'Gilmore Girls' actress Lauren Graham joins cast of Dallas Jenkins' 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'

Actress Lauren Graham arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Actress Lauren Graham arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Actress Lauren Graham, known for her roles in "Parenthood" and "Gilmore Girls," has joined the cast of Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company's forthcoming faith-based holiday theatrical release, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."

The feature adaptation of Barbara Robinson's beloved book, directed by “The Chosen” creator Dallas Jenkins, recently concluded production and is set to hit theaters on Nov. 15.

“We’ve been huge fans of Lauren’s for 25 years and have dreamed of one day working with her. She brings her signature warmth and charm that makes her perfect for this cast,” producer Kevin Downes said in a statement.

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According to Deadline, several cast members from "The Chosen" have also made their way into the film, including Kirk B.R. Woller (Gaius), Vanessa Benavente (Mother Mary) and Elizabeth Tabish (Mary Magdalene).

In "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," Graham takes on the role of the narrator and makes a significant on-screen appearance. Woller, Benavente and Tabish play key characters in the story, respectively portraying Reverend Hopkins, a first-grade teacher, and Mrs. Grady, a dedicated church member. 

“I’ve been preparing for and visualizing this movie for over 15 years, so it was going to be tough to meet my expectations,” says Jenkins. “But working with incredible actors such as Lauren, who I adore, along with my ‘Chosen’ cast members and fan favorites Liz, Vanessa and Kirk, has exceeded my expectations. The whole cast is elevating the material, and I’m overwhelmed working with them.”

The family comedy also boasts the talents of Judy Greer, who plays Grace, the director of the pageant, and Pete Holmes as her husband, Bob.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the bestselling book written in 1972, tells the story of six misfit children who volunteer to star in their town's Sunday school Christmas pageant and end up teaching the town the true meaning of Christmas.

Jenkins previously told The Christian Post that he and his wife, Amanda, read the book to their children over a decade ago and “fell in love” with the story. He expressed hope that the big-screen adaptation of the book will become a “Christmas classic” families can enjoy together.

“I’ve been hoping to make this announcement for 15 years. There have been so many painful moments and near misses in that time. But now, I finally get to make the movie Amanda and I have sought and envisioned and cried over,” Jenkins said last November when the movie was announced.

“This is the movie that I was born to make,” he added. “If I could only make one more movie for the rest of my life, this is it.”

The screenplay for the film was crafted by Darin McDaniel & Platte Clark, along with Ryan Swanson and Jenkins. The film is produced by Downes, Daryl Lefever, Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, in addition to Darin McDaniel and Chet Thomas. 

Jenkins serves as an executive producer, alongside Gerald R. Molen, Mark Kendell and Tony Young.

The production marks another project from Kingdom and Lionsgate, the companies behind “Jesus Revolution,” which grossed over $50 million at the box office. The studio's next film will be "Ordinary Angels," starring Hilary Swank.

Director Jon Erwin told CP “Ordinary Angels” is the “perfect” film to follow “Jesus Revolution,” adding: “Jesus Revolution’ is a film about spiritual awakening and revival; ‘Ordinary Angels’ is about how can we become known as Christians by how we love people in our communities.”

In April, the studio will release “Unsung Hero,” starring for King & Country's Joel Smallbone. 

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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