer, but I was able to have some fun with it."
The biggest number Spelling has in "The Mistle-Tones" is "All I Want for Christmas Is You," popularized and co-written by Mariah Carey (and also belted out by young Olivia Olson in the 2003 movie "Love Actually"). "When I signed on to do this," Spelling muses, "they were like, 'Oh, yeah, there's a little singing.' I said, 'Great! I've sung before.' Then, when I realized what the song was, I decided, 'I think I'm gonna need some training here.'"
Though they're nemeses in the movie, Spelling was happy to be on the set with "Sister, Sister" veteran Mowry. "It was great working with her, because we do have similar backgrounds, having grown up in front of the camera. Plus, we're both moms."