This year, the 12 Days of Christmas is getting a special TEENPLICITY twist – 12 Days of TEENPLICITY! From Saturday, December 12th through Wednesday, December 23rd, we will be posting a new holiday-themed feature each day! Including interviews with this season’s merriest entertainers as well as tips for the best holiday treats, we hope this celebration will bring some joy and good cheer to all during a very tough year.
As part of this special event, the 7th Teenpliciday features an exclusive interview with the cast of Nickelodeon’s Danger Force! The cast talk about their two-part holiday special, which of them can’t keep their Secret Santa secret, their favorite holiday traditions, and so much more!
The first season of any show is bound to be a learning experience for all of the cast and crew involved. For Nickelodeon’s Danger Force, it has become an experience unlike any other.
Only partially through filming their first season, the global pandemic forced the set to shut down and production halted for an indeterminate amount of time. Rather than let the time pass them by, the cast and crew worked together to create a virtual Danger Force episode, as well as five mini-episodes, to keep fans going during quarantine.
“It was crazy, especially because it’s just the start of everything” Luca Luhan says of the experience of moving production from on-set to Zoom. “We were getting to know everyone and just kind of getting going and then we shut down.” The actor behind Bose, whose is also the superhero Brainstorm that can move objects with his mind, can’t help but laugh, looking back now, at how much of a learning curve their first season has been. “I believe it was the seventh episode that was filmed from home, and so that’s kind of weird and crazy. But we did it and I was really happy with the final product.”
Havan Flores, who portrays Chapa and her superhero alter-ego Volt on the show, agrees. “It was kind of weird because it felt like when we got back to set, it felt like we never left,” she expresses. “But at the same time during quarantine, it just felt like I was missing it so much because it’s so fun to be on set and to have run-throughs and rehearsals without a mask, but now you get to wear a mask.”
Luca acknowledges the changes in their filming process, adding, “It’s a lot different now. It feels like the new norm, you know?”
Not long after their return to set a few months ago, the cast found themselves filming the two-part Danger Force holiday special. When Chapa accidentally takes down Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, Danger Force is suddenly on a mission to save Christmas.
Dana Heath, who portrays Mika/ShoutOut, and her on-screen brother Terrence Little Gardenhigh, Miles/AWOL on the show, joke back and forth when tasked with describing the two-part event.
“I’ll try,” Terrence begins, “but I will say one thing… if I do give too much–”
“–Okay, that’s not a good way to start off,” Dana cuts in, both of them breaking into laughter before giving Terrence the floor once more.
“It’s Christmastime. We’re trying to decorate for Santa, make sure he swings around, drops off our presents, doesn’t give us any coal. And while we’re doing that, Volt –” He quickly cuts himself off and covers his mouth with his hand, afraid he’s given away too much. “Something may or may not happen that could…”
“Ruin Christmas,” Dana finishes.
The event the two are referring to is when Volt uses her powers to shock Santa’s sleigh, causing it to crash and Santa to lose his memory, also unleashing his evil brother Krampus. The latter gets both actors excited when discussing the two-parter.
“We’re allowed to say that word. Crazy, right?!” Dana jokes at Terrence’s gasp, the cast finally able to talk about this unique character after so much secrecy.
“Okay, that’s a game changer. Krampus!” His statement causes the two to break out in laughs, the excitement overwhelming them momentarily. “Krampus does some stuff, I’ll just say that.”
“Chapa messes us big time,” Havan says of her character’s mishap which leads to the Christmas chaos.
What makes this event even more ironic is that audiences – and the Danger Force team – find out what a big fan of Christmas Chapa is, something that is somewhat unexpected from the character. “It’s so weird to play a tough character and then all of a sudden, she’s just like having a heart attack because she shot down Santa Claus,” the actress says. “It was just so weird to make that change, but it was really funny to see it.”
“I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to pull it off, like if Santa was actually going to be inflamed or if it was just going to be a quick crash and then a jump cut,” Dana says of the incident with Santa. Reading the script for the episode had left her wondering. As fans saw in the first part of the holiday event, viewers were treated to a bit of both as Santa, following the crash of his sleigh, runs into the Man’s Nest while on fire, only for Captain Man to put him out.
