Premiere Of Tri-Star Pictures’ “Sparkle” – Arrivals

Elise Neal has a new role in the forthcoming film The Undershepard. The movie reportedly examines Black churches — specifically megachurches, famous pastors and the woman who marry them.

The film was produced by radio personality Russ Parr and in an interview with theGrio she talks about her role as the church “bad girl.’ Neal also talks about her new project with TV One.

Check out some quotes below:

theGrio: Tell us about your new movie that has caused quite a stir, as it examines black megachurches, celebrity black pastors, first ladies of the church, and the wealth that some of these churches have generated —  some say at the expense of teaching the gospel of Christ.

Neal: I play a character named Sister Roberts. She is married to one of the head deacons in the church. I don’t want to give too much of the movie away, but suffice it to say all of the issues you raise are addressed in the movie in detail. And I think that the way Russ addresses them through our characters is very accurate.

Do I think it will cause some discussion and some reflection: Yes. Do I think some in the church will be upset by it? Yes. I applaud Russ for being brave enough to tackle this subject and all of the backlash and conversation that will go along with it.

We really focus on the issue of tithing and money, and where it goes once it leaves your family and goes to the pulpit. The movie is art imitating life. Anyone who has ever given money at church and has question marks, this movie goes there. And we explore a variety of topics from adultery in the church, pastors cheating, money being taken for personal gain or spent illegally, and more.

What’s the word on your new sitcom Belles?

I am very excited about this pilot. It is about a family that owns a restaurant. It’s kind of like the popular 1980s show Cheers with a little more heart to it. We are kind of like counselors in the restaurant for the various kinds of challenges our customers face each day. It is a great show about a close-knit family that works through their own challenges as they help others.

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