Bill Hader on Becoming A Yoga-Teaching Santa Claus in NOELLE

Imagine, if you will, a wintery day, two years ago in the snowy wilds of Vancouver. It was a world where Bill Hader had yet to unleash his miraculous Emmy-winning hit-man dramedy Barry, and one that saw Nerdist join a group of journalists on a visit to the set of his newest project, a Disney Christmas movie about a pair of Santa Claus’ children who have to save Christmas. That film, Noelle, is now available to stream on Disney+. During the set visit, the group chatted to Hader about his role as the rebellious member of the Claus family who tries to escape his hereditary responsibilities through… yoga.


The film focuses on Hader and Kendrick as two young members of the Kringle clan. Whilst Kendrick lives a free and easy Christmas life as the titular Noelle, Hader’s Nick has to deal with the very real responsibility of taking on the family business. It’s here where the adventures begin. “Nick, you know, is supposed to be Santa Claus, and he grew up in the North Pole,” Hader said, of his character. “So, he’s kinda freaked out about the idea of having to do it, and he’s really put upon and he’s very stressed out. So he flees to Phoenix, Arizona, and becomes a yoga instructor. He does Christmas yoga, so it’s all like Christmas tree pose, reindeer pose, stuff like that.”

It’s a very silly and fun take on a traditional Holiday story as Noelle has to hunt down her brother in order to save Christmas. But the burning question we all had was whether or not Hader was a yoga fan before he put on the stretchy pants for the movie.

“I tried doing yoga,” Hader admitted. “I’ve done a little yoga, but we did a scene in a yoga studio and those people were doing like crazy handstands on top of each other, and doing all these things. I can’t do that. I’m not that flexible. But, it’s great when I do it. It’s like anything. Like, you do it and you’re like, ‘This is wonderful. I’m gonna do this every day.’ And then that’s the last day I do it.”
Anna Kendrick's Noelle opens a huge pair of wooden doors which lead to santa's sleigh


Though Hader was clearly passionate about the project, it sounded like his daughters were even more exhilarated about their dad’s new proximity to Santa. “It was very sweet. One of my daughters was like, ‘So, you’re going to Santa Claus’ house?’ And I go, ‘Well, they built Santa Claus’ house.’ She went, ‘So, they had to go to his house and measure it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, they went to his house and measured it, and we’re gonna—.’ And she went, ‘Wow. That’s so cool.'”

According to the actor, they were equally as into the potential for Kendrick to become Santa herself. “I told them ‘Hey, I’m reading a script now about this woman is Santa Claus’ daughter [and] becomes Santa.” And they went, ‘A girl Santa?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And they’re like, ‘But does she have a beard?’ I was like, ‘No, no, no.’ And then they were excited.”

Anna Kendrick wears a very cute wooly hat in the snow


With Barry becoming one of the most successful shows of the last year, it’s probably not surprising that Hader flexed his stunt muscles whilst on set, though he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it.

“Well, I got to be in this scene where the sleigh goes crazy. I don’t know if you guys saw that, but I was on this jibbed thing where I’m on a sleigh, and the sleigh crashes. So I’m seeing the shot, and it’s very far away, and I have a beard on and everything. I go, ‘Oh, cool, a stuntman can do this,'” Hader laughed. “And Marc went, ‘No, no, no, no. You’re, you’re going in there, ‘cause I need you to do your lines.’ I did have some lines, so I went, ‘Oh. Oh, okay.’ So that was a bit like being in a car that then suddenly just goes right off a cliff, just goes straight down. And, and the stunt guy who did it, he’s like, ‘Yeah, man, it’s really hairy.’ I’m like, ‘Oh god, the stunt guy’s saying that.’ But it was fun.”

Noelle is now available to stream on Disney+.

Header Image: Disney+

Top Stories
More by Rosie Knight
Trending Topics