EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Sarah Dugdale Breaks Down Uptv’s Dial S for Santa!


Sarah Dugdale and Keenan Tracey star in the new UPtv Christmas movie Dial S for Santa, premiering December 17 at 8/7c. We at Survived The Shows had the incredibile chance to chat via email with star Sarah Dugdale and discuss the movie and her on-set experience. Check out the full interview below!

Lana’s return to her hometown for the holidays seems to kick off a series of mysterious events. What drew her back, and how does she initially react to the situation?

SARAH DUGDALE: Lana is reluctantly returning home to spend the holidays with her family for the first time since the passing of her dad three years ago. The prospect of solving a real criminal investigation excites her because it could lead to a promotion at work.  

Teaming up with Nick, the new police detective, must have been quite the unexpected turn for Lana. Can you tell us a bit about their dynamic and how they work together to solve the burglaries?

SARAH DUGDALE: When Lana is focused on something no one can stand in her way. Even though Nick doesn’t want her help at first Lana is nothing short of persistent. Nick is more by the books and Lana isn’t afraid to think outside the box and break the rules when necessary. 

Christmas movies often have a warm, fuzzy feeling. How does ‘Dial S for Santa’ balance the holiday cheer with the mystery elements?

SARAH DUGDALE: Dial S For Santa strikes a really good balance of mystery, heart, and the spirit of Christmas. Christmas is all around Rivarly which is hard for Lana because she misses celebrating with her father so the mystery popping up is a welcome distraction for Lana.

Lana seems to have a keen eye for solving mysteries. What personal traits or experiences do you think help her excel in uncovering the truth?

SARAH DUGDALE: Lana is curious and driven and will do whatever it takes to solve a case. She is also stubborn which can be a blessing and a curse. She works as an insurance investigator so she already has a keen eye for solving mysteries.  

The burglaries in the town add a unique twist to the usual holiday movie plot. What can viewers expect from these unusual incidents?

SARAH DUGDALE: Yes! I love that they’ve combined the joy of a traditional christmas movie with the added twist of a mystery. The viewers can expect to be taken on a fun journey that keeps you guessing until the end.  

How does Lana’s relationship with her mom play into the story, especially amidst the chaos caused by the burglaries?

SARAH DUGDALE: Lana finds something out that causes a strain in their relationship. Lana loves her mom but is hurt and is using the investigation to avoid talking to her.  

The partnership between Lana and Nick seems central to the plot. Can you share any memorable moments or challenges they face while working together?

SARAH DUGDALE: First off they have very different ideas of what are the best stake out snacks. And secondly it takes a while for Nick to warm to the idea of accepting Lana help but they end up making a great team.  

Lana’s character seems to have a strong connection to her hometown. How does this sense of belonging affect her approach to solving the mysteries unfolding there?

SARAH DUGDALE: She’s known most of the suspects all her life. She has the inside scoop and a perspective that Nick doesn’t.   

Christmas films often have moral lessons. What do you think viewers might take away from Lana and Nick’s journey in ‘Dial S for Santa’?

SARAH DUGDALE: The way that their relationship evolved throughout the movie is a good reminder to keep your heart open to love because you never know what will happen when you do. 

The holiday season tends to evoke a sense of nostalgia. How does the film tap into this nostalgia while delivering a fresh take on a Christmas mystery?

SARAH DUGDALE: Christmas is a time for people to come together and celebrate. Lana has avoided facing Christmas because of the loss of her father but through embracing the good memories she’s able to find joy in the season once again. At first the mystery serves as a welcome distraction for Lana but she realizes she needs to embrace her family instead of push them away. 

What can you tease about your next projects?

SARAH DUGDALE: We’ll be back shooting the next season of Virgin River in the new year. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Lizzie.  

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