Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Sister Ashley Williams to Star Together in 2 Hallmark Christmas Films
The real-life siblings will star in and executive produce two movies that will be featured as part of the Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas" programming
The two actresses are teaming up to play sisters in two original Hallmark Channel Christmas movies later this year: Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Sister Swap: Christmas in the City, PEOPLE reveals exclusively. Williams-Paisley, Williams, and Williams' husband Neal Dodson all serve as executive producers.
The sisters tell PEOPLE their onscreen collaboration is decades in the making.
"My brother, sister and I put on a lot of homemade shows in our parents' living room when we were younger," says Williams-Paisley, 49. "And though it wasn't 'professional' work at all, I do remember charging their guests five cents each. I guess we were business-minded from the start! It's such a gift to work with someone who knows me as well as Ashley does. The feeling of safety and comfort coupled with the delight of getting to work together really translates into magic on camera. It was immensely fun to play with her in these movies."
Williams, 42, enjoyed being able to incorporate a few real-life elements from their sibling relationship into their new films. "One of my favorite things about being Kim's sister, other than the amazing advice and constant support she is to me, is getting to raid her closet," she says. "The all-too-consistent, 'Is that my sweater?' was just too funny and real not to incorporate in these movies!"
In the two Sister Swap films, Williams-Paisley and Williams play Jennifer and Meg Swift, two sisters "who couldn't be closer despite living hours apart," according to the release from the network. "Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenaged son Simon (Jacob Buster, Ballers), Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery."
The two films will be connected, with one movie focused on the story of Jennifer returning to her hometown, while the other tells Meg's tale of traveling to Salt Lake to help Jennifer's restaurant staff prepare for a Christmas competition among local restaurants.
"Making these movies was a dream come true, especially because making Christmas movies where sisterhood is the focus felt bold," Williams says in a statement from the network. "We had the idea to make a movie where Kim and I play sisters, and then we got ambitious. So, we decided we would make two movies where we play sisters. And then we decided to go even further."
Williams-Paisley adds in the statement that it was a "life-long dream" to work together and "it was even better than we imagined," she says. "So good, in fact, we decided that from now on, every project we do should be with each other."
The network says Sister Swap: A Hometown Christmas and Sister Swap: Christmas in the City will "feature a unique approach to storytelling as certain scenes are shared between them. Viewers will not need to watch both to follow along but of course those who do will have an even more merry and bright viewing experience."
"So, the two movies take place in the exact same time frame, and the movies cross over and even share some scenes, but from each sister's different perspective," Williams continues in the statement. "We built two interconnected movies and shot them simultaneously in Utah. Our writers and our director, Sean McNamara, and our Hallmark team knew it was a puzzle and challenge, but everyone rose to the occasion."
Notes Williams-Paisley: "We got to play sisters in a movie about family and behind the scenes, it truly felt like one — from my real-life sister producing and co-starring with me, to my brother-in-law also producing, and dear life-long friends playing several key roles. It was a very special experience."
Hallmark's "Countdown to Christmas" programming begins Oct. 22.
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