Inside the First Hallmark Christmas Movie of 2023

Kristoffer Polaha, Bethany Joy Lenz

Hallmark Kristoffer Polaha and Bethany Joy Lenz will star in "A Biltmore Christmas"

If you’re experiencing a bit of withdrawal since Hallmark‘s two-month Countdown to Christmas is technically over, have no fear — another Christmas movie is near! Now that Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have aired all 40 original Christmas movies produced for 2022, the company is wasting no time getting ready for 2023. Hallmark just announced that filming is about to begin on its first Christmas movie of the new year — “A Biltmore Christmas.” Here’s what you need to know:

New Hallmark Movie Needs Extras to Film at Historic Landmark

Christmas at the Biltmore

The Biltmore CompanyChristmas at the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina

In January, Hallmark fan-favorites Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha will begin filming “A Biltmore Christmas.” According to Variety, the entire shoot will take place on the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Constructed in the late-1800s, the massive estate on 8,000 acres was the family home of famous entrepreneur George W. Vanderbilt and is now a National Historic Landmark.

Considered “America’s Largest Home,” the Biltmore is famous for its Christmas decorations, which will stay up an extra month in order for Hallmark to film there, according to the Asheville Citizen Times. The production team is currently hiring extras of all ages for the shoot. No experience is needed, but those who are interested will film for two weeks in January and must be prepared to spend 12 to 14-hour days on set.

Though the Biltmore has been the backdrop of many shows and films over the years, Hallmark says this will mark the first time the Biltmore Estate serves as the actual setting of a movie. While the movie begins in the present day, the main character — played by Lenz — is transported through time as she writes the screenplay for a movie set at the Biltmore in 1946.

Lenz, who rose to fame on the TV series “One Tree Hill,” has starred in many movies for Hallmark through the years, including 2020’s “Five Star Christmas” and last year’s “An Unexpected Christmas.” Polaha is a longtime Hallmark favorite whose “We Wish You a Married Christmas” premiered on October 22; he also appeared in the 2022 feature film “Jurassic Park: Dominion.”

What is ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ About?

Biltmore Christmas

The Biltmore CompanyChristmas decorations at the Biltmore in Asheville

“A Biltmore Christmas” is written by Marcy Holland. According to IMDb, she is responsible for multiple Hallmark hits including the series of movies inspired by country star Blake Shelton’s song “Time for Me to Come Home” and the book it inspired his mom, Dorothy Shackleford, to write.

According to Variety, the movie will star Lenz as Lucy Collins, a screenwriter who’s hired to write a remake of the beloved holiday movie “His Merry Bride!” During the holidays, Lucy travels to Biltmore Estate to do research for her film, including taking a guided tour of the grounds.

Once inside the house, she’s enamored by a beautiful hourglass. When she accidentally knocks it over, she’s suddenly transported back in time to 1946 as the cast and crew prepare to film “His Merry Bride!”

Lucy tries to fit in, though some are suspicious of her sudden presence on the set, and she catches the eye of movie’s handsome star, Jack Huston, played by Polaha. As the two fall in love,  Lucy’s presence there sets off a chain of events that jeopardize not only the movie’s production but her future life.

This will almost certainly be the first of many Christmas film shoots to come, as Hallmark has found a winning strategy with its Countdown to Christmas rosted of movies from October through December. In 2022, the network was the most-watched entertainment cable network during the holiday season, and its biggest hit, “Three Wise Men and a Baby,” has become the most-watched TV movie of the year.