*EURweb sat down with actor Stephen C. Bishop to get the deets on his new TV One original film “Coins For Christmas,” premiering this Sunday (12-16-18) at 7/6c.
In the film, Bishop plays sidelined former pro football player Alec Darby, who is secretly on the verge of going broke. He hires Madison (Essence Atkins), a single mom, for the holidays and at first they butt heads but they eventually learn from each other how to be better people.
During the sit down in North Hollywood earlier this week, EUR associate Miss Conversation Piece got the inside scoop on how Stephen spends the holidays, this real-life transition from being an athlete to on-screen, and why TV One viewers should tune in.
What is it like with your family for the holidays?
It’s different. My family is kinda spread out around the country so I most of the time go to my mom’s house in Atlanta or she will come out here [Los Angeles] and we have small family holidays at her sister’s house or my cousins. I always grew up with my family spread out around the country so my holidays were normally small.
Was there ever a time you were scrambling to make extra coin for Christmas to get someone a special present?
No, not because I wanted to get special presents. There were times I would scramble for extra coin to survive. Being an actor you don’t come into the game making a lot of money. Peaks and valleys have definitely been a part of my journey so I know what it’s like to try to have coins for Christmas.
You are a former athlete and you play an ex NFL player in the film, are there any similarities there?
There’s a lot I could draw from my own life experience to play Alec. His arrogance is something that we’ve all seen with some larger than life characters in the sports world so when playing that part of the character it’s not necessarily part of my personality but I could draw from things that I’ve seen and people you know. There are a lot of similarities between Alec and myself because I was a pro athlete so I know his existence.
Who are some of the people you have met that have made you better?
I’ve met lots of people that have made me better in life and only try to meet and at least keep people in my life that make me better. I think that is one of the challenges in the walk of life is trying to constantly improve yourself and surround yourself with people that help you do that.
What was your favorite scene in the film?
My favorite scene was one with Little JJ where he is playing a video game and Alec is sulking about what’s going on and they have an interaction where Alec screams on [his character] Rex about what’s going on in his life and how he doesn’t have the luxury of playing video games for a living. Little JJ is a great guy and I really enjoy working with him. So that’s probably my favorite scene.
Why should viewers tune in to TV One December 16 at 7 pm?
There’s quite a few positive messages. The one that I think that is most important is the people that are dealing with insecurities and self-esteem issues should realize that everyone has certain gifts that they have been given and they should embrace those gifts not look at other people’s gifts and covet those and walk with the confidence that those gifts allow them. Madison is someone that is very humble in this piece and doesn’t have the most confidence but by the end, she learns to stand on her feet and embrace her gifts and walks out of the film with a more positive attitude about herself.
If you could remake a classic Christmas film, what would it be?
That’s a good one, the one with the ghosts, “Scrooge.” I’ve never seen that production with a black lead. I would love to maybe do that next year for TV One. I would love to dress up in the makeup and become really old and play that part. That would be fun.
For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, visit the website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtags #COINSFORCHRISTMAS.