Inspired by the Bible’s Book Of Job, the new TV One movie To Hell And Back starring Vanessa Bell Calloway and Ernie Hudson takes a contemporary look at the story of Job. Job, as you may know, remained God’s faithful servant even as his life deteriorated around him. As things got worse for Job, his friends and family, instead of supporting him, blamed him for the catastrophes that had befallen him.
Hudson plays Joe Patterson, a businessman who enjoys a successful life and family until a series of tragedies impacts everything around him. Calloway plays his wife.
“It’s all a test of a patience and your faith. It’s the faith to know that God got you and the patience to let him do his thing. This is based on the story of Job who went to hell and back, basically, who lost everything but never lost his faith in God. And there is a message for Easter, we had to have faith in Jesus as he hung on the cross for us that he would come back and redeem us and he did.”
Calloway, as in the original story of Job, plays a wife whose faith is shaken by the myriad tragedies that devastate her family. But Calloway says that in To Hell and Back eventually her husband’s unshakable faith inspires her as well.
Calloway, now 58, has put together a lengthy career that includes Coming To America, the soap opera, One Life To Live, and her current stint on the popular Showtimes series Shameless. She says while she enjoys every role she’s played it tickles her that people still remember her for Coming To America, a movie she made over 25 years ago.
“That’s the year I got married and we’ve been married 27 years this June,” says Calloway. “I wasn’t married, I didn’t have kids, I wasn’t even a Calloway yet. It was such a huge hit and for people to remember me in this huge movie with Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy, I’m always flattered.”
Calloway says her absolute favorite roles have been offscreen. She is a married wife and mother and an amazing gourmet cook, according to her friends. Her web series In The Company Of Friends reflects her enjoyment in hosting dinner parties.
“My greatest accomplishment is being the mother of two beautiful daughters, two very sound intelligent women who are 20 and 24 now. My oldest works at CAA and my baby is a junior at Spelman. And being a wife of 27 years. Without them, I couldn’t do the career that I’ve had. My husband is the best and he’s always giving me wings and pushing me out there.”
Calloway is also starring as writer/folklorist Zora Neale Hurston in Letters From Zora, a one-woman show traveling the country for which she won an NAACP Theatre Award this year.
To Hell and Back airs on TV One on Easter Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Central.
For more information on Vanessa Bell Calloway’s one-woman show, her role on Shameless and her web series In The Company Of Friends, click HERE for her official website.