Welcome to Ladies Home Journals chat
with Roma Downey. We are ready for your
questions. Please feel free to jump in at any
Question 1: Roma, of all the
numerous magazine covers that you have done,
which one is your favorite?
Roma: I guess I would have to
say the Christmas edition of Ladies Home
Journal, because I have my little angel with me.
Question 2: Roma, who did you
meet first, David or Della? And can you tell us a
wee bit about meeting them?
Roma: I met David first, on a
blind datethe first Ive ever been on.
I met Della three or four months later. We were
filming at night when David proposed to me.
Question 3: Could you please
tell us a little bit about Project Children?
Roma: Project Children is a
wonderful organization that brings kids from
Northern Ireland to host families in the states
to offer them another slice of life. As far as I
know, it is probably in existence in most of the
major cities around the country.
Question 4: Do you believe in
angels? Have you had an angel reading or talk
with your guardian angels?
Roma: Yes to both. I dont
think I could have made the journey from Northern
Ireland to this country if I didnt have a
whole host of angels guiding me.
Question 5: Do you feel that as
a result of the series there could be an influx
of bringing schools closer back to religions, or
prayer, or is that one your hopes, as mine?
Roma: I think that the show has
become popular because the country is changing.
The show is filling a spiritual void that was in
existence. Im all for prayer in school.
Question 6: Roma, do you know
what the air date for Venice, an
upcoming episode, will be?
Roma: Im guessing that it
will be November 30, which is also the night of
my movie of the week, Borrowed
Question 7: Roma, what was your
reaction to the nanny murder case, especially
since you have a nanny for Reilly?
Roma: I was obviously deeply
saddened and upset for the parents losing their
child. What upset me the most was the editorials
turning on the mother as if it were a crime for
her to be working.
Question 8: Did you ever hear
from Jackie Kennedy after you played her in
A Woman Named Jackie? And what was it
like to play her?
Roma: No, I never did hear from
her. I wrote her a letter expressing to her how
much I admired her. It was extremely challenging
to take on that role, and exhausting. But I came
away with the feeling that she was a truly
remarkable woman and a true survivor.
Question 9: I wanted to say that
I am a HUGE fan of both yours and the show, and I
wanted to ask you, out of all the characters you
have played in your movies and in your show,
which one can you relate to the most?
Roma: Monica. I am learning a
lot from her.
Quetison 10: How often do you
visit Ireland? Are you as big a star there as
Roma: I am very fortunate in
that I am usually able to get back at least once
a year. I have gone back every year except for
the summer I gave birth to Reilly. The Jackie
Kennedy miniseries made me a big star over there.
Touched by an Angel has only started
to air, so they are still catching up on Monica.
Question 11: Do you speak Irish?
Roma: I learned it for three
years in school, and I must confess to only being
able to say things like my name is
and what is the time. A more honest
person would have just said no.
Question 12: Why did you choose
to come to America instead of a different part of
Ireland or Europe?
Roma: I came over here to be on
Broadway. When the opportunity came for me to
travel to New York, it was the incentive of that
dream that brought me here.
Question 13: Roma, would you be
interested in doing a movie about your life? Or
perhaps an autobiography?
Roma: I have been asked if I was
interested in writing one, I guess because Della
wrote her book. But I turned it down. Im
not ready to do that. I think its a life
half-lived at the moment. Maybe in twenty years.
Question 14: Why do you think
the show has been so successful?
Roma: I think because of the
spiritual nature of the show, and that people
were open to this kind of programming.
Question 15: What do you like
the least about the industry?
Roma: This could take all night
[laughs]. My series films in Utah, and lets
just say its nice to get out of L.A.
Question 16: What does your
family think of your success?
Roma: My family are delighted
for me. I think they are somewhat amused by it
all because Im the little sis. My two older
sisters came to visit me this year and giggled at
all the fuss. But I think they are very proud.
Question 17: Your hairs so
gorgeous. Is it naturally curly?
Roma: It does have a bit of a
wave in it. I have a wonderful hairdresser, Ken
Johnson, who tends to it every day on the set. In
my real life, I wear a hat every day.
Question 18: Have you ever been
personally touched by an angel?
Roma: I was traveling to Europe
and saw an old lady struggling with many bags and
I offered to help her. She didnt speak
English. To make a long story short, I managed to
get her on the plane and seated. When we got to
London, my conscience insisted I go back on the
plane to help her. And no one was there to meet
her. I thought I was going to have to take her
home with me when a man appeared. Her eyes lit
up, and I was relieved she found her family. The
young man came over to me at the baggage carousel
and said, Thank you. My mother thanks you.
She said you are her angel. I think the
point is any of us can be an angel.
Question 19: If you
couldnt be an actress, what other
profession would you be interested in?
