Jeremy Jordan Had Double the Fun Playing Twins in Hallmark's "Mix Up in the Mediterranean"

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Cover image for  article: Jeremy Jordan Had Double the Fun Playing Twins in Hallmark's "Mix Up in the Mediterranean"

Jeremy Jordan (pictured above, twice) may have only recently joined the Hallmark Channel family, but when he did, the multifaceted entertainer jumped in feet first. His first project, the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Christmas movie Holly & Ivy, premiered this past November, and this weekend he's back starring opposite Jessica Lowndes (above center) in the delightfully comedic Mix Up in the Mediterranean. "When you're an actor you have to wait for people to call you and give you an audition," Jordan said in an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. "After the pandemic hit, one of the first things back up and running was Hallmark Christmas movies. Holly & Ivy was literally the first thing to come to me. It was lovely, with a really cute script. I had such a great time that when Mix Up in the Mediterranean came along it was a no-brainer.

"I got to take a free trip to Malta for a few weeks and get out of my house," he continued. "Anything to get me out of my house! I have a small baby, so I was sad I had to leave my child for a few weeks. I guess once you 'break the seal,' so to speak, [Hallmark] is like, 'Oh, hey, come on back.' And I was happy to."

With Mix Up in the Mediterranean, Jordan knew the workload would be challenging. He plays identical twins Josh and Julian Northrup, who find themselves at the center of an identity ruse after Julian (an acclaimed chef and restauranter), invites his brother to Malta for moral support in a major international cooking competition. But, when Julian injures himself, Josh (a small-town diner cook), offers to stand in for him. As the subterfuge spirals, Josh gets closer to competition organizer Meg (Lowndes) whom she believes is Julian -- a happily married gay man.

Talk about a merry mix-up! "I was really excited and thought it would be a fun challenge," laughed Jordan of playing two characters. "I've briefly played an evil twin before, which was fun, but [this] was really interesting to take on because not only am I playing twin brothers, but I also have to be real and honest in their portrayal as they're so very different. Then I also have to play them pretending to be one another, so that was where the real fun was. How does Josh try to act like his much more energetic gay brother Julian, without making a caricature of him, and completely offending everyone? Then, how does Julian, who has no concept of what it is like to act like a straight dude? What goes way too far? It was really fun to play those different dynamics."

The fact this is only the second Hallmark movie to feature a gay character in the main storyline was not lost on the actor, either. In fact, he is proud to help further Hallmark's efforts to tell inclusive and diverse stories. "I think it's amazing what Hallmark has been doing recently," he said of the broader stories. "It's their second film in the last year to have an LGBTQ+ character at the forefront, and that's one of the reasons I did the film. To be honest, I'm a straight guy, married to a woman, and I don't know that I would have taken the role if it wasn't [playing] twins.

"I also believe in equal representation in terms of the humans playing the characters," he added. "Because I was playing twins, I felt like I was able to do both roles and give them as much truth and honesty as I could. It was important to not dig into stereotypes, but also to not shy away from [playing] an authentic gay human being. I loved Josh's relationship with Julian, and Julian's relationship with his husband Henri is a really beautiful piece of the story.

"[Their's] is a functional, loving, adorable relationship between two men," Jordan continued. "It's essential that be shown on television. Maybe people that don't get to see that very often have other ideas of what that relationship might look like. Showing something healthy and really lovely was exciting for us."

Of course, the relationship between Josh and Meg is also at the forefront of the story. "What's funny is that Meg thinks she's falling in love with this gay guy, not realizing that he's not [gay]," Jordan explained. "There's a whole other level of confusion that makes for great comedy but, at the same time, there's genuine love between these two brothers and never any sort of animosity between them with regards to Julian's sexuality. They care for each other and whatever issues they might have are not related to that. I think it's really important to show healthy relationships between straight and gay people, and families of different kinds."

Jordan told me that the cast had a blast. "Jessica is super talented and wonderful," he beamed of his co-star. "Callum Blue (pictured above, right), who plays [Julian's] husband Henri, was lovely. Both Jessica and I are singers, so we wrote something together inspired by our time with the film. We're releasing a single on Saturday, which is so cool."

As for more Hallmark, Jordan is ready. "I hope so," he said in closing. "I have two under my belt, so I have super high expectations. A year ago, I might have been the first person saying, 'Let's watch something edgy and serious.' Now it's, 'What can we watch that's fun?' That's what Hallmark gives and that's why people embrace these films."

Mix Up in the Mediterranean will be telecast Saturday, February 20 at 9 p.m. on Hallmark Channel as part of its Love Ever After programming event.

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