It’s been 28 years since Tim Allen first put on the Santa suit in “The Santa Clause” franchise, and although Scott Calvin might be ready for retirement, the actor is far from it.
Allen, 69, spoke to Fox News Digital about putting the suit back on in Disney+ television series’ “The Santa Clauses” while starring alongside his daughter, Elizabeth Allen, 13.
“It was the most amazing thing in the world to see my kid in the summer, and I had very little to do with it,” Allen said.
The “Home Improvement” alum said the cast shot the television series during the summer, which was “hot and uncomfortable,” but he was happy to have his daughter play his character’s daughter for the streaming service.
Allen said Elizabeth was originally going to star as a background elf on “The Santa Clauses,” before being cast as Sandra Calvin-Claus, Scott’s daughter. He said that he did not have any part in his daughter being cast in the series and preferred to stay away from the auditions.
“She just kept drilling it,” Allen said of Elizabeth during the casting readings. “I mean, literally, it’s like a golfer that constantly is hitting that pitching wedge on the green.”
As far as portraying Kris Kringle, Allen says not much has changed when it comes to playing the jolly character 28 years later.
“You know, you get around that suit, and I haven’t changed. It’s become that stupid thing, and it ain’t me,” he began. “I’m nowhere near as nice as that guy. It’s just amazing how I become that guy, walk on set and people react to it, and I honor it. I don’t make any jokes anymore as I watch my performance, and I literally think I’m better as Santa Claus than I am as anything else because I think for any actor to tease or put on a costume, it’s easy to become that thing.”
When discussing the iconic holiday movies, Allen said that he believes “The Santa Clause” franchise did a good job honoring Christmas as a Christian holiday without “heralding it.”
“We honor the Christian tradition without heralding it. It’s not – it is what it is. It’s a Christian holiday. So, we don’t belabor it, but we don’t ignore it. I love the way we deal with it,” he said.
Different from the original movies, Disney+ turned Scott Calvin’s final hurrah into a television series. Allen said it was a challenge – since he was so used to the movie format – but was able to look at the series as a “six-hour movie.”
“To get that first episode, get the fourth episode and the sixth episode in my head,” Allen said on how he viewed the series. “I see the beginning, middle and end as though it’s a six-hour movie. I said, ‘This thing is very, very good,’ and this is early on, and we continue down this path.”
He continued, “This is a new format for me, and then I can get my head around it creatively. It’s not a television show. It’s not a movie. It’s what we’ve been forced, challenged to do now is a hybrid. It’s a long movie or a very produced, very creatively elevated television program.”
Allen compared the way “The Santa Clauses” was filmed to “Game of Thrones” in which every episode was “beautifully shot.”
During one of the movie-like episodes, NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning made a cameo appearance. “It’s a double bind problem,” Allen began.
“I wasn’t able to be a fan because I’m frickin’ dressed as Santa Claus. So, I could no matter how much I grinned that I’m working with Peyton Manning to look like Santa Claus, to get a smile on his face. And so the fan was underneath, you know, 70 pounds of makeup. It was unbelievably challenging, and it was the greatest scene.”
In the television series adaption of the iconic holiday movies, Allen’s character of Santa Claus reveals he is ready for retirement. Allen on the other hand, can’t imagine what his life would look like without acting.
“Once I started doing coming to Disney and doing ‘Home Improvement’ or ‘Last Man Standing’ or getting on sets, I love every second of it,” he shared. “I don’t ever feel like I’m working so that I don’t know how to not do this.”
Allen also said that he still “adores” making people laugh. “I don’t know if my buddy [Jay] Leno ever said it this way. He asked me one time, ‘Why?’ I go – ‘I have had a house in Mexico for many, many, many years.’ And he goes, ‘What do you what do you do there?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know,’ and he says, ‘Retire is just another word for die. Waiting to die.’ And I go, ‘You know, I never thought of it that way, Jay. And I wish you hadn’t said that.’”
“I have two friends that love their retirement – they play tennis. They get up and have a leisurely breakfast with the wife. They love their retirement. It takes me almost my entire vacation to finally have two days of relaxation because I love what I do.”
The actor and comedian has been a household name for decades. Allen has appeared in “Christmas with the Kranks,” several “Toy Story” films, “Last Man Standing,” “Galaxy Quest,” “For Richer or Poorer” and many more.