Actress Desiree Ross is set to star in the Lifetime Movie A Country Christmas Story, premiering this Saturday, November 9th at 8pm ET/PT. In the movie, Desiree plays “a young, biracial Appalachian mountain girl” who defies her mom and pursues her dreams of becoming a country star.
Celebrity Teen Scoop chatted with Desiree about what it was like working with Dolly Parton and Brian McKnight on the movie, her love for country music in real life, and staying grounded while living in the limelight. The talented actress also opened up about grasping her “Jennifer Lawrence moment!”
CTS: You are set to star in the Lifetime Movie, A Country Christmas Story. Could you tell us about the movie and your role?
Desiree: “I play a young, biracial Appalachian mountain girl who goes against her mom and picks up a guitar to pursue her dreams of becoming a country star. In the movie, I end up performing at Dollywood, a Christmas singing competition emceed by Dolly Parton. I also reunite with my father.”
CTS: How did you get involved in the movie?
Desiree: “My agent got me the audition and I had a couple of auditions. When I finally got the movie role, I was really excited about it!”
CTS: Did you have to learn how to play the guitar for the movie?
Desiree: “I did learn how to play the guitar for the movie. I had guitar tutoring with a great guitar teacher. We worked for many hours so that I would be able to play the songs right. I can actually play the songs now, which is really awesome.”
CTS: What was it like working with Dolly Parton and Brian McKnight on the movie? Did they give you any advice on working in the entertainment industry?
Desiree: “Oh my gosh, both of them are really amazing and sweet. Dolly Parton is as kind-hearted as you would see on the news. Brian is also very caring and much like a father. They both gave me great advice on staying true to myself, being all I can be, and not losing my head.”
CTS: Are you a big fan of country music in real life? What are some of your favorite musical genres and artists?
Desiree: “I do love country music in real life, because I am from South Carolina and most of my friends listen to country music. I love everybody and listen to a lot of Dolly Parton. I also listen to a lot of pop music and alternative. All of it is great…I don’t really have a specific genre that I like more than others; I like listening to whatever is good and whatever is new and coming out.”
CTS: How did you get your start in acting?
Desiree: “It all started when I was three years old. I kept telling my mom, ‘Hey mom, I want to do whatever those people do on TV. I want to be on TV, so how can I do that?’ She told me I needed an agent, so I kept bugging her about it. Finally, when I was in fourth grade, an agency moved in right down the street and my mom thought it had to be fate. We went in and I did my audition, then from there I attended a couple of extravaganzas and knew it was what I wanted to do. My uncle introduced me to the first agency I was with, and then my amazing manager, Greg, introduced me to others. Everyone has truly been such a big help. They are all so amazing.”
CTS: Which actors and actresses would you like to work with the most?
Desiree: “Let’s see…Jennifer Aniston, because she is really funny. I would also love to work with Jennifer Lawrence, because she is amazing and awesome. I loved her in Silver Linings Playbook, and my mom and I always reference the scene where she is screaming. My mom says to me, ‘Desiree, whenever you do this, just think about your “Jennifer Lawrence moment.” You need to grasp it and get ahold of it, then let your Jennifer Lawrence out!’ I’m always like, ‘Okay mom, I’ll do that.’ [laughs] I also love Emma Stone, because she is so hilarious.”
CTS: Some young actors have had a difficult time adjusting to living in the limelight. Are you worried about that at all? What or who keeps you grounded?
Desiree: “My parents always remind me to be grounded and I think that as long as I am around the people I am true around, I can be myself around, and have some sense of normalcy around, I think I will be okay. That’s at least what I’m hoping.”
CTS: What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t on-set or preparing for a role?
Desiree: “That’s easy to answer! I love soccer, shopping, and singing in the shower. [laughs] I also like spending time with my friends and family. Church is also pretty fun for me.”
CTS: What is up next for you?
Desiree: “Right now, I play the role of Mira on the TNT show Falling Skies. I can’t really say anything other than that, because I don’t want to give away any of the plot. That is what I am working on right now, and hopefully something else will come up too.”