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The Straight Brother In Lifetime's 'The Christmas Setup' Is Gay, Too

Chad Connell of the Christmas Setup.

On Saturday night, Lifetime debuted its first-ever holiday movie centered around an LGBTQ+ romance. The project was led by real-life husbands Blake Lee and Ben Lewis who played as two high school crushes that find themselves falling for one another — this is an extremely truncated version of the plot as the film is beautifully done. Fran Drescher plays as the meddling mother who brought them together.

As Lewis and Lee — a couple who have been married for a decade, but found themselves falling in love all over again on set — explained to Out, the set was incredibly queer-inclusive.

"I don't think either of us in our careers have ever been on a set where a majority of the key creatives were queer or allies," Lewis told us in an interview. "It was a great sort of inversion of what you normally experience on set." That included not only them but also Pat Mills, who made his Lifetime (and rom-com) debut as director, and Michael J. Murray, the writer. But there was another hunk on screen who is a part of the community.

Chad Connell is a Lifetime regular, and in this project played the straight brother of Lewis's Hugo, Aiden Spencer. He finds himself falling for Hugo's best friend Madelyn, played by Ellen Wong. But in real life, Connell falls for the guys.

In case you were wondering, the Canadian actor graduated from the Ryer University Theatre School Drama Programme in 2006 and has played in projects like A Cheerful Christmas, Double Holiday, Shadowhunters, Reign, Good Witch, and even Suits. All that to say he's consistently booked! According to his IMDb, he has two films in post-production now. He also played in Steel, a film he led as a gay TV anchor.

According to Lee, it was important to Miller that there were other queer folks were included in the production. This included Connell as well as others like the drag performer Lucy Miu who performs at a bar in the film.

RELATED | All the LGBTQ+ Holiday Movies/Shows We Know About Already

Tags: Film

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