The Hallmark Channel’s newest movie, “The Holiday Sitter” premieres on Sunday, December 11, at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. This movie is the first romantic comedy on the Hallmark channel where the two leads are men. This movie stars Jonathan Bennett, who also acts as executive producer, and George Krissa. Read on to learn all about the cast and where this movie was filmed.
‘The Holiday Sitter’ Was Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia
“The Holiday Sitter” was filmed in Canada during a summer heatwave. But the temperatures didn’t stop the stars from enjoying making history with this Hallmark movie.
Bennett talked to People about filming a Christmas movie in August in Vancouver, Canada.
“You know it’s hot and steamy on set when a fleece blanket is cooler than your wardrobe,” he shared.
“[These movies are] so joyful and cheerful and they make you feel good,” he said.
Krissa told CBC Lite that it was “very strange” to film on a Christmas set when it was so warm outside, but he really enjoyed making the movie.
Bennett later shared the People article on Instagram, writing: “It takes a queer village. The faces in these photos are the reason The Holiday Sitter is my favorite movie I’ve ever done in my entire career.“
“Oh my god @georgekrissa you’re like obsessed with me,” he wrote in another post.
USA Today reported that Lisa Hamilton Daly, chief of programming at Hallmark Media, said tales such as “The Holiday Sitter” are essential to the network’s goal of airing a varied range of romantic comedies.
“It’s important because we really do want to show everybody gets their love story,” she told USA Today. “It’s not just straight couples. It’s not just white couples, it’s everyone gets their love story. We definitely love our core story of like, ‘Girl goes back to save the Christmas tree farm.’ Everyone loves that one. I think we have that one pretty much every year, but we wanted to tell different kinds of stories, also.”
Bennett told Today that the movie was special to him because when he was younger, representation of the LGBTQIA+ community was not present on media.
“Growing up, I never saw a love that looked like my love in Christmas movies,” he shared. “So to be able to create that and bring the story to the screen… there are no words for it, of how excited I am.”
He also continued by saying that the movie was really about family and being happy and loving each other.
“We never set out to make a gay movie or a queer rom com,” he said. “We set out to make a really good romantic comedy that’s centered around Christmas. It’s centered around love and family and is a classic fish out of water story, which I love. The only difference is both the leads are men.”
Amy Goodmurphy, who plays Ellie in the movie, is from North Vancouver and told NSNews that when she was a child attending a Catholic private school in North Vancouver, she rarely saw representation of the LGBTQIA+ community on screen, especially in leading love stories.
“So for me to think about younger queer people being able to see themselves on the screen represented in this way, and especially in a Christmas movie, which is really special for people and families, this is huge,” she said.
Goodmurphy told Straight.com that it was so hot while they filmed in Langley that she sometimes needed “three ice packs hidden” in her clothes while she was filming.
“It’s supposed to be snowing and freezing. I was sweating,” she said. “I think we had to stop a couple of times. It was like, ‘Amy’s got to get hosed down.'”
Bennett posted his excitement about the movie on Instagram.
“The Holiday Sitter” will make history as the first Leading Gay Couple in a Hallmark Christmas movie EVER!” he said.
Krissa posted a few pictures on Instagram as well, hyping the movie and its representation.
“A beautiful interview by @jonathandbennett for @flauntmagazine! He’s “making breakthroughs for queer representation.”OH and we got to wear very cool clothes! 😎” Krissa wrote.
He also shared the photoshoot for the feature, which includes some amazing poses and great smiles from both leads.
Meet the Cast
Hallmark’s synopsis reads:
Sam (Bennett) is a workaholic living his best bachelor life in New York City. Just as he’s ready to head to the airport to spend Christmas in Hawaii, his sister (Chelsea Hobbs, “UnREAL”) calls him into active uncle duty when she and her husband have to leave town early when they learn the baby they’re adopting is being born two weeks ahead of schedule. After some brilliant sisterly guilting, Sam agrees to head upstate to watch his teen nephew and young niece while they’re away. When Sam gets to their suburban home he meets Jason (Krissa), a friend and next-door neighbor who steps in to help until Sam arrives. Even though his sister left a detailed schedule to follow – along with takeout menus to avoid the kitchen fire he caused the last time he babysat – Sam realizes he’s ill-equipped for the job, at best. He enlists the help of Jason, who is also the contractor putting the finishing touches on the nursery and is planning to adopt since he’s tired of waiting to find the right guy and start a family of his own. Sam is so desperate for help he offers to hire Jason as a “consultant” of sorts to help him survive the next two days without major mishaps. But when the new baby’s arrival takes longer than expected, Sam has to adjust his vacation plans once again. As he spends more time there with his niece and nephew – and Jason – he begins to rethink his commitment to the bachelor life and realizes he may have found something he wasn’t looking for, including love.
Jonathan Bennett plays Sam in the movie. According to his bio, he made his debut in the film industry with the hit “Mean Girls,” starring in the film alongside Lindsay Lohan. Bennett also played the role of Amanda Bynes’ potential romantic interest in the romantic comedy “Lovewrecked.” Since then, his credits include starring as Bo Duke in the prequel to “The Dukes of Hazzard,” in “Bachelor Party Vegas,” in the title role of National Lampoon’s “Van Wilder: Freshman Year,” and in “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” as Steve Martin’s antagonistic son-in-law.
Bennett lives with his husband, actor Jaymes Vaughan, and their dog, Bradley, in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Recently making headlines for being the first openly gay couple to appear on the cover of The Knot, the couple will now host a trip for the LBTGQ+ community that will take them outside of the country.
Actor and musician George Krissa stars as Jason in the movie. According to his bio, he was born in the sleepy Canadian village of Lashburn, population 700. Krissa is a classical vocalist who attended Alberta, Canada’s Grant MacEwan University. He’s starred in a number of roles on Canadian stages, such as the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival. Among the many films he has appeared in are “Coroner” on The CW, “Murdoch Mysteries” on CBC, “Trapped with My Husband” on Lifetime, and “The Dwelling” by Breakthrough Entertainment. This year he made his first appearance on the Hallmark Channel in the movie “Road Trip Romance.”
Also starring in the movie are:
- Chelsea Hobbs (Kathleen)
- Everett Andes (Miles)
- Mila Morgan (Dania)
- Matthew James Dowden (Nate)
- Gabrielle Rose (Marilyn)
- Matty Finochio (Peter)
- Amy Goodmurphy (Ellie)
- Robert Wisden (Frank)
- Bella Leonardo (Arabella)
- Todd Matthews (Vance)
- Rick Dobran (Eddie)
- Andy Rukes (Tomme)
- Nathan Parrott (Decklan)