Tis’ the season to hang up our stockings with cheer, sip hot cocoa over an open fire, and open gifts with our loved ones on Christmas day! Fun times right? Well, maybe not if you’re on the naughty list?
This holiday session, we get an inside scoop of who really makes Santa’s naughty and nice list, through the new Disney Channel original movie The Naughty Nine. Throughout the film, we follow the story of Andy, a boy who has made his mark on Santa’s naughty list. Due to this, he didn’t receive a single Christmas gift under the tree this year. But, after realizing he isn’t alone, he forms a group of naughty list kids who work together to get the Christmas presents they feel they deserve. The film is fun, comforting, and thrilling, and will be sure to have you on the edge of your seat.
We had the opportunity to talk with the director of the film Alberto Belli, and actor Winslow Fegley, who plays the role of troublemaker Andy.
The Naughty Nine is unlike any Christmas movie ever seen before, combining a high speed heist with the holiday spirit. On-the-rise actor Fegley, who has starred in over six major projects since 2020, shares with us how this film is so unique compared to other projects he’s worked on in the past.
“I’ve done a Christmas movie [before], but this movie I think stands alone because I’ve never really done any sort of heist film,” says Fegley. “It was really cool because I’ve always loved the Ocean 11 movies, and all the movies in that kind of genre. It was really awesome to be in a movie like that, and also a Christmas movie at the same time.”
Outside of the plot, the characters are just as captivating in the movie. Belli shares, “I think it’s all about relationships. The core of the movie is really about the brother and sister relationship… . You can care about his [Andy’s] world and have it really exciting and cool to look at, but if nobody cares about the character’s, there’s no movie.” Throughout the film, the audience gets to dive deep into the trials and tribulations of family relationships during the Christmas season, providing a story for audiences to relate to. The film’s characters even resonate with the director on a personal level. “One of the reasons I love the movie is because I used to have not such a good relationship with my sister. So it was like ‘Oh my God, this is my sister and me.’…I think people will be able to really relate to the siblings storyline.”
Fegley was also able to bring bits and pieces of his personal life to the film, truly allowing him to embrace the role of Andy. “I guess when I was a kid, I always used to get into a little bit of trouble. I was always…a mischief kinda guy, so I think in that way I was able to bring pieces of my younger self into the role.”
The film will be premiering on the Disney Channel today, but it took a lot of work behind the scenes to get here. In fact, Belli originally began as a computer science engineer, allowing his love for storytelling to avert his career path into a film director. He has since been recognized at a plethora of Oscar-qualifying film festivals, and worked on a variety of commercials, films, and episodic projects. He shares advice with aspiring creators, who have a dream but just don’t know where to start.
“First of all I would say, never give up, because it’s a LONGGG road. And always practice your creativity…I think its very important to find your voice, and do smaller projects, so when you get a big one [he laughs], you don’t mess it up.”
Make sure to watch The Naughty Nine, premiering on the Disney Channel today and tomorrow, November 23rd on Disney+.
By Avery Kelley
Instagram: @askaveryk / Twitter: @averykels
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