Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers
News

Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley reveal that their mother’s best friend will play their mom in Hallmark movies

Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Sisters Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley announced that their mother’s best friend, Anna Holbrook, will play their mom in the ‘Sister Swap’ movies that will air on Hallmark Channel this Christmas. Pic credit: ImageCollect.com/Admedia

Actress Anna Holbrook will play the mother of Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley in the Sister Swap movies airing this Christmas on Hallmark.

The real-life sisters cried as they announced Holbrook’s involvement during an Instagram Live event.

“It’s miraculous,” Williams-Paisley said.

Holbrook, who starred in Another World from 1979 to 1999, lived next door to the Williams family in Yonkers, New York, when the girls were growing up. She became best friends with their mother, Linda Payne Williams, who passed away in 2016 after a long battle with dementia.

The sisters, who helped produce the two Christmas movies they will star in, said they weren’t sure if Holbrook would even be interested when they first approached her. Williams-Paisley taped her audition over a Zoom call. When they found out she got the part, the sisters then called her together.

“We were sobbing,” Williams said.

Sister Swap

The sisters, who are both Hallmark veterans, came up with the idea of appearing together in a Christmas movie several years back. During a 2018 interview with the International Business Times, they confirmed they were working on a concept with Hallmark.

The Sister Swap movies were filmed earlier this year in Utah. The films, which take place during the same time frame, follow sisters Jennifer and Meg Swift.

In the first movie, Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday, Jennifer returns home for the family’s first Christmas since their beloved Uncle Dave passed away. Dave ran the town’s theater, The Madison, which is now badly in need of repairs and is for sale.

Actress Anna Holbrook, who will play the mother of Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley in their 'Sister Swap' movies on Hallmark.
Anna Holbrook will play the mother of Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley in their ‘Sister Swap’ movies this Christmas on Hallmark. The former star of Another World was best friends with their mother, Linda Payne Williams, who passed away in 2016. Pic credit: T. Schreiber Studio and Theatre/YouTube

In the second movie, Sister Swap: Christmas in the City, Meg travels to Salt Lake City to help her sister with a Christmas restaurant competition. The winner gets a donation to the charity of their choice.

Family ties

The sisters said Holbrook was their first choice when it came time to cast the role of their mother.

“There is no one in the world more beautiful than Anna Holbrook,” Williams said during the sisters’ Instagram Live event.

When the sisters met Holbrook, she was starring as Charlene Frame Hudson in Another World. Holbrook taught the girls how to do their makeup, and even took the photos that got Williams-Paisley her first agent. Holbrook spent holidays with the family and helped when Linda Payne Williams was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia in 2005.

Their connection with Holbrook was so deep, filming could become overwhelming, the women said. Williams-Paisley recalled one scene where her character was addressing a theater full of people, including Holbrook, who was smiling up at her.

“My line was about how someone would have loved this,” Williams-Paisley said. “And I was of course just thinking of Mom. Mom would have loved it.”

There are no official release dates yet for the Sister Swap movies, which will air on Hallmark before Christmas.

Leave a Comment