On Sunday (April 20), cable channel UP concludes its “Easter Lives Here” two-week programming event with the premiere of an original movie, “Apple Mortgage Cake.”
Based on a true story, it stars Kimberly Elise (“Hit the Floor,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”) as Angela Taylor, a single working mother of three teen boys (A.J. Saudin, Stephan James, Lamar Johnson) facing eviction in 2009 from her already deteriorating New Jersey family home unless she can come up with $4,000 in ten days.
She concocts a plan to bake 100 of her signature apple cakes and sell them for $40 in order to raise the money, and word of her efforts soon spreads locally, nationally and internationally.
Despite being fiercely independent, Angela has to learn to accept the kindness and help of others.
In real life, Angela is Angela Logan, now the owner of Mortgage Apple Cakes, LLC, based in Teaneck, N.J.
Asked about the movie airing on Easter Sunday, Elise says, “The movie deserves it. It’s such a great story. I thought it was such a beautiful and inspiring story and so relevant to a lot of people’s situations in our country right now, financially. It offers a rare ray of hope in what is a very dark time for a lot of people.”
Logan is also an actress and has a cameo in the film, so Elise got to meet her counterpart.
“Angela is a really amazing woman, [a] beautiful spirit,” Elise tells Zap2it, “She’s resilient and resourceful, obviously. She’s very giving, very joyous, very appreciative. I just really respect and admire her so much.”
Unfortunately, Angela Logan’s household was one of too many with no father in the home.
“That’s a reality for a lot of people,” says Elise. “But you can’t feel sad about it, you have to take care of it, take care of your kids and your family, and that’s what she did.
“The lesson that she teaches is that we all have something inside of us, a gift, that if we choose to tap into it, it can help us in ways we never imagined.”
Logan also did something special for Elise.
“I’m a vegan,” Elise says, “so I wasn’t able to taste the cake. So she surprised me and created a vegan cake for me. It was amazing, absolutely delicious. She made me a cupcake. In fact, it was so good, that it’s now on her menu, and she sells it from her bakery, and it’s doing really well. She told me she’s working on a gluten-free one as well. She’s a master; she’s going to get it right.”
Fans of Elise don’t have to wait until Sunday to see her. On Saturday, in the Lifetime movie “A Day Late and a Dollar Short,” she plays one of the children of ailing matriarch Viola Price (Whoopi Goldberg), who tries to reunite her fractious family after receiving a serious diagnosis.
“That’s another really great film this weekend,” says Elise.
Then, on May 26, VH1 premieres the second season of Elise’s scripted series “Hit the Floor,” in which she plays an NBA cheerleader.
With three very different characters in a short space of time, Elise says, “That’s the way I like it. Just be creative and play the spectrum of characters presented to me.”
But creativity can have challenges, as Elise discovered while filming “Apple Mortgage Cake.”
“We shot in Canada in the dead of winter,” she says. “Oh my God, it was cold. I’m a Minnesota girl born and raised, and this blew me away. It was intense.
“We were all there out of the love of this project. It was a lot of hard work; it was unbelievably cold; but the movie is beautiful, and it’s so worth it. It gave me goosebumps.”
“A Day Late and a Dollar Short” airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT Saturday on Lifetime, and “Apple Mortgage Cake” debuts at 8 p.m. Sunday on UP.