Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett has been cast in The Christmas House.
The film, which premieres 22 November on Hallmark, will follow Brandon (Bennett) and his husband Jake (Brad Harder) as they visit Brandon’s parents for the holidays, during which they are “anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child.”
One Tree Hill’s Robert Buckley co-stars as Brandon’s brother Mike, who reconnects with his high school crush Andi (Ana Ayora).
Bill (Treat Williams) and Phylis (Sharon Lawrence), their parents, hope that “bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community.”
The Christmas House will make history as Hallmark’s first ever gay Christmas film. It is part of a new initiative from the long-running network to be more diverse and to represent non-traditional families.
Bennett said he is “so proud” to be involved with this “amazing project”.
Michelle Vicary, EVP, Programming, said in a statement: “Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever. This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families, including The Christmas House featuring a storyline about a gay couple looking to adopt their first child, and starring Jonathan Bennett in an ensemble cast.
“Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions—a winning formula we hope will bring millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year.”
Hallmark’s gay Christmas film follows the recently announced film The Christmas Setup, which will also make history for Lifetime as their first LGBTQ+ holiday film.
Ben Lewis, who is best known for his role as William Clayton in the final two seasons of Arrow, will play Hugo, an NYC-based lawyer who returns home to Milwaukee to spend Christmas with his best friend Madelyn (Ellen Wong) and his mum Kate (Fran Drescher).
Unbeknownst to him, Madelyn has arranged for Hugo to run into Patrick – played by Lewis’ real-life husband Blake Lee – his high school friend and former crush, who has returned from a successful stint in Silicon Valley.
The synopsis reads: “As they enjoy the local holiday festivities together, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate’s Santa-style matchmaking is a success. But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.”
Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis will also bring queer tidings to audiences in The Happiest Season, with supporting performances from Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy, Ana Gasteyer and Clea DuVall.