Dust off your spell books and get ready to shine because Life Size is coming back!
Grace Manning (Francia Raisa) is the 20-something CEO of Marathon Toys, a huge toy company started by her mother that is most famous for manufacturing the iconic Eve doll. Grace is also in the middle of her quarter-life crisis, realizing she is in over her head as CEO. To make matters worse, her wild-child ways are causing the company’s stock to plummet. With the help of her young next-door neighbor, Grace’s old Eve doll (Banks) magically awakens to help get Grace back on track and give her the confidence to be the woman and leader Eve knows Grace can be.
Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve is executive produced by Tyra Banks and Stephanie Allain. The film is written by Cameron Fay and Stacey Harman and directed by Steven K. Tsuchida. Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve also stars Gavin Stenhouse, Shanica Knowles, Hank Chen, and Alison Fernandez.
Celeb Secrets recently spoke with Banks and Raisa about the upcoming sequel as they dished on everything that went down behind the scenes. From the early preparation stages to bloopers, the girls cover it all in our latest Q&A.
Check out our exclusive interview with the duo below and be sure to catch Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve when it premieres this Sunday, December 2nd @ 9PM ET/PT on Freeform.
CS: It’s been 18 years since the first Life-Size movie came out, why did you feel it was right to bring back the second one?
Tyra Banks: “I was in a meeting with Disney Channel about 6-years ago because they wanted me to do a sitcom and produce it. However, at that time I wanted to focus on my acting and be the best actress I could be. Fast forward to several years later, here we are with the perfect script, story, and we found Francia to play Grace.”
CS: How hands-on were you with the script changes and the concept of Life-Size 2?
Tyra Banks: “Extremely hands-on, extremely. Like I write lines so extremely hands-on and the concept was also my idea. I was inspired by Amy Schumer in Trainwreck and said, ‘what is our version of that?’ Not that extreme but pulling from that and finding who they are.”
CS: Francia, were you a fan of the original Life-Size?
Francia Raisa: “Yes, I was, ever since I was 12-years-old. I would watch it over and over again or at least, every time Disney Chanel would play it. My sisters and I always pretended we had an Eve doll and we would always say ‘okay, dress me!’ every time (laughs).”
Tyra Banks: “Obviously, it started on Disney Channel and when I got the call, the audience was a lot older and that’s when we decided to have it on Freeform.”
CS: How would you say you prepared for your role as Grace?
Francia Raisa: “I think I prepared myself when I was 12-years-old (laughs) because I was such a huge fan, this came naturally to me. And the life experiences that I’ve encountered. I mean at some point I was once 25 and had growing pains. I went through it all, feeling like an adult but not really an adult, being mad at my parents, and being forced to do things I didn’t want to do so life also prepared me as well.”
With the first Life-Size movie being such a classic film, are there any hidden gems or remarks in this second one?
Tyra Banks: “Yes, what I did with the original movie was that I dissected it and saw what resonated with the audience and what were the things that needed to be in the next movie. And it was also important to not take the same concept and repeated so we took it to the next level.”
Now I know you’re not Lindsay Lohan and your character is not like hers but did you guys talked to Lindsay about Life-Size 2?
Tyra Banks: “Yeah, I was talking to Lindsay (Lohan) for a while. We were DMing back and forward for months and she really wanted to do it, she was very excited. She was going to be in a special cameo scene with the two of us but up until the last minute she had her MTV “Lohan Beach House” in Europe so she was obligated to do that first. But, there are also creative ways in which she’s in, which you’ll see around the movie.”
Overall, how was the experience on set? Did you guys learn anything from each other?
Tyra Banks: “Well this one (points at Francia) she can cry on command (laughs). One thing I enjoyed about Francia was that even though the camera wasn’t on me, I was like ‘I’m going to be there for you. You’re my home girl and if you’re tearing up, I’m just going to let is flow for you.’ And she did the same, it was nice to see that selflessness from her.”
Francia Raisa:“Yeah and I appreciate that from you too. Also, your leadership and everything you embodied on and off screen is all you (looks at Tyra). Because of you, I learned a lot of leadership skills and how to guide people.”
Lastly, we hear that out of all your fan interactions, this is always the number thing fans ask the most about the first Life-Size film. What has been the most stand-out fan moment regarding the original?
Tyra Banks: “Oh gosh, there’s so many (laughs). The “Be A Star” song, that one has been just crazy. I had a waitress once and as she was putting down the plates, she was also singing and doing the choreography and I was like ‘okay, this is a choreographed dinner’ and again, she was 25-30 years old and the network was right.”