Much like Dana, Terrence was curious too. “I was like, ‘This is definitely going to be some stunt that we have never seen before, never done before.’”
“Yeah, it turned out being really great,” Dana adds.
“But I remember reading the script, I felt like just reading what’s happening to Santa… I felt like I was gonna go on the naughty list just for reading it!” Terrence confesses, causing the two of them to laugh.
The actress continues to joke, “Just for participating in the script, you were going on the naughty list!”
Terrence nods along. “I felt like I was just gonna have no presents this year, coal for like a good five, ten years.”
For Havan, the script was extremely fun for her to read, especially the first part. “Once you start to get into it, you realize, oh, it’s not like your typical Christmas-themed episode,” she says. “At first you’re like, ‘Okay, it’s kind of like every other Christmas-themed type thing.’ But then you’re like, ‘OH, okay! I’m not sure what happened there.’” Havan laughs, adding, “It is real funny.”
Recalling back to when they actually filmed the special two-parter, Luca says, “It was definitely weird because we filmed it a while ago. So you know, the stage, all of it, everything is Christmas related. We’re wearing ugly sweaters, the Man’s Nest is all decorated.” Him and Havan laugh as he says, “It’s weird kind of having that Christmas vibe in October.”
What makes this holiday special particularly unique is the inclusion of Krampus.
Krampus is a figure much more prominent in Europe, often depicted as one who scares the children who have misbehaved, and sometimes brings them coal. Still growing in popularity in the United States, Krampus is rarely used in holiday tales here.
“I had heard of Krampus because I had to do a lot of makeup for a Krampus-esque villain that I was disguised as in a previous episode, and I had heard about it before, but I thought it was cool to incorporate that and bring that character in,” Luca says of his knowledge of the character before the episode. “I feel like that’s something you don’t really see that much. So I thought it was really cool.”
Dana wholeheartedly echoes his statement, saying, “I thought it was really cool. And hair and makeup pulled it off, it was incredible. And costumes – they all work together to create Krampus. I thought it was perfect. And the way the actor chose to play Krampus–”
“Oh my gosh!” Terrence says in the background, both of them praising the performance. “The guy who played that: He. Is. Amazing.”
Dana continues, “[The way he played it] is the most hilarious thing you will ever see. Like you see Krampus as this evil guy who’s just kind of evil, but he’s more chill. This Krampus is on a whole new level. It’s just so cool to watch it all together, especially shooting it. It was incredible.”
Not only did the hair & makeup and costuming departments go above and beyond, but the set designers did as well.
In the second part of the holiday event, Danger Force is facing off with Krampus after he takes Santa. Due to this, they have to tread to Krampus’ home-turf.
“It’s not what you would expect,” Dana says of Krampus’ place, prompting a laugh from Terrence. “It’s definitely different. It matches Krampus’ aesthetic. But for a holiday episode, it’s not very–”
“–Holiday-y,” Terrence provides.
“Or festive,” she says.
Luca says how though Danger Force gets to explore so many different spots every week, this one in particular is really cool to witness. “It’s something that probably people don’t expect when you say Krampus’ home. That’ll be fun to see, for sure.”
Going up against a holiday force like Krampus means bringing their all. If Danger Force could bring the backup of any other superhero to go up against Krampus, the team each has their own choices.
“Easy. Batman,” Dana answers immediately and without any need for thought. “Only because he’s the world’s greatest detective. He would find Santa like that,” she says, snapping her fingers. “Or Robin, because since Batman raised Robin, it’s basically like having a young Batman. I think either of those two, since they are the world’s greatest detectives, they’d be able to solve it faster than Mika, dare I say.”
The statement brings a surprised “Oh!” from Terrence which Dana acknowledges with a shrug and a smile.
“It’s true, they have more experience.”
For Terrence, he takes a moment more to decide on who he’d call in for backup. When he picks, it’s one of the fastest heroes. “I was going to say The Flash, [but] that’s DC,” he says, teasing Dana as the two previously joked about DC vs. Marvel. “I meant Quicksilver.” He devises up a plan that his character would teleport and check one half of the world while Quicksilver would run and check the other. “I feel like he owes me a favor anyway. Why? I don’t know,” he says with a shrug.
