Jonathan Bennett Fills ‘The Christmas House’ with LGBTQ History (Video)
Forget donning just our gay apparel, Jonathan Bennett is decking all the halls this season.
The delightfully affable Food Network host, Mean Girls alum, cookbook author and recent Entertainment Tonight co-anchor gets all sorts of festive in the Hallmark Channel’s The Christmas House this weekend and it’s way more than your average adorable Yuletide tale. It’s also the first-ever Hallmark movie to feature openly gay leading characters.
“My jaw it the floor!” admits the actor, who has played straight in a bunch of holiday movies for the channel already, of the offer to star in the landmark production.”It was so much to process and so exciting at the same time.”
In the film, Bennett stars alongside TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorite Robert Buckley (iZombie) as two brothers — Brandon, a gay man planning to adopt a child with his husband, and TV actor Mike — who return home for the holidays to help their parents (Sharon Lawrence and Treat Williams) continue the family tradition of turning their home in a Christmas spectacular. Over the course of the season, all sorts of drama and romance arise, but at the heart of the tale is nothing but heart, regardless of who or how you love. “I think people are really gonna love it and identify with it,” he says.
And while there is plenty of extreme decor in sight (the unofficial Hallmark motto is “a bit of Christmas in every shot!”), there is also a level of authenticity to the story: It’s loosely based on Buckley’s real-life family tradition. In fact, he co-wrote the script. So apparently being great-looking and hilarious isn’t enough for either Bennett or Buckley. No wonder they work so well as brothers!
Here, Bennett discusses the film, the fun the guys had on set, and what he hopes it will offer viewers who haven’t seen themselves represented this way on Hallmark before.
The Christmas House, Movie Premiere, Sunday, November 22, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel