EXCLUSIVE: Scandal alum George Newbern, Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Phil Morris (Doom Patrol) and Dannah Lockett (The Kenan Show) are set for supporting roles opposite Lea Michele, Bryan Greenberg and Charles Michael Davis in ABC’s holiday movie Same Time, Next Christmas, from Freeform Studios.
In the movie, Michele plays Olivia Henderson, a young woman who met her childhood sweetheart, played by Davis, during her family’s annual Christmas visit to Hawaii. After being separated by distance and years, the two reunite at the same Hawaii resort years later and the old chemistry between them flares up anew – but circumstances conspire to keep them apart.
Newbern will play Woody Harrison, Olivia’s father, a laid-back easygoing southern California man who is still deeply in love with Faye, his wife of more than 30 years.
Vardalos will portray Faye Henderson, Olivia’s mother, a fit, attractive woman, a vegetarian who does yoga and keeps her husband Woody on a healthy regimen as well. She and Woody are always smooching and cuddling like newlyweds — even after more than 30 years of marriage. She’s hoping that her daughter Olivia can find a happy marriage as well.
Morris is Alec Cutler, Jeff’s dad, an energetic, funny guy who was widowed early on, made an unfortunate second marriage, and has kept resolutely single ever since. A competitive guy who speaks in amusing sports metaphors. He befriended the Henderson family on his family’s annual Christmas visits to Hawaii.
Lockett will play Madelyn, Jeff’s adorable little girl, who is initially upset to be in Hawaii for Christmas missing out on her white Christmas in Vermont.
Newbern is known for his role on Scandal as B613 agent Charlie, recurring for the first six seasons before becoming a series regular for the seventh and final season. He most recently recurred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Newbern is repped by Innovative Artists and Leslie Allan-Rice Management.
Vardalos received a best original screenplay Oscar nomination for the 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, in which she also starred. Her other screenplay credits include I Hate Valentine’s Day, which also marked her feature film directorial debut, Larry Crowne and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Vardalos adapted Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things and starred in the play’s off-Broadway run for three consecutive seasons. She can most recently be seen in the current season of the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Vardalos is repped by CAA, OAZ in Toronto and Untitled Entertainment.
Former Mission: Impossible star Morris played John Jones in Smallville and has voiced roles in The Justice League, Secret Saturdays, The League of Superheroes, The Amazing Spiderman and Atlantis: Lost Empire. He currently plays Dr. Silas Stone, father of Cyborg in Doom Patrol for DC Universe. Morris is repped by Metropolitan Talent Agency.
Lockett and her sister Dani will star as Kenan Thompson’s daughters in NBC’s The Kenan Show, which will start production next year. Their video “Call Jesus” went viral last year and has since accumulated 1.8 million views on YouTube. Lockett is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, Abrams Artists Agency and SGSBC.