Actors with Down syndrome to star in Hallmark romance movie



Two actors with Down syndrome will make their leading debut in an upcoming romance on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

The network has said they are “diversifying” content, according to ET, starting with “Color My World With Love,” starring model and actress Lily D. Moore (“Never Have I Ever”) and actor David DeSanctis, both of whom have Down syndrome.

The movie, which recently wrapped production, will air later this year, ET reported in an exclusive.

The story follows as Kendall (Moore), a gifted painter with the genetic disorder, is coming into her own with the help of her single mom, Emma (Erica Durance), and grandmother, Bev (Karen Kruper). But Kendall’s caregivers are reticent to let go when she meets and quickly falls for Brad (DeSanctis), fearing future heartache. It takes a trusted friend Nick (Benjamin Ayres) to help convince Emma that her daughter, at 22, is ready to make her own choices — which just might inspire the empty-nester to find love again, too.

Darren Barnet, Lily D. Moore, Kelly Sullivan and Tohoru Masamune in “Never Have I Ever.”©Netflix/Courtesy EverettIt’s a story that Moore says can resonate with anyone. “Everyone has a dream to fall in love and get married one day, even people with disabilities,” said Moore, 18, in a statement. “I hope viewers take away that ‘Color My World With Love’ is about painting your own story through your emotions and that we all have endless possibilities.”

Moore, who grew up in Austria, has a number of high profile credits under her name, most recently the Netflix series “Never Have I Ever” and Freeform’s “Single Drunk Female.”

Hallmark’s initiative to reach more diverse audiences is part of a greater conversation on disability representation in the media, especially as standards of beauty are being called into question in the fashion and cosmetics industries.

Earlier this year, Victoria’s Secret plucked Sofía Jirau, a Puerto Rican model with Down syndrome, for a Valentine’s Day campaign. “There are no limits,” Jirau said, while urging fans on Instagram to follow their dreams.

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