Time to officially start your Christmas season, because A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding is finally on Netflix. Leaving New York behind for her Christmas wedding and new royal life with Aldovia's King Richard, blogger Amber brought along her dad Rudy for the festivities. We only had fleeting exposure to diner owner Rudy in last year's A Christmas Prince, but if you've already made it through the sequel, you might have felt something was off with him. It turns out that the dad in The Christmas Prince 2 was recast, and the difference between the two actors is definitely noticeable.
This post contains spoilers for A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. If you're like me, you probably didn't really remember Rudy from 2017's A Christmas Prince. He popped up at his diner at the movie's beginning and end seemingly just to establish his character as a widower, but now with Amber's (Rose McIver) wedding on the horizon, it made sense that Rudy played a bigger part in the new movie. Set loose in the Aldovian palace, Rudy struck up a friendship with Princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey) and introduced an American flair to the kitchen of the rigidly traditional chef, who he may or may not have liked romantically.
But if your memory of background Christmas Prince characters was shaky, something about Rudy might have bothered you a little throughout the new movie. Was he always that much of a stereotypical New Yorker? Was he this much of a comic relief in the last movie? How come he didn't look that familiar at all?
In case you didn't squeeze in a rewatch of A Christmas Prince before the sequel dropped, these nagging concerns are totally valid. It doesn't seem to happen too frequently in movies nowadays, but the role of Rudy was actually recast. In A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, John Guerrasio plays Amber's loving father, but in the first movie, British actor Daniel Fathers appeared as the character. Compared to Guerrasio's smiley, humorous version of Rudy, Fathers' Rudy was a little gruffer and more grounded. Basically, finding a similar-looking man for continuity's sake didn't seem to be a major concern for these casting directors.
As for why a replacement was brought in, we can assume scheduling conflicts were to blame, but neither Netflix nor anyone else involved with the film has given an official reason for the casting change yet. Don't bother hitting up the actors for the dirt either. While Guerrasio doesn't appear to be on social media, Fathers hasn't used his Instagram account since 2014.
Recasting roles is always a little annoying, but to be fair, Guerrasio is highly lovable as Rudy in the Christmas Prince sequel. If A Christmas Prince 3 is a possibility for next year, I definitely wouldn't complain about a plot following a budding romance between Rudy and Chef Ivana. While Rudy was knighted as an earl by the movie's end, it looks like he's still headed back to New York after the wedding. Do I smell a long-distance romance brewing?
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding is now streaming on Netflix.