You may remember Christian Oliver from his roles as a kid on Saved by the Bell: The New Class and in The Baby-Sitters Club movie. But now, he’s getting ready to star in his first ever Christmas movie, Best Christmas Ball Ever. We discuss that, his new Amazon series Hunters, coming in 2020, his favorite Christmas traditions and much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you got into acting originally.
I have always acted as a kid, it was a hobby for me. But I had never imagined being an actor. I guess when I moved to New York after finishing school, everything changed. I was so inspired by an amazing city that I started going to acting classes and taking it more seriously. Shortly after I moved to LA, I booked my first commercial and landed my role on Saved By The Bell – The new Class.
Was there a specific person or experience that you would credit with helping you decide that acting is what you wanted to do for a living?
Looking back at it, I can definitely credit my Uncle Reinhard, who was a theatre director. He took my sister and me to rehearsals, gave us small parts and always gave us a look behind the scenes.
Do you have a personal acting “bucket list” of things you still want to accomplish in your career? If so, what are some of the things on it?
It is very hard to plan a career in acting. Since the most amazing things happen when you least expect it and the harder your try and the more you push most likely nothing will give, I guess my bucket list is looking forward to unforeseen adventures and working with lost of passionate people.
Let’s talk about your upcoming Christmas movie, Best Christmas Ball Ever. Tell me a little bit about the character you play. What is he like? How does he fit into the story?
This is my first Christmas movie ever. I was very excited to go back to Vienna to play a Viennese prince who is a great ballroom dancer. I had no dancing experience whatsoever, but I got trained by the cast of Dancing with the Stars Austria and we had a blast. And tons of blisters, too. But well worth it.
Christmas movies have become this cultural phenomenon over the last few years that is beloved by millions of people. What does it mean to you to be a part of one this holiday season?
I can’t wait for people to see it. And also for my two daughters, who came to set with me, to see it. Finally something they can watch. I had the best time and I love romanic comedies, so I am very much looking forward to doing more of them.
Switching gears a little bit, you are going to be starring in the new Amazon series Hunters next year. What can you share about the character you play in that show?
Unfortunately, nothing. You guys have to watch it yourself. Only thing I can say is that I had the best time shooting it and you will love watching it.
You are also currently starring in Animal Among Us, which you co-produced. What were some of the challenges of wearing multiple hats at once on the same project?
I love independent movie making. Everyone is in it, not for the money, but for the dream. There is something special about doing small movies and seeing them come together from beginning to end. You become a family and everyone pulls in the same direction. I am so happy about all the positive buzz and feedback Animal Among Us has gotten. Check it out!
Let’s end this with a few fun, Christmas-related questions. Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition that you and your family do each year?
Since I was born in Germany, we still celebrate on Christmas Eve. We go to church, my daughters participate in the Nativity play and then we go home and exchange presents. We love to drink Glühwein (hot mulled wine) and chill under the Christmas tree.
What was the best gift you ever received on Christmas morning as a kid?
Definitely a soccer ball. I so badly wanted to be a pro when I grew up. Too bad I broke my bedroom window with it that year on Dec 26. I think Santa didn’t like it because he never made me become a pro.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Watching Bundesliga, which is the German soccer league, on weekends. Because of the time difference, all the games start at 6:30 am.