NEW YORK (AP) According to Harry Connick Jr., winter in Canada counts as a fifth season. While filming the romantic comedy "New in Town" in Winnipeg last January, the actor's face, beard and eyelashes froze in the subzero temperature.

"This was just a different level. I mean, for real," Connick Jr. said Tuesday. "You can't function. I mean, this is the kind of weather where if you stay out there, you're not gonna make it, you know?"

Luckily, the 41-year-old actor had co-star Renee Zellweger's company to distract him from the cold. The Southern-born stars he grew up in New Orleans, she hails from Texas clicked instantly and their scenes together felt natural, he said.

"She's really smart, she's really, really funny and she just loves to have a good time," he said of the Oscar-winning actress. "And I think we have a lot in common, so we hit it off sort of off-camera before we even started working together. So that made a big difference. I mean, when you really like being around somebody, it's easy."

"New in Town" features Connick Jr. as a blue-collar union rep and Zellweger as a corporate executive from Miami sent to New Ulm, Minn., to revamp a food-processing plant.

Connick Jr. and his character, a low-key single dad, have something in common: tween daughters dating for the first time. In the movie, he tries to scare off a boy who arrives at the door with the ill-conceived threat: "Whatever you do to her, I do to you."

But in real life, Connick Jr. who has three girls with wife Jill Goodacre sees no need to intimidate the boyfriend of his eldest daughter, Georgia, 12.

"I know he's a good kid and I know that his family's a good family, so that definitely helps," he said. "And he's got manners. He's very polite, very respectful. The last thing I want to do is embarrass my kid or embarrass the boy."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.