Roma: As a young child, I wanted
to work in a candy factory. Im glad I grew
out of that for no other reason than the calorie
intake. I think I would like to work with kids in
some way, teaching perhaps or nursing.
Question 20: Does your character
on the series (Monica) affect your personality in
Roma: Yes, I think playing
Monica has made me a better listener. I listen a
lot on the show in character, and I think that
when the people, the characters that I am helping
each week, really open up when someone who cares
is really listening. I think so many of us listen
Question 21: Roma, how was Kevin
Sorbo to work with? Was he a good kisser?
Roma: He was great fun to work
with--I have whisper this because my husband is
in the kitchen. At five feet four, I was a very
unlikely queen of the Amazon.
Question 22: How big of a coffee
fan are you in reality?
Roma: I am a three-cup-a-morning
Question 23: Roma, as you are a
very, very beautiful woman, does your husband,
David, ever get jealous? Is he the jealous type?
Roma: Yes, he does. But then
its up to me to be very reassuring. Since
he and I have been together, I have been playing
Monica, so he doesnt have to worry about me
being the Amazon queen anywhere. He knows he is
Question 24: Did you think Della
Reese was right to go to the press about not
getting enough money?
Roma: I think that Della felt
she was backed into a corner and that was her
only recourse. Della is one of my dearest,
closest friends in the world, and I sincerely
hope she gets what she wants.
Question 25: How much time are
you able to spend with your family a week?
Roma: I am very, very lucky in
that I can afford to have a full-time nanny who
brings my daughter to the set every day for at
least half the day. I get to spend lunch with
her, which is a half hour, and I grab ten minutes
here and there and then I have the weekend.
Question 26: Who would you like
to work with as a guest star?
Roma: Goodness. What a great
question. . . . Liam Neeson. Hes Irish,
hes a wonderful actor and he is an old pal
Question 27: Roma, I read that
you were an art student before going into acting.
Are you still interested in art?
Roma: Yes, I am. I dont
get the opportunity to paint as much as I would
like to. My stepdaughter, Vanessa, is at the San
Francisco Art Insitute. She is carrying the torch
for me with painting and photography.
Question 28: Right before the
show went on the air, did you have a say in the
development of your character, or did Martha
Williamson have all the control?
Roma: Mostly up to Martha, but
she has always been open to discussion with Della
and I. As the show has progressed, Monica has
picked up a few of my traits. My sense of humor,
love of hats.
Question 29: Roma, are you
planning on bringing up Reilly as a Catholic or a
Roma: As a Catholic.
Question 30: As Reilly gets
older, would you encourage her to go into acting?
Roma: No. I wouldnt
discourage her if that is what she wanted to do.
But I certainly hope she would keep her options
open. I am one of the lucky ones. I know so many
actors who arent working, and thats
the reality of the business.
Question 31: What was your first
Roma: It was Broadway. I was
thrilled when I got to work off Broadway. I had a
dream to be on the stage. I was working as a
coat-check girl before that. The play I was in
was The Circle and it starred Rex
Question 32: Do you kind of
think of Della as the mother you never had?
Roma: Yes. I have been searching
for that mother figure my whole life. It is one
of the great joys of my job to work with Della
daily. She fulfills that role.
Question 33: Hi--just logged on.
Roma, Ive heard theres a movie
version of Angelas Ashes in the
works. Have you been approached about it?
Roma: Its my favorite book
of the year.
Question 34: How can you stand
the Utah-California commute? How often do you
jump back and forth? I can barely stand
crosstown, much less interstate travel.
Roma: Its not a bad
commute. Since Reillys birth, I go back
less and less. Its only about an hour and
Question 35: Any plans for more
movies, etc. after Borrowed Hearts?
Hearts is a movie that I filmed this
summer. A romantic comedy with a holiday
backdrop. It will be on November 30. I play a
single working mom. Hector Elizondo plays a
mysterious Mexican businessman. I was charmed by
the script when I read it, and I think it will be
a nice springboard into the holiday season.
Question 36: What other types of
acting stuff would you like to do?
Roma: If the opportunity arises,
I would love to do movies. I think I will
probably do another movie for CBS next summer. We
only get two months off, so it doesnt leave
me enough time to do a feature. I also hope to
return to the stage at some time.
Question 37: Do you travel to
Roma: We film mostly in and
around the Salt Lake Valley area. The most I
travel from my house is forty minutes.
Question 38: Whats the
best piece of advice youre going to give
Roma: To thine own self be true.
To follow your bliss.
Question 39: I just want to say
that I absolutely loved the episode with the
Jewish archeologist. Did you really film that in
Roma: We filmed it in area
called Heber, which is an hour and fifteen
minutes up the mountain here.
Question 40: Had you ever met
Princess Diana, and what advice would you give to
Princes William and Harry, if any?
