Listen: Australian Actor Ezekiel Simat talks with Laura Bennett about his new movie ‘Sit. Stay. Love.’
One of the best things about Christmas is getting to indulge in Christmas movies that, at any other time of year, might feel ridiculous and cheesy.
In December, they are just right.
Sit. Stay. Love. is an Australian-made romantic comedy set in the snowy hills of Vermont (but filmed on the Gold Coast). Aid worker Annie Blake (Georgia Flood) finishes up a mission in Nepal and comes home for the holidays.
Always inclined to help, Annie steps in when sees the local animal shelter is closing. She wants to save it and re-home the animals with the help of local vet and old school nemesis, Dylan (Ezekiel Simat).
Filmed in the midst of the pandemic, Sit. Stay. Love. is a sweet and charming tale that, as Australian star Ezekiel Simat told me, wraps up an otherwise cumbersome year with a bit of levity and hope.
“The world was a bit grim [during filming],” Ezekiel said, “so it was really lovely to just pivot into something super wholesome and sweet.”
“It was a bit jarring going from seeing one or two people to being surrounded by 50, 70 or 100 people [on set],” Ezekiel said.
“But the really beautiful aspect was that it was a real breath of fresh air to actually be able be in a community again.”
Playing vet Dylan wasn’t too far a stretch for Ezekiel as he’s a “massive dog person” but joked about “warming to cats”.
“Cat’s can be a bit hard to win over but it’s so worthwhile when you do.”
If ever he’s having a bad day, Ezekiel said he reinstates an old competition he used to have when staying with friends in Los Angeles.
“The sign of a good day was if you’d been able to pat ten dogs.”
Whether by chatting to strangers or fostering a dog from the nearby shelter, “honestly it brought so much joy being able to hit that quota,” Ezekiel said.
Ezekiel hoped watching Sit. Stay. Love gave audiences a bit of joy and, “at least a smile”, out of the movie, knowing “things are going to be okay”.
“Everyone’s been through their own stuff [this year], but some things never change.
“I know the holiday season can be tough for people; there’s definitely always joy to be found.”
Sit. Stay. Love. is in select cinemas now.
Listen to Ezekiel’s full chat with Laura Bennett in the player above.
Main image: FilmInk