Marla Sokoloff Talks Her New Movie, Directing, Full House, and Much More! Check it out here --->
We got the great opportunity to chat with the lovely Marla Sokoloff about her career, Full House, her new Lifetime movie “The Road Home for Christmas”, and much more!
Marla, who was born and raised in San Franciso, started her career at an early age despite her mother’s hesitance. Around the age of six, she started performing in plays and musical theater. As she got older she moved on to more professional projects at the American Conservatory Theater. It was while she was there her mother was approached by an agent who recommended that she go out to Los Angeles. “My mom was very against it. She did not want me to be a professional actor.” For the next couple of years, Marla “hounded” her mother to give Los Angeles a try. Finally, when she was 12 her mother agreed. “She told me I’ll give you one month.” Her mother had been hearing about pilot season in LA and decided to give it a shot. “Then we went to Los Angeles and I got Full House!” Marla was cast as Gia Mahan in the classic sitcom. Gia was Stephanie’s rebellious best friend who often led her astray on the series.
Photo: Warner Bros.
After landing the role, she says she “never really wound up leaving” Los Angeles. Throughout the 90s, she would have appearances on some of the most iconic shows of the decade like Boy Meets World, Home Improvement, Party of Five, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. She would continue a steady flow of work over the years in shows like The Fosters, Desperate Housewives, and The Practice. And this month she will be starring in a brand new holiday film for Lifetime called “The Road Home for Christmas.”
In the Lifetime/Hybrid film for the networks “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday event, “two rival musicians, Lindsay (Sokoloff) and Wes (Rob Mayes) who perform in a dueling piano show, suddenly find themselves without a gig on Christmas Eve and decide to embark on a road trip to their neighboring hometowns together. During the drive, the mismatched pair find themselves surrounded by Santa conventioneers, saving a Christmas nativity play, performing onstage in Nashville with music royalty Marie Osmond and braving a massive snowstorm which just may lead them to make sweet music together.”
“The Road Home for Christmas” is more than just your normal holiday movie. “It really is the perfect holiday movie, but I think it also has more than that. It has music and this really wonderful relationship between two people. It goes a little bit deeper into their relationship than your average holiday movie.” The film takes you on a fun and also touching journey as the two main characters find themselves and each other as they make their way back to their families for the holidays. The movie will premiere on October 26th at 8 PM ET/PT on Lifetime.
Marla, who is a musician, loved getting the opportunity to mix her love of music and acting in the movie. “It was really fun! I really have all of these memories while I was in the studio thinking ‘gosh, I love this so much. I really want to incorporate more of this into my life.’” She also notes that the days they filmed their performances were her “favorite days on set.” And getting to work with icon Marie Osmond was just the cherry on top. “[Marie Osmond] was lovely. I mean, she couldn’t have been nicer. She’s exactly what you would think she is.”
With only 65 days left until Christmas, it is safe to say the holiday season is upon us, and that means a busy couple of months for Marla and her family, who really get into the holiday spirit. “Right before Halloween is when it kicks in for me. I just love this time of year so much! We celebrate Hannukah and Christmas. We go big!” And I’m super jealous of the fact that they choose to spend their holidays in Hawaii. I’d trade the cold winters of North Carolina for sunny warm Hawaii any day!
But before they can enjoy the holidays Marla has another exciting project in the works. She is making her film directorial debut with “The Christmas Hotel.” “I’m the luckiest woman in the world,” Marla says about the movie. She is directing Tatyana Ali, whom you may recognize from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Young and the Restless. “She couldn’t be kinder and more beautiful. The camera loves her.” Marla describes “The Christmas Hotel” as a wonderful Christmas film about a woman who comes back to her hometown tasked with showing an old hotel the love that it deserves. The film will air on Lifetime on December 21st!
Directing was not something that was ever in Marla’s plan. She had been writing several projects, and she had was needing a director for one that had been picked up. She went through candidates, and she couldn’t find one that had the same vision for the project that she did. “I just thought to myself ‘why am I not directing this?’” Marla was nervous about being able to direct herself in the short film, but luckily, she was able to find someone she trusted to take over behind the camera while she was on screen. “I loved that [experience] so much that I just continued on the journey to directing.” Even on her days off, she has shadowed other directors in the hopes of gaining the knowledge she needs to get more directorial gigs. “Obviously I don’t have the experience and leverage that I do as an actress. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m so grateful to Lifetime and Hybrid for giving me the opportunity I have now.”
Photo: Marla Sokoloff Instagram
Marla’s busy schedule continues! As soon as she finishes filming “The Christmas Hotel,” she will back on set to film the last two episodes of Fuller House. The final season of the Full House spinoff will air on Netflix later this year.”I’m just so sad that’s coming to an end.” And we are too! We’re so not ready to say goodbye! Marla also has a new show in development that she wrote and hopes to direct some episodes of as well.
To have such an extensive career is a gift, and Marla is filled with gratitude for the fans that have stood by her throughout it all. “I have the most wonderful fans. They are so dedicated. I’m so incredibly grateful that they’ve supported me all these years. Thank you!”
Marla Sokoloff, actress, singer, director, mother of two, and an overall beautiful soul! We loved getting to speak with you. Congratulations on your continued success! We can’t wait for everyone to see “The Road Home for Christmas” and “The Christmas Hotel.”