How did your role in GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 come about?
The screenwriters of GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 joined Rice Broocks, Gary Habermas (the distinguished New Testament scholar), and me for dinner at the 2014 Evangelical Theological Society conference where we started talking about the general direction of the script and the strength of the case for the historicity and Deity of Jesus. We spent the next 2 hours reviewing the evidence. Several months later, the director emailed me and asked me to be part of the movie.
Why were you interested in being part of GOD’S NOT DEAD 2?
GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 is more than an inspiring fictional movie; it’s also an important opportunity to equip Christians, seekers, and skeptics with the evidence for Christianity. Lee Strobel, Rice Broocks, Gary Habermas, and I hope to ignite an interest in this evidence as part of the cast. Each of us has a small, but important opportunity to entice viewers to dig deeper so they can be more confident of the truth of Christianity.
Give us a little description of what we will see during your scenes.
I’m not surprised they cast me as an expert witness during the courtroom scene; I’ve certainly been in a lot of courtrooms over the course of my career as a cold-case detective. So you’ll see me testify, along with Lee Strobel, as we respond to questions about the reliability of the New Testament documents related to Jesus of Nazareth. I think viewers will be encouraged, and hopefully inspired to study the case further.
What was your experience like on the movie set?
I’m obviously not an actor, but the cast and crew couldn’t have been kinder and more helpful. I was surrounded by truly gifted actors and actresses, and it was fun to watch them work. It’s not easy to act in a movie, but these professionals sure made it look easy. Their performances inspired me to do my best to contribute what I could to the scene. I didn’t want to be the one who ruined the scene! I was challenged, for sure.
What is one fun “behind-the-scenes” story or fact you want to share from filming?
Harold Cronk, the director, was a joy to work with. I can tell we will be friends following this movie because I felt an immediate connection to him. In my scene, I got to work next to Ernie Hudson. He was amazingly kind, genuine, and humble. Whenever I felt like I made a mistake, Ernie would say something like, “No, you’re doing great! You’re good at this!” I’m not sure that’s true, but he did make me feel good! Perhaps the best part for me was in the breaks between scenes. During these times, I would sit with my laptop open and review the evidence for the reliability of the Gospels with the other members of the cast. It was exciting to see their interest and to get to know them better. Also, on the morning prior to filming Melissa Joan Hart’s big courtroom scene (I don’t want to spoil it!), many of us from the cast sat together for breakfast. Melissa shared her own love of Jesus and asked us to weigh in on how she should play the scene. It was amazing to hear her heart for God. We sat together and discussed the importance of this scene and the Kingdom impact it could have. I was truly honored to be a small part of that process. I think viewers will be impressed with the result.
What is one thing you hope audiences take away from your scenes in the movie?
I hope audiences will be encouraged to see GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 as more than a movie. This film will inspire people to begin a deeper journey of faith, confidence and trust. The more you know about why Christianity is true, the more likely you are to trust what you believe in a crisis. My goal was to introduce people to evidences they may not have previously examined. Now is the time for Christians to become Christian Case Makers. We need to be able to articulate and defend what we believe to a growingly skeptical world. I hope my