Before family tragedy and a battle with breast cancer turned Alicia Witt’s life upside down, she’d become a fan-favorite among Hallmark Channel’s family of actors, appearing in multiple Christmas movies from 2014 to 2020, according to IMDb.
Witt has multiple acting jobs lined up in 2023, including a just-announced horror film with Nicolas Cage, but a return to Hallmark Channel isn’t among them. Witt has said previously that she wants to film with Hallmark again, but revealed this week via social media that she has not received any offers from the network in two-and-a-half years. Nevertheless, she’s still holding out hope that she’ll be cast in a new Hallmark Christmas movie this year. And she’s not the only one hoping for a call from the network.
Alicia Witt Says She Misses Making Hallmark Movies
In December 2021, Witt quietly began treatment for HER2+ breast cancer, per People, deciding not to publicly disclose her diagnosis until she’d finished six rounds of chemotherapy and a unilateral mastectomy. Weeks later, her parents were found dead in their Massachusetts home due to exposure to the cold, according to the Associated Press.
In a January 2022 Facebook post, Witt wrote that her heart was broken and that she was overcome by “overwhelming floods of grief.”
The versatile actress, who’s also had recurring roles in TV series like “Friday Night Lights” and “Orange is the New Black,” took much-needed time to heal but is now actively pursuing new roles again. On March 6, 2023, she shared on Instagram that she’s been in Vancouver, Canada, filming a horror movie called “Longlegs” with Nicolas Cage and Blair Underwood.
Several of her former Hallmark colleagues celebrated the news of her upcoming feature film. Holly Robinson Peete commented, “Love thisss and love @blairunderwood_official” while Hallmark alum Danica McKellar wrote, “Congrats!!! 👏👏👏”
Nikki DeLoach, with whom Witt joyfully reunited in November at a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, commented, “Amazing!! Thrilled for you!”
But when a fan asked whether the horror film meant she’d “given up” on making Hallmark movies, Witt replied that she’d love to return but is still waiting for an offer.
She wrote, “while my offers over the past two and a half years have not included any from hallmark, i would always be open to making another movie there – my heart would be very happy to make another christmas movie with them this year! 😍 i miss making them.”
This is not the first time Witt has made it known she hopes to return to the network. In December 2022, she replied to another fan who asked on Twitter about her status with Hallmark, saying that her name may have gotten lost in the shuffle after the network went through a change in leadership in 2020 — the last year she starred in a Hallmark movie, “Christmas Tree Lane” with Andrew Walker.
Witt replied on Twitter, “we’ve been in touch recently & my understanding is that it’s been an oversight, with the changes over there… i’ve always loved making them & hope to next year!”
George Krissa Also Says He’s Hoping for Another Call From Hallmark
Witt is not the only one hoping Hallmark Channel will come calling soon. Canadian actor George Krissa, who co-starred in his first Hallmark movie in December — “The Holiday Sitter” — alongside Hallmark mainstays Jonathan Bennett and Chelsea Hobbs, recently encouraged fans to let Hallmark execs know if they want to see him in another movie on the network.
Answering questions from fans in his Instagram Stories in late February, Krissa replied via video to one who asked if he has any new Hallmark movies in the works.
“I’m not working on any at this exact moment,” Krissa said. “But if you would like to see me more, you have to let Hallmark know. So send them a message and tell them that I should do more because I would love to be in more Hallmark movies!”
Hallmark Media did not reply to Heavy’s request for comment on Alica Witt and George Krissa’s desires to return to the network. But it’s still possible they’ll be cast in projects this year, given Hallmark’s notoriously quick turnarounds, often casting, filming, and releasing a movie in a matter of months while other production companies can take years to release one film.
In February, Hallmark fan-favorite Benjamin Ayres told Heavy that Hallmark works like “an old-school studio system” in that the network leans on a stable of stars who are basically on-call, waiting to hear about their next project.
He said, “You know you’re gonna get a phone call, you don’t know when that call is gonna come, but all of a sudden you’re back shooting a movie with Nikki DeLoach, you’re off with Taylor Cole, and you just never know (when) but you feel comfort within (the system).”
In 2020, Hallmark casting director Penny Perry told Backstage that the network typically casts actors they know in leading roles, but that the goal is always to find co-stars who have great chemistry.
“Talent that is right for one movie or show may not be the right fit for other projects,” she said. “Finding the best pairing for the lead roles is also critical — some actors instantly click. In general, it has a lot to do with chemistry, screen presence, and image.”