“Maybe there’s a deep lore between Quicksilver and Miles that we don’t know about,” Dana provides, the two of them getting excited.
For Luca, he suggests just about everyone. “We’ll take all the help we can get,” he says with a laugh.
“Why just one!” Havan adds.
“Honestly, all of them, right?! We’ll take whoever’s available.”
“The whole crew!”
While Danger Force would welcome any backup they can get this holiday season, holiday celebrations for the cast are staying small because of the ongoing pandemic. When discussing what about this year is going to be changing, Dana is the first to admit not much, as not only is she Jewish but she has also moved away from most of her family.
“I celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas, so getting the tree and all that stuff is not something I have to worry about,” she begins. “I guess the only thing [that is changing] is that we’ll just have to send gifts to each other and which is kind of what we already did since we moved away from our family. So not much has changed.” She does add, “The only thing that’s different is that we can’t go out to eat – that’s Christmas Day. [We] can’t eat Chinese food, that is the only thing that has changed.”
Terrence agrees with the sentiment that this year won’t be too different, saying that he and his mom usually stay in anyway. “We stay in the house. We enjoy some hot cocoa, watch movies, open up gifts.” He continues, “I will say most of the time, me and my mom, we do it up in the kitchen. We can cook! We make the best dynamic duo when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.”
Much like Dana and Terrence, Havan’s holidays are usually pretty lowkey so she doesn’t see much of a change. “We like to stay in and watch movies, eat a bunch of food, and just enjoy being together.”
Luca acknowledges that his gatherings this year are going to different. “There won’t be any family gatherings, any kind of things to celebrate with friends outside of the [set]. So it’s definitely gonna be different. A lot of time with family, which is not a bad thing.”
This time at home is giving the cast a chance to recall their fondest holiday memories with their families.
For Dana, she remembers one Hanukkah tradition in particular in her family that she loves still. “I have this one memory [where my family] hid candy and giant chocolate bars around the house and everyone would go in and try to find them. My cousins, I remember they found one but they didn’t want to say that they found it. So they brought me and tried to put me in the right direction of where the candy bar was.” Her joy from the memory is evident in her grin as she holds her hands far apart as an example, continuing, “I ended up getting this giant chocolate bar. I was so happy. That’s one of my favorite traditions that I like to do.”
Although she isn’t able to do the tradition the way she usually does with all of her family, since she’s moved to Los Angeles, she declares, “I’ll find a way to do it here.”
Terrence’s favorite holiday tradition is opening presents on Christmas Eve. “That’s very fun,” he says. “I feel like I’m with every other kid, like trying to base it off of weight, sound, and feel. If it’s soft, I’m putting it down.”
Dana jokes, “Like, ‘Mom, I don’t want socks! Gah!’”
Terrence agrees, saying, “It’s not like I didn’t want that. It’s just like why ruin your Christmas Eve opening presents with that.” The actor pauses, looking to the side, and immediately says, “Mommy, I’m sorry. I love your socks and your shirt!” which causes Dana to break out in laughter. The actor can only let out a laugh and shake his head at himself.
One of Luca’s favorite holiday traditions is getting the Christmas tree with his family. He adds that they will keep it up through New Years.
“We will go and we’ll pick out a tree and me or my brother will help cut it down and we’ll bring it back home,” he explains. “That’s just such a cool gesture that I feel like has been going on for so long.”
Havan’s favorite is when her dad pulls out the Christmas list. “My dad gets so excited,” she says happily. “He’s like, ‘I printed them out! They’re on the refrigerator if you want to write something down!’ And he’ll always check them every day like, ‘Did you add anything?’” She laughs as she continues, “[He] just put them out like an hour ago!”
Although she normally has the most things on the list between herself and her parents, she says, “This year I haven’t. I think I’ve put like two things on it.” Luca nods, much in the same boat as her.
“I think I wanted like one thing. Then I saw my brother and he was writing down – I think he was on number eight when I checked in on him and I had like one. So definitely him,” he says with a laugh.
