Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas was filled with song as the Roku Channel movie delivered several holiday tunes, a Taylor Swift number and even a rendition of “Call Me Maybe” by Mary Steenburgen.
But one of the most memorable musical moments came courtesy of a face-off, of sorts, when Max crooned “Just the Two of Us,” while Zoey countered with a high-energy performance of “We Need a Little Christmas.” The intricate, zany hand choreography during Zoey’s half of the mashup is made even more impressive by the fact that star Jane Levy had very little time to learn the moves.
“It’s funny because it was a really hard thing to shoot,” Levy tells TVLine in the above video. “We were on location, we had limited time. There was a lot of things going wrong, and we were all really stressed out, and I don’t think you see that on camera, which is the magic of filmmaking.”
“I only had four days to prep this movie. I was in Vancouver for four days before we started shooting,” Levy adds. “So that includes recording all the songs, learning all the dances, fittings, wig tests. So I learned all that in record time, and I’m pretty proud that I’m pulling it off.”
Raves executive producer Austin Winsberg, “That first part where they’re all doing the clapping dance, they are so in sync. There is not a frame off with any dancer in that moment.”
The movie also featured a sweet first when both Zoey and Max sang the same heart song, “Time After Time,” in unison. “I like going back to Cyndi Lauper, where ‘True Colors’ was our big song in the pilot,” Winsberg says. “A lot of things that that song talks about, if I broke it down to specific lyrics to you, I could explain to you why those lyrics actually pertain to different things in their relationship. So it just felt like a nice way to bring it all together.”
In preparation for shooting the romantic duet, “Jane and I actually met in that park on a day off, just the two of us. It’s a memory that I will cherish,” Skylar Astin, who plays Max, recalls. “Just like two theater kids trying to make sure that they know their dance moves, we drilled our choreography, and we did it in front of a bunch of people who probably had no idea what these two people were doing on a Saturday in the park. I’m like lifting her over my head, and everyone’s like, ‘Well, those people are very romantic.'”
One of Astin’s favorite days on set took place when Max heard Zoey and her family delivering an emotionally raw performance of “Wish You Were Here.”
“It was powerful,” the actor shares. “I mean, every single member of that family singing that song was really special, but most specifically, there’s like a moment where Mary lifts her head up at the head of the table, and I just felt this like powerful matriarch vibe coming from her, and her soulful singing voice really hit me every time. I didn’t have to act too hard in response to that song. It kind of did the job for me.”
Press PLAY above to hear more from the trio about the standout musical moments, then hit the comments with your fave songs from the movie!