Sarah Drew On The Scene She Was 'Nervous' For In Reindeer Games Homecoming - Exclusive

Over the last couple of holiday seasons, "Grey's Anatomy" star Sarah Drew has fallen in love with Christmas movies — so much so that she decided to write her own this year. Drew knew exactly what she wanted to see happen, too. It took her only three weeks to put together a script for Lifetime, and "Reindeer Games Homecoming" was born.

The story follows a woman named Mac, who has dedicated her life to competing each year for her community's Kris Kringle Cup to honor her late father. However, as the annual games get going, so do her feelings for a fellow competitor — but she isn't about to let him take her eyes off of the prize.

The concept was inspired by Drew's real-life husband, who attended Dartmouth College and their yearly Winter Carnival. "They do things like [a] human dog sled race and [a] polar bear plunge," Sarah Drew explained during an exclusive interview with The List.

She knew she needed to include this in the film. However, at Dartmouth, "they're jumping into a frozen-over pond, into a hole cut out in the middle of a frozen-over pond," Drew said, "which was originally what was scripted for my movie, but we couldn't shoot in the winter. That didn't work out." 

The actors really did jump into cold water for the polar bear plunge

Though the warm weather made the idea of jumping into a lake much more appealing, it ended up being a scene that Sarah Drew didn't feel prepared for in the film. "I got really nervous as the moment was approaching," she admitted.

When Drew was writing the film's polar bear plunge scene, she knew it would be an exciting one to see on screen. "You don't get big action sequences in Christmas movies, usually," she told The List. "I thought it would be really fun."

Yet, as exhilarating as it sounded, it never crossed her mind that she would be the one depicting the spine-chilling scene as the film's star. She also hadn't yet come to the realization that she would also be in a swimsuit in front of thousands of households. When the director called action, the actress got anxious to run into the water. "Justin [Bruening] was like, 'You've got this, you've got this,'" Drew explained. "He was doing the opposite of what my character was doing for him."

After a few takes of repeatedly jumping into the water, Drew eventually conquered her fear of the cold. "It's a mind-over-matter thing," she laughed. "You're like, 'Okay, this is my experience now. There's no way I can't do this. I wrote it. I must.'"

"Reindeer Games Homecoming" is available now on Lifetime.