Roma: No, I never had the
pleasure. Thats a hard one. As a child who
lost a mother myself, Id say the most
important thing for them to both remember is how
much she loved them and that even though she has
passed on, no one really dies. They live on in
Question 41: Do you enjoy
playing your role?
Roma: I do. Its great fun.
I love it because weekly I am an undercover angel
and I get to play lots of different occupations
and with lots of guests.
Question 42: Are their any plans
to shoot in other places? Like out east? Some of
us on the Touched By an Angel mailing
list would love to come be extras, or just
Roma: We have no immediate plans
to travel on location anywhere.
Question 43: How old were you
when you began acting?
Roma: When I graduated from
drama school, I was 24 and ready to plunge into a
professional world that wasnt exactly ready
to have me.
Question 44: When was your best
Roma: It was last Christmas, our
first in our new home with our new baby.
Question 45: How did you like
doing the Oprah show?
Roma: Meeting Oprah . . . She
was fabulous. When I met her, she insisted that I
had met her before. I told her we hadnt and
she insisted we had. I was thinking that I would
know. I think what it was was that I had hosted
the Peoples Choice Awards with Don Johnson
last year. She was there and I think just
remembered seeing me. It was pretty funny.
Question 46: What other movie
stars have you met?
Roma: Quite a few. The great
thing about meeting other famous people is
realizing that really they are pretty much like
you and I. I met Katharine Hepburn back in my
Broadway days, and she has been my hero for
years. I havent seen her since then. Carol
Burnett I met recently, and she is my favorite of
late. She has the wonderful ability to light up a
room when she enters.
Question 47: What is your
biggest goal you would like to accomplish this
Roma: It would be wonderful to
reach number one. Although all of us on
Touched By an Angel are very thrilled
to be a permanent resident in the top ten.
Question 48: Roma, a few seasons
ago there was an episode titled Operation
Smile. Where is this special organization
Roma: I believe I am correct in
saying that it has branches all across the
country. It is a wonderful organization of
surgeons who give their time freely to help
mostly children from third-world countries.
Question 49: Other than
Angel, what is your favorite show?
Roma: I am a huge fan of
Frasier. Its probably my
Question 50: What are you going
to give your daughter for Christmas?
Roma: She is going to get her
first tricycle. We are also going through a big
Sesame Street phase.
Question 51: Roma, your show has
changed my life. I had a very sad childhood and
was never happy with God until your show came on.
Im happy to say I have grown to love God
because of you. Thank you!
Roma: Its letters like
that that really make me feel like I am part of
something that goes way beyond entertainment.
Its very gratifying.
Question 52: Have you been asked
to do any commercials recently?
Roma: No, I have not.
Question 53: What recent movie
have you seen and liked?
Roma: The Full
Monty. I loved that movie. To be honest,
working the hours that I do and for all you moms
out there, I have kind of gotten out of touch.
But David and I went to see this and I thought it
was great storytelling. Very poignant and very
Question 54: Do people recognize
you when you walk in public?
Roma: For the most part, if I
put a hat on my head and keep my mouth shut, I
manage to get by as just another mom at the mall.
I am much smaller than people expect, I think.
Question 55: Roma, do have any
story ideas for Touched By an Angel?
Roma: I was horrified about the
story of the young girl at the prom who killed
her child. I have been haunted by that. I thought
if ever a girl needed an angel, it was her that
Question 56: What show would you
like to be a guest on?
Roma: I would love to host
Saturday Night Live. I would really
be up to getting a few angel revelation scenes.
Question 57: How has your life
changed since the start of the TV program two
years ago? How does it feel to have strangers
know all about you and your family?
Roma: My life has completely
changed as you might have imagined. Mostly for
the bettter. I am grateful for all of the
Question 58: Do you want to make
the jump from TV to making movies like George
Clooney? What would be your dream role?
Roma: I would love to make the
jump. But I am aware of the limitations of having
only two months off every year. If I have a
dream, it is to work with my husband and to film
in Ireland. To have that happen at the same time
I would be in heaven.
Question 59: Have you done much
research on angels?
Roma: I didnt really
before the show. My interest has obviously grown
in the last few years. Monica is very human for
an angel, so I dont really feel the need to
Question 60: Roma, are you
planning on getting Reilly a computer when she
gets a bit older?
Roma: David and I recently
purchased our first computer. We have finally
figured out how to turn it on. We would like to
think that Reilly will teach us a thing or two.
Question 61: Roma, what is your
very favorite episode of Touched By an
Roma: From the first season we
did an episode about the homeless that still
stands out for me as one of my favorites. There
was one on Broadway with Carol Burnett that might
even be on tonight.
Moderator: Thank you for coming
to the Ladies Home Journal online chat with
Roma Downey. Its time for Touched By
an Angel to begintune into CBS for
tonights episode. Thanks again for coming.