Bailee Madison did not have to be persuaded to take a role in the new Netflix faith-based movie A Week Away. The 21-year-old actress had always wanted to be in a musical. The fact that it was faith-based, inspirational, and included some of her favorite Christian tunes was a bonus.
“I have grown up listening to so many of these songs,” Madison told Christian Headlines.
The film tells the story of a troubled teen named Will (Kevin Quinn) who discovers the gospel – and a little romance – at a summer church camp. Madison plays Will’s romantic interest, Avery.
The movie includes songs by Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant and For King and Country.
“Awesome God was a song that I sang when I was a little girl,” Madison said, referencing a Rich Mullins tune she sings in the film. She said she listened to Smith’s Place In This World as a youngster, too.
“I've [also] been a For King and Country Fan. So the idea of getting to have my first musical, and have some original songs, but also [it] be a nod to songs that I grew up and personally love as well, was a huge honor – and one that I was humbly glad to take on.”
A Week Away was a Netflix hit during its first weekend, ranking as high as No. 4 on Netflix’s list for most popular movies. Even more impressive, it soared to No. 3 in the global list of most popular movies and TV series, according to Whats-On-Netflix.com. It ranked No. 3 in Brazil, No. 4 in India, No. 4 in Spain, and No. 6 in Germany and the Netherlands.
“Faith is a huge part of my life – always has been,” she said. “And so when this script was sent to me, I fell in love with the story and the message and the love story within it as well.”
The film’s positive message, Madison said, will appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike.
"What I loved so much about this movie was the [message of] hope,” Madison said.
A Week Away will “resonate with people who have grown up in a faith-based home or [who] have that really instilled in their lives,” Madison said. But she also believes its message will appeal to those “who haven't gone on that journey.”
One of Madison’s goals, she said, is that the movie will help people of faith “start a conversation” with others about the film’s themes. If the movie can “kind of light that fire in their heart for half a second, that would be the goal here – that everyone feels this sense of hope and faith and warmth and love.”
The movie has a message for teens who, wrongly, find their purpose and meaning in social media, Madison said.
“Comparisons are crazy” on social media, she added.
The movie, she shared, tells teens: “You were created to be exactly who you are, and uniquely you.”
“And there is so much beauty within that [message],” Madison said. “So hopefully, it'll be maybe a helpful little reflection for the girls and the guys watching to just love themselves a little bit more.”
Photo courtesy: ©Netflix
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.