Lisa Davina Phillip is no stranger to acting, with appearances in television series like Apple Tree House and Call the Midwife, but her role in Jingle Jangle is arguably her biggest break to date. As such, it’s interesting to find out that she wasn’t originally expecting to land a part in the Christmas flick. When she spoke with PopSugar, she explained that she read the script and loved the idea of doing a movie about a Black inventor. Initially, though, she was just helping out director David Talbert before filming even begun. “I was only supposed to be helping out initially as part of a workshop,” she revealed. “We all sat around a table, David came over from LA, and we were just fleshing things out, and he was so open to suggestions and ideas.”
Over time, she really started to see herself as the character of Ms. Johnston, so she began pursuing the role more in earnest. It eventually led to her big break, and as she describes, “David called me into the studio, because they wanted to put some vocals down, and he was like, ‘So what do you think of this song? And what do you think of the musical you’re working on?’ And then he said, ‘And how would you feel if I told you you got the role?’ My voice went up to my soprano voice, and it was just a dream come true, and it still feels like a dream come true.”
It just goes to show that you never know where any given opportunity may lead you. If you still need a little bit of the Christmas spirit in your life (or want to catch a sly Black Panther Easter egg), then you can watch Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story on Netflix now.