Ledisi pays tribute to New Orleans with ‘All Saints Christmas’

The holiday film is currently airing on the Hallmark Channel.

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Ledisi is feeling the holiday spirit! The Grammy Award-winning artist stars in one of Hallmark’s brand new holiday films, “All Saints Christmas.” TheGrio caught up with the artist as the movie premiered, breaking down her original pitch for the project, the music she worked on and more.

An original idea that Ledisi herself pitched, “All Saints Christmas” stars Ledisi as Lisette, a successful R&B singer who heads home to New Orleans for Christmas. “When the media mistake a photo of her with her music-producer ex as an engagement announcement, her family insists that he join her on the trip,” according to the official film description that theGrio obtained.

“I came up with the idea, presented it to an executive producer, and kind of created the characters but I didn’t write the story,” Ledisi explained about her involvement in the making of the film. “I wanted to do something to pay tribute to New Orleans, which is where I’m originally from, because I think it’s such a magical place.”

Ledisi in a scene from “All Saints Christmas.” (Hallmark Channel)

She is happy with the finished product. “I love the way the story turned out,” she said. “It’s very Hallmark and I never thought I would be in a Hallmark movie in my life! I just love Hallmark movies during Christmas time … I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Ledisi is especially pleased to be attached to “All Saints Christmas,” because the film also has a personal element. “I just was focused on being authentic as much as possible to not generalize New Orleans and Louisiana,” she explained to theGrio about the depiction of her hometown.

Continued Ledisi, “There are different versions of Christmas and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t so one-dimensional. I let people write and tell their story and do what they wanted to do with the characters. Sometimes, I would put my input in and say, ‘No, we would never do that,’ but I stayed out of the way and just remained as much an actress as I could actually be. I didn’t write it, but I was very particular about being authentic.”

Of course with a main character who is an R&B singer, the film also has a strong musical component, something that really helped Ledisi stay in her element. “The musical part was easier for me because that’s what I know!,” she exclamed. “I had to record a new Christmas song the day before we had to film it because we were running out of time. I wrote it three days before we started filming and it was crazy … but I got it in and loved every minute. I had a blast.”

Would she do a Hallmark film again? “I would love to do another one if they’d have me,” she gushed. “I enjoyed it but I would want to do more of the writing though. I am new to the acting world. I’m having a blast being in all of these films and enjoying this other part of storytelling so if I get another opportunity with Hallmark, I definitely would take it.”

“All Saints Christmas” has a second airing at 10:01 EST on Friday (Nov. 11) on the Hallmark Channel.

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