“Megachurch Murder” is not your typical church movie. Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the Lifetime original production includes murder, adultery and a series of lies.
The story centers on the mysterious death of pastor Hamilton Spears (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), which causes his teenage daughter Hannah (Shanica Knowles) to go off the rails.
When Hannah discovers her father may have been murdered, she uncovers a conspiracy among church members and the possibility that her mother, Martha Spears, may have played a role in the minister’s death.
Tamala Jones, who co-stars on ABC’s long-running series “Castle,” plays Martha — the devious church lady with a closet full of secrets. In a new episode of “Drinking With the Stars,” Jones told TheWrap she enjoyed portraying a character who is so conflicted. “She’s got this wholesome face and body about herself and she’s really a monster,” Jones said. “She’s not as innocent as she comes off.”
Many of the movie’s scenes are set in the megachurch, with the choir belting out familiar gospel songs including “Oh Happy Day.”
Knowles, 24, of “Hannah Montana” fame serves as choir leader and puts her vocal talents on display. “She’s got a beautiful voice. She kind of reminds me of Alanis Morissette,” Jones said.
The movie co-stars Michael Beach,
Patrick Cage, Santana Dempsey and Romeo Miller (formerly known as rapper Lil Romeo) round out the cast. Jones admitted she was caught off guard when she met a grown up Miller.
“When he first walked on set, I was like ‘no, Lil Romeo!’ I mean, his body is developed. He’s very handsome,” the actress jokingly told TheWrap. “He was great eye candy, but I was like ‘OK, no cougarization over here.'”
Once she got over Miller’s good looks, Jones said she was impressed with his acting ability. “I never saw him act to that level, and I thought he really did a great job.”
All joking aside, the 40-year-old star revealed she’s grateful for cable networks like Lifetime, which create much-needed opportunities for actresses such as herself.
“I have some other friends that have done Lifetime movies,” she said. “It’s really great for us because it gives us a chance to still exercise our craft and get into something that’s really interesting that we possibly couldn’t do on any other network.”
“Megachurch Murder” airs on Saturday, February 7 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.