A Star in All Seasons
by Cathy Padilla
With the Christmas movie season in full swing, fans of the rom com family-friendly genre have more movies than ever from which to choose. What once was only a seasonal offering from Crown Media through two of its three channels, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Christmas movie season is now a multi-network, two-month battle for the hearts, and viewership, of millions of fans. One star that always causes fans to swoon, and ratings to soar, is Trevor Donovan. We caught up with Trevor for this interview while he was on the set for one of his upcoming movies, The Engagement Plot, in which he stars opposite Rachel Boston. The film will release in 2022.
Trevor recently signed an overall deal with a new media company run by Bill Abbott called GAC Media. The network offers two channels, GAC Family and GAC Living. Trevor is one of only a few rom com stars who have Christmas movies airing on two networks this year. Ironically, one of the other stars who has a movie on both Hallmark Channel and GAC Family is Trevor’s co-star, Merritt Patterson. Their movie, Jingle Bell Princess, will air on GAC Family on December 4.
Despite the many rom com movies in which Trevor has starred, USS Christmas, Two for the Win, Snowcoming, Love Fall and Order, Love on a Limb, and many others including his most recent on Hallmark Channel Nantucket Noel, he had never played in a movie about royalty. An extremely popular subject matter in the family-friendly rom com genre, the movies usually focus on a male royal falling in love with a female commoner.
“It was fun to finally star in a royal movie,” said Trevor. “This one is a bit different than many, the royal is a princess played by Merritt. The movie is based on the book His Jingle Bell Princess by Barbara Dunlop.”
From one type of world leader to another, Trevor recently finished shooting his part in the movie Reagan which will air early in 2022. A sweeping biopic on the life of the 40th US President, the movie stars Dennis Quaid in the titular role. Trevor plays Ronald Reagan’s longest-serving Secret Service agent.
“Reagan was a very special experience. I was able to speak with the family of the character I play, John Barletta, and that added new depth to the role” shared Trevor. “I also was able to ride horses on the Reagan ranch in the same spots President Reagan did. That was once-in-a-lifetime.”
The movie is partially shot on the 688-acre Reagan ranch, Rancho del Cielo, near Santa Barbara. During Reagan’s presidency, it was known as the Western White House. No other film has ever been able to shoot on the property which is now owned by the Young America’s Foundation.
Whether it’s riding horses or playing with his beloved three dogs, Bulldog Tito, Golden Retriever Shadow, and Labrador Chance, Trevor is a friend to animals. His merchandise line, Citizen K9, features his pack on clothing.
“I was always a dog lover, as long as I can remember,” said Trevor speaking of his dogs. “What can I say, they're the best dogs in the world. Seriously, everyone says they have the best dog - and they're not wrong.”
Also close to his heart are Trevor’s philanthropic endeavors. His most recent service is to his #bethekindkid campaign that was recently rebranded to #TheUpstanders. Before the onset of the pandemic, Trevor partnered with the Ad Council on a nation-wide anti-bullying program. In December 2019, he successfully held his first anti-bullying assembly at Deer Lakes Middle School in Pittsburgh, PA. GAC Media will partner with Trevor in bringing his anti-bullying message back to schools starting this winter.
“Being kind is always the right choice,” said Trevor. “I’m thrilled that in my deal with GAC Media the executives there also believe in, and support, this initiative. They will help by promoting #TheUpstanders on air and by helping me get from point A to point B. Thank you Bill Abbott!”
A 25-year veteran in the family-friendly space, Abbott is known as a creative and marketing genius in the television world. As the former President and CEO of Crown Media, he was at the helm when the network created Countdown to Christmas.
“Trevor is a gifted actor and talented producer who I have had the pleasure of working with for more than a decade,” said Abbott. “We’re thrilled about this expanded partnership and look forward to not only making entertaining movies together, but also working hand-in-hand to shine a light on the importance of bullying prevention.”
Trevor’s deal with GAC Media will have him starring in, and executive producing, both films and series for the network.
When he’s not busy making movies, playing guitar, working out, playing with his dogs, or giving back, Trevor spends time at his home in Mammoth Lakes, a town in California's Sierra Nevada mountains about five hours from Los Angeles. He enjoys time with his dad renovating his childhood home which he recently purchased from his parents.
Trevor’s Favorite Things:
Meal: Pizza or sushi
Cocktail: Bloody Mary
Song: Live Wire by AC/DC
Movie: Fight Club
Actor: Denzel Washington
Book: The Alchemist
The Battle for the Christmas Viewer
Those who control our television viewing have realized there is a solid base of fans who absolutely love the Christmas movie genre. Traditional broadcast networks, cable channels, and streaming channels are all producing more content for the season than ever before. So much so, even channels like the Food Network are joining in on the fun. Between Halloween and Christmas Day more than 140 new Christmas movies will become available on television.
GAC, short for Great American Channels, has joined the growing list of channels that devote much of their November and December airtime to Christmas. Channels such as UPtv, Ion, TBS, CBS, and ABC all premiere holiday movies. But the players with the most movies are Hallmark, Lifetime, Netflix, and now GAC Family. The two Hallmark channels will air a total of 41 new movies between October and December, a new network record. Not to be outdone, Lifetime has upped its content considerably this year, offering a new Christmas Movie each night in December. And the brand new GAC Family, having launched this fall, will air an impressive 12 movies.
If you’re a rom com Christmas movie fan, be sure to visit our website, communitymagazinenj.com, after December 12. We’ll have exclusive photos from the ChristmasCon event being held December 10, 11, 12 in Edison with all your favorite stars.