As the author of “The Christmas Setup,” Lifetime’s first-ever vacation film centered on a homosexual romance, Michael Murray has felt a way of accountability to the LGBTQ+ neighborhood since he first started scripting the mission again in March.
But it wasn’t till Lifetime introduced in August that it had given the film the inexperienced gentle that Murray had a “freakout” and “major meltdown” over simply how massive a deal his little film was going to be.
“It was like, ‘Oh my God, what have I done now? I hope I’ve been responsible in the portrayal of my life, our community, of Christmas movies — the whole thing. That I’ve checked all the boxes,’” Murray, who’s homosexual, advised TheWrap. “And of course at that point I thought, ‘It’s probably too late. I hope I have!’ I don’t think I completely panicked until the script was done. But believe me, I was really aware of what I was doing the whole time.”
In 2019, Lifetime had 4 films that featured queer relationships in supporting positions and its first Christmas film that included a same-sex kiss, “Twinkle All the Way,” however none that targeted particularly on a homosexual couple. “The Christmas Setup,” which stars married-in-real-life couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee, is the cable channel’s first vacation movie that has a homosexual couple on the entrance and middle of its heartwarming story.
“The Christmas Setup,” which premieres Dec. 12, follows the story of New York lawyer Hugo (Lewis) who heads residence to Milwaukee along with his greatest good friend Madelyn (Ellen Wong) to spend the vacations along with his brother Aiden (Chad Connell) and his mother Kate (Fran Drescher), who can also be accountable for the native Christmas celebrations. Kate performs matchmaker by arranging for Hugo to run into Patrick (Lee), Hugo’s highschool good friend and secret crush, who has not too long ago returned after a profitable stint in Silicon Valley. As they benefit from the vacation celebrations collectively, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction grows, however Hugo should decide about what he needs his future to appear to be when he receives phrase a couple of massive promotion that may require transferring to London.
“It’s my story, all the characters are a piece of me. Everybody in there, a lot of the experiences of those characters are pieces I drew from in my own life,” Murray mentioned of “The Christmas Setup.” “But at the same time, I am representing the community. And I was acutely aware of that. Although, at the time I was writing, because of COVID and the fact I had two other movies going on at the same time, my desk was overflowing with material — which was a really great problem to have, God knows. If any year I was happy to be working, it was certainly this year — but writing the movie was kind of like a fever dream because it had to happen fast.”
“The Christmas Setup” needed to match right into a sure manufacturing schedule to shortly shoot in Canada in the course of the pandemic, with all COVID security protocols in place. Murray mentioned the tight schedule was really good, “as a result of generally it saved me out of my very own method by way of overthinking, ‘Oh my God, there’s an enormous accountability that goes with this.’
“But I was aware of it the whole time,” he continued. “Every time I thought about, how do we depict our drag queen in the club at the end? And what is the makeup of the club? Or when we have group scenes, I scripted in a certain level of diversity and inclusion in the background players… those were all really important issues for me.”
Yes, there’s a drag queen, Gladys Claus (performed by Canadian drag artist Lucinda Miu), in “The Christmas Setup.” It’s a component of the movie that was a high precedence for Murray, as he knew this film is important to many individuals within the LGBTQ neighborhood who’ve lengthy been asking for extra illustration in cable channels’ vacation films — an space Lifetime and its competitor Hallmark each made strides on this yr.
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