It’s Brother vs. Brother in Hallmark Channel’s ‘The Christmas House 2’

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Dec. 18 2021, Published 11:56 a.m. ET

Following the success of last year’s The Christmas HouseHallmark’s first movie with a same-sex couple in lead parts — viewers get to catch up with the Mitchell family in the sequel, The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls, which premieres on the Hallmark Channel tonight, Saturday, Dec. 18, at 8 p.m. ET. And we’ve got the scoop on the TV movie’s cast, plot, and filming location.

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For starters, The Christmas House 2 shows “what a family in 2021 looks like,” as star Jonathan Bennett tells Decider.

“The family isn’t perfect,” the actor adds. “The family has quirks and they try to put on the perfect Christmas, and what we learn from them is that the perfect Christmas doesn’t exist — but what doesn’t make it perfect is what makes it beautiful.”

In fact, the Mitchell family’s best-laid Christmas plans get upended by a reality TV show, of all things…

‘The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls’ pits Mike against Brandon in a festive competition.

In a synopsis hyping up The Christmas House 2, Hallmark gives fans and update on the Mitchell clan: “For the last two years, Mike (Robert Buckley) and Andi (Ana Ayora) have been settling into their home. Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) and Bill (Treat Williams) have eased into retirement and rediscovered joy in their marriage. And Mike’s brother, Brandon (Jonathan Bennett), and his husband, Jake (Brad Harder), are on the wild adventure that is being parents to two young children.”

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The family plans a relaxing Christmas family reunion in Rhinebeck, N.Y., but then Mike gets recruited for a celebrity home decorating reality TV show. “After some convincing from everyone else, Mike is excited to share the famed Christmas House with the world,” the cable channel teases.

Then, of course, Mike’s opponent drops out at the lat minute, and Brandon is tapped to fill in, making for “an epic, brother-versus-brother Christmas decorating showdown.”

The movie was filmed in Victoria, British Columbia, with local twins playing the part of Brandon and Jake’s new daughter.

The cast and crew of The Christmas House 2 filmed the movie in the Canadian city of Victoria, British Columbia, over six weeks this September and October, according to the Vancouver Island Free Daily. (Photographers captured the Christmas House 2 production transforming the nearby town of Sidney into a “winter wonderland” for the shoot.)

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And casting agents for the movie found local talent to play Brandon and Jake’s newly adopted infant daughter, picking 14-month-old twins Baylee and Charlee for the part. The twins’ mother, Erica Horsfield Woodruff, said she saw a casting notice for extras on Facebook, but her twins ended up being selected as principal actors.

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“They absolutely loved being on set,” Erica told the Free Daily. “At first I thought, ‘Oh, it’ll just be a fun story for them when they’re older, I’ll tell them they were in this movie.’ And then they fell in love with it.”

And Baylee and Charlee were naturals in the part. “The director came up to me and said: ‘I don’t think your kids are real! They haven’t messed up a shot with crying — whenever we put a camera six inches from their face for a closeup, they’re just all smiley and happy,’” Erica added.

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