Fa-la-la! Brandon Routh made his Hallmark Channel debut during the 2013 holiday season and fans can’t get enough of him — or his work.
The Midwest native, who got his start in Hollywood in 1999, is a chameleon when it comes to his career. For example, Routh starred in Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants” music video the same year he broke into the industry with a small role on Odd Man Out.
Routh made a name for himself in Superman Returns before landing the role of Daniel Shaw on Chuck in 2010. Three years later, he starred in his first Hallmark Channel movie, The Nine Lives of Christmas, alongside Kimberley Sustad.
In the film, fireman Zachary Stone (Routh) finds himself the unwilling owner of a stray cat that continues to show up at his new home. Through his furry feline he meets Marilee White (Sustad), who ends up staying with him when her own cat gets her evicted around the holidays.
The sweet story resonated with fans and made it a non-brainer for Hallmark Channel’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, to create a sequel eight years later.
“I was a little bit hesitant because I wanted to make sure it was a story worth telling,” the Partners alum actor told TV Fanatic in November 2021 of reprising his role. “And also that the film was going to have the same energy, the same level of humor and fun as the first one did.”
The Nine Kittens of Christmas premiered in fall 2021, reuniting Routh with Sustad, who is a staple on the network due to her long list of roles. This time, the pair find themselves responsible for finding nine kittens their forever homes while mending their own personal relationship.
The Anastasia actor gushed about his scene partner to TV Fanatic ahead of the movie’s premiere, saying, “Kim is so funny and great, and we have great chemistry and are both love comedic films. I think we work really well together.”
Sustad, for her part, teased the possibility for another cat-filled movie down the line, noting how fun it is to work with Routh.
“We worked so great together. And actually, after, I was really sad, because I was like, ‘Well, are these two done now? Are Marilee and Zach done?’ I don’t know,” the Wedding Every Weekend actress told the outlet in November 2021. “But it was kind of sad to hang up the hat, thinking that we were. Yeah. He’s fabulous. He’s the nicest person in the world, and he’s so kind and generous, and he’s a great actor. I couldn’t ask for a better scene partner, really.”
As fans wait to see whether Routh and Sustad will team up again, they can catch the original film, The Nine Lives of Christmas, on Hallmark Channel Sunday, July 3, at 8 p.m. ET. The movie will air as part of the network’s Christmas in July primetime schedule — which runs all month long.
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