Stephen Colletti got into the holiday spirit a little early this year.
The 32-year-old filmed his role in Lifetime’s “Hometown Christmas” under a sweltering Louisiana sun in August.
“It was very hot outside and we were sweating ourselves through it,” he told Page Six. “I remember going into it, and I was concerned because I sweat a bit.”
With their first day of shooting taking place on a baseball field, Colletti said he and co-star Beverley Mitchell would “scurry into a van for AC” the moment the director called cut.
“From day one and just getting to know her, we kind of embraced the heat and were able to battle through it,” Colletti shared. “There’s a piece in it where Beverley had to be able to hit a ball and she was able to do it on the first take. She got us out of there and off the field pretty quickly.
“[It’s] very easy to take a liking to her when you see her crush a baseball on one take and get us off a hot field. We were very thankful for her for that,” he continued.
In the film, premiering Sunday, Dec. 16, Colletti portrays Nick Russell, a rising baseball star and the high school sweetheart of Mitchell’s Noelle Collins, who has returned to the South to help bring the town’s live Nativity back to life.
Like Mitchell, who starred in The WB’s “7th Heaven,” Colletti kick-started his acting career on the same network, appearing as Chase Adams in “One Tree Hill.”
“It’s a little hard to believe when you’ve gone on for nine seasons and there have been so many people who have come in and out of that show particularly, the fact that you still have a tight bond with a lot of people, I think it’s rare,” Colletti said. “For me, someone who came in in the middle of the run, and who was welcomed with open arms, I don’t take that for granted, I cherish it.”
Though Colletti got to reunite with his former co-stars for Lifetime’s “Tis the Season: A One Tree Hill Cast Reunion,” he’s also looking forward to seeing some familiar faces over the holidays in his hometown, Laguna Beach, California.
“I see everyone, definitely a lot of faces from ‘Laguna Beach’ the show. It’s a small town down there and we all get along,” Colletti shared. “Everyone wants to see everyone and it’s a great gathering of different friends from high school.”
Colletti, who appeared on the MTV reality series from 2004 to 2005 with Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari, will be spending time with his family, as the great real versus fake Christmas tree debate wages on.
“I think my favorite Christmas tradition is my brother and I battling with my mom over whether or not we’re going to get a real tree,” Colletti explained. “As I’m getting older, I can understand why she does not want a real tree — the needles fall, cats knock over the ornaments — it’s a mess. I can understand where she’s coming from, but you cannot not have a real tree on Christmas.”
“[You] definitely get in the Christmas spirit when one of your family members owns a Christmas tree lot for the season,” he said.
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