Lifetime’s It’s A Wonderful Lifetime movie marathon is in full swing and the latest film on the roster will bring viewers a dose of nostalgia along with the usual holiday cheer. Jingle Belle is the next holiday-inspired movie in the network’s lineup and will premiere on November 25. The movie stars Tatyana Ali from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who revealed this role was a very special one for her, according to a report from Hollywood Life.
The movie will follow Isabelle, played by Ali, a successful New York-based jingle writer who returns home to Ohio to write the music for her town’s annual Christmas Eve Pageant. When she gets back, Isabelle reunites with her high school sweetheart Mike, played by Cornelius Smith, Jr., who she comes to learn is the show’s director. The movie also features Keisha Knight Pulliam and Tempestt Bledsoe, better known as Rudy and Vanessa Huxtable from The Cosby Show.
And while Ali was excited to reunite with old friends, it was being able to actually write and perform original songs for the movie that really made the experience one to remember for the actress. Ali starred in the 2017 Lifetime holiday movie Wrapped Up In Christmas and when she was approached by the higher-ups of the network to work on another project, she was quick to accept, with one request.
“The producers asked me if there was anything in particular that I would like to do or any story I’d like to tell. I said that I would love to sing and act in a film,” she told Hollywood Life. “I never get to do those two things or very rarely. That’s how Jingle Belle came to be, so that is what stands out about it. The music is such a big part of it.”
Ali said the music becomes a catalyst for the love story between the two main characters.
According to Ali, Isabelle is “totally closed off and only career-minded” when viewers are first introduced to her. “The things that have hurt her in the past she is keeping at bay, and they’re kept in the past until she’s forced to reconcile them,” she teased.
With Jingle Belle being a love story, Ali sat down with E! News’ Daily Pop to talk about her own love life. The actress dished about her experience with online dating; she mentioned being nervous in the beginning, but it seems things worked out as she met the love of her life on eHarmony.
The star described the experience of meeting and falling in love with her now-husband as “divine inspiration.”