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Moriah Smallbone And Her Journey to Bethlehem and Beyond

As the lights dim and the curtains rise, Moriah Smallbone steps into the spotlight, making her theatrical debut in the Sony musical drama, "Journey to Bethlehem." Known for her roles as a Mexican-American recording artist, actress, and producer, Moriah takes on the character of Deborah, the imagined older sister of Mary, in this modern retelling of the Virgin Mary story. In this exclusive article, we delve into Moriah's multifaceted career, her contributions to the film, and her journey as an artist.

"Journey to Bethlehem" is not your typical Christmas tale; it's a live-action musical adventure that intertwines classic Christmas melodies with humor, faith, and new pop songs. Moriah Smallbone stars as Deborah, the supportive sister of Mary, played by Fiona Palomo. The film explores Mary's inner conflicts about betrothal and pregnancy, with Deborah serving as a beacon of positivity, guiding her towards embracing the beauty of marriage. Moriah's poignant performance is complemented by her contribution to the film's soundtrack, including the soul-stirring "Mary's Getting Married."

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Moriah Smallbone's journey in the entertainment industry has been nothing short of extraordinary. After signing with SONY/Provident in Nashville, her sophomore album, "BRAVE," soared to number 9 on Billboard's CCM Charts, featuring a collaboration with GRAMMY award-winning rapper Andy Mineo. Her versatility extends to the silver screen, where she took on the starring role in "Because of Gracia" (2017) and portrayed legendary singer Loyce Whiteman in an upcoming Ronald Reagan biopic alongside Dennis Quaid (2022). Currently, she graces the small screen as Bathsheba in the television series "The Chosen" (2023).

Moriah's influence extends beyond acting; she is a force to be reckoned with in the music and film production realm. Alongside her GRAMMY AWARD-winning husband Joel Smallbone, Moriah co-hosted the highly successful podcast "BECOMING:us" on K-LOVE/AccessMore. As a producer, she co-produced the Lionsgate film "Unsung Hero," scheduled for release in 2024. Moriah's commitment to her craft is further evident in her latest EP, "Curtain Call," a project where she self-produced and wrote all the songs, accompanied by live performance videos.

Amidst her current residence in Nashville, Tennessee, Moriah is busy writing songs

for a new album with GRAMMY AWARD-winning producer Paul Mabury. Her dedication to her artistry shines through, and fans can anticipate a musical journey that transcends boundaries and genres.

Moriah Smallbone's venture into the world of theater with "Journey to Bethlehem" marks a significant chapter in her flourishing career. As she continues to leave an indelible mark in both the music and film industries, Moriah's talent, versatility, and passion for storytelling are sure to captivate audiences for years to come. The stage is set for Moriah Smallbone, and her journey is one that unfolds with every note and every scene, inviting us all to join her on this remarkable adventure.

Q: How did the opportunity to star as 'Deborah' in "Journey to Bethlehem" come about, and what drew you to the role?

Imagine By: Cristina G. Jul

A: The opportunity to join "Journey to Bethlehem" was truly serendipitous. I received an offer to audition for the role of Deborah, and as I delved into the character and the script, I was captivated by the modern twist on the Virgin Mary story. Deborah, as the imagined older sister of Mary, plays a crucial role in guiding Mary through her conflicts and helping her embrace the beauty of marriage. The script resonated with me on a personal level, and I felt compelled to be part of this unique Christmas musical.

Q: How did your background and journey in the music industry shape your approach to the role of Deborah?

A: I grew up in California and made the move to Nashville in 2010. Signing with Sony/Provident at the age of 17 marked the beginning of my journey, but I eventually transitioned to an independent path, rediscovering my love for music as a process rather than just a business. Currently, I'm working on a country album, exploring new sounds that don't necessarily include regional Mexican influences. My musical journey, starting from a young age and auditioning for American Idol at 16, has been a continuous process of self-discovery.

Q: How does "Journey to Bethlehem" contribute to your newfound focus on the film industry?

A: The film industry has become a new avenue for me, and "Journey to Bethlehem" is a significant part of that journey. It's a film that's currently in theaters, offering a fresh take on the Nativity story. What I find sweet about this particular story is the way it breathes life into the scripture through music, dance, and imagination. It provides an opportunity for audiences to connect with these real-life experiences, adding depth to a story that holds cultural and religious significance.

Imagine Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Can you share more about your perspective on the characters in the film and the role of Deborah, considering the limited details in the biblical narrative?

A: In "Journey to Bethlehem," I portray Deborah, the oldest sister to Mary. It's interesting because in real life, I'm the youngest sister. Deborah's character embodies strength and a resounding "yes" to a higher calling, reflecting the path to becoming the mother of a child. While the Bible doesn't explicitly mention Mary having sisters, it also doesn't deny it. The film is more of a musical celebration, an opportunity to laugh, dance, and immerse ourselves in the joy of the story rather than delivering a sermon.

Q: How do you see the intersection of music, dance, and imagination contributing to the portrayal of this timeless biblical story?

A: "Journey to Bethlehem" is a unique musical that brings the Nativity story to life through music, dance, and imagination. The narrative, although rooted in a few lines of scripture, leaves ample space for us to imagine the personalities and experiences of the characters. It's a refreshing perspective that plays a significant role in both religious and American cultural contexts. The film is not just an exploration of a biblical tale; it's an invitation to experience the joy, laughter, and dance intertwined with the profound message it carries.


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