As their families celebrate their favorite holiday traditions each year, they also rewatch their favorite holiday films. A common favorite amongst the cast is Elf.
“I think Will Ferrell is so funny in that movie,” Luca says after stating that film as his favorite. He adds, “I think our Christmas episodes, you know, put them together, they’re probably like a very, very short movie.” He admits with a laugh that the Danger Force holiday special might not count. “But probably Elf. Elf’s a really funny, just classic Christmas movie.”
“I think my personal favorite Christmas movie is probably Christmas Vacation,” Havan says, talking the iconic National Lampoon holiday film staple.
When it comes to deciding which holiday film they would each love to star in if given the chance, Luca pauses to think for a moment. “I would say something like Elf or Christmas Vacation. Honestly one of my favorites. I totally forgot about Christmas Vacation until Hava said it,” he confesses with a short laugh. “So I would say one of those, maybe be one of the kids in Christmas Vacation or like an elf or something like that.”
Havan nods before saying, “I would actually want to be in another Grinch movie. I feel like it’d be really fun to play any of the characters because they’re all so wild and crazy and fun!”
When TEENPLICITY adds that Havan could totally take on the role of the Grinch and bring a very comedic aspect to it like Jim Carrey did, she laughs and exclaims, “Oh God!”
Luca jumps in, laughing as he says, “I’ll be Max and you’ll be the Grinch and it’ll be great!”
Dana steers the conversation back to Elf, though. “I don’t know why but I keep thinking about Elf,” she says with a short laugh.
Practically bouncing in his seat in excitement, Terrance announces that he has two favorite films and that he’d love to be in both. “First is Christmas Chronicles.” Dana cheers, agreeing with his selection before he continues. “I love that movie. I remember watching it – I wasn’t even watching it on Christmas – but after I was done, I went into the living room and I was like,” he immediately slips his voice into a fake cry, “‘Where the presents at! Where’s Santa!’”
Earning a laugh from both himself and Dana, Terrence goes on to say, “The character I would like to play in that movie would probably be either the older brother or the sister, but just be a boy.” For his second film, he chooses Home Alone.
“OH MY GOD!” Dana exclaims after he speaks, immediately putting her head in her hands for a moment. “I didn’t even think of that!”
“For sure!” Terrence says, proud of his choice.
Dana stakes her claim for which character she’d want to be, saying, “I call Kevin!”
“I would just love to be in that situation,” he says, thinking of all the incredible ways Kevin transformed his house.
Of course, with every movie viewing, there needs to be the perfect holiday snack.
“There’s only one,” Havan questions, raising an eyebrow.
“I don’t know,” Luca says as he thinks over his favorite desserts and snacks. “Probably just Christmas cookies. I think on Christmas we’ll have those mini doughnut things.” He continues to add to his list, “[Anything] candy related. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s Christmas, I’ll take it.”
For Havan, she reveals that she has a lot of favorite desserts, yet it’s the ones with a special connection to her that are more likely to be at the top of her list. “I think I like to either make bread or cinnamon rolls because I would normally make them my grandpa, and [I’m] really good at making rolls and breads. So that was always really fun.”
As this year, which has been unlike any other in so many ways, comes to an end, the cast is grateful for all of their fans that continue to be so supportive of them and Danger Force.
“I want to say thank you,” Luca says when asked what he would like to say to the fans. “I think it’s really cool that people stick around and want to watch the show. I appreciate it. It’s really cool to see all these fans follow from Henry Danger and new ones come along. I love seeing all the drawings and the little cartoons and the fan pages. It’s really great.”
Havan is quick to echo his gratitude. “I would definitely say that it’s awesome that they stuck with us to ride through however many seasons we have [all the way] from Henry Danger. I just love all the support,” she says. “I’m always seeing all of the fan pages, especially the art. Like Luca said, it’s really fun and it kind of gives you some more motivation.”
You can catch up on all of Nickelodeon’s Danger Force episodes online now!
For all things Danger Force, be sure to follow them on Twitter & Instagram. You can follow Havan Flores on Instagram, Terrence Little Gardenhigh on Instagram & Twitter, Dana Heath on Instagram, and Luca Luhan on Instagram & Twitter!