Billy Ray CyrusBilly Ray Cyrus has already finished filming his role in the upcoming Hallmark TV movie, 'Christmas in Canaan,' and while he says the part was tailor-made for him, he admits he initially turned the role down before calling Hallmark and begging to have it back.

It was the wisdom of his late father that resonated with him when he decided to revisit the script. His dad, who famously told him to follow in the footsteps of Kenny Rogers, also ultimately became the inspiration Billy Ray needed to embrace his role as Daniel Burton, a father to two troubled boys.

"I feel like this character I'm playing, Daniel, was my dad," he tells All Headline News. "Really and truly. It's like I'm able to honor him on this role. And that's a bigger thrill than I can say. I also get to sing the theme song for it. And it was just an amazing shoot, giving me a really challenging role to sink my teeth into and more depth than I was used to as an actor."

The singer, who previously appeared in his own series, 'Doc,' as well as in the David Lynch film 'Mulholland Drive,' stars opposite his daughter, Miley Cyrus, in both 'Hannah Montana,' the TV show, as well as the summer blockbuster, 'Hannah Montana The Movie.' He'll also appear opposite George Lopez and Jackie Chan next year in the movie 'The Spy Next Door.'

'Christmas in Canaan' airs on the Hallmark Channel on Dec. 12.