Ed Burns definitely loves mining his Irish-American roots, as he did for his 1995 sibling flick The Brothers McMullen. He’s returned to similar territory with his upcoming film The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, about a large working class brood whose estranged dad wants to visit for Christmas. The movie, also starring, written and directed by Burns, is out nationwide on VOD and iTunes Nov. 21, and in theaters Dec. 7.

The film reunites Burns with McMullen co-stars Mike McGlone and Connie Britton (such an “it” gal in Nashville). Britton, who played Burns’ character’s sister-in-law in McMullen, is his luscious-haired love interest in Fitzgerald.

“Connie and I had been talking about a sequel to McMullen, and that’s when we first started talking about working together. We remained friends over the years. I told her about this script I was shooting over the winter, and I knew she was busy with the show,” Burns says. “The minute she said ‘yes,’ I wrote the part for her, fleshed it out. She and I knew immediately that we had great chemistry together, and a lot of laughs about the fact that it felt a little incestuous. In McMullen, she’s my brother’s wife. I love working with her.”

Check out this exclusive one sheet for the movie, below, showing a long-haired Burns and Britton locked in a loving stare.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

As for a tradition of Christmas movies either being comedically bubbly, or tending towards exploding full family drama, Fitzgerald encompasses a little of both.

“I knew I wanted to make more of the complicated Christmas movie, given this is a big ensemble about a big Irish family,” says Burns. “A lot of things come to a head during the holidays, but forgiveness is a big part of it, and also a lot of announcements — someone getting married, getting divorced, having a baby. The film has seven siblings. We could cover a lot of the darkness, and a lot of the joy, the celebratory side of the holidays.”

Burns’ own holiday plans with his wife, model Christy Turlington, and their kids? Christmas in New York, where they live, he says, and visiting his parents on Long Island.

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