Good Day Atlanta viewer information: December 9, 2021

A joyous powerhouse cast talks Amazon Original "Encounter":  

What begins as a sci-fi thriller quickly becomes something else in the Amazon Original film "Encounter."

The new release stars Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Riz Ahmed as a Marine Corps veteran on the run with his two young sons. It’s a role the actor says he was determined to play.

"I saw Michael Pearce’s film ‘Beast,’ loved that, asked what he was doing next, got hold of the script, and started just campaigning for the role, really," says Ahmed. "Calling him up, texting him, emailing him, getting friends to call him. Because, he had a different kind of direction in mind for this role, for this character. His name was ‘Marcus,’ and I pitched him the idea that it should be named ‘Malik Khan’ and someone like me should play him."

Director and co-writer Michael Pearce says casting Ahmed was an easy decision. Not so easy? Making a movie during a pandemic.

"We didn’t know whether we were going to get shut down," Pearce says. "We knew of other film projects; people becoming infected and were getting shut down. And, of course, it’s just a big concern around people’s safety and health, and we were just trying to do everything we could to make sure that our project stayed on-track."

For Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, who plays a caring parole officer, "Encounter" was the first time back on a film set in months.

"It was tough, you know? Having been in your house for seven months, being terrified of germs, I could totally relate to Malik and his paranoia. But they made everything feel so safe, and they took really good care of us so that we could actually, you know, have fun while we were working to bring this project to fruition," says Spencer.

"Encounter" also stars Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada as Ahmed’s sons. The film is playing now in select theatres and is available to stream on Amazon Prime starting Friday, Dec. 10.

Gissette Valentin talks AMC’s "The Walking Dead World Beyond" and the final season of TNT'S "Claws": 

The limited-series spinoff follows the first generation raised in the post-apocalyptic world. Gissette’s character is a smart, driven soldier who commands the respect of someone in a much higher position of authority, who is all about the mission, finding a cure and saving the world. To prepare for the role, Gissette created a playlist of what she imagined ‘Diane’ would listen to, which helped her get into character and create a more human side to the mission-driven soldier. Valentin will also appear in the final season of TNT’s "CLAWS," in a recurring role as ‘Cherry,’ a cute but tough lipstick lesbian who is a former teammate on ‘Quiet Ann’s’ prison softball team. The final season of Claws premieres Sunday, Dec. 19, at 9 p.m. on TNT.

Zachary Levi talks his starring role in upcoming film "American Underdog": 

"American Underdog" is a new movie in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day that tells the inspirational true story of Kurt Warner (Levi), who went from stocking shelves at a grocery store to becoming a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback. Watch the trailer here.\

Angela Buttimer gives tips on dealing with difficult people and tough topics during holiday gatherings: 

The holidays is usually a joyous time. You get to be with family and closed loved ones, but sometimes it can be a little difficult when folks start to bring up uncomfortable topics like work, marriage or even children. Angela Buttimer gives tips on how to handle these situations this holiday season.

Will.I.Am and the winner of Fox's "Alter Ego": The world’s first avatar singing competition series and the next iteration of the musical competition show has wrapped on Fox. Will.I.Am joined us with this season's winner.

Skye Estroff talks "Decadent Chocolate Desserts to Try This Holiday Season": The holiday seasons means sweets, and more sweets. Foodie Skye Estroff gives us suggestions on where to get some of the best desserts around Atlanta.  Check out that lists below, and follow Skye on social media @skye.estroff

1) Daydream - brownie ice cream sandwiches

2) Little Bear - black & white torte with lemon icing, persimmon jam, poppy & edible flowers

3) Xocolatl

4) The General Muir - Black Car Cookie

5) The Farmhouse at Serenbe

6) Kaylee's Candy Boutique

7) Three Lola's Bakeshop