Carly Hughes faces everyday with the idea that when she wakes up, she has a choice she can make.
“My choice is to wake up and be happy until someone tells me otherwise,” Hughes says.
That philosophy is a perfect fit for her latest acting job for Hughes as she stars in the Lifetime movie “The Christmas Edition.” In the film, slated to air at 8 p.m. Nov. 15, Hughes plays Jackie, a big city journalist who makes a change in her life when she’s passed over for a promotion.
Jackie decides to go where she can be in charge and takes a job as the managing editor of a small newspaper in a quaint Alaskan town. She arrives just in time to be drawn into the town’s enthusiastic passion for Christmas.
“The Christmas Edition” is one of 30 new holiday movies being broadcast on Lifetime over the next few months. Holiday films have been popular for years but Hughes is convinced that the positive message they present is more important now than ever before.
“People have always loved these movies because they are feel good. Some are fluff and some are not fluff. But, they put you in the right mood,” Hughes says. “I think this year, in particular, it is what everyone needs.
“The Christmas movies put you in a different state of mind and they brighten your day no matter what. I consider being in a Christmas movie a badge of honor.”
Making the holiday movie took all the positive energy Hughes could muster. Not only was the movie shot during the quarantine (using extensive safety precautions) but it was also filmed during the middle of the summer. That meant making the world look appropriately cold despite working in 100-degree heat.
The ever positive Hughes faced that challenge without hesitation. The biggest help for her was that all it takes is one jingle bell for her to be in the Christmas spirit.
“For me, being the Christmas Queen that I am, that’s not hard to do,” Hughes says. “The hard part was trying to act cold when it was 100 degrees and I was wearing 800 layers of wool.
“But once I get in the Christmas spirit – which can be at any given moment – I can carry that over.”
Hughes isn’t kidding when she talks about being in a holiday spirit. Along with acting, her passions in life include cooking for friends, learning about wine and making “Crafty Carly.”
Hughes – who has been acting since she was a youngster – launched her career in New York. She has appeared in eight Broadway shows with the most recent having her play Velma Kelly in “Chicago.” Her other Broadway credits include “Pippin,”
“The Book of Mormon,” “Ghost: The Musical,” “Ragtime,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
For those who could not make it to New York to see Hughes on stage, she’s best known for her role as Angela on the ABC comedy “American Housewife.”
Hughes was excited about the opportunity to star in “The Christmas Edition” because of her passion for the holiday. The bonus was that she gets to show off her singing skills with a short number in the film. There’s only a snippet of her singing in the film but Hughes promises with her next holiday movie there will be a lot more singing.
Any chance to sing makes Hughes happy.
“My body doesn’t miss dancing eight times a week but my vocally, I miss singing,” Hughes says. “Because of your vocal chords, singing is a muscle. If you think of it as an athlete, athletes train all year for the Olympics or whatever sport.
“And so, singing eight times a week, you are in the best vocal shape of your life. Anytime I sing outside the theater it makes me very reminiscent of Broadway.”
It takes a lot to make Hughes sad but she has been moved to tears regarding how Broadways has had to shut down because of the COVID-19 virus. Her pain goes beyond the actors to all of the people who work behind the scenes and to all of New York because Broadway generates so much revenue.
Through it all, Hughes continues to stay positive and is hopeful her holiday film will help others feel the same way.
The cast of “The Christmas Edition” also includes Rob Mayes, Marie Osmond and Aloma Wright.