Tim Allen is returning as Santa Claus as he reprises his role in “The Santa Clauses” coming to Disney+.
Although it took some convincing for Allen to return as the guy in the big red suit, the filming of the new series included a special someone from the actor’s real life – his daughter.
“As I walked on set for the first time in the full regalia, everybody got very quiet, both adults and kids,” Allen told Entertainment Weekly about filming. “When I show up dressed in the full suit and everything else, there’s big smiles on people’s faces. Little kids are quiet. I had totally forgotten that. It does feel like Santa’s in the room.”
Allen’s daughter, Elizabeth Allen-Dick, plays Scott Calvin’s youngest child in the reprise. However, the actor explained that the casting had “very little to do” with him.
“It’s difficult to believe, but it had very little to do with me,” Allen told the outlet. “I wanted to put my youngest daughter as an elf, just so she’d see herself in a movie. But as she was reading for that, she read so well that they said, ‘We’d like to read her for more of a part.'”
“I said, ‘Whatever you want to do. I want nothing to do with it. I don’t want to pitch my daughter for a part in the movie.’ But she ended up moving to the high ranks,” he added. “They loved how she read, loved it so much, because she’s playing a 13-year-old girl, and she is 13. They ended up casting her as Santa’s daughter. It was a surprise, but it became the most amazing experience.”
Allen, who referred to “The Santa Clauses” throughout the interview as a “movie” explained that the series is told like “chapters in a book.”
He also revealed a special moment he had with his daughter while filming. In “The Santa Clauses,” Scott Calvin decides to move his children to Chicago from the North Pole in order for them to get a feel for the real world.
“I don’t want to give too much away, but she doesn’t want to go,” Allen explained. “So I tell her, ‘Being afraid is okay as long as we can be afraid together.’ Even saying the line, I get a little choked up. I looked right at her.”
“One of my photographer buddies was shooting and said it was tear-jerking to watch. I said, ‘Well, I’m looking at my kid,'” he continued. “And she literally showed what I learned from Pat Richardson on ‘Home Improvement’: Real actors can really emote real emotions. She did it to me there, and I reacted to it, and it was an amazing moment. I’ll never forget it.”
Allen also noted that although Elizabeth did not grow up acting, she did grow up reading lines with her father.
“My daughter is playing my daughter in the movie. The line kept coming back to me, ‘Has she ever done this before?’ And I said, ‘No.’ But she’s read scripts with me all the time,” Allen said. “We got to play all the time as a comedian. I’m that way around the house. She’s able to take a line, make it her own, add value to it and be honest about it. And it was an amazing experience.”
Disney+ is set to drop the first two episodes of “The Santa Clauses” on Nov. 16.