“It’s a bit awkward, I must say…”

Soaps.com was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with Michael Damian about his movie, “A Princess For Christmas,” which he directed and co-wrote with his wife, Janeen, now available on DVD. Don’t miss the exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at how the movie was made at the end of the interview. We also dished on his latest stint as Danny Romalotti on “Y&R.” Keep reading!

Soaps.com: “A Princess For Christmas” really draws the viewer in. It has the elements of a old-fashioned fable, while the background story and characters bring it into the present as a modern-day fairytale. How did you come to write this type of story?

Michael: Well, I think it was born out of our great love for holiday films, going back to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Christmas Vacation,” “Home Alone;” we love Christmas holiday films. We spent a lot of time in Europe – we lived in Europe, actually, for three years – and had the chance to live in a castle, and we thought maybe we should someday do a holiday Christmas film that revolves around a family from the U.S. coming to Europe. Then we came up with our fictional little sovereign nation, like Monte Carlo, but we called it Castlebury; you can have a little more fun with the royal lineage without offending anyone in the UK [laughs], and we got royalty in the movie – Sir Roger Moore – so that was a fantastic plus! We’re also big on family – I come from a large family – and Christmas is so important to us. We come together, have Christmas parties, we decorate; it’s definitely my most favorite time of the year.

Soaps.com: The movie captures that heartwarming feeling very well too.

Michael: Thank you so much. We were lucky to find a castle in Romania too. It was so beautiful, and so picturesque, and that was real snow falling. It was so cool! We had snow machines for back-up but they only came out once when it heated up one day, but that was not at the castle. So it’s all pillowy, gorgeous snow falling. Not easy to work in, but beautiful on camera.

Soaps.com: The pacing of the story was just right – you never got bored or felt things were happening too quickly or too slowly. How did you achieve that?

Michael: Once you create your story and you set up your characters…this is a family/romantic comedy film all in one…so we wanted to keep it moving, we wanted to get you on this journey as soon as possible and let it unfold in Castlebury. You set up your characters and let the audience find out who these people are, and who Jules is, and her situation, but not make it a long drawn-out set-up because the story really does take off once they get to Castlebury where you meet the grandfather, played by Sir Roger Moore, and this castle filled with these kind of odd people, which is fun. They’re stiff and they’re formal, and I think it’s also the story of how this American family from Buffalo changes [them] and brings a lot of life, warmth, and joy into this staunch castle.

Soaps.com: The casting was spot on. Katie McGrath was terrific as Jules.

Michael: Isn’t she amazing? So beautiful. She plays the evil queen in “Merlin.” Katie McGrath is a wonderful actress, we really got lucky with her. We found her in the UK – most of the actors actually came from the UK, which was pretty amazing.

Soaps.com: Did you and Janeen have a hand in the casting as well?

Michael: Absolutely. I directed, and when you direct you’re involved in all of that…and producing. We do casting sessions together; Janeen and I go through everything, we’re very close to the project and care about every aspect of the film. She’s a wonderful writing partner, a wonderful producing partner, and has tremendous attention to detail. It’s a thrill working with her.

Soaps.com: The DVD of “A Princess For Christmas” is available Tuesday October 16?

Michael: Yes! I’m very excited. It’s on DVD and Blu-Ray. I’m really anxious for people to get a chance to see it in hi-def, and the Blu-Ray should look amazing. You can get it at all your favorite retailers [in store or online]; pretty much anywhere you like to get your DVDs.

Soaps.com: Is there a ‘Part II’ in the works?

Michael: Actually, there is. We have a really interesting story and we’re working on it now. We were there, and Katie and everyone is asking us, ‘What are we going to do for the sequel to it?’ We came up with something funny and wrote it down and tucked it away in the back of our minds.

Soaps.com: Will it involve the same characters, or some of the same characters?

Michael: Oh, absolutely. There’s just so much more we can do. I always think optimistically and I hope we do make “A Princess For Christmas 2,” that would be great.