Italia Ricci previews Chasing Life Christmas


There will be no grinches allowed when Chasing Life returns on Tuesday as part of ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas,” and Christmas cheer hits the chemo ward,

When we last checked in with the freshman drama series, April Carver (Italia Ricci) had entered the hospital for a month of chemotherapy treatments and was listening to a voicemail left by her friend/sometimes lover Leo. Was he about to tell her that he had changed his mind and was going to have the possible life-saving operation to remove his brain tumor? We sure hope so!

The TV Junkies couldn’t wait any longer to find out, so we went directly to the source, series’ star and Canadian Ricci for some answers. She previews how important Leo is to April and how ex-boyfriend Dominic may be feeling about that. We also couldn’t help but ask Ricci about how her wedding plans with fiance Robbie Amell (The Flash) are coming along.

The TV Junkies: When Chasing Life left off it was almost summer on the show, but this is a Christmas themed episode. How do the holidays come into play here and are there any time shifts?

Italia Ricci: Everything picks up where it left off. So right when April gets the phone call from Leo, it picks up right from there. It goes on for her last little bit of chemo and she’s starting to lose her hair, which is very emotionally heavy for her; she’s not sure what to do and she’s feeling really down. Her grandparents come into town to visit that we’ve never met before, her Dad’s parents. Brenna comes up with the idea that because April is a Christmas freak, she loves Christmas, that they should decorate and celebrate Christmas in May to cheer her up. So that’s how Christmas comes to the chemo ward in May.

TTJ: You mentioned Leo’s voicemail. Can you give us any hints as to what he said on it and whether he’s having the surgery?

IR: I will not! They did release photos and you see him on an operating table, so whether or not the operation happens, at least you know you’ll see him somewhere close to it, as helpful as that is.

TTJ: Leo has been this source of great strength for April as she’s dealt with her disease. Can we expect to see them continue to lean on each other for support even though Leo claimed he was “the wrong horse to bet on” and sort of took himself out of the running?

IR: I think that in this episode you’ll see again how deeply they care about each other and how much they mean to each other and how scared they are for each other. But you also see that beneath all of the romantic, physical and sexual tension between them, they can be friends and just enjoy what they have together. I think that’s one of the really important parts about this episode is seeing that it’s not just physical. You get to see how much they mean to each other and how grateful April is that he’s even considering the surgery. You’ll see what happens after that.

TTJ: On the other side of things we had Dominic, and he didn’t react so well when April finally came clean to him about her disease and the secrets she’s been keeping. Is he going to still be upset with her or will we maybe see him start to understand that she had a reason for doing what she did?

IR: I think that you aren’t going to see an extreme amount of Dominic’s storyline in this episode because it’s more family oriented and holiday spirited. It’s the funniest and lightest episode that we’ve seen yet. I think that as far as their mindsets go for Dominic and April, they are just sort of taking a cool down. But I do think that Dominic feels a little guilty about being a dick. [Laughs.]

TTJ: You mentioned that April has family drama going on and we learned that Sara did in fact know about Natalie [April’s half sister] and that she existed. Is that something that’s going to be addressed at all in the Christmas episode?

IR: The subject of Natalie is brought up in the Christmas episode but I won’t tell you by who or where. She is addressed.

TTJ: Social media has clearly been a big way for you to interact with your fans, and you even announced your engagement to Robbie on it. Congratulations by the way!

IR: Thank you, thank you!

She said yes!!!… I think. I can’t really be sure. I’m going marry my best friend. @italiaricci

A photo posted by Robbie Amell (@robbieamell) on

TTJ: Do you mind if we ask how your wedding plans are coming?

IR: They’re not. They’re not. [Laughs.] I keep begging him to just go to Vegas and get married in a chapel and screw the whole big fancy wedding thing, but he won’t let me do it because he knows deep down I want one. But it’s just so intimidating. We’re having a super long engagement so there’s no rush to it.

TTJ: So no chance of pulling a Stephen Amell and running off to a beach during the holidays to get hitched?

IR: We will NOT be doing that. We will not be doing that!


Do you think Leo has the surgery? Are you afraid he won’t survive if he does? Let us know where you come out on it all in the comments below and check out this preview of the Chasing Life holiday episode:

The Chasing Life Christmas episode airs Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. E.T. on ABC Family and ABC Spark. The show returns with the second half of its first season on Monday, Jan. 19. Want to catch up? The first season is available on iTunes.