*Actress Dawnn Lewis, perhaps best known as the college coed Julissa on “A Different World,” has been quietly keeping busy with voice over work in multiple television roles. But next month, viewers will get to see her on screen in the Disney Channel movie “Let it Shine.”
The gospel-themed musical stars Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) as a shy, talented musician who writes romantic rap verses for the girl of his dreams, only to see his best friend deliver them to her – and reap the benefits.
“It’s a modern day spin on the Cyrano de Bergerac story,” says Dawn, who plays the boy’s mother. She’s also the first lady of a small Baptist church in Atlanta pastored by Courtney B. Vance. Their son, named Cyrus DeBarge, is also the church’s Minister of Music, which, in his parents’ eyes, does not jibe with his love of hip hop.
“We turn our praise team over to him and he comes back into church with the praise and worship team singing and dancing, breakdancing and doing hip hop praise music in the sanctuary,” Lewis tells EURweb with a laugh. “We’re not quite sure how to deal with that. It’s a little harder for my husband than it is for me.”
Lewis, who handled the theme song for “A Different World” for several seasons, says some of the filmmakers had no idea she could sing when they asked her one day on set. Listen below.
“Let it Shine” premieres June 15 at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel. Watch the trailer below.