A popular holiday franchise's second movie was filmed in Vancouver -- and its lead elf didn't have the best time.
The Santa Clause was released in 1994, capturing the hearts and imaginations of young people across the world. The film stars Home Improvement's Tim Allen as a father who gets custody of his son on Christmas Eve before accidentally killing Santa Claus (oops!) After that happens, the confused dad is transported to the North Pole and told to assume the role of Father Christmas.
The franchise's first film was a box office blockbuster that continues to rank among the most beloved holiday films. It wasn't filmed in Vancouver, but its sequel , The Santa Clause 2, was filmed in various locations across Metro Vancouver.
The 2002 follow-up is about Santa's search for love after eight years of playing the man in red. He has to find a "Mrs. Claus" by Christmas Eve or will lose his position as the head of the North Pole.
American actor David Krumholtz, known for his roles in 10 Things I Hate About You, the Harold & Kumar film trilogy, and, most recently, Oppenheimer, played the lead elf, Bernard, in the first and second installments of the franchise but did not return for the third.
In a recent thread on X, formerly Twitter, the popular co-star shared an experience that began on the set of the holiday film in Vancouver. He describes being "24 years young" and "miserable" while staying for long shoots on set. To top it off, he didn't enjoy the rain.
"It’s raining in Vancouver, all day, err day,…," he wrote.
Lead elf has "mini nervous breakdown" on Santa set in Vancouver
The "chief elf" goes on to say he's "having a mini nervous breakdown complete with daily episodic panic" and that the film's leading man, Allen, gets to leave early from set every day. However, he says that the star has to be on set at an eye-watering 2 a.m. each morning to have "thick prosthetics applied to his face" as part of his makeup.
Allegedly 200 kids played elves in the film, and each of them was accompanied by their mom on set. Since they have to leave early at 3 p.m. (the same as Allen), his scenes are always shot last.
"Quarter-life crisis. Dressed in an elf costume. The crew was compassionate as I was noticeably disturbed," he wrote.
In one incident, the top level of the toy workshop purportedly "caught fire from an overheated light."
After the film was released, the individual jokes that Krumholtz hired a publicist who got him a gig in a parade at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. He recounts his misadventures with pop star Hilary Duff and talk show icon Regis Philbin where the crowd doesn't seem to know who he is during his appearance.
Another popular holiday film, also starring an elf (but of a notably larger stature), was filmed in and around the city. The 2003 film Elf, starring Will Ferrell, was filmed in Vancouver and Coquitlam.