Pantelion Films is encouraging faith-based groups to see this film and talk about it afterward, using a special discussion guide. Do you think this is a good idea to use Girl in Progress as a teaching tool with teens and adults?

That’s the best gift that I can have. Even more important than box office for me is the fact that a movie can do good to people. I discovered that Under the Same Moon, for example, is used widely in schools in this country. They are using it everywhere from every state, every different age, in different contexts. It’s just people keep telling me how I watched it in class . . . they show it in class all the time. And it’s served purposes of people discussing immigration in a different way, discussing immigrants in a different way.

So now I’m very pleased that Girl in Progress has the opportunity. It provokes communication between moms and daughters. They just keep telling me how they come out of the movie. and they say I want to show this to my daughter or they go and want to talk to her because maybe they realize they haven’t been communicating or maybe something’s going on that they don’t know. And the same with daughters and their moms. I’ve heard stories like we talked for the first time in a long time after we saw the movie. And that just, that is really the best feeling that a movie can contribute to something good.

Sometimes I wonder why all this effort . . . if all of this is worth it. It’s very hard to make a film and to have a film career and to raise a daughter at the same time and the sacrifices one has to make in terms of time. So it’s very satisfying for me that [Girl in Progress] can be helpful.


Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking—all involving teens—Girl in Progressopens wide in theaters on Friday, May 11, 2012. Click here for more information or to watch the trailer for Girl in Progress.

To download the “Girl in Progress Discussion Guide,” please click here.

Photos courtesy of Pantelion Films.