Legendary actress Della Reese said taking the role of Elsie in GMC’s “Christmas Angel” was an easy decision because the character was one to which she could relate.
“When I read [the script], I knew that I would not have to research this part. It’s about my life, a woman who’s had a career, about the things she had to give up. I’ve lived that. So, I understood that. This was a role I could not resist,” she told Sister 2 Sister.
In the TV movie, airing Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST, Della plays Elsie who secretly grants the wishes of her neighbors with the help of 8-year-old Olivia, played by Izabela Vidovic.
Della’s Elsie is a former singer who’s estranged from her family and fighting a disease that could take away her vocal gifts. However, that doesn’t keep the down-and-out talent from helping others or spreading the Gospel.
Since the movie airs on the Gospel Music Channel, viewers shouldn’t be surprised to hear a scripture quoted or a Christmas carol based on the story of Jesus’ birth (as opposed to those strictly about Santa and his elves).
Although Della, an ordained minister, has been in the entertainment industry for more than 40 years, she said she’s not planning to retire anytime soon. The former "Touched by an Angel" actor starred in four movies this year.
“I intend to work it out and not rush it out. I want them to come and get me while I’m doing what He sent me here to do,” she said.
Watch a clip from “Christmas Angel” below.
—Tracy L. Scott