George Young Isn’t Attending Rebecca Lim’s Wedding, But Has An “Out-There” Idea To Reunite With His The Pupil Co-Star
The lawyer-turned-actor teamed up with Lindsay Lohan in the Netflix rom-com Falling for Christmas.
If you were to ask George Young a year ago what his favourite Christmas movies are, he would unequivocally cite Love, Actually and Die Hard. Ask him now and he’ll throw in a third title: Falling for Christmas, starring Lindsay Lohan and — surprise, surprise — George Young.
In Falling for Christmas, which premiered on Netflix last week, Lohan plays a newly engaged and spoiled heiress who, after being diagnosed with amnesia due to a skiing accident, lands in the care of a blue-collar lodge owner (Glee’s Chord Overstreet) and his daughter. Young co-stars as Lohan’s insufferably self-absorbed influencer fiancé.
The holiday yarn — essentially an overhaul of the 1988 Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn rom-com Overboard, but with snow and songs — is one of Lohan’s first movies in nearly a decade, following the 2019 indie horror Among the Shadows.
Falling for Christmas ticks all the boxes George wants in a festive flick. “It’s got to have a lot of snow,” the lawyer-turned-actor, 42, says. “It’s got to have some kind of magical element. And maybe some person who looks a bit like Santa Claus. It got to have you a warm fuzzy feeling as much as possible throughout, whether it’s the music, the environment, and the characters…”
George then pauses and ponders for a while. “It’s everything that Malignant doesn’t have,” he continues, referring to the James Wan-helmed chiller he acted in last year.
Free of sex and violence, it’s also the first PG-rated US movie he’d made that his sons, Egan, five, and 19-month-old Dylan, can safely watch without warping their fragile little minds.
Falling for Christmas marks another milestone: it's George's first proper Yuletide film. He came close with Shy Guys, a 2015 Mediacorp tele-feature that includes a scene where he, Benjamin Heng and Shane Mardjuki performed a striptease in a Santa Claus outfit. That was more “Christmassy” than Christmas, he insists.
When 8days.sg spoke to George over Zoom from Los Angeles, he’s feeling a bit jet-lagged, having just returned from Bratislava where he’d wrapped a Renny Harlin production (more of that later).
“I’m just eating tons of Sour Patch sweets to stay awake,” he quips. His wife, actress and TV host Janet Hsieh, is in the next room with their children; one is napping and the other, watching A Bug’s Life (“or is it Lego Star Wars: Summer Vacation?”).
Here, George shares his memories of making Falling for Christmas in Utah, and an insane project he can’t wait to pitch to Mediacorp that would reunite him with Rebecca Lim, his co-star in the legal drama The Pupil.
8 DAYS: Here’s the million-dollar question: What was it like working with Lindsay Lohan?
GEORGE YOUNG: So, this is her first big proper lead movie role in years, and I did not know what she was going to be like. She came in and she was just super professional, super down-to-earth, right from the start. She was so relaxed in this environment that she made you relax. She was No.1 on the call sheet, so she has to set the lead. I was thinking, “Is she going to be a diva?” But she was just uber-professional and really nice. We all had dinner together afterwards. Me, Lindsay, Chord, and Lindsay’s family. Her sister is in the movie as is her brother. Lindsay’s sister also did one of the songs as well. The fact that she brought her family there and invited us to dinner with her family says something. She could have just stayed by herself with her entourage, right?
I love that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan — people who were chased by paparazzi back in the day — are making a resurgence. I think they got in trouble for things that maybe they wouldn’t be getting in trouble for now. Or maybe they were an unfair shake at a lot of things. I’m glad to be part of it. I’m glad that she did this movie and I can’t believe I’m in it. It’s weird because Lindsay is younger than me, but I grew up watching movies since she was like, nine or 10. She started ridiculously young.
She was 11 when she made The Parent Trap.
