It’s never too late! Keesha Sharp believes in finding happiness at any age — which is why her new film Spring Breakthrough felt like the perfect fit.
“I loved the story as a person looking in. Reading the script, I loved that it was about women of a certain age, no matter if you’re 30, 40, 50 and above, you know, there’s time. There’s time and we’re all here for our breakthrough,” Sharp, 49, told Us Weekly exclusively while discussing the romantic comedy. “I’m obsessed with people trying something new and they are thriving. Because life isn’t over at 40 [or 50]. It’s over when we stop breathing.”
Spring Breakthrough, which premieres Sunday, April 30, on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, follows single mother Monica Rollins (Sharp) after she loses her job and discovers her daughter, Vivian (Rhyon Nicole Brown), has gotten engaged to college sweetheart Shawn (Akono Dixon). While celebrating the engagement in paradise, Monica forms an unexpected connection with Shawn’s godfather, Clark Randall (Demetrius Grosse), and she realizes that when one door closes, another one opens.
“I love the idea of this woman who thought she was OK — she loved her job and her daughter, and her daughter was doing the things that a daughter should do — but what happens when the rug is pulled from underneath you?” the New York native explained of what drew her to the role. “I love the idea that they wanted to tell this story of finding herself. She doesn’t know she’s going to find herself, but she does. She has this breakthrough.”
Sharp shared that she “knew” immediately who Monica was when she read the script and appreciated how the character wasn’t simply “one dimensional,” but “many” things at once. “I love that they let me explore with her,” she added. “You see this woman of this age be everything. It was about finding the character within me and finding all those nuances in her.”
Another draw to joining the cast of Spring Breakthrough — which is written by Samantha Herman and directed by Mykelti Williamson — was being under the Hallmark Mahogany banner. The slate of movies are rooted in the iconic 30-year-old Hallmark greeting card line of the same name and exemplify family, community, human connection, positivity and the transformational power of love through the unique lens of Black culture.
“I love that Hallmark Mahogany is so diverse and everyone gets to see themselves in these happy ending stories,” Sharp, who is both an actor and a director, told Us, noting that she would be thrilled to jump behind the camera for one of the network’s films in the future.
“It would be crazy for me not to direct a really good feel-good movie,” the Lethal Weapon alum gushed. “Hallmark is showing us that there is love and excitement and positivity [in life]. We need it. And with Hallmark including Mahogany and diversity, I think it’s important. And I love that they knew that, too. So everyone can look at a Hallmark movie and see themselves. We all deserve a happy ending.”
While Spring Breakthrough certainly features Monica’s journey toward romantic love — “she could maybe have found the love of her life,” Sharp teased — the film also zeroes in on female friendship.
“It’s so important to show [platonic love] on screen but also how you show it. I love that these women [are] supporting each other,” the Girlfriends alum said of the dynamic between Monica and her onscreen BFF Denise (Laticia A. King). “There’s a time where your best friend has to tell you that what you are doing is not OK. That’s important to have a friend who is able to tell you, ‘You need to think differently.’”
Playing someone people can relate to is of the utmost importance for Sharp, who ultimately immerses herself fully into whatever character she portrays.
“Everyone can see themselves in [Monica],” she explained. “Bringing a character to life, that’s one of my favorite part of being an actor. You get to step into another life. You go through it and feel all that things. That’s exciting. To make a difference to people watching, getting them to feel something — that’s exciting too.”
Spring Breakthrough airs on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Sunday, April 30, at 7 p.m. ET.