Highly successful DJ and single father, Rush Williams, played by Romany Malco, loses his job right after his four kids have given him their expensive Christmas wish-list. With the help of his producer, Roxy Richardson, (Sonequa Martin-Green) turned love interest, along with his Aunt Jo (Darlene Love) he attempts to buy his own radio station to maintain the lifestyle they’ve acquired. In order to pull this off, he chooses to downsize their mansion and move in with his Aunt Jo. Through a twist and turn of events, this film embraces the notion that despite any hardship during the holidays, love conquers all.
The Knockturnal: This movie had me on the floor laughing. Seriously, so funny. How much improv went down on set?
Sonequa Martin: That’s a good question. Wasn’t a lot.
Romany Malco: Wasn’t a whole lot. Listen, let’s just give Greg White and Sean Dwyer their props. These two writers put their foot into this film and not only did they find ways to make the film funny but they also found ways to keep it authentic and genuine. So credit to them boys and we did a little bit of improv here and there
Sonequa Martin: But it was mostly a really true script which it speaks to the empathy as writers which of course every artist has to have empathy that’s really the engine that drives us but they were able to speak authentically from a different culture which is quite impressive.
The Knockturnal: Speaking of culture… although there are movies that are surrounded around black families, why did you feel it was important and necessary for the culture to have a movie that represented a black, single dad whose raising 4 kids?
Romany Malco: Partly because it was my life ya know my dad met his version of Roxy– it was just me and my brother but he met his version of Roxy and I was raised with a step parent. He really did his best to keep us healthy and alive and functional in the best way that he could and I kind of felt like that is a story that’s rarely told within the black community. So it was kind of like my pleasure to step in and be like yo I know this dude.
Sonequa Martin: Also to have a black family, a single dad at the head in a place of success as well is where we start this film out and that’s where we end. It’s a different type of success. A more all encompassing success. But I think that that’s really amazing too is it’s great for everyone to see ya know black families in a place of privilege ya know and they’re having to question their beliefs and viewpoints around that.
Romany Malco: Right and to be honest, I still struggle with is it privilege or is it earned?
Sonequa Martin: Oh yeah. I mean from a global perspective.
The Knockturnal: Right. Of course. And there was such a sweet scene where everyone has on hooded onesies. Are there any unique traditions you guys participate in?
Sonequa Martin: Well ya know what I speaking of that… Since we have it out there now, I can say that yes, we do the pajamas as well.
Romany Malco: See she was holding that from us!
Sonequa Martin: I was! I was holding that thing but since it’s out there now yeah! We do the jammies.
Romany Malco: My family is Caribbean so ya got east Indian, Venezuelan, Trinidadian… The men cook! The men are the main cook so you aren’t a man until you learn how to cook.
Sonequa Martin: Dude. Invite us! Ya know what I’m saying…
Romany Malco: Right? Done!
The Knockturnal: And we gotta talk about the cute little twins!
Sonequa Martin: Yes!
The Knockturnal: Was this their first movie?
Sonequa Martin: I don’t think so. No, I think that they’re quite experienced.
The Knockturnal: They are incredible! What was it like working with them?
Romany Malco: Unreal. Listen you got two gymnasts on set. Very psychical gymnasts on set, all day, energy never goes down! It was actually inspiring because they were so disciplined and so prepared and so ready to work when they go to set. Their family is from the same place my family is from so that was just another level of where we eating this week type thing!
Sonequa Martin: Yes! And the other kids as well. Like they were I mean everybody came with it and especially them! They would watch them and say man you guys are in this story!
Romany Malco: Sometimes when you’re a kid your role is kind of just to do cutesy things as a kid but no these kids got to be the more edgy people in the film
Sonequa Martin: They really did.
The Knockturnal: Right!
Romany Malco: Which was so hilarious, right? They were saying the craziest stuff.
The Knockturnal: They were the best.
Romany Malco: Their execution was too good and I was like this has gotta be you! Omar was like…
Sonequa Martin: Omar was. I’m telling you it was amazing and so was Deja. Hats off to all of them.
The Knockturnal: Hats off to you guys! You guys did an incredible job. Thank you so much!
Holiday Rush premieres on Netflix on November 28.