Real-life married gay couple cast in 1st Lifetime LGBTQ holiday movie


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Lifetime has revealed the cast of its first LGBTQ-centric Christmas movie, "The Christmas Setup."

The network announced this week it has tapped actors Ben Lewis and Blake Lee, a real-life married couple, to star in its historymaking holiday film.

MORE: Lifetime announces 1st holiday movie centered around same-sex couple

Lewis -- known for roles in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," "Degrassi: The Next Generation" and "Arrow" -- and Lee -- known for roles on "Parks and Recreation," "Mixology" and "Wisdom of the Crowd" -- wed in 2016.

Co-starring alongside Lewis and Lee are "The Nanny" icon Fran Drescher and actress Ellen Wong ("The Carrie Diaries" and "GLOW").

PHOTO: Blake Lee and Ben Lewis are seen, April 17, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Hollywood To You/star Max/GC Images via Getty Images, FILE)

The movie will follow Hugo (Lewis), a New York lawyer, who returns home to Milwaukee for the holidays with his best friend, Madelyn (Wong). While there, his mother, Kate (Drescher), plays matchmaker between him and his secret high school crush, Patrick (Lee), who recently made it big in Silicon Valley. While their relationship sparks, Hugo receives a big promotion which would require him to move to London forcing him to decide between career and love.

In a press release, Lifetime announced the film is "written and directed by members of the LGBTQ community," with Pat Mills directing with a script from Michael J. Murray. The network also said it's "working closely with GLAAD to ensure the movie represents the LGBTQ community sensitively and accurately."

Lifetime also announced the cast for "A Sugar & Spice Holiday," its first Christmas movie centered on an Asian American family and featuring an Asian director, casting director, and cast.

This holiday film stars Jacky Lai, Tony Giroux and "Mulan" star Tzi Ma in front of the camera. Behind the camera, Jennifer Liao directed, Eirene Donohue wrote the script and Judy JK Lee served as casting director.

MORE: MORE: 98-year-old Betty White to star in a Christmas movie on Lifetime

To maintain authenticity in storytelling with this movie, the network is working with CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment.

"The world we create on camera should reflect the world we live in," Lifetime and LMN exec Amy Winter said, adding that they "continue our efforts to tell the stories of the diverse communities represented by our viewers."

Winter said the network hopes "people will see themselves while enjoying universally relatable holiday romances."

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