The Christmas Setup premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime

By Ally Mauch
December 11, 2020 05:48 PM
Credit: Lifetime

Blake Lee and Ben Lewis have been together for 10 years and married for five, and this year they marked a new relationship milestone: becoming costars.

The couple headlines The Christmas Setup, Lifetime's first holiday movie centered on an LGBTQ+ romance. In the film, premiering Saturday, Lewis plays New York lawyer Hugo, who returns home to Milwaukee to find that his mother Kate (Fran Drescher) is determined to set him up with an old high school friend, Patrick (Lee).

The actors tell PEOPLE that the history-making romcom not only highlights the importance of representation for the LGBTQ+ community in mainstream media, but also emphasizes that "everybody deserves love and deserves the love of their family."

"What's beautiful about this movie is that it's not about the trauma or the struggle of the gay experience, which is certainly valid — but if that's what you want to see, for the last four years, certainly, you could very easily turn on the news," Lee says.

He continues, "I think that all marginalized communities are hungry for the same kind of escapism, and hopefully that's what this movie is going to provide them."

Credit: lifetime

Lewis adds that A Christmas Setup is for gay kids and adults alike who have not traditionally seen themselves in characters onscreen.

"It doesn't even occur to you necessarily that you're not yourself represented in something like this until somebody comes along and does it," he says. "And then you go, 'Wow, this would have been really great to have seen in my childhood.'"

Still, the longtime couple acknowledge that there's a ways to go when it comes to representation within their community.

Credit: Lifetime

"I think we're really hopeful that this will just be the beginning of even more diverse LGBTQ+ representation in holiday movies — seeing queer people of color, and trans people and non-binary people," Lewis says.

"We're just one part of the LGBTQ community," Lee agrees. "It's such an incredibly beautiful diverse community and it would be awesome to start seeing more representation."

As for what it was like filming their first project together, Lewis and Lee say it "was so much fun" — most of the time.

"There were some fleeting moments of tension, I would say," Lewis reveals, laughing. "But luckily, one of the benefits of being together for 10 years is that we've really honed our communication skills."

The Christmas Setup premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.