Kurt Russell has said playing Santa Claus was like playing Elvis Presley, and he threw himself into researching the role of the “real person” behind an “iconic” figure.
The veteran leading man – who played the title role in 1979 biopic Elvis – said he relished the opportunity to play Santa in The Christmas Chronicles, a Netflix production for the festive season.
Speaking on This Morning, Russell talked about the importance of the role of Father Christmas.
He said: “It was a great opportunity. In my life I’ve had the chance to create some characters and hopefully be memorable.
“I think that when you’re going to play Elvis Presley, you’re playing an iconic person – so when you’re going to play Santa Claus you’re playing an iconic person.”
Russell said Christmas is a major event in his household, and he matched this importance by thoroughly researching Santa as if he were real and not “invented”.
He said: “It was just a wonderful opportunity to get to play a character that has been around for 1,700 years – there’s not that many individuals that have that kind of history.
“Santa was a big deal in our family, he still is. As an actor, it’s not like he was a comic book character that was invented, this is a real person, so I wanted to find out as much as I could about him.”
The Netflix production is released on November 22.