Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett is set to star in Hallmark’s first ever gay Christmas movie, and we are already waiting patiently under the mistletoe in anticipation.
Bennett, who played Cady Heron’s dreamy love interest Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, will star in The Christmas House, which will debut on the Hallmark channel on Sunday, 22 November.
The actor, who is openly gay, will play Brandon Mitchell, while his husband Jake will be played by Brad Harder.
The Christmas House will follow Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (played by Sharon Lawrence) and father Bill (played by Treat Williams) as they summon their grown-up sons home for the festive season to help recreate the magic of Christmas past.
Bennett plays one of the adult sons, who returns to his family home with his husband for the Christmas season.
Jonathan Bennett said he is ‘so proud’ to be a part of Hallmark’s first gay Christmas film.
The film will follow the couple as they anxiously await a phone call about their plans to become first-time dads by adopting a child together.
Sharing the news on Instagram stories, Jonathan Bennett said he was “so proud” to be part of the “amazing project”.
The Hallmark Channel has a stellar reputation among Christmas lovers for its enormous line-up of original festive films each year.
The films are so widely loved that they have spawned countless memes, as each year, people across the world tune in to watch the predictable but addictive line-up.
However, LGBT+ fans have long been crying out for a queer festive film – and this year, they have finally been granted their grown-up Christmas wish.
Hallmark confirmed details of the film on Wednesday (23 September) following months of speculation that the channel would introduce its first queer Christmas film in 2020.
“For more than a decade, Hallmark holiday movies have represented the gold standard that many aspire to replicate,” said Wonya Lucas, CEO of Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media.
“What we bring to the table and what truly sets us apart is an immersive holiday experience that has become a pop culture phenomenon for millions of fans.”
The company previously said they would release an LGBT+ themed film this year.
Michelle Vicary of Crown Media added: “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.
“Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions – a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year.”
In July, queer Hallmark Christmas fans were sent into a frenzy when the company confirmed that LGBT+ Christmas films were on the way.
The company had initially faced backlash when it announced details of 18 new Christmas films – all of which focused on straight characters.
However, Crown Media spokesperson George Zaralidis later said: “I can confirm that we will include LGBT+ storylines, characters and actors. We are in active negotiations and look forward to announcing more details when we can.”