Bill Bellamy delivers a dose of tough love in the BET+ holiday movie “A Rich Christmas.”
The actor and comedian leads the cast as real estate mogul “Marshall Rich,” who decides to teach his spoiled socialite daughter a lesson when she lands in trouble during the holiday season.
“The story was just perfect. It resonated family, it resonated a father-daughter relationship, which I can relate to,” Bellamy told TheWrap via Zoom. “I have a freshman in college, so I thought, ‘I’ve never played a dad before in my whole career.’ I’m like, ‘I want to be a dad, and this is a good daddy.'”
In real life, Bellamy said he can be just as tough with his children as his character, Marshall Rich.
“You damn right!” he quipped. “I have to because my real kids live a very nice life, and I always have to teach and show them that it requires a lot of hard work to be successful. If somebody just gave it to you, you wouldn’t appreciate it.”
The movie comes from producer Tressa Azarel Smallwood and her company MegaMind Media. Smallwood is also a parent and said the film’s theme should resonate with families.
“It’s showing people how to love each other. And that’s what the holiday season is all about — It’s spending time with family and doing things for others,” Smallwood noted as she joined Bellamy in the interview. “So, all the things that I believe in, I want to see in my movies. And here’s the great thing about being the owner of a catalog of films and projects — you get to say yea or nay about what you produce.”
“A Rich Christmas” is part of the expanding slate of BET+ holiday movies. This year the streamer is releasing four times as many Christmas movies as it did a year ago, after the 2020 lineup proved such a big hit with subscribers.
“We saw a very substantial increase, more than doubling, around the viewing that we would normally get on the movie catalogue that we offer,” Devin Griffin, the streamer’s executive vice president and general manager, recently told TheWrap.
Shateka Johnson wrote the script for “A Rich Christmas” and “The Young and the Restless” alum Victoria Rowell directed the film.
“Victoria was a director for me in the mental health series that I do for BET. She did such an amazing job with that project, that I started talking to her about ‘A Rich Christmas’ at that time. I said, ‘Hey, I have this Christmas movie and I think you will be great as a director,'” Smallwood explained.
In addition to Bellamy, the movie stars Brandee Evans (“P-Valley”), Denise Boutte (“Meet The Browns”) and Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food”).
“A Rich Christmas” is now streaming on BET+. Watch the trailer below.