How cool is this: starring in a movie promoting responsible fatherhood…alongside your own father.
That’s the case with 16-year-old Rusty Martin. The Johnston County teen actor has a key role in the new faith-based movie, Courageous, which opens across the nation next month.
“Best experience I've ever had in my life,” he told me. “I have such a great relationship with my dad, and this movie kinda fits my role perfectly. It gives me a chance to show other kids my age that they need to have a relationship with their father.”
As I reported in my blog last week, Courageous tells the story of four law enforcement officers and the struggles they face at home as well as on the job. Rusty plays the son of one of those officers. (Here's a clip featuring Rusty and his "dad" in the movie, actor Alex Kendrick.) With a budget estimated at $1,000,000, it’s the largest production yet by Albany, Georgia, based Sherwood Baptist Church (“Fireproof,” “Facing the Giants”).
“My part took about 3 months off and on to shoot,” says Rusty, who’s been acting since age 7, appearing in commercials and some small-budget films. “Basically, this is a heart-warming, heart-thumping, awesome movie about fathers becoming heroes at home."
Rusty Martin Sr., has a smaller part in the film. Although the two of them don’t actually play father and son in the movie, they both say the long drives back and forth to Albany and the down time in between scenes gave them lots of good bonding time. Rusty Sr., who’s relatively new to the acting business, says he’s a big believer in this new film.
“This is not your low-budget church movie that you’d be embarrassed to go see or take your brother-in-law,” he told me. “The production level is, in my opinion, Hollywood level. And that’s why they’ve gone outside of the church for crew and actors and all – to bring that production level up. It’s an action movie about first responders – so that’s going to appeal to people. And they’re not going to be preached to for ninety minutes. I think (theater-goers) are going to walk away pretty excited.”
And there’s another family member who’s pretty excited about the movie, too: Kim Martin, who’s the manager for her husband and son. She was actually able to help them get their roles via Skype teleconferencing.
"You never get parts without actually meeting the director in person,” she says. “I mean, that's just unheard of. But this was definitely a God thing. What I want people to see in this movie -- the dads in it are not all perfect. They all make mistakes. But they don't ever think it's too late to save that relationship between their kids and themselves. That's the redeeming power of it -- that it's never too late."
Courageous opens in theaters September 30th.
Triangle area rabbis, in cooperation with local synagogues, are presenting ten-week courses giving “An Introduction to Judaism.” The classes start this Wednesday night (August 31st). More details here and here.
Speaking of ten-week courses, Raleigh’s Forest Hills Baptist Church is offering a ten-week free course that explores the Christian faith. Their kickoff to The Alpha Course is Tuesday, September 6th, with a free dinner and a movie starting at 6pm.
Duke University’s Muslim Chaplain, Abdullah Antepli, is back from an emotional trip to Afghanistan. While there, Antepli met with Muslim leaders and US troops. More about his trip here.
As the college football season opens, a lot of NC State fans may also be keeping an eye on new Wisconsin (and former Wolfpack) quarterback Russell Wilson, thinking about what might have been. Wilson recently gave an interesting interview describing how his faith has shaped his life. You can read about it here.