LeAnn Rimes Talks New Christmas Movie, Music and Tour
LeAnn Rimes is gearing up for a busy holiday season with the upcoming premiere of her new Hallmark Channel movie It's Christmas, Eve, followed by her sixth holiday tour. Rimes also just released the It's Christmas, Eve soundtrack featuring three new original Christmas songs.
"I have so much on my plate, between the movie and the tour," Rimes tells Taste of Country. "I'm just so excited for people to see the film and come out."
In the new movie, Rimes plays Eve Morgan, a traveling interim superintendent tasked with fixing budget woes at schools around the country. Old drama soon arises when she returns home to make budget cuts at her childhood school.
"My character is really intelligent, but she's run away from some things in her childhood," Rimes says. "When she comes back home she gets slapped in the face with them and has to deal with it."
It's Christmas, Eve marks the first time Rimes has served as an executive producer on a film project. "It's definitely the most I've been involved in an acting role," she says. "Coming in as an executive producer is something I really enjoyed. Hallmark was super open to what I wanted to talk about and what was important to me to include in the film."
Some of those subjects include blended families and the importance of keeping music in schools. Like most Hallmark Channel original holiday movies, It's Christmas, Eve incorporates musical performances. But Rimes points out the film isn't a "musical" per se.
"I really didn't want to hit that too on the nose," she says of including music in the film. Instead of characters randomly breaking out into song and dance, the movie incorporates Rimes' new songs into the plot.
"My character's love interest is a school music teacher with a daughter in school," she says, serving as a catalyst for some of the music in the movie. In another scene, Eve Morgan's stepdad sings new original "The Gift Of Your Love" with her mom. Rimes says she hopes the emotional moments blend nicely with some of the funnier moments.
"I'm very dramatic just in general," Rimes laughs. "No, I'm really not, but I do cry a lot and I have a lot of emotion when I perform — I think that comes across in the film as well."
There's one song in particular that brings tears to Rimes' eyes every time she performs it. "I don't think I've made it through the song 'It's Christmas Eve' without crying when I sing it," she says.
Rimes co-wrote "It's Christmas Eve," "The Gift of Your Love" and "You and Me and Christmas" with songwriter and producer Darrell Brown, whom she's collaborated with for years. "Darrell and I wrote all three songs in the two weeks before we began shooting," Rimes says. They actually wrote two of the songs over FaceTime while Rimes was fulfilling other commitments.
Fans can already hear the three new songs as well as the rest of the It's Christmas, Eve soundtrack. Rimes released the nine-song soundtrack on Oct. 11.
Fans on the West Coast also have a chance to see Rimes perform the new songs live during her "You and Me and Christmas Tour," which makes 12 stops. Rimes says she hopes the show urges people to tap into a side of themselves they don't explore much.
"I'm taking the message of the show even more to heart than ever," Rimes says. "I think there's a spiritual aspect to it — not a religious aspect, but a spiritual aspect, and I want people to really get in touch with that piece of themselves. My voice seems to be a catalyst to break people open in that way, and that's a beautiful gift to have."
She says though it's a big idea for a show, it's also very simple. There are certain special moments throughout this year's show (like a rendition of "Little Drummer Boy") she can't wait to play for audiences.
And if fans aren't quite into the holiday spirit yet? Do what Rimes does, and put on the original version of "Holly Jolly Christmas."
"That's the one thing that gets me in the spirit every year," she laughs. "Wasn't it in Home Alone? I think it was. It just reminds me of my childhood and immediately takes me there."
It's Christmas, Eve premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Nov. 10.
10 Sexiest Female Country Voices Ever