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Roma Downey on a Different Kind of Celebrity Advocacy

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Many Hollywood celebrities use the platform that fame provides to promote their favored political causes and candidates. From Sean Penn to Jane Fonda, famous actors and actresses— who are oftentimes on the extreme left of the political spectrum-- use their power and influence to support their political ideologies. Roma Downey is different. The “Touched by An Angel” star and her husband Mark Burnett—the executive producer of reality shows like “The Voice” and “Survivor”--have used their power and influence to promote something different. They have used their celebrity status to help promote their religious values.

Such values are on display in the new animated program, “Little Angels.” The show, which can be purchased by clicking here , was executive produced by Downey. It tells the story of eight angels who watch over and guide two young siblings through their daily lives. These angels also enlighten the children by sharing religious passages and messages with them.

Downey, who recently spoke to about the series, talked to me about the reason why she chose to work on this new project. “I am a person of faith,” she said. “For ten years, I had the privilege of playing an angel on a television show that at [its] height, touched and uplifted 25 million people.” With "Angel" off the air, she “wanted to develop a project that carried that same central message.” She added that for her, "Little Angles" provided a “wonderful opportunity to share a message of God’s love with pre-school children.”

When I asked her about “Touched by an Angel,” the show that made Downey a household name, she spoke fondly about the religious drama and especially her co-star Della Reese, who she remains good friends with today. That show- which focused on two adult angels who helped guide individuals through times of personal turmoil— helped spread a positive message about faith and God to millions of viewers. And Downey said that she still receives a lot of “warmth and affection and enthusiasm” from its viewers despite the fact that it’s been off the air for nearly a decade. She added that it was both humbling and rewarding to act “on a television show that had the potential to touch lives. That's such a privilege for me as a person of faith myself. To be the messenger.”

When asked if any other shows have carried on the mantle of “Angel,” Downey said that “we’re still waiting for that show to emerge.” She was optimistic, however, and added that “I just have the feeling that the time is right again for something.”

With her success both onscreen and off, Downey has a platform to support certain causes and ideas. Instead of choosing a political ideology, she has chosen to use her influence to support religious programs that could help bring families together and closer to God.

Downey is also humbled by her own success in the United States, a country that has given her the chance to spread her faith and values to millions of viewers.

“I was born and raised in Ireland,” Downey noted, “before I moved to America looking for the American dream and I might add, I found it.”

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