Lacey Chabert Shares Feelings About Her Hallmark Christmas Movie Airing Right After Her Sister’s Unexpected Death

Lacey Chabert has been a staple of Hallmark’s popular Christmas movie lineup for years, but this year the release of her annual holiday movie was a bit more bittersweet. In the past week, Chabert lost her sister Wendy unexpectedly. The timing came just a few days before Christmas at Castle Hart premiered. Now, the Hallmark star has opened up about the movie airing as her family has been grieving. 

As a network, Hallmark figured out its schedule of holiday movies well in advance. The network produces dozens and dozens of movies during the holiday season and the fact that Chabert’s would be scheduled to air during such a tough week for her family is a matter of chance. The timing is honestly a little tough to compute. But Christmas at Castle Hart had already been scheduled and advertised when news about the death of Lacey Chabert’s lovely sister broke.

It would be hard to know how to handle a situation like this eloquently, but the Christmas at Castle Hart star took the moment in stride. While she didn’t live tweet (as she has been known to do for past movies), she did say that after careful thought and consideration, she feels her sister would have wanted her to “celebrate” her work on the film, noting,

My sister was my biggest cheerleader and would want me to still celebrate my work. She’d be down right annoyed with me if I didn’t! In a strange twist of fate, one of the things that separates this Christmas movie from my other ones is that it actually features a beautiful relationship between two sisters. While we were filming I thought about Wendy many times as the character of Margo reminded me so much of her. On our first meeting I told our wonderful director Stefan Scaini about this. Wendy was the funny one. She was always the first one to have some outlandish plan that usually got us into a little bit of fun trouble and had us laughing so hard tears rolled down our cheeks. Margo reminded me of her.

Lacey Chabert went on to talk a little bit more about Wendy and how she would like to dedicate her latest work to her late sister. She also encouraged her fans who were able to spend the holiday weekend with their family to hold them near and dear.

So tonight, I’d like to dedicate this movie to my sister and let it serve as a tribute to her beautiful life. If you watch, I hope it makes you laugh and brings you some Christmas cheer. I hope you’ll hug your loved ones tight as you enjoy the movie. Thank you for your continued support. My love to you all!

Previously, Lacey Chabert had called her sister “generous” and “kind-hearted” on Instagram, thanking the fans for their words and prayers after the news broke. It wasn’t just the fans who reached out. Many people involved with the Hallmark family also left their condolences, including other network mainstay Candace Cameron Bure. For more on Lacey’s own feelings about work, her sister, and how things played out this weekend, you can see her full post, below.

Christmas at Castle Hart’s release schedule was simply a weird situation, likely both for Chabert and the powers that be at Hallmark. It was honestly one of the most widely-anticipated movies of the Christmas season, with a romantic Ireland setting and a great cast, also including Ali Hardiman and Stuart Townsend. The full lineup of Hallmark movies this holiday season includes plenty of other heavy hitters as well. 

While Chabert's Hallmark Christmas movie release this year may not have felt the same as in year's past, there is some comfort in knowing her 2021 film was one about two sisters. Our thoughts go out to the family during this time. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.