Rolling Out

Kirk Franklin lands 2nd Lifetime Christmas movie starring Naturi Naughton

The gospel legend has been handed the reins again for another holiday flick
Kirk Franklin lands 2nd Lifetime Christmas movie starring Naturi Naughton
Gospel icon Kirk Franklin (Photo credit: / s_buckley)

Kirk Franklin is set to return to TV this holiday season. For the second consecutive year, the gospel legend has been given the green light to create a Christmas film for Lifetime. This year’s movie is Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas.

The film is about a mother, played by Naturi Naughton, and her daughter, played by Lorea Turner, driving through a harsh winter storm before pulling over and stopping at a church. The church’s youth pastor, played by Luke James, welcomes the mother and daughter into the church and tells them know the annual church holiday service was canceled due to inclement weather. A music teacher, played by Kirk Franklin, joins them, and everyone does their part to keep the holiday tradition alive.

The movie is set to premiere at 8 p.m. EST on Dec. 10 on Lifetime. Naughton and Franklin recently spoke to rolling out about the holiday film and their respective careers.

Kirk, this is your second Lifetime Christmas movie. What’s that been like for you?

Yeah, I’m just truly grateful to have opportunities to continue to tell stories people don’t experience from this genre of music and from this space. I think it’s a beautiful thing because I think when you look at our culture, you look at America and or just even music that’s Americana, you can’t deny the influence of gospel music, spiritual soul music, and just its influence on pop culture across the board. To include that with narratives that are storytelling, and have incredible actors and actresses like Naturi, you have this moment with this beautiful collision of these experiences that are great for the holidays, because it’s a time when people need hope and want hope.

During this climate, a lot of people are very hopeless with the economy and just a lot of disparity that is happening with the polarization of our country. It’s beautiful to have these timeouts so we can feel good and be reminded of a bigger love that supersedes all that we can experience as human beings.

Naturi, did doing this movie, which is about finding hope in an apparent place of hopelessness, have any effect on your personal life?

I think it’s served my personal life because this story is very real and relatable. I’m a mother of a young 5-year-old. In the movie, I’m the mother of a very mouthy teenager, which I’m not looking forward to my daughter getting to that stage, but it definitely showed how families go through brokenness. We go through troubled times. My character’s also a widow. Having to deal with a loss around the holidays is another thing I think is a real thing. Some people are reminded of losing a parent or a loved one during the holidays, and it can bring sadness and despair, but this movie reminds you that life goes on and love can happen again.

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