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Actress Roma Downey talks to Aleteia about ‘The Baxters’

The Baxters - Interview with Roma Downey

Amazon Studios

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/22/24

The producer and lead actress of the new faith-based series talks about its appeal to families everywhere.

Having children is one of life’s joys. However, watching your children mature into adults and seeing them deal with heartache and adult problems is never easy for a parent to watch. And this is precisely what we can witness in the new series The Baxters, which will be released on Amazon Prime on March 28.

The series is based on the books of the same name by Karen Kingsbury, and it shows the life of a family of five adult children going through some modern-day issues and heartaches with their loving parents trying to guide them along the way. Unusually for a series these days, faith plays a huge role within the family, and is central to the decisions each member makes.

Irish actress and producer Roma Downey, whom you’ll know from Touched by an Angel, approached Kingsbury to talk about getting the books onto our screens. The Christian author quickly said yes, and tried to persuade Downey herself to take on the role as the mother, Elizabeth Baxter.

As Downey shared with Aleteia, she prayed on it and soon took the part, bringing her “mother’s heart” and experience as the youngest of six siblings to the role. And with her own daughter Reilly Anspaugh playing her on-screen daughter Erin Baxter, she felt right at home.

Downey took the time to share with us her thoughts on how a series full of faith is relatable to those who believe in God, but equally to those who might not have a faith.

A series with an open invitation

One of the show’s strong points is its relatability. Even if you don’t have a religion, there will be lots about the series that will ring true, mainly as it speaks about the ups and downs of family life. Something we can all appreciate, as Downey shared:

There’s an invitation on the door for everybody here, this is family. They happen to be of faith. That’s their belief system. I don’t think there’s an exclusion to anybody else not resonating with the stories and the challenges, and the family dynamics… They don’t always like each other. They love each other deeply but they have secrets.”

Speaking of the characters, the devout actress explained:

They don’t always like each other, they don’t always like each other’s choices. They don’t always like each other’s behaviors, but I think that they always love each other. And I think that they’re very relatable in that way. We see a bit of ourselves in this story.”

A series for people of faith

One of the show’s many appeals is that it really speaks to people who are devout in their faith. As Downey explains, we often get shows where people say grace before meals, but that is the extent of their faith on display:

People of faith don’t often get to see church-going faithful families on the screen. I think that that will be refreshing for people of faith to see a family that are comfortable to stop and pray for each other. And I can’t think of a show where I’ve seen that… I think that’s very moving.”

A refreshing reminder

Downey also addressed how such a faith-based series is relevant today:

The show is an invitation to belong. We see a family come together and then we see the greater community come together and it reminds people that we do belong to each other… that there are good people doing good things.”

Downey goes on to share how the series can act as a positive point of reference, with people tuning in to see: “How did they [the Baxters] deal with this particular heartache? How did they deal with someone falling away from their faith?”

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