Hallmark Stars Gather in New York for Emotional Movie Premiere

James Denton, Catherine Bell, Vincent Rodriguez III, Jonathan Bennett, Erin Cahill and John Brotherton

Heavy/Getty Cast of "Christmas on Cherry Lane" James Denton, Catherine Bell, Vincent Rodriguez III, Jonathan Bennett, Erin Cahill and John Brotherton at Hallmark premiere

The stars came out in New York City on December 7, 2023, for a special Countdown to Christmas premiere at Lincoln Center of “Christmas on Cherry Lane,” a new Hallmark movie said to be unlike any other project in the network’s history.

Set to premiere on Hallmark Channel on December 9, the movie features a star-studded cast playing three separate couples living in the same neighborhood: Jonathan Bennett and Vincent Rodriguez III, Erin Cahill and John Brotherton, and Catherine Bell and James Denton, who previously starred together in the Hallmark series “Good Witch.” During a Facebook chat they recorded before the New York City premiere, the cast revealed that they’d never actually been together as a group, including during the filming of “Christmas on Cherry Lane.”

In addition to the unconventional filming and premise, those who attended the red carpet event  said the movie’s emotional storyline caught they by surprise.

Here’s what you need to know:

Cast of “Christmas on Cherry Lane” Explain Why They Didn’t Film the Movie Together

During the Facebook Live session with the cast, Bennett was the first to spill the news that the ensemble cast had not actually filmed “Christmas on Cherry Lane” together.

“This is the first time the whole cast has been together,” Bennett exclaimed. “I don’t think I’ve ever done a movie like this, where you haven’t met everyone in the cast.”

“I think John Brotherton described it as sort of a braid in how it all weaves together,” Denton interjected. “Everybody’s so busy and we only worked about a week a piece. At least that’s what Catherine and I did. So you come in and do your week and then everybody has lives and kids to deal with. So, you want to hang around and meet everybody but it’s just not practical…I’ve never done anything like it.”

Brotherton then said that “there’s such a massive twist” that allowed for them to film separately, which he thinks viewers will love.

Cahill added that though she loved the whole script, written by Rick Garman, it was the storyline about Bennett and Rodriguez’s characters that “drove it home” for her and had her crying.

Premiere Attendees Say Emotional Storyline of ‘Cherry Lane’ Movie Caught Them By Surprise

"Christmas on Cherry Lane" premiere

GettyCatherine Bell, Alicia Witt, James Denton, Ginna Claire Mason, Benjamin Ayres, Cindy Busby, Victor Webster, Ashley Williams, Kristoffer Polaha, Vincent Rodriguez III, John Brotherton, Erin Cahill, Will Kemp, Nikki DeLoach, Paul Campbell, Andrew Walker, Steve Lund, Tyler Hynes, Kimberley Sustad, Taylor Cole and Jonathan Bennett attend Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas on Cherry Lane” New York premiere on December 7, 2023.

Cahill wasn’t the only one brought to tears by “Christmas on Cherry Lane.” After attending the Lincoln Center premiere, Bennett’s husband, TV host and entrepreneur Jaymes Vaughan posted on Instagram about how blown away he was by the film.

“No spoilers but consider this your tearjerker warning,” he wrote. “‘Cause nobody told me I was gonna cry! So proud of my @jonathandbennett and the entire cast and team on this movie. It’s completely unlike any Hallmark Channel movie I’ve ever seen and honestly one of my favorite things he’s ever done.”

“I actually real life lol’d multiple multiple times throughout the movie,” Vaughan added, “before crying into my popcorn…again…and then again…and then again.”

During a Q&A after the premiere, Garman exclaimed, “I wrote it and it still got me!”

Andrew Walker, who was among the many Hallmark stars who attended the premiere, shared a photo from the event in his Instagram Stories and wrote, “You won’t want to miss #ChristmasonCherryLane.”

Alicia Witt also shared photos from the premiere in her Stories, wrote that it’s “a really special movie” and how proud she is of Cahill, who’s become one of her close friends.

Many of the stars who attended the New York premiere — including Tyler Hynes, Victor Webster, and Nikki DeLoach — moved on to New Jersey, where they’re attending ChristmasCon over the weekend to meet fans and promote their holiday films.