After starring in some of the biggest rom-coms of the ’90s, Freddie Prinze Jr. took a break from the genre. But when making his new Netflix holiday movie Christmas With You, the actor admittedly “fell in love” with romantic comedies again.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was a popular rom-com lead in the late 90s
Prinze started his career in the mid-’90s, appearing in projects like To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday and Family Matters. He rose to fame with the 1997 slasher film, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and its 1998 sequel.
But in 1999, Prinze landed his first leading role in the hit teen rom-com, She’s All That. He went on to star in several other romantic comedies in the following years, including Down to You, Boys and Girls, Head Over Heels, and Summer Catch.
Prinze then seemingly took a break from rom-coms to explore other types of roles. And when his daughter — who he shares with his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar — was born in 2009, he turned his focus to his family.
“I walked away from the business and became a full-time dad,” Prinze said in a recent chat with Tudum. “That was my main priority.”
The actor noted that he’s been offered plenty of rom-com roles over the last few years. But, as he suggested, “It just wasn’t for me.”
Freddie Prinze Jr. fell back in love with romantic comedies after filming ‘Christmas With You’
Prinze’s new movie, Christmas With You, centers on a Latinx romance. It tells the story of Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.), a single dad who falls for pop star Angelina (Aimee Garcia) after being introduced to her by his teen daughter, Cristina (Deja Cruz).
When talking to Tudum, Prinze pointed out how different Christmas With You is from his previous rom-coms. And he revealed that he was drawn to the role because Miguel is a father.
“Christmas with You was unique because I got to be a father for the first time,” Prinze said. “I can’t play a teen anymore. I got a lot more gray hair than I did back in the ’90s and early 2000s.”
And when asked if he would want to do more rom-coms, the actor recalled how much he enjoyed working on Christmas With You. And he suggested he would make one, as long as it was just as unique.
“Yeah, it just has to have some kind of hook, so that it’s not the same movie I made a whole bunch of times,” Prinze explained. “And I love rom-coms and horror movies. They are really the only two kinds of things that I look for — that I take seriously. I definitely fell in love with romantic comedies again, making this movie.”
Freddie Prinze Jr. waited 18 years to do a Latinx rom-com like ‘Christmas With You’
Prinze — who is the son of the late comedian/actor Freddie Prinze — is proud of his Puerto Rican heritage, but rarely has had opportunities to explore it on screen. However, with Christmas With You, he could do just that. And he suggested that it’s something he’s been wanting for quite some time.
“I always felt I had treated my Puerto Rican culture with the utmost respect,” Prinze told Tudum. “So when [director Gabriela Tagliavini and writer German Michael Torres] brought the movie to me and were excited for me to do it, I was doing backflips — I was like, ‘You don’t understand. I’ve been ready for this since I was 18 years old.”
Christmas With You is streaming on Netflix.