The first week of 2023 is off to an amazing start for Hallmark Channel star Jonathan Bennett, with one good thing after another happening in his life. The actor rang in the New Year with millions of people watching him host the official, live webcast from Times Square with his husband, TV host and entrepreneur James Vaughan serving as one of his co-hosts. Days later, the newlyweds — who married in March 2022 — both shared major career news: a new movie for Bennett and a star-studded MTV show for Vaughan. Here’s what you need to know:
Jonathan Bennett Lands New Movie Role
Fresh off starring in and producing Hallmark’s groundbreaking comedy “The Holiday Sitter,” which premiered in December 2022 as the network’s first movie focused on a love story with two male leads, Bennett revealed to his Instagram followers on January 2, 2023, that he’d just landed a new movie role.
In his Instagram Stories, he posted a photo of himself in a hoodie with his hand over his mouth and a surprised expression on his face.
“Work day 1 of 2023,” he wrote above the photo, “and I got a call I booked a movie! I don’t even know what to say. I’m so grateful and what a way to start the New Year!”
Given that Bennett signed an exclusive multi-picture contract with Hallmark Media in April 2022 and is continually working on projects with the network, it’s possible that the news he received is regarding a project outside of Hallmark, like a feature film, since it seemed like such a surprise and thrill.
Before becoming one of Hallmark’s top actors, Bennett rose to fame in the 2004 hit movie “Mean Girls” with fellow Hallmark actor Lacey Chabert, and 2005’s “Meaner By the Dozen 2.” Bennett has also been known to quietly appear in low-budget horror films in recent years, like “Deadly Yoga Retreat,” which premiered on Lifetime on December 30. According to IMDb, he also appears in the digital and on-demand horror flick “Snow Falls,” to be released on January 17.
IMDb also says Bennett and his husband are set to appear in singer Ashanti’s romantic comedy “The Plus One,” which is now in post-production and awaiting a release date.
Jaymes Vaughan to Star in New MTV Reality Show
Meanwhile, Bennett’s husband is starting the New Year with big news of his own. MTV just announced he’s part of the six-member cast of a new reality show, “The Real Friends of WeHo,” premiering on January 20 at 9 pm Eastern, right after season 15 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
MTV calls the show “an unfiltered and honest look” at a group of famous, influential LGBTQ+ friends “living, loving and pursuing their passions in the West Hollywood community.” The cast includes celebrity stylist Brad Goreski, choreographer and singer Todrick Hall, actor Curtis Hamilton, CEO of Buttah Skincare Dorión Renaud, digital entrepreneur Joey Zauzig and Vaughan, who’s described as a TV host and entrepreneur.
In a trailer for the show released on January 5, a clip shows Vaughan saying, “Y’all probably know my husband. He pushes me to be more creative, more adventurous.”
Vaughan, who lives with Bennett in Palm Springs, California, shared the trailer on Instagram.
“Took a wrong turn out of Palm Springs and ended of here,” he wrote. The post was flooded with likes and comments from excited fans, including a like from former Hallmark star Danica McKellar, who attended Bennett’s and Vaughan’s Mexico wedding.
In addition to their entertainment gigs, Bennett and Vaughan have a busy year ahead running their successful travel company called OUTbound, which coordinates all-inclusive trips for LGBTQ+ clients, from exploring the Christmas markets of Europe to an upcoming cruise to French wine country.