It’s always a pleasure speaking with Lucas Bryant, and after a two-year hiatus, he’s back with another Christmas movie, Hallmark Movie & Mysteries Five Minutes More: Moments Like These.
In the film, he plays Matthew, a friend of Kaitlyn’s (Ashley Williams) husband, who had passed away years earlier.
It’s a story about love, loss, and finding new connections to bring you in from the cold.
If you wondered where Lucas has been of late, he and his family spent the insanity of COVID blissfully unaware of the world’s stress near his wife’s home in Australia.
While the rest of us were locked inside our homes, the Bryant family was running on the beach, sand squishing between their toes.
“We ended up staying a year and a half in this tiny town on the coast that was stunning and incredible. It all felt like a dream. I didn’t send many photos back because I felt like a real jerk because all my Canadian friends were still in lockdown in the middle of winter.”
But dreams aren’t forever. “I’ve been back almost a year now and happy to be back in LA, but I do miss my dream life there on the beach,” Lucas said wistfully.
When I last spoke with Lucas for The Angel Tree in 2020, he regaled us with tales of Australian Christmas, and he and his family are eager to make the trip back to the sunny locale as they do annually for the holiday.
With Hallmark’s ever-expanding horizons, they incorporated a Bayou Christmas celebration into their lineup this year, and Lucas isn’t averse to firing up the barbie and laying down some Balmain bugs for an Australian Christmas movie.
“I think you probably just set out the next six months of my life,” he laughed.
“I am in the process of throwing all sorts of wonderful ideas at Hallmark, and that is going in the pot for sure.”
It’s wonderful news that we’ll be seeing more of Lucas in the future. He was hoping he’d get the call for a Christmas movie when he got the script for Five More Minutes: Moments Like These.
“I was honored to be asked to be a part of it,” he said. “And Orly Adelson, who was an EP on this, she and I have a lovely history. So she reached out to me again, and I was on board in a second.”
Many people won’t know that Lucas has a thriving business outside of acting, and it seems like fate was calling for him to step into Matthew’s shoes.
“Well, first of all, in a strange mirroring of art meets life, right now, when I’m not working as an actor, I’m often doing building stuff. And so I’m working right now on a renovation that needs to be done by Christmas.”
That’s right, Lucas is a real-life Hallmark character.
“Right! So they were like, ‘Well, this guy’s a contractor.’ And I said, ‘Well, as much as I’m able to play any kind of character, this is in my wheelhouse.’ I was right on board. And the director, Kevin, thought it was hilarious that the things that I was most particular about were when we were doing various installation techniques.
“And so I was just like, ‘This is upside down. This needs to go the other way. If you were hitting this, you’d hit it from here. And I’m not going to use a wrench here when I need a hammer.’ And I just want to make sure that I’m a believable builder.”
When you’ve got two worthwhile professions, you would certainly want to portray both in the best light. What would anybody think of his construction work if he couldn’t handle the tools properly on screen?
He laughed, “So I was my own technical advisor when it came to my contractor work.”
In the story, Matthew is a local contractor with ties to Kaitlyn’s family who finds himself playing middleman between a developer and Kaitlyn for the home she shared with her husband and son.
It’s “special because it was the first house that was designed by our lead character’s late husband, who was an architect. So it’s a touchy situation, obviously, but Matthew has heart and soul and a relationship with the family. So he’s just trying to navigate that transaction without being insensitive to the needs of the family.”
There isn’t one of us who has lost someone who hasn’t wished for five more minutes, and the movie cleverly addresses how those minutes may come even if we don’t immediately recognize them.
It’s a heavy film with a light-hearted, loving throughline, and they did talk about how meaningful the request for those minutes really is.
“Everything about the shoot was about balance,” Lucas said. “I mean, Ashley is so wonderful, and she’s a super talented and capable actress, and she’s emotional and hilarious. The comedy comes easily to her.
“So that was something we were talking about a lot was how to walk that line and lean into the stuff that was fun while still maintaining the necessary gravitas and the heart of the story.
“We talked about it a lot, she and I. And our director, Kevin Fair, was great at helping us find moments that could be light and how to bring the humor and lightness into more dramatic and potentially difficult emotional situations. I thought Ashley was a master at walking that line, and I’m just really there for support.”
It was the first time Lucas and Ashley had worked together, but their on-screen presence made it seem like they’d done it many times before.
“I’m happy to hear that. She was so easy to work with, other than when she was being particularly demanding, but she was pretty easy in her demandingness as well,” he laughed.
If there is an opportunity for a joke, Lucas always takes it, and how he describes Ashley makes it seem like an on-screen match in heaven. Lucas agreed, saying they had a great time on set.
“She doesn’t take herself too seriously at all, but she wants to do the best work possible, and she’s just open and easy and playful and so emotionally available. It’s impressive,” he said of his costar.
As you snuggle in and prepare to watch Five More Minutes: Moments Like These, Lucas hopes you will “buckle up and enjoy the fun and heartfelt ride.”
Five More Minutes: Moments Like These premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries tonight at 10/9c.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.