Fil-Am producer bankrolls 'A Mermaid for Christmas'

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Dec 07 2022 04:35 PM

Jessica Morris as Daphne with Kyle Lowder as Travis Hunter in 'A Mermaid for Christmas.' Handout
Jessica Morris as Daphne with Kyle Lowder as Travis Hunter in 'A Mermaid for Christmas.' Handout

MANILA -- Hollywood actor Kyle Lowder cannot be any prouder that he was given his first holiday film, ”A Mermaid for Christmas,” that will be released in the Philippines in time for the Yuletide season.

Speaking through Zoom from Los Angeles, Lowder cannot be more grateful to address the local press for “A Mermaid for Christmas,” which opens in theaters on Wednesday, December 7.

“I am so excited that ‘A Mermaid for Christmas’ is coming to the Philippines,” Lowder told ABS-CBN News. “I so wished that I could be there in person to celebrate the movie with all of you.

“Unfortunately, I am now filming a TV show in Los Angeles and I am unable to make the trip to the Philippines. I am so excited for all of you to see this film this coming holidays.”

Lowder has been in the entertainment industry for 22 years now. “I’m very grateful to have spent an amount of time in this industry doing what I love to do,” he granted. “I really wanted to become an actor since I was a little boy growing up in New York City.

“I moved to Los Angeles more than two decades ago. I have been working in the television and film industry ever since. I was in a very famous television show, ‘Days of Our Lives.’ I don’t know how many countries it was in.”

Lowder played Brady Black on the NBC soap opera, where he stayed on until 2005. He then went on to play Rick Forrester in “The Bold and the Beautiful,” where he spent six years.

Recently, however, Lowder returned to “Days of Our Lives,” that’s why he can cannot leave the taping on the set.

Lowder has also done films, as well as stage in Broadway, New York. “I’ve had a very full, wonderful career that I’m very grateful for. On my 22nd year in the business, my work is still going strong.”

“A Mermaid for Christmas” is Lowder’s first holiday film. “It’s also my favorite,” he smiled. “I’m very proud of it. I had the best time filming it.

“This is the most fun film that I had ever had in my work. I am not just saying it. I really mean it. Mainly because we went in a lot of beautiful, fun locations to film it. We were in a boat. We were in the Pacific Ocean, We were in a town called Marina del Rey.

“The dialogue in the script was very fun to say. The actors both in front of the camera and the crew were very wonderful to work with. This is a feel-good movie that everybody that was working on it couldn’t help but enjoy every minute that we had filming. It was very enjoyable.”

He plays Travis Hunter in “A Mermaid for Christmas. “He’s the owner or a bar-restaurant in a fictional town where the film takes place in,” Lowder said about his character. “He’s a fun-loving, sweet, good man who just needs help. He’s a really nice guy.

“He’s not going to have enough money to keep the bar going, so he starts to get really down. Then the mermaid comes into his life. She helps him in many different ways. Travis has experienced some tragedy in his life. The mermaid helps him personally and emotionally.”

Lovely actress Jessica Morris plays the mermaid Daphne in the holiday film that brings forth warmth, love and hope in the whimsical holiday offering of WFL Productions and released by Lenaz Film Production.

Lowder has known Morris, his leading lady for nearly a decade. They previously worked together in a few TV shows, but “A Mermaid for Christmas” is their first team-up on the big screen.

“She’s a wonderful and marvelous actress,” Lowder said about Morris. “She’s just such a joy to work with. Very professional, so prepared, beautiful physically, inside and out, as well. She was just so enjoyable to work with. She’s a very talented actress.”

Working in the ocean was not a hard task for Lowder in “A Mermaid for Christmas.” He was a competitive swimmer from the time he was eight, in grade school all throughout his senior year in high school.

He worked as a life guard for four summers and also taught swimming lessons. He lives in Malibu, California and the beach is a mere ten-minute drive aways from his house. “I’m very comfortable in the water, even in strong waves,” Lowder said.

Admittedly, there are a lot into Travis’ character that is very similar to Lowder. “I definitely pulled a lot of who I am and my own life experiences into Travis’ character and formulating his experiences,” Lowder explained. 

“There are also a lot of aspects into Travis’ character that I personally couldn’t relate to as Kyle. So I needed to do some preparations in that to try to get into his head and to his heart. So my performance was very natural, authentic and very believable.

“It was a combination of both, pulling from my own personality and my own life experiences and doing some experience to create his character, as well.”

Written and directed by Michael Caruso, “A Mermaid for Christmas” also showcases the wholesome family-friendly performances of Daytime Emmy nominees Kathleen Gati and Arianne Zucker, with Sheree J. Wilson and Chadwick Armstrong.

Meanwhile, Filipino-American producer Arsy Grindulo, Jr. is the executive producer of “A Mermaid for Christmas,” with Tess Reyes and Imelda Napa as producers.

Grindulo came to the film industry by accident. His work was into the financial services. “One of my producer-friends introduced me to her son-in-law who was just finished his cinematic arts course and working as a director and scriptwriter,” Grindulo shared.

“He showed me the script of the sci-fi horror film which I got involved in and that was how I started out. That’s the story behind how I got into film production.”

Grindulo bankrolled “Ascencion” in 2018 and the film was fortunate enough to bag a number of awards, including best independent film from the National Film and TV Awards.

The honors encouraged Grindulo to venture anew into co-production and even releasing independent films.