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Fireproofing Kirk Cameron
By Peter Chattaway
Copyright Christianity Today International
How did you end up in this movie? I approached the Kendricks after seeing Facing the Giants and said, "You guys did such a great job. If I can help you out with your next movie, I'd love to be a part of it." After they'd auditioned a lot of people for the role and couldn't find anyone, they asked if I'd fly to Georgia and audition. How did it feel to audition? It was a tough audition. They gave me nine of the hardest scenes in the movie, the ones that were the most emotionally stressful, from crying my eyes out to being angry and verbally abusing my wife, commanding firefighters to asking my wife to forgive me. It was an unconventional way of getting a film for me, but it was a pleasure to be a part of that whole ministry project. They even had a spiritual interview with me! It went like this: "Is there anything going on in your life that might cause God to remove his hand of blessing from this project? We don't want any hypocrites. So if you're involved in drug or alcohol problems, or you're sleeping around or have issues with morality, tell us so we can find a different actor." What was it like working with volunteers and non-professionals? It was very different from a typical Hollywood big-studio, big-budget movie. And it was so much better. What I really loved was that these were people who didn't know the typical protocol on a movie set, so they were just blazing their own trail. You couldn't smell ego anywhere because no one was being paid and everyone considered it a privilege to be there. We'd start the day with the whole cast and crew in the middle of the set, on their knees, praying and thanking God for what had already happened in the production, for all the blessings that we'd experienced, and asking him for his protection and his blessing on the day's work. How important is it for a Christian film to have Christians in the cast? I think it's very important, particularly when the lead characters are ultimately going to be ambassadors for your project. I don't think it's necessary to always hire Christians. You want to hire people who do their job well, and sometimes that means in the key positions you need to have people with the skill but not the faith. But in this instance, the philosophy was: "We want God's hand of blessing on this project; we're not as concerned about technical excellence as we are about spiritual faithfulness." I think God has blessed their intentions and their faithfulness to want this to be a movie that has integrity both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Peter T. Chattaway is a film critic for ChristianityTodayMovies.com. Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today International/
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