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Madison Iseman talks new holiday film “Feast of the Seven Fishes” – Metro US

Madison Iseman talks new holiday film “Feast of the Seven Fishes”

Madison Iseman

Every family has their own tradition for the holidays: some sentimental, some habitual and others a bit, well, chaotic. What those traditions have in common is the sentimental value that people hold so closely during this time of the year. That exact sentiment is what you’ll find with Robert Tinnell’s latest film “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” based on his graphic novel and cookbook of the same name. Tinnell drew from his family life to construct the story following the loveable Tony (Skyler Gisondo) and his eccentrically charming family who are preparing to celebrate their intense Christmas Eve tradition when he meets the sweet and a bit misunderstood Beth (Madison Iseman). Through just one night, Beth and Tony form a bond that helps both of their hearts while also causing a few frenzied yet relatable problems. The film truly is a piping hot serving of holiday magic, and Madison Iseman sat down with Metro to chat about her role, the story and what she hopes audiences take away from “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” 

Madison Iseman talks new holiday film “Feast of the Seven Fishes”

Have you ever been involved with a Feast of the Seven Fishes before the film?

Actually, I had never even heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, but it was exciting because when we filmed we were right in the middle of West Virginia during the holidays and we were very much immersed in the culture and got to experience it firsthand. Especially with Robert Tinnell and his family, they just invited us right in with open arms. My family doesn’t really celebrate in that way, we do our own traditions on Christmas and Christmas Eve but nowhere near as extensive as the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It was really exciting to see.

I know Robert Tinnell also wrote the story as a graphic novel and cookbook. Before filming did you end up reading the novel?

Yes, we actually all got a copy of the book which was really cool. Some of the graphics were really closely related to the rest of the cast which was interesting. 

Madison Iseman

How was it working with Robert Tinnell as a director and the rest of the cast on the film?

It was really just such a fun experience. We were very much right in the center of everything in Robert’s great-grandmother’s home where he spent all of his Christmases before. That made it extra special, especially with his family so involved, they did most of the cooking that was in the film as well. I really don’t like seafood, so it was a little difficult to eat the actual seafood, but honestly, they are all amazing cooks and it really was just like one massive party the whole time we were filming. Then just with the cast alone, Paul [Ben-Victor], Skyler, Josh [Helman] — everyone was down to have fun and it just felt easy to work with the rest of the cast. But we were all together in that tiny house while it was snowing around the holidays, so it felt like one big family reunion on-screen and off-screen even though we didn’t all really know each other.

Why do you think your character, Beth was so drawn into Tony’s family and spending the holidays with them without really knowing them?

Beth is this girl that no one really has heard of because she spent most of her time away at private school and was away for the summers. She has kind of always had her life laid out in front of her. I think because of that she’s always been very curious about the rest of the world, and she feels that from Tony too which is why they connect so well. They both have this intellectual curiosity about other things outside of the normal. So from then, she starts to challenge her family and society on what a young woman is supposed to do and how she’s supposed to act. So I think it really is that curiosity that leads her there, and I think she also finds a piece of herself in Tony. I think she’s open to diving right in because she’s ready to step away from what she’s had her entire life.

Madison Iseman

The movie ends a bit open-ended, but where do you think Beth will go from there?

I actually talked a lot about that with Robert, because the movie does kind of leave it open-ended. I think from there on, whatever relationship Beth and Tony have with each other, they are both going to start following their real paths of what they should be doing. Beth is finally sticking to what she wants to do instead of listening to her parents and society. Whatever happens, I think they needed each other to find where they are supposed to be. So it could be anything in a way.

Overall, what do you hope audiences take away from the film?

I hope it puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. It’s a love story, it’s a family story and it’s a story about finding who you are, but I think more than anything it’s also a holiday movie. It will put you in the mood for that warm fuzzy feeling that everyone gets around Christmas.

“Feast of the Seven Fishes” is now playing in select theaters and on VOD

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