EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Sophie Bastelle Breaks Down Lifetime’s Mistletoe Match!

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Elena Juatco and Ryan Bruce star in the Christmas movie Mistletoe Match, airing Sunday, December 3 at 8/7c on Lifetime Movie Network. We at Survived The Shows had the chance to chat via email with star Sophie Bastelle and discuss the movie and her experience in the production. Check out the full interview below!

Can you tell us a bit about your character in Mistletoe Match?

Vanessa is an annoying, socially-unaware woman who loves talking about Costa Rica and desperately wants a husband (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to find love). She meets Thomas during the ‘speed dating’ portion of their Mistletoe Match event, and he is not very endeared to her at first (or ever?). One of my friends who watched the film said “I like her, but she is a lot.” 

What initially attracted you to your role in Mistletoe Match?

This was actually the second role I ever filmed, and it would be the first time I’d get to flex my comedy muscles, which was something I really wanted to do. There are also several different romantic plot lines, as opposed to just between the leads, which I found really sweet. It was also a huge pull for me to get to work again with Graeme Campbell, our director, who cast me in my first movie in 2020 and is a wonderful human being. 

What do you think makes the romance in the movie so special and captivating?

The creative chemistry between Ryan Bruce (Thomas) and Elena Juatco (Olivia) is so strong; they really cared about their roles and the story, and with the producers’ permission they worked together to modify certain elements of the script and enhance specific moments to make it extra funny – and also more true to real life than we often see in these films!

What do you hope audiences take away from watching Mistletoe Match?

That you can follow your career aspirations and get the guy – and that you shouldn’t dim your light for anyone. The right people will love and accept you as you are. 

What was it like working with the rest of the cast on set?

I have nothing but the deepest affection for this cast! Often you meet other actors when working who are “set friends” – people you really vibe with on set but won’t really stay in touch with after filming – but these people were the opposite. It was a group that was wildly fun – we even came up with an idea for a Vanity Fair photoshoot that we shot together in our offtime on the day we filmed the movie’s final scene – but also such a warm and supportive team of people.

I’ve stayed in touch with pretty much everyone I had scenes with in this movie. Vas Saranga (Alfie) read with me for self-tapes after we wrapped and actually was a huge reason that I booked my next few films; I had brunch with Annamaria Demara (Tanya) and her son when I was visiting LA a few months back; I recently saw Elena for a really lovely coffee date; I could go on. I love them. 

What can you tease about your character Journey?

She makes a big impact – both on Olivia and Thomas and on the plot – in a small amount of time. She’s got a brash personality and stirs up a lot of emotions in other people, but might find someone who’s just right for her. 

What was your favorite scene or moment while filming Mistletoe Match?

I had a blast filming the speed dating segment with Ryan, who plays Thomas. The moment in that scene that was originally scripted between us was actually only a line or two, but during our first take we started riffing off each other and continuing this super cringey conversation, and the director, who was enjoying seeing how far we could go, didn’t call “cut” for a while. So we did a couple minutes of this ridiculous improvising, a lot of which made it into the final cut of the film. 

Can you tell us about any challenges you faced while filming Mistletoe Match and how you overcame them?

Honestly, very few on this one! Smooth sailing for me all the way through. 

Change of subject, What have been some of the most memorable projects you have worked on throughout your career, and why?

I really enjoyed working on Twas the Night Before Christmas last fall in Ottawa – the role was so much fun, the cast and crew were incredible, and I was constantly learning new things about the industry and about performing. Welcome to Valentine was also a joy to film – I got to work with a lot of the same crew I’d met weeks earlier on Twas, who were just absolute all-stars, and also got to wear some extremely cool outfits! Ironically, in both of those projects, my role’s job title was ‘aspiring actor.’ My film and television career is still fairly new, so hopefully more memorable projects to come. 

Can you tease something about your next projects?

I played the villain in a lovely movie called Take a Chance at Christmas which is currently streaming for free on Xumo Play in the US. I also recently shot a guest spot in a really fun television show for Hulu, which should be out next year. And currently I’m getting underway producing and directing on a project I created that’s been years in the making.

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Desirèe

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