Original ‘A Christmas Story’ Star Zack Ward Explains How the New Film Continues the Tradition

By | November 14, 2022

For those who grew up on cable within the 90s, you listened to TBS’ 24 hours of a Christmas story marathon at the very least as soon as.

A Christmas story is a 1983 Christmas comedy movie directed by Bob Clark and based mostly on Jean Shepherd’s semi-fictional e book, In God We Belief: All Others Pay Money from 1966. The movie stars Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley and Zack Ward.

The story of a kid attempting to navigate his means by means of an “Official Pink Ryder Motion, 200-Spherical, Vary Mannequin Air Rifle” has turn into a vacation basic due to annual airings.

It was an unbiased movie with little or no notoriety till the early 90s when Turner Broadcasting started airing the movie on TCM, TNT and TBS throughout the holidays. It aired on these three channels six instances from Christmas Eve till December 26, 1995. It was so well-liked that the next 12 months had eight separate airings, then there was a 24-hour marathon the next 12 months on DTT.

The block, which is now simulcast on TNT and TBS, has turn into a part of some households’ vacation traditions, with tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals tuning in constantly annually. For some, Ralphie Parker and the gang maintain a particular place of their hearts and are as synonymous with this time of 12 months because the tree, the stockings and jolly Saint Nick himself.

And the truth that HBO Max is now launching a direct sequel to the film almost 30 years later is a testomony to the unique movie’s significance in popular culture. The household dynamics, coming-of-age story, and determined makes an attempt to get what you need for Christmas are relevant to any period. The movie shows the beliefs of American traditionalism in a means that feels inclusive and relatable, regardless of being set within the Nineteen Forties. Additionally, the older we get, the extra we transfer from seeing ourselves in youngster characters to see us in adults. Yearly, hundreds of thousands of Individuals let the movie into their properties, just about making the Parker household distant kin.

For Ward, return to the cinema A Christmas Story Christmas it was like seeing outdated brothers and sisters once more. “I do know these guys. They’re like brothers to me. I’ve recognized him for 40 years now,” he instructed TV Insider. Filming for the sequel started in 2020, that means Ward and the remainder of the forged stayed collectively in lodge quarantine for many of manufacturing. “We [had] lengthy nights of sitting speaking about life, which was nice. I ought to have filmed this half!

Right now, Ward was no stranger to reunions, having beforehand come from filming the Titus 2-part reunion particular, the place he reunited along with his TV household Christopher Titus, Stacy Keach, Cynthia Watros and David Shatraw.

However come to movie A Christmas story 30 years later, it was additionally a reunion for the characters, because it goals to attach the dots of the unique however advance them as individuals with new life experiences.

Ralphie (Billingsley) is again, now along with his circle of relatives, alongside Scott Schwartz as Flick, RD Robb as Schwartz and Ian Petrella as Ralphie’s brother, Randy, Ward returning because the neighborhood bully Scut Farkus. Julie Hagerty performs Ralphie’s mom, Mrs. Parker (beforehand performed by Melinda Dillon), and Erinn Hayes joins the set as Ralphie’s spouse, Sandy. Following the loss of life of his outdated man (Darren McGavin, who died in 2006), Ralphie returns house and guarantees his mom to provide him an exquisite Christmas. He accepts and is straight away stuffed with self-monologue existential concern. However what has progressed for a kid like Farkus now that he’s an grownup?

“He is not like Deebo from Friday, however someway he is nonetheless a little bit of a terror,” Ward stated of his iconic character. “Scut Farkus, to me, is that uncle…all the youngsters adore. He may give her a sip of beer when it is not applicable or possibly take her to a paintball recreation and shoot her within the ass. After which make enjoyable of him for it, however the youngsters will love him.

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Quillard Inc.

And he is additionally the man who’s in all probability going to combat [the] Fourth of July. You are still shaking your head [at him]however he has one of the best tales, and he is acquired your again 24/7, however he is form of a jerk.

Everybody continued to “stroll within the footsteps of Jean Shepherd and Bob Clark” by way of story, path and character development for A Christmas Story Christmas. Keep true to the spirit of the character is one thing Ward takes criticallyparticularly because the sequel interval has been “undiscovered” territory till now.

“I truly did a bunch of analysis on Scut Farkus’ backstory with the Shepard tales as a result of they have been about how his dad owned a junkyard and was from one other nation with a guttural accent , and he was a blue-faced man, which implies he at all times had a 5 o’ clock shadow. And Scut Farkus is named Scut, which is a Scottish phrase for s**t. Yeah, so that you deal with somebody shit.

Though many know A Christmas story, few individuals know that it is half of an entire Parker Household saga of little tales loosely based mostly on Shepherd’s circle of relatives. There’s a play, two theatrical movies, 4 made-for-TV movies, a straight-to-home video movie, an unaired pilot episode for a deliberate tv sequence, a musical adaptation, and a live-action tv adaptation of this comedy musical. The tales originated in Shepherd’s radio packages and in his books earlier than the diversifications.

“So discovering out that his dad was mainly an immigrant who labored in a junkyard, and he is from Scotland and doubtless comes from a fairly harsh and difficult setting and everyone seems to be an extension of his life expertise , I [try] to imbue that into the character in order that he has that background [in the movie]”, Ward stated, calling the movie “actually touching. I went to see a casting screening on the workplaces of Legendary Studios, and I’ve to be trustworthy… I used to be actually stunned at how a lot it grabbed me by the chest.

Outdoors of his movie and tv work and his place as CEO at AllSportsMarket (ASM), Ward is understood for his charity work across the vacation season. This 12 months, he’s as soon as once more teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation to boost consciousness and funds to combat Alzheimer’s illness following his father’s prognosis final summer time.

“My dad was identified with Alzheimer’s in 2020. And he declined very, in a short time. So I spent a couple of 12 months taking care of him,” Ward instructed us. …and it will sound merciless to say, but when Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk or Invoice Gates get examined and discover they’ve a precursor to Alzheimer’s illness, I guess it should all be resolved actual fast. ”

Ward shall be actual Christmas story home in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, December 17, from 10 a.m. to three p.m., signing autographs and taking photos with followers.

“I give away signed autographed images totally free, and other people can take images with me for his or her Christmas card or no matter,” he stated. “We simply requested for a charitable donation. Some individuals can do it, some individuals cannot, completely perceive. And each are welcome.

In any case, a household Christmas film, finally, must be about giving again.

A Christmas Story ChristmasMovie premiere, Thursday, November 17, HBO Max