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TV personality, actress and producer Kathie Lee Gifford creatively presents the Bible in her new film, “The Way” – and she lets Christian singers tell the story.
Although she’s been on at least two hit talk shows and performed in movies and on television for years, Gifford said her current gig — in which she’s been able to bring the gospel to different audiences — is his “dream job”.
“I loved doing the show with Regis,” Gifford told Fox News Digital, mentioning his longtime co-star Regis Philbin.
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“I loved doing the show with Hoda,” she also said, referring to Hoda Kotb. “But it was never my dream job. My dream job is what I do now. Writing music and writing movies and writing and directing in beautiful places.”
Four years ago, Gifford met singer Nicole C. Mullen and the pair thought they were “just going to write a little song,” she explained.
“It ended up being an 11-and-a-half-minute oratorio titled ‘The God Who Sees,’” Gifford said.
The song was a hit on YouTube, garnering millions of views. Its success persuaded Gifford to pursue a larger project.
“I realized this is what the rest of my life should be like,” she said. “I had to take more stories because they are epic, fantastic stories from the Bible… No one has ever seen the Bible that way.”
The film, which hits theaters for one night only on Thursday, September 1, highlights key Bible stories in a modern way.
“The Way,” by Fathom Events, is a 75-minute symphonic narration of the Bible, beginning at the dawn of creation and continuing through the New Testament, Gifford explained.
The film, which hits theaters for one night only on Thursday, September 1, highlights major biblical stories in a modern way by presenting them with contemporary orchestral arrangements.
The production features a cast of star performers including Mullen, Danny Gokey, Jimmie Allen, Larry Gatlin, BeBe Winans and many more.
Gifford serves as the narrator for the film (and can sing a bit herself).
Gifford said she never did anything according to the book. And that was true when it came to the casting process.
While she said she “definitely would have liked these big, big stars” to be part of the project, God put it on her heart to ask lesser-known Matt Baugher and Julie Roberts to play the roles of Abraham and of Sarah, in part because the couple had a lot in common with their characters.
“Because they understand the pain of being barren,” Gifford said of the couple. “They were struggling, struggling, struggling with…fertility. And I said, ‘OK, Lord’ and I just obeyed.”
She recalled that just a few months after finishing filming, the couple called her to say they were expecting her.
“I play/sing Abraham and Julie is Sarah,” Baugher shared on his Instagram page.
“And we filmed it BEFORE we got pregnant with Jackson. Is it amazing for the roles we’ve played? My friends, this project is amazing. Don’t miss it!”
“God started this thing,” Gifford told Fox News Digital.
“Moses” also didn’t exactly go through a routine audition process. Gifford explained that she discovered it in her own home.
“God’s way is much more interesting and much more exciting than doing things by heart.”
Billy Gaines, whom Gifford said she hired to help hang ceiling fans and mirrors in her home, continued to watch over her piano, she recalled.
“And I said, ‘Are you playing? And he said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ Turns out he had been a professional gospel singer.”
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Years later, Gaines found himself in Gifford’s house, and his musical talents landed him a starring role in his new movie.
“He sat there and he started singing something and I said, ‘You got it. You’re Moses.’ My tackle!” she remembers.
“You know, that’s how sweet God is. I don’t do anything by the rules. I’ve never done it. God’s way is way more interesting and way more exciting than doing things by heart, [than] doing things the way they’ve always been done.”
Everyone in the movie “had a story like that,” she said.
And everyone, she added, agreed to do it for free.
But on reflection, Gifford said God encouraged her to open her own wallet and pay for the casting herself.
“I just wrote a check for $10,000 for every person in there and said, ‘The Lord will provide because you deserve to be paid for it. You all gave from your heart and were willing to do so for free. But I want to bless you during the time of COVID and [help you] make some money.'”
“You can never surpass God or surpass God.”
Gifford added: “You can never outdo God or surpass God. He will always show up and surprise you like crazy.”
Gifford recently hosted a Fox Nation series called “The Jesus I Know,” in which she spoke with several celebrities about their spiritual journey. These are celebrities who fans might not even know were witty.
And she said there were a lot more in Hollywood where they came from.
“I certainly know enough to be able to [do] six more series, and I would love that,” Gifford shared.
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“The Way” is associated with Gifford’s new book, co-authored by Rabbi Jason Sobel, “The God of the Way: A Journey into the Stories, People, and Faith That Changed the World Forever.”