When I think of those movies, “I grew up with you, but wait, I’m older than you.” (Ed: Lohan is 36) It’s just very weird. And I did everything I could not to do a Parent Trap joke when I first met her. When I remember first meeting her, she’d just done a stunt. Her stunt double did a stunt falling down, and she was standing at the monitor, and I went to join her. As I was looking at her double doing the stunt, I said, “Wow, she really does look a lot like you.” And she said, “Yeah, there's two of me.” And I was going to say, “I knew The Parent Trap was real!" But I didn't because, in my head, I thought, “No, no, no, don’t do it, George. Don't, dude.” Everyone probably mentions The Parent Trap. I have only just met her, so try to be cool.
Did you ask her about Mean Girls?
We were going to do the ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ number [from Mean Girls] in a post-credit scene. Me, Lindsay, Chord and [1980s pop singer and singer] Jack Wagner, who plays Lindsay’s dad, were going to copy the exact routine, and then it would end with me kicking the stereo into the crowd. That was going to be our little homage to Mean Girls. But it didn’t happen because we ran out of time. It was such a shame because I watched the YouTube video and rehearsed it, rehearsed it, rehearsed it. One day maybe we’d do it for the sequel if there’s ever a sequel to it.
Colourful, annoying, self-absorbed — your character, Tad Fairchild, is unlike anyone you’ve played before. Who did you model him on?
Before we started, I looked at every sort of male influencer — I’m not going to say who — mainly on Instagram because I’m too old for TikTok. It’s just all selfies! So I picked those people and looked at their videos and stuff and I just sort of got an idea. Tad is also an enhanced version of me as well. There is me in him, just taken up to the extreme. What would I be if I never thought about anything else except for myself, which is easy to do. I then just turned that up all the way up and went with it.
Did you get to improv a lot?
[Director] Janeen Damian and [her husband and producer] Michael let us to improv a lot. There were a few things that got in into the film, just little extrapolations of the original scripted lines. We got to have a bit of fun with it. I was just doing this over-the-top performance as Tad and they just let me run with it. I really appreciated that. Having said that, I was just in Bratislava [filming the horror The Strangers], where I completely forgot I was still doing this sort of ‘big’ Jim Carrey-esque acting for Falling for Christmas. The director, Renny Harlin — who’s done Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger — kept saying to me, “George, tone it down, tone it down.”
Ice, ice maybe: George Young posing for a selfie in Falling for Christmas, which was filmed in Utah’s Deer Valley. In a camping scene, George had to put real snow in his mouth. “My teeth were just going crazy,” he says. “It’s ice kacang, without any of the kacang — it’s just ice.” He adds, “It was genuinely cold [in the wilderness], but just being in that Christmassy vibe was so nice.”
Closer to home, are you attending Rebecca Lim’s wedding? Do you know she has a reality show, With Love, Becks, where celebrities give her marital advice?
Whoa, me and Janet need to get on that somehow (laughs). We need to do like a Zoom meeting with her. It’s not the same, though, is it? I was talking to her recently about her wedding and she’s got some plans. It’s unlikely Janet and I can be there. I haven’t met the husband-to-be. He is a British guy? I don’t know how they met. I don’t really know anything about the guy. I think I saw him on her Instagram. I was saying to her, I would love to meet this person, the one she’s finally been looking for.
What else did she share?
She gave me some dates, but I can’t share them with you. I don’t want to get in trouble. I need her for The Pupil 3…
Did you just say The Pupil 3?
Only for four minutes for The Matrix Resurrections.
I met up with her last week and we started talking about Singapore shows and doing something in Singapore. So we started writing something that we want to pitch to Mediacorp. It’s about The Pupil returning for Season 3, but they’re recasting my role and Jessica and I are both for it. It’s a kind of mockumentary. We don’t know who to pitch it to yet. I’m going to talk to [The Pupil creator and showrunner Lee] Thean-Jeen., he’s coming to LA in a week and we are meeting up. So maybe The Pupil 3 might finally happen in some shape or form. I talked to Rebecca recently but didn’t mention this idea, though. It’s a bit of an out-there thing.
Falling for Christmas is now streaming on Netflix. The Pupil and Shy Guys are available on meWATCH.