Most romances rely on chemistry to work on screen, which requires actors to actually be in scenes together. So what are two stars to do when the plot of the romance requires them to rarely even meet?
Dash & Lily's Midori Francis and Austin Abrams took some inspiration from their characters. In the new holiday-themed Netflix series, Lily (Francis) is hoping for a little romance in her life, so she and her brother Langston (Troy Iwata) leave a clue-filled journal in a bookstore. Dash (Abrams) finds it, and without ever meeting, he and Lily begin a romance played out in a journal full of clues, dares, and secrets that they leave for each other all over NYC.
Since Dash and Lily don't meet IRL until very late in the show, that meant the actors weren't sharing any scenes together and had to build their chemistry in a different way. While they occasionally met up at sushi restaurants or dive bars to get to know each other, they also shared their own journal back and forth.
"We kind of kept a little notebook ourselves that we shared back and forth just kind of expressing revealing things to one another, just to get to know each other in a similar way as they were on the show," Francis told E! News. "It was Austin's idea and I remember when you said that to me, Austin, I was like, 'Yes, this guy is so fine with being like a nerdy meta actor,' and that made me very happy."
Abrams explained that he wanted to "create a similar feel" to the show and get to know each other in a "more secretive way."
Unfortunately, none of us will ever know what Francis and Abrams said to each other in that journal.
"It is now burned," Francis said. "So no one will ever know what was inside of it."
On screen, the majority of this sweet Christmas romance plays out through the journal and voiceovers from Dash and Lily as they encourage each other to step out of their comfort zones and try new things, like punk shows and angry art classes.
The New York holiday setting just adds to the fun and turns it into the perfect show to watch right now, as the weather turns colder and all you want to do is cuddle under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.
There aren't a lot of Christmas TV shows out there, but there are more than enough movies. Hit play on the video above to hear stars Iwata and Dante Brown talk favorite Christmas influences.
Dash & Lily is now streaming on Netflix.