EXCLUSIVE: Why Haylie Duff’s New Lifetime Movie Is Different From the Rest

Haylie Duff

Getty Haylie Duff's co-stars in a new Lifetime movie include cast members from "The Brady Bunch."

Actor Haylie Duff is no stranger to Lifetime movies. Her past credits on the network include thrillers such as “Deadly Delusion” and “His Secret Family.”

In a conversation with Heavy, Duff explained why her newest Lifetime film, “Blending Christmas,” is refreshingly different from what Lifetime viewers have come to expect from the channel’s other romantic holiday films.

Duff plays Emma, who finds out that the resort where her family always spends the holidays is being remodeled. Her boyfriend Liam (Aaron O’Connell) decides to take her to the resort one last time before it changes and propose to her there.

Duff said she and her co-star enjoyed playing a couple that was already established rather than people who were just meeting each other. “Most of the time people are looking for love in these Lifetime movies,” said Duff. “But for them (Duff and O’Connell’s characters), they were already a couple in love and it was just them taking this next step.” 

This distinction allowed Duff and O’Connell to add sweet little moments, like an arm around a shoulder or a kiss on the cheek, to show how comfortable their characters felt with each other. 

We did really try to just lean into the comfortability of the relationship and try to portray a really happy couple,” Duff told Heavy. 

‘Blending Christmas’ Features ‘The Brady Bunch’ Cast

In “Blending Christmas,” Liam tries to execute the perfect proposal at the resort that’s so dear to Emma’s heart. He also surprises her by inviting his family and Emma’s family to witness the occasion. Having the whole gang together is great at first but the two families soon begin to bicker over everything. The drama puts a strain on Liam and Emma who soon begin questioning their future.

The film features cast members from perhaps the most famous blended family of all time, The Brady Bunch! That’s right, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen, Jennifer Elise Cox, and Robbie Ris from the classic sitcom “The Brady Bunch” play Duff and O’Connell’s family members.

Duff really enjoyed working with the “Brady Bunch” cast. “That was a big hoot every single day having all of them together,” she told Heavy.

Duff Has Another Movie Coming Soon

Duff has another film coming out soon, “The Baby Pact,” a sequel to the 2014 film, “The Wedding Pact.” “It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a sequel which was really exciting,” Duff told Heavy. 

In the film, Duff’s character Elizabeth has lost her husband and is pregnant with his child. But Duff says the movie is more lighthearted than the synopsis suggests. “There’s definitely some heavier things that happen, but it doesn’t really dive deep into the emotion of it so much as it shows her (Elizabeth) moving on with her life a little bit,” she told Heavy.

Duff Is a Mom In Real Life

Offscreen, Duff is the mother of two daughters, 6-year-old Ryan and 3-year-old Lulu. She told Heavy that being home with her girls more during the early days of COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise.

It was a really hard time, but it was also a beautiful reset for us to just focus on each other and focus on the things we’re grateful for,” the Lifetime actor said. 

Duff’s daughters love playing with the family’s two dogs, Birdie and Chicken. The mother-of-two told Heavy that during quarantine, her daughter Ryan announced that Birdie was going to be her new best friend. “I was like ‘this is definitely a child that’s locked at home in quarantine,'” Duff joked. 

In her new partnership with NUTRO ULTRA, Duff gets to combine her favorite things: her kids, her dogs, and great food. NUTRO ULTRA is ultra-premium dry dog food that includes high-quality ingredients including salmon, apple, and blueberries.

As part of NUTRO ULTRA’s latest giveaway, Duff’s daughters helped her create their own “Barkuterie Board,” an assortment of quality, dog-friendly foods inspired by real ingredients in NUTRO ULTRA.

Duff says she and her daughters had fun discovering new foods that are safe for dogs to enjoy. “We had no idea you could give a dog a banana,” she said. “That was a big surprise for all of us.” 

Giveaway Winners Get to Meet Duff

NUTRO ULTRA is challenging pet parents across America to create their very own Barkuterie Boards. Five grand-prize winners will receive a $50 gift card to purchase food for the board, a six-month supply of NUTRO ULTRA dog food, and a virtual eat and greet with Duff and her dogs.

Follow full entry instructions for your chance to win. “I’m always trying to find ways to make my dogs happier and healthier and NUTRO ULTRA really is such a premium, amazing product,” says Duff.

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