Adam Rodriguez is playing Santa Clause on Friday, releasing the official trailer early to his upcoming holiday film A Christmas Proposal exclusively with Deadline readers (above). The CBS film premieres Sunday, Dec. 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT and will be available on demand via Paramount+.
Rodriguez— who executive produces and stars in the project—is proud to bring a holiday story featuring a Latino family to the small screen that focuses on the lives of the characters and steers clear of stereotypes.
"It was my goal from the beginning [that we're represented in a non-stereotypical way]," Rodriguez tells Deadline exclusively."The script was never written for a Latino family, to begin with. It was written, I'm sure, with a white family in mind. And CBS had the foresight to jump aboard and get a Latin cast in there. I was really happy to get to participate in that and help give it shape because we wanted this to be authentic. We wanted this to be about the people in it and not having to make those people characters that we've seen so many times before. It's really time to see something fresh and I think we accomplished that."
In the film, Rodriguez plays Julian Diaz, an attorney willing to do whatever it takes to win his father's favor over his brother to ascend to the role of managing partner at the family firm upon their dad's retirement.
When Julian meets Maria Winters (Jessica Camacho),—a chef who is hustling as a rideshare driver for extra income—he sees an opportunity to impress his parents. The pair go down this rabbit hole together but could it all be a huge recipe for disaster?
"Julian is a guy that has become obsessed with getting what he thinks is ahead like getting ahead at work, being the most important person there, and the best dressed. He's so caught up in this competition with his brother, which really feels like it's just a competition to see who gets the most attention from their parents. It's sad. He's in a place in his life where he's missing out. He's missing out on the things in life that are really important," Rodriguez revealed.
He continues, "Julian doesn't even think about slowing down until all of a sudden this person with a completely different outlook on life, forces him to do that. And the only reason she forces him to do it is that he needs her. Without that, he would have kept being the Julian he was—somebody that looks past people and is not really evaluating his life in any way."
Rodriguez hopes A Christmas Proposal helps open up the floodgates for more Black and brown love stories in the future, especially in holiday-themed projects.
"I'll be honest, in my head, I look at these things all on a big scale. We don't see enough of [Black and brown love stories] and slowly but surely we're seeing more of it. But especially in the Christmas genre, you never see it," he shared. "I think just by putting it out there and hopefully having it be something that pops with people, they'll be excited about the next one. Not even necessarily with these characters but where's the next brown Christmas movie?"
Although he wasn't specifically referring to a sequel for A Christmas Proposal , he clarifies he would be open to exploring Julian and Maria's relationship further.
"Listen, I had a great time working with Jessica and would work with her again anytime. She's a wonderful actress and a great person. I'm on board!" he exclaimed.
And while Rodriguez was full of the giving spirit, the actor confirmed he would not be getting back into shape for the newly announced Magic Mike's Last Dance .
"No, they're moving on from all the guys that were in the first two," he revealed. "Channing [Tatum] is the only one that will stay with the story and they're going to introduce a new crowd of guys who will tell the story. So we're not in it. Steven [Soderbergh] called us to let all the guys know that they're doing another one and their plans for it which doesn't include our characters. He wanted us to know from him first before the news got out, which was a classy move. I would've loved to have been in it just to have had a reason to get back into shape."
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