Former 98 Degrees band member Drew Lachey is set to star in the Up Original Movie Guess Who’s Coming To Christmas, premiering tonight, December 8th, at 7 p.m. EST on the UP Network. Drew plays a jaded rock star named Dax in the movie, which is a “family-friendly Christmas story about second chances.”
Celebrity Baby Scoop chats with Drew about his movie, his partnership with Buckle Up For Life to help keep families safe on the road, and his two kids, Isabella, 7, and Hudson, 3. He goes on to share why fatherhood changes your life “massively, but all for the better.”
CBS: You have a movie coming out this holiday season: Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas. Can you tell us about the storyline and your role?
DL: “The storyline is about a rock star who’s down on his luck and has a bad PR moment, which he tries to reverse by granting a Christmas wish. This Christmas wish ultimately sends him to this Midwestern town where he does a little soul-searching and really finds himself. It’s a story of redemption, and I play a character named Dax that has a problem with the bottle, for lack of a better term. It’s a fun and very family-friendly Christmas story about second chances. It will air on the Up Network, which features family-friendly and uplifting content.”
CBS: It sounds like a fantastic feel-great holiday movie, perfect for a night in with the family. Do you have family movie nights with your own family?
DL: “Absolutely. We actually had a movie night last night. My daughter had a sleepover, so she had a handful of her friends over and my three-year-old boy obviously wanted to get in the mix the whole time and annoy them. We have movie nights all the time.”
CBS: You also partnered up with Buckle Up for Life to help keep families safe on the road. Can you tell us about the initiative and your role?
DL: “Buckle Up for Life is a partnership between Toyota and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. As a parent, it really spoke to me because I can’t tell you the number of times you’re in a rush and you just put your kids in the car, buckle them in, and go. You never take the time to make sure that the car seat’s adjusted the right way and make sure that they’re snug in there. It’s not necessarily anything parents are doing wrong– it’s just that parents don’t have the right information. BuckleUpForLife.org is a website where parents can go to to get literally everything from safety technicians in your area who can help you put in your car seat to tricks for making sure it’s tight enough. You can also see the expiration dates on car seats. Who knew that car seats had expiration dates? I had no idea. It’s a great resource for parents to use to make sure their kids are safe in the car.”
CBS: How do you keep your own family safe when you’re traveling? What should every parent know?
DL: “Number 1. Make sure that your kid is in the right car seat. Three out of four children are either in the wrong car seat or it’s improperly installed. It’s definitely something that we need to address…we need to make sure that we take two minutes out of our day to make sure it’s right. You also have to make sure the car seat is adjusted correctly with the change of the seasons. What I’ve noticed is that kids put on these winter coats or take off coats depending on which day of the week it is. Some people don’t adjust the straps and then they’re either too tight in there or too loose in there. It’s the little things like that, and also making sure that the car seat is installed in the car properly. If they move more than an inch either way, it’s not tight enough. All these little hints, tricks, and tips are right there on the website, and they are from some of the world’s foremost experts in child safety who know what they’re talking about. BuckleUpForLife.org is a great place to go.”
CBS: How are your kids Isabella and Hudson doing? What do they like to do for fun these days?
DL: “This morning we were just throwing snowballs. For the most part, they’re just active kids. My daughter loves to perform and my son’s a little tornado. They love music and love dancing. I don’t know where they get that from. [laughs] They just naturally want to do that. They’re fun-loving, compassionate, and artistic kids. I’m sure every parent thinks their kids are the best in the world, and I’m no different. I have some great kids.”
CBS: If we ask them what kind of father you are, what would they tell us? What is your parenting style?
DL: “That’s a good question. I try to be fun but I also try to be no-nonsense. Manners are very important in our house, such as respecting and being compassionate towards other people. At the same time, you don’t have to be hard-lined with that. You can have fun and make things entertaining. I try to be a good balance. Would they say that? I don’t know. But that’s what I try to be.”
CBS: How has fatherhood changed you?
DL: “Over the past seven years, fatherhood has changed me completely one hundred percent. Everybody says it changes your life, but it ultimately flips your life one hundred and eighty degrees and changes it massively, but all for the better. Your values, what’s important to you, how you look at life, and how you view yourself changes. You have to take a look at yourself and see how these little eyes are going to remember you and how they’re going to imitate you and what they’re going to take away from you as they grow up. My daughter’s sees how I treat her mom and that’s how she’s going to gage how every guy’s supposed to treat her. You want to make sure you’re setting the right example for your kids.”
CBS: You married your high school sweetheart. How do you keep the romance alive amidst diapers and carpools?
DL: “Luckily, my kids are out of diapers now so it makes it a little easier. It’s something that every couple has to make the effort to do. You number one priority becomes making sure that your children are happy, healthy, and safe. At the same time, you have to still give each other enough attention and love to keep the marriage strong and healthy as well. Everything is about finding that balance between having time for your spouse and your marriage and also time for your kids. Calling a babysitter and going out on date night is not a bad thing. It’s something that we definitely try to do. Being here in Cincinnati, we also have family that can come and help out and babysit. We definitely try and take advantage of our date nights.”
CBS: Can you tell us about your holiday plans? Do you have any special holiday traditions?
Drew: “We have lots of traditions. Luckily for us, now that we’re back in Cincinnati, most of our family is here. As opposed to having to fly across country to spend the holidays with our family, we can literally just drive down the road now, which makes it a little bit easier. We’re foodies, so we definitely stuff our faces for three days straight during the holidays. We have Thanksgiving, and then we have leftovers, and then we have leftovers of the leftovers. It’s a big deal for us, and the Christmas holiday is huge too. Ultimately, it just comes down to spending time with family. My wife has a huge family, so it’s always a fun time.”
CBS: Will there be any visits to Santa this year?
Drew: ”Yes. We went to the Cincinnati Zoo and Santa was there. We saw him and my kids were in shock that Santa showed up at the zoo and that mommy and daddy knew him. We go way back, Santa and us. We have good kids and Santa usually spoils them pretty good come Christmastime. “
CBS: What’s up next for you? Are you working on any musical projects?
DL: “Right now, I’m taking the holiday off. It’s been a busy year with the tour and all that fun stuff. I’m sure I’ll get back to auditioning come pilot season and see what’s out there. I continue to work and audition, but while I’m here in Cincinnati my wife and I teach at the school we graduated from and run our art camp, so between jobs I’m still working. There’s never a dull moment.”