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Interview: Kirk Franklin Praises Naturi Naughton’s Vocal Talents In New Film ‘The Night Before Christmas’

The Lifetime Orignal Movie, which also stars Luke James and Lorea Turner, premieres on Dec. 10 at 8 pm ET.

For Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas, the gospel artist and actress Naturi Naughton have a special treat for their fans just in time for the holidays.

In this Lifetime Original Movie, Naughton who plays an estranged mother (Journee), and her daughter and Nia, played by Lorea Turner, are forced to take refuge inside a church where a handful of also-trapped parishioners are reeling from the cancellation of their annual holiday concert. With the help of this unlikely yet spirited group of strangers, Journee and Nia band together to help the church salvage not only their holiday traditions but also their show-stopping Christmas day performance, despite the raging storm outside.

Speaking with BET.com, Franklin, who also is the executive producer of the film, said that being a part of this project was special to him because he was able to be a part of the process from start to finish.

“I was able to be at the beginning of the inception and to be able to give ideation to the ideas that I was delivering on. I was able to speak with the network and with them that I had an original idea that I think could be turned into a movie,” the gospel artist who also plays Mr. Evans in the movie.

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“Y’all Naturi is singing in this movie! It is so nice to hear her voice and to be able to remind people that she’s got a multiplicity of gifts,” Franklin added, giving praise to Naughton’s vocal talents.

When it came to working with Franklin, Naughton said it was “a lot of freaking fun” and that there was “so much laughter, joy and energy [on set].”

“I love that kind of energy because it actually makes work feel like home, like you’re at the backyard barbecue,” she adds.  “It felt like family [and the rest of the cast] Luke James, Tasha Page Lockart, and Lorea Turner –  everyone was genuinely connected.”

“Go deep with us. Enjoy the music. I'm happy I get to sing. I'm grateful that Kirk and the whole team, you know, gave me an opportunity because I don't get it much. So I'm just blessed to be here,” the Power Book star notes.

Be sure to tune in to Lifetime to watch Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas on Dec. 10 at 8 pm ET. And if you miss the premiere, you can stream the movie the next day on Lifetime!

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