Daniel Mays has a poignant reason for getting excited about his new film, Your Christmas or Mine?, after revealing that his children can finally join in the fun.
The 44-year-old has graced our screens countless times over the last two decades, appearing in White Lines, Line of Duty and 1917 among many others.
However, his latest project, a delightful festive flick, has the added benefit of being something that his two kids – who he shares with wife Louise Burton – can settle down and watch together.
Chatting ahead of the release on December 2, he raved about starring as wholesome Jeff, beside Asa Butterfield, Angela Griffin and Cora Kirk.
‘I wasn’t playing a crazed, psychopathic policeman or something, I could finally do a film that my kids (10 and 16) could sit through,’ he told us. ‘It’ll be great for them to sit down and watch it.
‘He was a lovely character, Jeff. It felt like the closest character I’ve played to my own dad.
‘The heartbeat of that family, Jeff is gregarious, he’s outgoing, he likes to joke and the centre of his world is his family. That’s just such a lovely character to play.
‘I hope the audience enjoy watching him as much as he wants to play because I really had a ball with it.
‘All of the traditions, the Christmas traditions that family up in Macclesfield go through, I completely identified with it. My mum used to put the money in the Christmas puddings, the men used to go to the pub, we used to play silly name games, Christmas quizzes and all that stuff.’
Your Christmas or Mine? lands on Amazon Prime Video at the end of this week, just in time for some much-needed festive fuzziness.
The official synopsis reads: ‘It’s Christmas Eve-Eve. After waving goodbye in Marylebone Station, new lovers Hayley and James can’t bear to be apart for Christmas, so both decide to surprise each other and unwittingly swap trains by mistake.
‘The snow begins to fall and with it they realise they are trapped with each other’s family for the whole of Christmas.
‘Will their love survive as their secrets get unwrapped?’
Despite being 90 minutes of pure wholesome fun, there was something slightly X-rated hidden in the scenes that some viewers may not pick up on.
When asked about his favourite moments to film, Daniel let slip of a very risqué joke.
‘It was very funny driving the ice cream van because it was absolutely on its last legs,’ he recalled. ‘It was knackered, man. I don’t know where they found [it].
‘It was so knackered, that van, they had to keep push-starting it to make it work.’
‘You can’t put this in the film because it’s a bit X-rated…,’ he laughed. ‘It’s called the cream machine and on the side of it is emblazoned, “Once licked but never beaten”. With a being a family movie, we obviously couldn’t go down that road.
‘So, it’s Jeff and his cream machine, which has always made me laugh.’
Your Christmas or Mine? is available to stream on Prime Video from December 2.