Hallmark famously releases a collection of Christmas movies each year. Every holiday season the films focus on a straight would-be-couple who must defy the odds, save Christmas, and live happily ever after. This year, in a monumental move, Hallmark have released their first ever film which focuses on a gay couple – The Christmas House.
The Christmas House looks at a modern family working through the problems they have endured throughout the year alongside one another at the annual Christmas get-together.
On top of Mike’s (Robert Buckley) TV show not being renewed, and Bill (Treat William) and Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) deciding to sell the family home, the real heartwrenching story comes from Brandon (Jonathan Bennett) and his husband Jake (Brad Vader).
Brandon and Jake are working hard to adopt a child of their own – however they have been unsuccessful.
Recently, Brandon star Jonathan spoke out about taking on this role, and how important it is for the LGBTQ+ community.
Speaking in a recent interview, Jonathan explained: “I’ve played straight characters in Hallmark movies for years now.
“I’ve told their stories so many times that it was nice to be able to tell a story that felt more authentically me.”
He then revealed how, when he was cast in the film, he didn’t even realise he was playing a gay character.
Jonathan revealed: “I asked them, ‘What’s the name of my [girlfriend]?’ They said, ‘Jake.’”
The 39-year-old confessed: “My jaw hit the floor. And I think I had tears well in my eyes, I was so excited.”
Jonathan then added how important the role is for both him, and other members of Hallmark’s LGBTQ+ community.
He explained: “Many of the LGBTQ+ members of the crew came up to us and said that they’ve worked on a lot of Hallmark movies and to have representation like this for the first time was very special.”
The star added: “It feels like I’m a part of progress.”
2019 saw Hallmark being hit with some public controversy, after the company aired an advert showcasing a same sex couple kissing.
The advert saw such a huge backlash that it was pulled from TVs.
Despite this, the Hallmark Channel later back-pedalled, and put the advert back on TV, regardless of its response.
On this controversy, Jonathan praised the Hallmark Channel.
Jonathan said: “What I think Hallmark Channel has done so well is they really have taken a step back and looked at representation and what that means to their viewers, what that means to their employees, what that means to the world.”
“And they really put their money where their mouth is and are stepping up and making sure that that holiday table is bigger than it’s ever been before and making sure that the holiday table has a seat for everyone.”
The Christmas House is available to watch in the UK on the Hallmark TV Channel on Amazon Prime Video.
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