A new Christmas movie featuring Grey’s Anatomy co-stars Sarah Drew and Justin Bruening will premiere on Lifetime. The actors — who play a once-married, now-divorced couple on the hit ABC series — will star in Reindeer Games Homecoming, a rom-com Drew wrote.
Though Drew didn’t write the script with Bruening in mind, she realized he was the perfect pick during the casting process.
“I was writing it with some other people in mind after having just worked with a group of people that I wanted to work with again,” Drew said in an interview with People. “And then all kinds of things wound up happening over the three years between when that all happened. And then when Justin’s name was brought up in our leadership meetings, I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I’m so glad he ended up doing it.”
New Christmas movie
Reindeer Games Homecoming is one of 26 new Christmas movies that will premiere on Lifetime this holiday season.
In the movie, Drew plays MacKenzie Graves, who left her career as a doctor in a Boston hospital to move back to her small Vermont hometown just before her father died. She ended up staying and is teaching science at the local high school when she decides to take over her father’s tradition of hosting The Reindeer Games, the town’s Christmas carnival.
According to a synopsis from Lifetime, “…Her world is rocked when fading Hollywood star, and Mac’s high school crush, Chase Weston (played by Bruening), comes home for Christmas to visit his pregnant sister and nephew and is begrudgingly roped into participating in the Games. When the opportunity to compete against her former crush arises, Mac is determined to show him up and win the Kris Kringle Cup at all costs. As the competition heats up, so does the spark between Mac and Chase, and Chase soon finds himself eager to not only win the games but also to win her heart as well.”
Reindeer Games Homecoming
Playing a couple came naturally to Drew and Bruening. The actors play April Kepner and Matthew Taylor on Grey’s Anatomy.
“We’ve been working together for 10 years,” Drew said. “It’s so easy to just leap back into that mode with him and we have this second-hand. There’s no kind of trying to figure out the chemistry. It’s just there.”
Bruening said he loved the script but was surprised at how much kissing was in the story.
“…I was like, ‘I kissed her halfway through. That’s not normal,’ he said. “There’s a lot of kissing in this movie! It’s only supposed to be one.”
Drew said she got the inspiration for her script from her husband, academic Peter Lanfer, who attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and took part in the school’s Winter Carnival.
“They do the polar bear plunge, except in at Dartmouth they cut a hole in the frozen-over pond and leap into the hole,” she said. “They have a human dog sled derby, but it’s on snow and it’s people dressed as clowns pulling someone in a sled. I just thought it’s such a fun, community bonding sort of experience, and I was like, man, this would be a perfect setting for a holiday movie if it’s a small town who always really gets into it.”
Reindeer Games Homecoming will premiere on Saturday, November 12 on Lifetime at 8/7c.