Kat Graham on “Operation Christmas Drop” and “Out of Line” to “Increase Consciousness”
The Christmas spirit on Netflix is strong! We just made the debut of the super cute young adult romance Dash & Lily, and now it’s time for a new feature film, Operation Christmas Drop, bursting with holiday joy. The film is inspired by a real humanitarian mission by the US Air Force where military planes drop goods for those in need.
Kat Graham directs the film as Erica, a congressional assistant tasked with evaluating a Guam air force base to determine whether or not it is a candidate for closure during the vacation. It turns out that their guide for this visit is the base person with the most Christmas cheer, Alexander Ludwig’s Air Force Captain Andrew. Now it’s up to Andrew and his team to prove to Erica that her annual Christmas drop is a precious resource and a worthwhile tradition.
With Operation Christmas Drop, which is now available on Netflix, I had the chance to speak to Graham about her experience creating the film, including the opportunity to work with Bruce Best, the Outer Island liaison who has been the real Christmas Drop for decades contributes and what it was like to make a film in Guam. Graham also took a moment to explain her recent comments on how to change your looks for a role, specifically where the pressure comes from:
“I think it’s about having conversations, having honest conversations, being honest with yourself and who you are. Many of us, especially if you are an actress or in entertainment, almost have to satisfy this disease because there is so much rejection in Hollywood. When you finally get this roll or can be part of a project, you just don’t want to frizzle with feathers. Especially if you’re the only one of your kind – if you’re the only black person, or the Asian person, or the LGBTQIA character, sometimes you really want to get in line and I think there is a way to be respectful, but something too to challenge stylistically [and] visually this could in some way increase awareness or awareness of people. “
Graham went on to consider how her personal journey brought her to a place where she “feels more comfortable having awkward conversations” to encourage change:
“As I know from this interview, I grew up differently. I’m just a little different and I think I spent a lot of time hiding or wearing what other people thought I should wear or do my hair the way I thought other people should wear it, and i finally got to this point of self-love and that has to translate. And I think there are times when characters demand straight or curly hair or an afro, or I want to have my hair in curls or whatever it is, but these have to be honest conversations about why leaders or writers make certain decisions for characters and I now feel more comfortable having awkward conversations because they have to be, because we want to talk about love, we want to talk about acceptance, and we want to talk about diplomacy and we want to talk about all of these things, unfortunately there is not enough variety in Hollywood. And if you are able to really showcase different types of people on screen, that means how people interact with each other in the real world, and I think that’s really what it’s about. It’s about how we treat each other and there is no more discrimination and racism and everyone really accepts each other for who they are, but we have to come as we are first. “
You can watch our full conversation in the video player at the top of this article. Operation Christmas Drop is now available on Netflix!
- What draws Graham to Christmas movies?
- Graham highlights the person in the film who is involved in the real Operation Christmas Drop.
- Graham notes that this film was actually the first to be shot in Guam.
- What is it like to film on an active air force base?
- Graham repeats the flight experience she had while making the film. A particularly authentic moment on the set.
- Graham addresses her recent comments on changing your appearance for a project. how it strives to induce change in this regard.