Susan Boyle and James Cosmo on the set of 'The Christmas Candle.'
Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who became famous in 2009 after hitting it out of the park during her audition in Britain's Got Talent, is making her film debut with a supporting role in The Christmas Candle, which opens nationwide on November 22. San Antonio, however, is one of only five cities that will see it earlier: the movie, based on San Antonio pastor/author Max Lucado's short story of the same name, and adapted by SA-born, Tulsa, OK-based Candace Lee, opens at the Santikos Palladium (17703 IH 10) on Friday, November 15, and you can buy tickets here.
If you are one of the selected few who never saw the audition that changed Boyle's life, here it is:
For the 26-year-old Lee, who was born in SA and keeps roots here, the movie she wrote and co-produced is only part of her link to Boyle. The singer's new holiday standards album, Home for Christmas, was released in late October and includes only one original: "Miracle Hymn," with lyrics written by Lee.
"[In The Christmas Candle] we created the role specifically for Susan Boyle," Lee told the Current. "She's this nice lady who is full of hope and, of course, a gifted singer."
The production needed a key song for Boyle to sing, a hymn-like jewel that would carry the whole movie. Time was running out and, after listening to dozens of songs, the team still couldn't find the right one. Then, while Lee was looking for locations in England, it finally hit her.
"It just came to me: There are miracles all around/and hidden in every heart is an answered prayer," said Lee, echoing a key line in "Miracle Hymn," which fit perfectly in the film but also pleased Boyle's record label (Sony) enough to include it as the last song in Home for Christmas.
"I was so surprised and thrilled when [Sony] decided to use the song in her album," said Lee. "I'm more of a storyteller than a songwriter, but this little song came to me and I'm amazed at all that has happened."
Boyle will make her U.S. solo debut Sunday at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, where she will perform three songs, including "Miracle Hymn."
"This will be the largest audience I have ever performed to in the USA and I am very excited," Boyle said in a press release. "I'm also looking forward to my first trip to Texas. Many of my Texan fans have traveled around the globe for me so I am excited to be visiting their home state and singing in such a wonderful venue. It is also the first time I perform 'Miracle Hymn' and 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' to a live audience, so it will be a very special moment."
Candace Lee, screenwriter and associate producer of "The Christmas Candle," and co-author of "Miracle Hymn."