Robert Buckley talks about ‘more fun’ in Hallmark’s ‘Christmas House’ sequel


After making history with his first openly LGBTQ + main character in Christmas house, Hallmark brings back our favorite vacation-obsessed family for a lively suite. And that’s a total gift!

The Christmas house 2: terrace these rooms finds the Mitchells – dashing TV actor Mike (Robert Buckley of Chesapeake Ribs), equally handsome gay baker brother Brandon (Bad girls alum Jonathan Bennett) and parents Bill and Phylis (Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence) – wrapped up in a twist that pits the brothers against each other in a snowy, showy battle of twinkling lights and animatronic reindeer. The original film was based on Buckley’s actual childhood growing up in a California home that was absolutely inundated with seasonal decor by his parents every year. So much so that they became known as “The Christmas House”.

In the new tale, Mike, after buying his parents’ Christmas house to keep the legacy alive, returns to town after a break from his aptly titled legal drama, Beautiful justice, to shoot an episode of the Christmas light fight-ish reality TV show Bridge these rooms. But when his competitor dropped out of production, it was decided that Brandon would be the perfect replacement, considering he’s both adorable and staying in the house next door. Before you could say “sibling rivalry”, Claus’ claws, uh, came out and the guys are driving their loved ones crazy with their overblown plans to win the award.

Speaking of prizes, TV Insider won the Holiday Lottery by marking time with our fan favorite, Buckley, who shared his childhood memories and their impact on his current holiday efforts, as well as his pride in the location. very official. Christmas house now fits into the LGBQT + community. All allies should be so happy.

You know, the Hallmark sequels are not a commentary event. I love that this family, this story, is one to which they knew how to return.

Robert Buckley: The fact that we got to do the first one was so surreal and such a great experience. And now to make a sequel? I still haven’t thought about it. And I have to say, really, I think I like this one better. I feel like we had more fun with this one. I don’t want to belittle the first movie, because I love this one. But we saw what worked well in the original and we were like, “If we’re going to do this again, we need more of this. “

2021 Crown Media United States LLC / Photographer: Allister Foster

You and Jonathan didn’t share a ton of screen time together in the first movie.

No, and that was one of those things. Even when we were filming this, I remember thinking, “Oh, even their jokes are funnier. That, and Treat Williams and Sharon Lawrence are so funny. First Christmas house, their scenario was largely heavy, with perhaps the sale of the house. There wasn’t a lot of lightness in it. When we sat down to talk about this story, we thought to ourselves A) let’s have Mike and Brandon one on one and B) let’s have fun with the parents.

Did you write this one too?

I’m an executive producer on this one and was giving notes from the start, but unlike the first one, where writer Erin Rodman and I broke the whole story together, on this one she fully followed it. We pitched Hallmark the idea for what we thought was the movie and once he got the nod she followed him.

The vacation reality show they are on is hilarious because it looks a lot like what we’ve actually seen these days. And the bogus TV shows you refer to throughout the movie all sound vaguely like they could have been real shows around the time of the UPN and WB launch – like Port Authority DP

[Laughs] Yeah and Yesterday tomorrow. When we were writing the first one, coming out of this world and playing kind of a version of myself, I was like, “We have to skewer this, we have to laugh about it.” And that’s where Beautiful justice came from. We have thought of the most absurd idea of ​​this kind.

The Christmas House 2 - Robert Buckley

Crown Media United States LLC / Photographer: Allister Foster

How long have you known Jonathan? You feel like brothers on screen.

We met at the airport on our way to Vancouver to film the first one. I know! Yes we met at LAX and by the time we landed in Canada we had become quick friends. We just clicked. And have you seen Jonathan’s post? The Smithsonian contacted us after the original Christmas house came out and said, “Hey, we’d love a wardrobe and props from the movie because we’d love to include it in our LGBQT + archive.” So Christmas house is now in the Smithsonian’s LGBTQ archives. How cool is that ?!

The Smithsonian is major!

Yeah! I had set my career goals to love, a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. [Laughs]

All of the Hallmark Christmas movies make me want a vacation, but it’s not a sustainable concept with all the decor. How fun was it to be on a set like this?

In fact, it’s lasting, because remember it’s based on my current family and I lived in a house like this. You can live there, but there is not a lot of furniture to sit on. [Laughs] Everything has been removed except the big screen TV and the sofa. So if we had company you would fight for places on the couch or on the floor.

Did your parents open it for visits?

Ah, absolutely. All the local elementary schools would do field trips to our house. We used to be known as Maison de Noël, which is how it all started. And in fact, we were entirely an indoor house [of decorations]… We had neighbors down the street who were outside their homes. But when we kind of developed the idea of ​​the first one in Hollywood, we also decided to do the exterior. It is a visual aid.

The day after Halloween, we would rent a U-Haul truck, move all our furniture there, drive it to our storage unit, unload it, then load an entire storage unit of Christmas decorations, drive them back to our storage unit. house and our goal was to be done by Thanksgiving. It’s a family of four in just under two months. It was crazy, this thing was crazy, but we loved it. And I would attach friends to it. My mom would tell me “tell your friends to come over and we’ll order a pizza”. So my friends would come for pizza but also had to make tinsel garlands.

The Christmas House 2 - Robert Buckley + Jonathan Bennett

Crown Media United States LLC / Photographer: Allister Foster

How do you celebrate Christmas now, having grown up in this world?

It’s funny because we did that until high school. and then we kind of hit a point of exhaustion and that was just the time. So we stopped doing it… we would still make a tree and love, which would be normal. This is no Texas-sized home decor salon. And now my wife Jenny and I just got our first home so I was shopping for lights and inflatable lawn decorations and it was interesting. It was super cool because I’m here, starting the tradition of my own family, but I also found myself in the shadow of what we used To do. I had a moment after I finished my garden and looked at it, thinking ‘This is pretty awesome’ and simultaneously saying, ‘This is terrible! ” [Laughs] I have a quantity of tasteful lights, a tree… it’s a perfect start. Each year you can do more. And I have to remember that the Christmas House took about 15 years, it hit its peak. But it started with a coin. So this is our origin story.

And now I think it might be a Christmas house trilogy.

You and me, the two friends. From your lips to the ears of God!

Like maybe part 3 is “The Christmas Nursery”.

Are you trying to get producer credit here?

Maybe a history consultant.

OK that works. It’s just. [Laughs]

There is nothing better than Christmas for children. And now that Mike is officially with Andi (Ana Ayora), maybe it’s time to expand the family. Not to mention that Brandon and her husband’s children will be this perfect age.

Look, I’m going to be totally honest, when I first sat down with Erin at a cafe in Los Angeles, before we even said any idea what the movie should be like, I said “For this that’s worth, I think there are three movies here.

There’s also the option of going into meta, where they’re doing a TV movie about Mike’s family and their Christmas house. This way you can stream the fake TV versions of you, Jonathan Bennett, Treat Williams, and Sharon Lawrence.

You’re going to have to remove all of this from the interview when I steal all of these ideas. [Laughs]

The Christmas house 2: terrace these rooms, Saturday December 18, 8 / 7c, Hallmark Channel

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