If any real-life couple is perfect to play Santa and Mrs. Claus, it's definitely The Young and the Restless' Camryn Grimes (Mariah Copeland) and her real-life fiancé, Brock Powell. The pair radiate natural warmth, kindness, and generosity -- not to mention they are the most celebratory people on the planet. Disney turning to them to voice the iconic Christmas couple in its latest stop-motion holiday special, Mickey Saves Christmas, was a no-brainer, as was Soap Central convincing Grimes and Powell to chat with us about their holly and jolly experience.
As Soap Central reported earlier this year, Powell and Grimes got engaged in January, having met through a very special person: Disney's Goofy! Okay, well, not exactly, but they did meet through Bill Farmer, who is famous for being the official voice of Goofy since 1987.
The couple's Disney journey continues with Mickey Saves Christmas, premiering as a simulcast on ABC, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD on Sunday, November 27, followed by a Disney+ premiere on Monday, November 28. The film features Mickey, Minnie, and the gang, who are sent to the North Pole on a quest to save Christmas and find the true meaning of the holiday.
Keep reading to find out how Grimes and Powell feel about being a part of a Disney Christmas film, how they got into character as Mrs. Claus and Santa, what their real-life holiday (and wedding!) plans are, and more.
Soap Central: You guys must be so excited about being in a Disney Christmas movie. What a dream gig!
Camryn Grimes: It pretty much checks all the boxes -- Christmas, Disney, stop-motion, Mrs. Claus. Okay, I can die now! [Laughs]
Brock Powell: I've always been a fan of Disney holiday specials. I love Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas -- it's one of my favorites, and it tugs on all of the heartstrings in all the right ways, and Mickey's Christmas Carol is another favorite, and I think Mickey Saves Christmas is going to be up there for people. It's certainly is up there for us after having seen it. It infuses everything we love about the holidays and Disney's version of Christmas and how Disney embodies the holiday spirit in the parks and in their content. It's amazing. And everyone who worked on the film is such a fan of stop-motion. There are references to The Nightmare Before Christmas in it, even. It really is brilliant, the way that they constructed this.
Soap Central: How did you guys get into character as Santa and Mrs. Claus?
Powell: Well, I ate 40,000 cookies every day. Ho, ho, ho! [Laughs]
Grimes: Brock is incredible -- he's been doing voiceover for so long, and he's played Santa before.
Powell: Early on in my career, I played Santa Claus at different events and other places, and so, I've had the experience of playing Santa with kids and seeing how kids react to Santa Claus, and I think it helped me realize that the secret to Santa is gentleness. The holidays can be really overwhelming for a lot of people, and I like the idea of providing a Santa that's kind of the calm in that storm. I sort of look at Miracle on 34th Street as that touchstone for my version of Santa, where you've got this Santa who's got it all together, but he's very playful, and he has time to be a big kid -- I think that's the important part.
Grimes: And for me, my Mrs. Claus, or what I imagine, was always The Year Without a Santa Claus or Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. I always loved those Rankin/Bass versions of the characters. In The Year Without a Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus looks like my grandmother with that little red streak in her hair, so I kind of just took those versions of the character that have lived in me since I've seen them as a little kid, and I kind of melded my own version of that.
Soap Central: Would you ever do the job of Santa and Mrs. Claus in real life?
Grimes: Absolutely! I love kids! As we get older and have more opportunities, I'd love that, especially if friends were like, "Can you please come and play Mrs. Claus for my kids at a Christmas party?"
Powell: Are you talking about us moving to the North Pole?
Soap Central: Yeah, that's what I meant. But playing them again sounds like it would be fun, too!
Powell: You know, if Mr. and Mrs. Claus needed someone to fill in for a holiday season, I would do it! I love toys. And we're also crazy about animals. We've got five pets, so, we could add eight reindeer and just make it a nice 13! [Laughs]
Grimes: And actually, I've always wanted to live on a farm. Theirs would be a cold farm, but I would still live there! [Laughs]
Soap Central: What can you tease about the storyline? The title gives some of it away, of course...
