INTERVIEW: Josh Whitehouse

The days leading up to Christmas are all about non-stop Prosecco-popping with friends, mince pie munching, and of course, cosying up in front of some fun, feel-good Christmas movies.

The latest festive film release courtesy of Netflix is ‘The Knight Before Christmas’, a romantic comedy starring Josh Whitehouse as Sir Cole and Vanessa Hudgens as Brooke. Josh is a British model, music artist and actor and not only does he star in the film but he also wrote and performed the track that features in it, ‘Before Christmas’. You can see the video of him recording this below.

He’s the perfect package – talented, good looking and also rather lovely – and we were super excited to get an interview with him…

So you have entered yourself into the Christmas genre by appearing in Netflix’s ‘The Knight Before Christmas’ and writing a Christmas song to go with it! Did you ever imagine this happening?

I can’t say I did, no! Haha.. Having come from a music background I feel as though I only ever really imagined myself being a musician in terms of the “imagining stuff days” since then and beginning a career in acting I have only been able to be surprised at what I have ended up doing – you never know what’s around the corner with acting. Now you mention it though I suppose once I started acting I definitely imagined the idea that one day it would be awesome if I could ever write songs for films I was in and manage to get them on the soundtrack and actually now, to my delight, this is the 3rd time I have made a creative contribution to a film’s soundtrack now, so it has actually been going pretty well! In one of my first films ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ I was playing a musician in a fictional band and they let me co-write the lyrics with Ben Parker who was handling the music – I have a song in another film ‘The Happy Worker’ which is not out yet, but I shot that last year and was very happy to make that happen. All very exciting for me and a habit I intend to keep up as much as possible!

You got to act alongside Vanessa Hudgens too – how was that?

Vanessa was so lovely to work with, very sweet and hugely talented. It was great fun to act alongside her and so cool to have had the opportunity! We got along well and she made the job easy.

Check out the movie on Neflix now!

Who were your influences going into writing the track for the movie?

Honestly it just came from somewhere inside of me. Just plopped out, if you will. Or at least I wasn’t trying to emulate anybody else with this particular track – the song came about very naturally, I write music constantly for either myself or one of my bands (More Like Trees/ High Cross Society) so I guess there is a flavour of some of those in there but really I felt this track was so different and I think that was because I wasn’t really writing the track as myself but as Sir Cole which makes a huge difference.

When I write a song as/for myself I have a series of specific rules and taste dependent preferences or even limitations which I write within. Whereas with this song I was writing from the perspective of a character which for me allowed a lot of my barriers to lift in a way. For instance my lyrics wouldn’t usually be quite so on the nose, I tend to write very metaphorically when I am writing for myself – so if I wrote a love song you probably wouldn’t be able to tell! Whereas I feel like with this song I had some very specific feelings and themes to play with and also the story to consider.

Josh recording the ‘Before Christmas’ track that features in the film

With Christmas around the corner what is your Christmas jam which gets you in the mood?

Lately I have been listening to Brenda Lee a lot actually, realising how many of her songs I have heard and not know they were her and I have been really enjoying rediscovering her discographies! In my household we usually use the reggae Christmas playlist on YouTube haha!

And what Christmas movie is your ultimate go to?

I think probably ‘Elf’ would be my go to, its so funny and I love Will Ferrell. That movie actually inspired me quite a lot when preparing for this one because I felt it had a similar kind of tone with the fish out of water type concept so loved seeing what Will Ferrell did with that idea. He does it so so well.

What have you got lined up for 2020?

Currently the only thing I have officially lined up is my band “More Like Trees” album release in January – been working on that for the last 2 years and have just released our 3rd single from it “Light The Darkness”. Other than that I am just seeing where the wind takes me, reading scripts and taping auditions for that next role *fingers crossed*

What have you been listening to, reading, and watching this year? Any recommendations?

Hmm. I have been listening to Fat Freddies Drop, Calibre, Tali, Lazy Habits, Fjokra, Dizraeli, The Skints, Brenda Lee, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, James Taylor, Paul Simon…… Many more but it would be a long list – I have been reading mostly just scripts but also a pretty great book my friend Ben gave me called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” very useful in life skills and healthy thinking. And as for watching I have recently been watching “Living With Yourself” with Paul Rudd, that was pretty entertaining. I like to watch stand up comedy too – Sebastian Maniscalco had me cracking up and for something more serious I loved “Marriage Story” I thought that the performances in that movie were both heartbreaking and spellbinding – it destroyed me. I also really loved “The Dead Don’t Die” that was super fun.

Finally, what is your tip of the day?

My tip of the day would be something I heard someone say recently which was good to hear and when you think about it actually quite profound: “Nothing is that big of a deal.”

It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to speak to Josh! We wish him all the best in 2020!

If you would like to keep up to date with Josh and his future plans you can follow him below:

Twitter: @Joshisatree

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