‘The Christmas Setup’: Meet real-life gay couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee who star in Lifetime’s first LGBTQ holiday movie
The fun and jubilant movie 'dives deeper into the network's commitment to diverse storytelling and inclusivity'
Lifetime is spreading its wings in the genre of charming holiday rom-com. The network is championing the idea of gender diversity with ‘The Christmas Setup’. The movie features a captivating storyline featuring a same-sex couple and their gushing romance set up by none other than the mom of one of the lead characters! To our amazement, the movie not only showcases a real-life same-sex couple as the lead pair but is written and directed by members of the LGBTQ community.
“The world we create on camera should reflect the world we live in. ‘The Christmas Setup’ is an addition to the ‘It’s a Wonderful Lifetime’ slate because they continue our effort to tell the stories of the diverse communities represented by our viewers,” said Amy Winter, Head of Programming, Lifetime and LMN. “Our hope with these inclusive films and others is that people will see themselves while enjoying universally relatable holiday romances.”
Before we watch this cute LGBTQ romance, here’s what we need to know about the cast of the film.
Ben Lewis as Hugo
Ben Lewis is an actor and writer prominently known in the world of entertainment for ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’ (2010), ‘Zero Recognition’ (2014) and ‘Arrow’ (2012). In the euphoric LGBTQ holiday romance, ‘The Christmas Setup’, Ben will play the lead role of New York lawyer Hugo who heads to Milwaukee with his best friend Madelyn to spend the holidays with his mom Kate.
The star is married to Blake Lee since January 2016 who will play his love interest in the movie also, making it all the more exciting for us to see their on-screen chemistry. Ben told about his character in an interview, “Hugo, my character, is definitely the more neurotic, goofy one. Patrick is the more confident, suave one. I feel like on any given day [in real life] we sort of flip-flop those roles.”
He tells how his real equation is different from on-screen chemistry with partner Blake Lee. “ I would say our relationship is obviously different because these are characters who haven't seen each other in probably 15 or 20 years, whereas we are people who have been together and partners for 10 years.”
He added on his onscreen role, “The relationship dynamics between Hugo and his mom, and Hugo and his best female friend, and Hugo and his brother were sort of easier for me to relate to, and it was very easy to slip into those character dynamics with Fran and Ellen and Chad. Whereas Blake and I sort of had to remind each other—or Pat, the director, would remind us—that those characters are not as comfortable with each other as we are [with one another].”
Blake Lee as Patrick
Blake is an actor widely known for his works in ‘Parks and Recreation’ (2009), ‘Mixology’ (2013), and ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ (2017). He has been married to Ben Lewis and will play his beau in the upcoming holiday movie.
Lee told about his character in the movie, “Patrick, my character, is far more relaxed than I am. He's just cool, nothing would bother him. I'm not that. I stress out. I feel like they tried to make him look like this effortless, attractive guy that got up in the morning and his hair fell perfectly, and I'm wearing a hat right now because that's not the case!”
Born in 1957 in Queens, New York, Fran met the love of her life at the age of 15 when she met Peter Marc Jacobson. She debuted in the arena of glamor in the memorable film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ (1977) with John Travolta. Her breakthrough success came with ‘The Nanny’ (1993). She conceived the plot line for the movie while she was visiting a friend in England.
The star tasted success with films like ‘The Beautician and the Beast’ and ‘Picking Up the Pieces’. Fran is a cancer survivor. That, combined with her wonderfully spirited zeal in the cinema makes her an inspiration to women around the world.
The Christmas Setup premieres on Saturday, December 12, at 8 pm ET/PT on Lifetime.