Soul legend Gladys Knight has signed up to play a family matriarch in a new holiday movie about a woman who loses her husband on New Year's Eve (31Dec).

The Rainy Night in Georgia singer will lead the cast of Tv holiday movie Seasons of Love, and admits she turned to Hustle & Flow star Taraji P. Henson to help perfect her character.

She tells Tv Guide magazine, "Acting... is so hard for me. I relied on Taraji P. Henson, who plays (character) Angie's sister, Jackie, to get me through it, especially when it came to my big grief scene. She really helped me let it go."

Knight also struggled with a kissing scene in the film because she has never smooched any man other than her husband.

She adds, "I guess I'm just hopelessly old school! I even had trouble when it came time to kiss Richard Portnow, who plays my husband. I'm married! I've never kissed another man outside of my husband. So I said to Richard, 'Look, about this kiss thing. No open mouth. No tongue. Even getting that close to your lips is hard for me!' He said, 'Guess, what? This is my first screen kiss, too!'"

Knight will be back on Tv in the New Year (15) with Henson's Hustle & Flow co-star Terrence Howard in drama Empire, in which she will portray herself.