Meet Hallmark’s 8 New Holiday Heartthrobs

Chris Carmack, Mark Ghanimé and David Elsendoorn

Heavy/Getty New Hallmark actors Chris Carmack, Mark Ghanimé and David Elsendoorn

When Hallmark announced its Countdown to Christmas lineup of 44 movie premieres on September 19, 2023, fans were relieved to see many of their favorite “hunks of Hallmark” will appear in new movies this holiday season, including Tyler Hynes, Ryan Paevey, Benjamin Ayres, Luke Macfarlane, Andrew Walker and Jonathan Bennett.

But during the two months of new holiday fare — which will air on Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and streamer Hallmark Now beginning October 20 — a new crop of easy-on-the-eyes actors will debut in their first Hallmark Christmas movies. Among the new talent Hallmark’s bringing on board for Countdown to Christmas, these eight red-hot actors are sure to have viewers swooning throughout the most wonderful time of the year.

Chris Carmack in ‘Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas’

On November 30, Chris Carmack will star opposite Shenae Grimes-Beech in “Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas,” the sixth installment in a series of movies executive produced by country star Blake Shelton, who co-wrote his 2012 holiday song “Time For Me To Come Home” with his mom, Dorothy Shackleford. That song inspired a book that she wrote, which then inspired the Hallmark movie franchise, with a new movie released each holiday season since 2018, per NBC.

Carmack, 42, is an actor and singer who’s been a series regular on multiple hit TV shows, according to IMDb, including playing Will Lexington on “Nashville” from 2013 to 2018 and Dr. Atticus Lincoln on “Grey’s Anatomy” since 2018. Also a musician, Carmack released his first EP “Pieces of You” in 2015, per Wide Open Country, and also released an album with his wife, Erin Slaver, as the duo Life on Eris in 2020.

Carmack regularly posts funny Instagram videos about marriage and parenting with Slaver, whom he married in October 2018, per Extra. They have two daughters, six-year-old Kai and one-year-old Cielle.

Mark Ghanimé in ‘To All a Good Night’

In his Hallmark debut, Mark Ghanimé will co-star with Kimberley Sustad in “To All a Good Night” on December 7.

Ghanimé, 45, is a Canadian Lebanese actor who grew up in Montreal, Quebec, according to Yahoo. In July 2022, he began playing Dr. Cameron Hayek on the popular Netflix series “Virgin River” after roles on “Helix” and “Reign.”

Ghanimé is no stranger to Christmas movies, having appeared in three on Lifetime: “Always and Forever Christmas” and “Twinkle All the Way” in 2019, and “Candy Cane Christmas” in 2020, per IMDb.

The actor is pretty private about his personal life, but shares on Instagram how much that he loves being a “papa” to his daughter, third-grader Mika, whom he shares with Sandrine Gda.

William Moseley in ‘Christmas in Notting Hill’

British-born William Moseley will star in “Christmas in Notting Hill” with Sarah Ramos on November 25. According to Celebrating the Soaps, the movie was filmed in April in Ranelagh, Ireland. 

Moseley, 36, is best known for playing Peter Pevensie in the “Chronicles of Narnia” movie series and starring as Prince Liam in the E! series “The Royals” from 2015 to 2018, per IMDb. Most recently, he co-starred with Mel Gibson in the 2022 thriller “On the Line.”

Though Moseley shares little about his personal life, he has been with his girlfriend, “Yellowstone” actress Kelsey Asbille, for a decade, according to Hello! magazine, which reported that they met in 2012 on the set of action-thriller film “Run,” which was released in 2013.

In January, Moseley told Pop Culturist that after a busy year of acting in a wide range of projects, including an upcoming feature film about Davy Crockett, he feels like he’s on the right path.

“For me, what’s left on my bucket list is to continue to make good films, grow my spirit and energy, and continue to be proud of the work that I’m doing and the people I’m working with,” he said. “I feel like I’m on the path now that I wanted to be on for a long time. I’m on it now, and I want to keep going forward.”