Powell: Whoa, whoa! Let's not give anything away! [Laughs] But actually, Mickey Saves Christmas is a very ambiguous title. Obviously, it's Christmas, and the holidays are all about coming together as family, and to me the movie is about not just a family, but our chosen family of friends, and obviously, Mickey, Daisy, and Donald are all a part of that, they're all a family, and they celebrate the holidays together as a family and friend group. But it's interesting because you get a little peek into the family dynamic of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the reindeer that are family to them. And I don't want to give anything away about the special, but as pet owners, we [completely get] that our animals become our family. So, I think the cool part of the special is that the reindeer aren't just props and they're not just treated like a form of transportation -- they're a part of the family, and they are treated as such. And to me, that's something that's really special about the film.
Soap Central: Do you guys incorporate your pets into your real-life holiday traditions?
Grimes: Pretty much every single time! Every time there is any sort of holiday celebration, we're always thinking about how to include them and how to make them a part of it. We have a puppy that we got this past January...
Powell: He was born around Christmas last year and has never experienced Christmas before.
Grimes: So, we're having conversations like, "What do we do for his first Christmas?!" [Laughs] We're very, very excited.
Soap Central: Are all your five animals dogs?
Powell: No, we have two dogs and three cats.
Soap Central: Do you have any holiday plans this year that you've already started to make?
Powell: Well, I'm going full Griswold on the front yard this year. [Laughs] We decided that we're going to do Rankin/Bass-inspired front yard decor.
Grimes: I mean, you have to, right? You have to!
Powell: So, we're doing the Heat Miser/Snow Miser song [from The Year Without a Santa Claus], which is going to be the inspiration for the front yard. We've got big character figures that are going to be out there and synchronized lights that are red and blue. I've gone off my rocker.
Grimes: And in the spirit of friendship, given the special, anybody that we know that's staying in L.A. that is not going home for Thanksgiving, we're having them over, and we're doing a big Thanksgiving just to provide people with a really nice night.
Powell: We're also doing a Christmas Carol and Cocoa party, which will be kind of fun, in the backyard.
Grimes: We like the holidays, what can we say?!
Soap Central: Because you are so celebratory, I'm getting the feeling that you've started your real-life wedding planning?
Grimes: We have a venue, but we don't have our date yet. But we have a venue, and we are very, very excited about the venue. We just need to pick a date, and then the countdown will begin!
Soap Central: This was a really big year for you, Camryn. You got engaged in real-life, as did Mariah on Y&R. What was that like, to have two engagements going on almost at the same time?
Grimes:It was very, very surreal. But at the same time, I wasn't surprised because it was a bit like art imitating life, and that weirdly happens on soaps a lot. You wouldn't think so, but just in the sense that sometimes the energy or the emotion of what your character is going through, you'd think they bugged your house. [Laughs] It's very strange. But it was a really exciting year, and I'm incredibly lucky that I got to experience that -- I don't know another person that can claim that, so, I'm incredibly happy.
Soap Central: Brock, were you jealous at all over the fact that Camryn had a whole other engagement going on at the same time you planned this special moment?
Powell: [Laughs] No, I love Cait [Fairbanks], who plays Tessa on the show, and I was so happy to be able to share that experience. We got to do a convention together where one of the jokes was basically "Between Two Fiancées," which was fun. So, I wasn't jealous at all. Y&R is such a big part of Camryn's life, and they're basically her family, so to be involved with planning the engagement, like, I was fully in communication with the team there, letting them know that I planned to propose in real life. And I found out that the proposal was happening on the show about the same week that our proposal was happening. I was actually afraid that she was going to be disappointed, like, "The TV proposal was better!" [Laughs]
Grimes: It wasn't! The TV version was Mariah and Tessa's speed, but I wanted something [different], and I got it.
Soap Central: Is there anything else you'd like to add before I have to let you go?
Powell: I would just say to let people know that the special is coming out November 27. It's going to be simulcast, which is crazy exciting, on Disney Jr., Disney Channel, Disney XD, and ABC, and then it will be on Disney+ the next day, on the 28th, so, people can watch it all Christmas long, all year long.
Grimes: And please do, because it's really, really special!
Powell: It's a special special.
Check out an exclusive preview of Mickey Saves Christmas below and be sure to watch the film November 27 on Disney Jr., Disney Channel, Disney XD, and ABC, or the next day on Disney+.
What do you think about our interview with Camryn Grimes and Brock Powell? How do you feel about the couple playing Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus in Disney's latest holiday special, Mickey Saves Christmas? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.