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TV personality, actress and producer Kathie Lee Gifford is presenting the Bible in a creative way in her new film, “The Way” — and she’s letting Christian singers do the storytelling.
Despite having been a part of at least two successful talk shows and starring on film and television for years, Gifford said her current gig — in which she’s been able to bring the gospel to different audiences — is her “dream job.”
“I loved doing the show with Regis,” Gifford told Fox News Digital, mentioning her longtime co-star Regis Philbin.
“I loved doing the show with Hoda,” she also said, referencing Hoda Kotb. “But those were never my dream jobs. My dream job is what I’m doing now. Writing music and writing movies and writing and directing in beautiful places.”
Four years ago, Gifford met with singer Nicole C. Mullen and the pair thought they were “just going to write a little song,” she explained.
“It ended up becoming an 11-and-a-half minute oratorio called ‘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 that this is what the rest of my life had to be about,” she said. “I had to take more stories because they’re epic, fantastic stories from the Bible …Nobody’s ever seen the Bible this way.”
The film, which hits theaters for one night only on Thurs., September 1, highlights key biblical stories in a modern way.
“The Way,” from Fathom Events, is a symphonic 75-minute storytelling of the Bible, beginning at the dawn of creation and continuing on to the New Testament, Gifford explained.
The film, which hits theaters for one night only on Thurs., September 1, highlights key biblical stories in a modern way by presenting them with contemporary orchestral arrangements.
The production features an all-star group of artists including Mullen, Danny Gokey, Jimmie Allen, Larry Gatlin, BeBe Winans and more.
Gifford serves as narrator for the flick (and may sing a bit herself).
Gifford said she never does anything by the book. And that was true when it came to the casting process.
While she said she “certainly would have loved to have these big, big stars” be a part of the project, God put it on her heart to ask the lesser known Matt Baugher and Julie Roberts to play the roles of Abraham and 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 how just a few months after they wrapped filming, the couple called to tell her they were expecting.
“I play/sing the part of Abraham and Julie is Sarah,” Baugher shared on his Instagram page.
“And we filmed it BEFORE getting pregnant with Jackson. How amazing is that for the roles that we played? Friends, this project is astounding. Don’t miss it!”
“God cast this thing,” Gifford told Fox News Digital.
“Moses” didn’t exactly follow a routine audition process, either. Gifford explained she discovered him in her own house.
“God’s way is far more interesting and far more exciting than doing things by rote.”
Billy Gaines, whom Gifford said she had hired to help hang ceiling fans and mirrors in her home, kept eyeing her piano, she recalled.
“And I said, ‘Do you play?’ And he said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ As it turns out, he had been a professional gospel singer.”
Years later, Gaines found himself back in Gifford’s home and his musical talents earned him a spot in her new film.
“He sat there and he started singing something and I said, ‘You got it. You’re Moses.’ My tackle guy!” she recalled.
“You know, that’s just how sweet God is. I don’t do anything by the rule book. Never have. God’s way is far more interesting and far more exciting than doing things by rote, [than] doing things the way they’ve always been done.”
Everyone in the film “had a story like that,” she said.
And everyone, she added, agreed to do it for free.
But after some thought, Gifford said God encouraged her to open her own pocketbook and pay the cast herself.
“I just wrote a check for $10,000 for every single person that’s in it and said, ‘The Lord is going to provide because you deserve to be paid for it. You all gave out of your heart and were willing to do it for free. But I want to bless you during the time of COVID and [help you] make some money.’”
“You can never outgive God or outdo God.”
Added Gifford, “You can never outgive God or outdo 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 whom fans may not have even known were spiritual.
And she said there are plenty more in Hollywood where they came from.
“I certainly know enough that I could [do] another six series, and I would love that,” Gifford shared.
“The Way” is paired with Gifford’s new book, coauthored by Rabbi Jason Sobel, “The God of the Way: A Journey into the Stories, People, and Faith That Changed the World Forever.”