Rafael De La Fuente in ‘Letters to Santa’

Fresh off his six-year run on the CW’s “Dynasty” reboot and a prior role on Fox’s “Empire,” Rafael De La Fuente, 36, will star opposite Katie Leclerc in “Letters to Santa” — part of a Hallmark Channel double-header on November 24.

According to Instinct Magazine, De La Fuente was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States after high school to study acting at the University of Tampa. The outlet said he was married to Australian actor Hugh Sheridan from 2009 to 2018.

On September 20, singer John Duff confirmed on Instagram that he and De La Fuente are dating.

Bryan Greenberg in “Round and Round”

“One Tree Hill” alum Bryan Greenberg will make his Hallmark debut in a Hanukkah-themed flick called “Round and Round” with Vic Michaelis on December 10.

Greenberg, 44, has appeared in a wide range of TV and film projects, including Netflix’s “You People” this year and in the final season of “The Mindy Project,” per IMDb. He’s also been in his fair share of rom-coms, including ABC’s “Same Time, Next Christmas” in 2019 and the 2011 feature film “Friends With Benefits” starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis.

According to People, Greenberg married actress and “The Real World” alum Jamie Chung on Halloween 2015 and the couple has twin boys, born in 2021.

David Elsendoorn in “My Norwegian Holiday”

David Elsendoorn will go from playing beloved soccer player Jan Maas on AppleTV’s hit series “Ted Lasso” to an amateur detective in “Christmas in Norway,” co-starring Rhiannon Fish on December 1.

Born in Utrecht, Netherlands, the six-foot-four actor has also appeared in multiple Dutch projects and in Netflix’s “Single Street,” per IMDb.

On the “Richmond Till We Die” podcast in 2022, Elsendoorn revealed that in addition to being athletic and fun-loving, he’s a sensitive guy who can sense the energy of the moon’s cycles.

“I’ve got a lot of friends that don’t really believe in the energy of the full moon,” he said, “but every time when it’s a full moon, I just tend to feel that, experience that, as a really strong energy.”

Ben Mehl in ‘My Christmas Guide’

On November 2, Ben Mehl will star with Amber Marshall in “My Christmas Guide” on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The movie follows a college professor who connects with a guide dog trainer after he loses his eyesight and adopts a seeing eye dog.

Mehl is legally blind in real life, having lost much of his vision due to a “rare genetic form of macular degeneration called Stargardt’s disease” during his last year of college at the University of Toronto, he told Authority magazine in 2021.

“I was told that it was progressive, and that there was no treatment or cure,” he recalled.
“My vision deteriorated to the point where I could no longer read normal sized text or recognize faces. I didn’t know whether pursuing a career in acting was possible anymore. How would I read my scripts? How would I see the expression in my scene partner’s face? After taking time to mourn the loss of my central vision and accept my new life, I decided I was not going to let this disease define me, and I would learn what it meant to be an actor with this disability and continue to pursue my dream.”

Mehl teaches acting at the New York Film Academy, according to HB Studios, and is best known for starring in Netflix’s series “You.”

Vincent Rodriguez III in ‘Christmas on Cherry Lane’

Vincent Rodriguez III is part of the ensemble cast in “Christmas on Cherry Lane,” premiering on December 9. The movie is about three couples in the same neighborhood, but at different stages of life, coming together over the holidays. Rodriguez plays opposite Jonathan Bennett, with the other couples played by Erin Cahill and John Brotherton, and Catherine Bell and James Denton — all longtime Hallmark stars.

Rodriguez, 41, is best known for his role on the series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” from 2015 to 2019 and Amazon Prime’s series “With Love” from 2021 to 2023, according to IMDb.

Rodriguez has been married to husband Gregory Wright since 2015, per Just Jared. In a 2020 Facebook post, he told his husband “meeting you is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas begins on October 20.

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