We adored her for years as Monica on the much-loved television series Touched by an Angel and fell in love with her gentle spirit. Now the kind-hearted and beautiful Roma Downey has entered into the Angel business once again with her new line “Little Angels”.
The highly anticipated faith-based educational series made its grand debut on Valentine’s Day (February 14). Complete with DVDs, CDs, books and even apps, this fun series introduces children to the spiritual, moral and ethical principles of the Bible. We had the chance to speak to the lovely Roma last week and she dished on her famous run on Touched by an Angel, what she hopes kids will take away from “Little Angels” and her plans for the future.
CM: Touched by an Angel was one of my husband and my favourite shows on television for several years. I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed we were when it ended. Were you sad to leave the show?
Roma Downey: “We had a really great run and it was such a beautiful and inspiring message. Even now as I travel across the country, I still receive feedback on how the message touched people’s lives in a really positive way.
I have to tell you as a person of faith myself, it was such a privilege to do this show. We were very prayerful before we did those big Angel revelations. When someone was going through a hard time in their life.
I might add quickly that before I was given that roll, I was a new actress looking for a job. I would have been happy to get a job with someone offering me a role as a doctor or a lawyer or something, but the fact that it was Touched by an Angel, was so incredible. It’s amazing that this role came to me! Every week I got to utter the words “God loves you, God wants to be in your life, God wants to be part of your life and God has a purpose in your life” I believe that it really made a difference.
To answer your question, I was sad when it ended but I think it was the right time and we were all exhausted. It was hard work and very long hours, but thankfully my lasting friendship with Della Reese continues to this day. She has an amazing ministry and is my dearest mentor. Della is also the Godmother of my daughter and she married my husband and I.
I really am so grateful for her! To this day she remains a light in my life.
Of course, we were very sad about the passing of our wonderful comrad John Dye, whose gentle portrayal took the fear of dying away for many. He was such a gift to all and we were very sad of his passing.”
CM: Your faith has played a very big role in your career over the years. What made you decide to create “Little Angels” after so many years on Touched by An Angel?
Roma Downey: “Yes, it has. I have been so lucky that the much of the work that has come my way has allowed me to integrate my faith. I am thrilled to be back in the Angel business, and this time bringing the message of God to preschoolers.
With the same place, same desire and same message, I created this wonderful children’s product and I’m very excited about it. It’s just so exciting after having worked on it and filled with the creativity of it for so long, to finally be able to share it with the world.
There was a little prayer that my father used to say over me as a child in my bedroom and it became the central inspiration for the series. “God in heaven, my saviour dear, watch over my children and draw them near, send your little angels to be at their side, to light and to guard to love and to guide.”
In our series, there are 8 little angels that live on the ceiling of the nursery that belongs to Alex and Zoe the four-year old twins. and when the mom and dad aren’t around the little angels come to life and they fly down and interact with the kids teaching them ABCs and 123s. They also teach wonderful lessons in values, cooperation, honesty and kindness, and introduce them to the love of Bible stories in ways that are relevant and age appropriate.
In one of the scenes a little boy can’t tie his shoes and so he thinks it would be easier to put on his velcro shoes. The angels encourage him and say that if everyone just quit when things are difficult nothing would happen. So they use the example of Noah and go back into the Bible to meet Noah who tells them that they must persevere and stick with it.
And it’s fun! You know I could have all the best intentions in the world of creating a great product, but if it isn’t upbeat, filled with good music as well as entertaining, the kids won’t have fun.
I’m really committed to this. This isn’t just a case of a celebrity slapping their name on something, it is a really passion project for me something born out of my own heart, something that I really believe in and I’m committed to it for the long haul.
CM: Who is your favourite Little Angel?
Roma Downey: “I’m a big fan of Hayley the little Australian animal loving angel. And I also really love Uri, the Painting angel. I love his creativity and I also just love how he sparks my imagination because he paints those pictures and then through that device we are able to travel back into the Bible. But I know many other kids are responding beautifully to the Little Angel Dina who has the iPad, which I think makes her very contemporary and of the moment.”
CM: What can we expect for the future from Little Angels?
Roma Downey: “Our first launch will be on February 14th and will include three DVDs, Animals, ABCs and 123s as well as a couple of story books. I also have three musical CDs which I am very excited about because my teenage daughter Riley sings throughout the CDs and my oldest boy James plays guitar.
Little travellers will love our Little Angels app for long car rides! On there we have a daily prayer which is great for parents to partake in with their kids. It is a really special thing to you might like to share with your girls. Just another reason to take the time to pray together everyday and just to have fun together.
We have a Little Angels Bible coming in the summer, Little Angels dolls by the end of the year and will launch two new DVDs on shapes and colours, also coming out this year. We are starting to build a great collection that will be around for many years to come.”
CM: My girls have come to love the series! We received the DVDs on Monday and they have already watched and re-watched the movies several times. What is your wish for children watching “Little Angels”?
Roma Downey: “The proof is in the pudding. In my case as well, we gathered kids for screenings and they were really engaged with clapping and singing. I’m hoping that the project in general will allow a gateway into that bigger conversation with preschoolers about faith and about God. About how wonderful he is and how much Jesus loves them.
There isn’t anything quite like this out there for the preschool audience and at that age they are just like little sponges aren’t they? They really absorb information. I thought this would be a great teaching tool, a great resource for parents and grandparents. We need all the help we can get raising our families.”
Visit LittleAngels.com for more information on the line, and for free and fun activities and games for the kids. You can either purchase directly through the website or through Walmart.com, Target, Best Buy or Amazon.com.
Photos courtesy of Roma Downey for exclusive use on Child Mode.