Luke Macfarlane at the premiere of his new series 'Platonic' on May 10, 2023 (Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Luke Macfarlane Didn't Mince Words About Leaving Hallmark: 'How Many Firefighters Can I Play?'

Luke Macfarlane is one Hallmark's most beloved in-house hunks, having starred in a whopping 14 films for the romance-minded network. The LGBTQ+ actor made the jump to the big screen with a starring role in 2022's Bros, the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, and it seems he's outgrown the network that nursed him. In an interview, Macfarlane confirmed that he was leaving Hallmark for good, throwing a little shade while he was at it.

"They've been very good to me, but I think I've told my story for now with those folks," Macfarlane told the LA Times in a 2022 interview promoting Bros. "I mean, how many firefighters can I play?"

Ouch. He did actually play a firefighter in 2018's A Shoe Addict's Christmas, but honestly? We won't stand for the Hallmark slander!

Alison Sweeney and Luke Macfarlane in Hallmark's A Magical Christmas Village. (Hallmark)

Macfarlane is currently starring in the Apple TV+ series Platonic. His last Hallmark movie was 2022's A Magical Christmas Village, in which he played Alison Sweeney's love interest. As it happens, portraying heartthrobs over and over has its perks.

"One thing that I really enjoyed about making Hallmark movies is it's really fun to flirt," he told the outlet. "It's fun to play that energy on camera, where relationships are at their best in those early times. I guess Hallmark has given me a lot of flirting lessons."

Yeah, flirting lessons and a multi-picture film deal. Macfarlane had signed an exclusive movie contract with Hallmark in 2022, but the deal expired that fall, per Vanity Fair. At the time of signing, Macfarlane expressed his gratitude toward the network:

"I'm excited to be part of the joy that Hallmark brings to their viewers, not only for Christmas but to be able to participate in telling these heartfelt stories all year long," Macfarlane said in a statement to Deadline. "I'm really grateful to have this opportunity."

But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Just too many firefighters.

Luke Macfarlane at the 2022 premiere of Bros. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

In all seriousness, Macfarlane credited Hallmark for offering him a variety of starring roles, telling Yahoo, "Hallmark gave me jobs for a long time. And not only just the gay best friend — they let me be a leading man. I'm always going to be very grateful to them for that."

As for whether Macfarlane would follow in the footsteps of his former Hallmark co-stars Trevor Donovan, Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley and the controversial Candace Cameron-Bure and sign on with rival network Great American Family, well... don't bet on it. In 2022, Cameron-Bure, who also acts as a producer at GAF, announced that the network would not feature LGBTQ+ love stories.

Hallmark, on the other hand, has diversified its storytelling in recent years, airing its first LGBTQ+ romance with 2022's The Holiday Sitter. Macfarlane has said that he'd be down to return to Hallmark for a gay romance:

"It's interesting," he told Yahoo in 2019. "As I'm developing my relationship with them, I'm always paying attention to what they're doing next and because I have so much faith in the brand, if they feel like that's something that's on the horizon for them, sign me up. Absolutely. And I know they're really smart and I know that they are changing, so that is definitely a possibility. And I would support it."

READ MORE: Is Hallmark Star Ryan Paevey Leaving the Network for Great American Family?