'The Christmas House': Robert Buckley on Hallmark's First LGBTQ Main Characters & More

The Christmas House Hallmark Channel 2020
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"Not many people get to memorialize their family traditions in a movie," notes Robert Buckley, the star and cowriter of The Christmas House, which is loosely based on his own experiences.

Facing life-altering decisions, New Yorkers Phylis and Bill Mitchell (Sharon Lawrence and Treat Williams) summon home their sons, actor Mike (Buckley), star of the fictional legal drama Handsome Justice, and bakery owner Brandon (Jonathan Bennett). "They want to relive this tradition of turning the house into a Christmas wonderland," he says.

Here's hoping they have mistletoe to hang. On his visit, Mike reconnects with the girl next door, Andi (Ana Ayora). "She's the one that got away," Buckley explains. "She's not affected by the trappings of celebrity and gives him grief."

As for Brandon, he and his husband, Jake (Brad Harder), "go through the highs and lows and everything in between" of trying to adopt a baby, according to Bennett. 

Including main characters who are LGBTQ — a Hallmark first — was important to Buckley, whose brother is gay. "It's not an issue," he says. "Everyone loves each other the same."

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This year's offering features a first with a gay couple looking to adopt, as well as familiar faces and new ones.

The Christmas House, Movie Premiere, Sunday, November 22, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel