If you don’t know the meaning of doing it all, then you haven’t met Charleene Closshey. Closshey acts, produces, plays the violin, composes scores, and graces the stage with her cheerful blonde waves and sweetly discerning eyes. Just two months away from wrapping up her Broadway debut in Once, Closshey sat down with Caroline A. Wong to discuss her latest project: starring in the holiday film An Evergreen Christmas alongside Naomi Judd. From writing last-minute music to facing childhood bullies to being a cat lady, Closshey does it all and tells us all!
By Caroline A. Wong; Photos by Alexander Herman
Closshey cozies into a chair in her room at the Fairmont Miramar, wearing a look for the photo shoot we plan to begin the next hour and smiling over at her cat, Daphne, curled on the bed beside us. A small plate of cat food is on the dresser, a dog bed sits beside the patio door, and more clothes brought for the shoot are strewn on the coverlet. The room, much like Closshey, seems to be doing everything at once.
“They brought a dog bed,” Closshey laughs, presumably referring to the well-intentioned hotel staff. Daphne, however, has obviously chosen a more preferably perch and only occasionally blinks over at us from her fluffy dent by Closshey’s pillow. Dog bed aside, Closshey dives right in to talking about her latest film. “[It’s] called An Evergreen Christmas and it’s available everywhere online—iTunes, Amazon—and then exclusively in Walmart stores. It was such a fun film to make.” Not to mention, starring alongside entertainment veterans like Naomi Judd and Robert Loggia left an impression. “Man, that guy can deliver a line! I think, as a young actor, to have an opportunity to work with someone who’s just…beyond words…is quite an opportunity and a blessing. And then to work with Naomi Judd! Like, country music legend! That was pretty cool too.”
An Evergreen Christmas follows the story of Evie Lee, raised on a Christmas tree farm in a small town until leaving for Los Angeles to pursue her music dreams. When her father passes away, she returns to her hometown to save the farm and face the expectations of the people from her past. “She’s hiding the fact that her life really isn’t nearly as cool as what everybody else thinks,” says Closshey of her character. “So through her coming back to this small town and being [a] fish out of the water—but sort of really belonging—but total fish out of water, she rediscovers her voice. We’re always trying to find out who we are, and it’s that exploration.”