Luke Macfarlane Hints He Might Be Done at Hallmark: ‘I Don’t Think They’ll Have Me Back’

One of Hallmark Channel’s top leading men might be moving on. Luke Macfarlane, who has appeared in more than a dozen movies for Hallmark since 2014, stars in the upcoming gay rom-com Bros, which hits theaters September 30. The high-profile role could have him leaving the network behind for good, he recently speculated. 

Luke Macfarlane is a Hallmark Channel regular 

Luke Macfarlane, wearing a suit, in the Hallmark movie 'Chateau Christmas'
Luke Macfarlane in the Hallmark Channel movie ‘Chateau Christmas’ | ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

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Macfarlane has been working steadily as an actor since graduating from Juilliard in 2003, including starring in the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters from 2006 to 2011 and the PBS historical drama Mercy Street. In 2014, he launched his career with Hallmark with The Memory Book. Since then, he’s starred in movies such as A Shoe Addict’s Christmas; Sense, Sensibility, and Snowmen; A Valentine’s Match; and Chateau Christmas. 

In his Hallmark movies, Macfarlane typically plays the romantic lead who falls for the film’s heroine. In real life, Macfarlane is gay. He came out publicly in 2008, at a time when there were far fewer actors who publicly identified as LGBTQ. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, he wondered if being open about his sexuality hurt his chances of landing leading roles in high-profile action series and movies. But his orientation didn’t seem to be an obstacle for Hallmark – though he’s not sure how much they knew about his personal life.

“I sometimes wonder if Hallmark even knew I was gay when they first started to put me in the movies,” he told the magazine. “I remember reading the script and being like, What is this? It’s very light, and there’s flannel, and a canoe ride. And it’s delightful! I didn’t understand.” 

He hopes people don’t judge him for his Hallmark movies 

At the time Macfarlane started working for Hallmark, the network’s movies focused exclusively on heterosexual romance. While the channel has become more diverse in recent years, most of its movies still revolve around straight people falling in love. The actor is aware that some people might judge him for appearing in such films.

“I always felt like I’d kind of wink at the camera a little bit because I knew that the most provocative thing they were putting on air was a gay man playing everybody’s fireman — that satisfied me for a while,” he told Vanity Fair.

“If you go to my IMDB page, there’s a lot of me holding hands with some nice Christian white lady — like, yeah, I’m terrified. I’m totally freaked out by that … I hope that I don’t get judged for that.” he said. “I hope that people understand that they gave me jobs when other people weren’t giving me jobs.”

Luke Macfarlane stars in ‘Bros’ 

Bros is a different kind of movie for Macfarlane. Directed by Nicholas Stoller and co-written by Stoller and Billy Eichner, it’s an R-rated rom-com about LGBTQ characters where almost everyone working on the movie both in front of and behind the camera is also LGBTQ, the New York Times reported. It’s a major role for Macfarlane, who plays Aaron, the love interest for Eichner’s character, Bobby.

“This wasn’t just another character,” he told the newspaper. “Everything that I’ve said and everything that I have staked out for myself got me this opportunity.”

Will Macfarlane’s rising star take him away from Hallmark? He’s not sure. Earlier in 2022, he signed a multi-picture deal with Crown Media Family Networks (now Hallmark Media), but that wraps up in the fall. As he embraces different types of projects (he’s also set to appear in Apple TV+’s upcoming comedy series Platonic), he’s not sure that there will be a place for him at the network. 

 “I don’t think they’ll ever have me back after today,” he told Vanity Fair.

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