Laura Ann Osnes is an American actress and singer known for her work on the Broadway stage. She has played starring roles in Grease as Sandy, South Pacific as Nellie Forbush, Anything Goes as Hope Harcourt, and Bonnie and Clyde as Bonnie Parker, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She also starred in the title role of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway, for which she received a Drama Desk Award and her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
Interview by Elise Cooper
Christmas in Tahoe, premiers this Sunday, November 28, 2021, at 6 PM ET / 5 PM CT. The plot has Claire trying to save her family hotel’s Christmas show. Even though she is a talent booker, Claire must ask for help from her ex-boyfriend Ryan, the lead guitarist of a now-famous band that fired her as their manager years ago. The mystery involves how will they be able to work together and save the show. It stars Laura Osnes (Claire), Kyle Selig (Ryan), Pat Monahan (Jackson), and George Lopez (Otis). Laura Osnes sat down and talked about this show and the holidays.
Q. Why did you choose this project?
Laura: I just loved making these holiday films, celebrating Christmas multiple months of the year, and being part of the Hallmark family. This particular movie features music by the band Train, its lead singer Pat Monahan, and fellow Broadway alum Kyle Selig! We also got to shoot in Whistler, one of Vancouver’s most scenically beautiful locations!
Q. What does Christmas mean to you?
Laura: Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, soak in quality time with family and friends, embrace a spirit of joy and generosity, and eat way too much incredible Christmas food! My husband and I also got engaged on Dec 23, 2006… so this season always reminds me of our love and that time I got a diamond ring for Christmas!
Q. Do you have any family traditions you do for the holidays?
Laura: LOTS of cooking. I especially love making my grandma’s secret sweet potato pie recipe, then singing Christmas carols around the piano. My family usually attends a Christmas Eve candlelight service and watches Polar Express or How The Grinch Stole Christmas. And then, my husband and I have a big, festive sleepover with our nephews before seeing what Santa brings in the morning!
Q. Have you done any other movies for Hallmark and if so, what is about the Hallmark Channel that you enjoy working for?
Laura: This is my fifth Hallmark movie! Having grown up doing mostly musical theater on stage, working with Hallmark has provided such a positive and supportive opportunity to learn, explore, and grow in the world of TV/film. Each experience has been a joyful one for me! These movies have such a loyal and widespread fanbase, and I love getting to warm so many hearts through these stories, especially around the holidays.
Q. What did you enjoy the most about this plot?
Laura: Reigniting with an old flame allows for some spice amidst the sugar. Plus, the comedy, the mystery, the musical element, and the family-togetherness really drew me in. I also loved getting to play the woman behind the scenes in this film! Instead of being one of the performers on stage, my character Claire works as the talent booker and show producer, getting to watch (at the end, with pride) the concert she spends the entire movie creating! (I hope that’s not a spoiler alert!) It gave me a whole new appreciation for the role of a Producer!
Q. Did you enjoy working with Pat Monahan and did you know of his music before this show?
Laura: Yes! Pat basically plays my right-hand man and best friend in the movie! I was familiar with some of his music, of course, but am now a superfan of Train’s holiday album that inspired our film’s title, as well as the brand-new song he wrote just for this movie, called “Mittens.” Pat is so down-to-earth and truly kept all of us laughing on set!
Q. What genre of music do you enjoy the most and do you sing?
Laura: I’m such a nerd, haha! My go-to is musical theater show tunes because so much of my life has been devoted to that craft! But I also love artists like Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift, Norah Jones, and Lauren Daigle.
Q. Do you have plans to do any other Hallmark movies?
Laura: I would love to! Maybe a “Wedding In Tahoe”? 😉