Roma Downey’s husband, Mark Burnett, is one of the industry’s biggest and most successful reality show producers (‘Survivor,’ ‘The Apprentice,’ ‘Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader’ etc.), but when asked whether she’d ever consider being on a reality show, the former ‘Touched by an Angel’ star laughs softly.
‘No, I don’t think so. They seem to attract Type A personalities, and I think, like many actors, I have a much more introverted side of me. It’s easier to be up there filtered through pretending to be someone else.’\
However, nowadays, she tells us, ‘in some ways I’ve been so enjoying who I am, l have felt less desire to be someone else.’
After several years away from the cameras, Roma returned to film the June 6 Hallmark Channel Original Movie, ‘Come Dance At My Wedding.’ Most of the time, however, she’s absorbed in family activity with Mark, her daughter Reilly, who is now nearly 13, and Mark’s sons James, 15, and Cameron, 11.
Continues Roma, ‘There was a time in my life I was really hungry, ambitious, but not now. I don’t know if this is something that just comes naturally in one’s life, that you just change direction a little bit. I’m much less driven by the spotlight,’ she acknowledges.
”Touched by An Angel’ had a very long run. It was such a big chunk of my life. The minute when something like that ends, if you haven’t figured out who you are, in the absence of that you would feel a void. For me it was a great relief that the spotlight had moved down the road. There was a moment of ‘I’m over here!’ Then it was, ‘Oh, who cares?”
Sadly, all too many famous folk don’t make the adjustment to living lower-profile lives as easily as that, she agrees. ‘We’ve seen it — you’ve written about it — the spotlight moves on, and in the absence of the light, they don’t exist. If you haven’t figured out your source is within yourself, it’s a recipe for unhappiness.’
Roma also attends the University of Santa Monica, a private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help guru John-Roger, and will graduate with a master’s degree in spiritual psychology in June.
‘As someone who has been on a spiritual journey for many years, it seems a natural extension of that work,’ says the lady still seen in Hallmark Channel reruns as angel Monica. She notes, ‘The skills I’m learning will ultimately qualify me to be a therapist’ — not that she has plans to start a practice anytime soon. ‘It’s really so interesting to learn about human behavior.’
And other matters.
Says Roma, who lives in Malibu, ‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’