As the holiday season continues on full steam, so does the Hallmark Channel countdown. If a Christmas house wasn’t enough, get ready to double the holiday cheer. On Saturday, December 18, the Mitchell family and their love of the holidays return to The Christmas house 2: terrace these rooms.
In the rest of the 2020s Christmas houseMitchell brothers Brandon (Jonathan Bennett) and Mike (Robert Buckley) find themselves in an unusually heated sibling rivalry for the season, and their parents Bill (Treat Williams) and Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) must deal with it.
In the film, actor Bennett, 40, stars as the eldest Mitchell, a nervous and somewhat competitive gay man who owns a bakery in Colorado. He is married to the much calmer Jake (played by Brad Harder), and the couple have two children.
“Meet the Mitchell family at Christmas house 2 is absolutely the best feeling I have ever had in years, ”Bennett (Mean girls, Dancing with the stars, Cheaper by the dozen), recount Avocado. “Robert and I have such amazing sisterly chemistry that you don’t really get as an actor more than once or twice in your entire career.”
And that affection and chemistry applies to the entire Mitchell team as well. Bennett reveals that the movie’s family shares a group chat all year round. Even on set, he says, the actors can act like real family members. Bennett said that Williams’ phone would ring and they would help him turn it off, and that Lawrence would tell Bennett and Buckley to be quiet during the scenes, “like a mother would.”
As the bonds are strong between the actors, the bonds highlighted in the film are too. During that Christmas go-around with the Mitchell’s, Bennett says you see deeper layers for the characters.
“You discover the originality and the beauty of the Mitchell family, whom I have nicknamed the Griswold family of Hallmark Channel,” Bennett said. Avocado. “You see these characters on a deeper level. And when you do that, you discover these weird elements in each of these characters that rock them.
The film shows how the characters are not perfect. “They want to have the perfect Christmas and there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas,” Bennett says. “When you see their imperfections, that’s what makes them beautiful.”
“We all try to keep the facade that everything is perfect and that Christmas is super easy for everyone and it’s just a great, stress-free time when it’s not,” he adds.
As the film explores each character’s reasons for trying to make Christmas an Instagram post, there is one particularly poignant moment that many gay viewers can relate to.
At one point in the film, Bennett’s character tells her husband Jake that “we have to be better.” In the scene, he refers to how LGBTQ + people need to be respectable and worthy and “better” than non-LGBTQ + people to be accepted by families, neighbors and even society.
“It’s about being held to the standard but … [also] have to exceed the standard, ”Bennett explains.
He refers to his own experience as a gay actor and the fact that he always has to go above and beyond what was expected because he thought he would not live up to his straight counterparts.
“There were years when I auditioned and I wasn’t strong enough or ready to come out of the closet yet. And so, I felt like I had to act better and look better and try to replace all the other straight actors I was up against, ”Bennett shares. “I had to replace it by being more productive than everyone else: not having a single movie on your plate, but having like five films in development that you write and present. “
He adds: “I think it goes back to our childhood as young homosexuals, you know there is a feeling, for me, of not being enough and when you feel that you are not enough you have to overcompensate. . “
Bennett says he’s proud to be a part of the Hallmark Channel because he shows those complicated family stories that always center on an important message.
“What’s so inspiring about Hallmark Channel 2021 is that the films reflect the audiences who watch them,” he explains.
The original Christmas house was the first Hallmark Channel film to feature a same-sex couple, and the first to show a same-sex kiss.
It was sure Christmas house set that Bennett’s partner, TV host Jaymes Vaughan, proposed to him. Bennett says planning the wedding for next March is “probably the most exciting and stressful time of my life.” The couple are launching their #SafeandCelebrated campaign around their wedding to help people find LGBTQ + friendly venues and suppliers for the entire wedding process.
“Because no one should think that’s not enough. It is no longer enough to feel safe. That time is over. You have to feel celebrated. The businesses and salespeople you go to should be just as excited about your marriage as they are about a heterosexual couple, ”Bennett says.
The queer story made by Christmas house was also noticed by the Smithsonian. Bennett tells Avocado that certain props from the film and a copy of the script have been incorporated into the museum’s LGBTQ + archives.
As for viewers this year, Bennett hopes those watching Christmas house 2 can appreciate their families – no matter what
r that looks like – a little more.
“Don’t be afraid to tell your family members how much they mean to you, whether it’s your biological family or your chosen family,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to open your heart and tell them how much they mean to you.”
Christmas house 2 premieres Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. EST. Watch the trailer below.