Whether you’ve been watching via Disney+, Freeform, or perhaps the old DVD collection at your childhood home, The Santa Clause has been pretty ubiquitous this holiday season — as it is, well, every year. The 1994 film and its sequels form an unforgettable trilogy about a divorcee dad stepping into Santa’s shoes while trying to juggle fatherhood, love, and work. A very cool kind of work, but still.
Helping Scott Calvin along the way is the sassy, stylish Bernard: head Elf, Santa’s right-hand man, and the object of many a childhood crush. In a recent interview with Vulture, David Krumholtz pondered his character’s impact — but he’s still a bit perplexed by it all. “How do I explain it? I don’t know. I mean, he’s in charge,” Krumholtz said. “He’s a boss. But he’s got a really good heart. And he loves the kid. And he’s very safe, obviously, too.”
Sadly, Bernard didn’t return for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause — and while the absence has often been chalked up to scheduling conflicts (Krumholtz starred on Numbers at the time), the actor revealed that’s not quite the whole story.
“Bernard was in the third movie,” he said in the interview, published Dec. 24. “They sent me the script, I had a pretty significant role. We did work out the schedule, which was going to be hellish on me, but I was going to make it work. And it was all set to go. But I would say that the character got devalued a little bit and I couldn’t in good conscience do it.”
Krumholtz also said that he’s “tried to watch,” The Escape Clause, but “it’s not the same” — though he still regards the first two as “really special.”
As you might remember, the third Santa Clause installment took Scott for an It’s a Wonderful Life-style whirl — overwhelmed by work and family pressure, he’s tricked into wishing away his role as Santa by the villainous Jack Frost. Which, speaking of... is the iconic, icy troublemaker going to be the next confusing Christmas crush we address as a society?