Hannah Goodwyn – Senior Producer
What do we do, can we do, when disaster strikes?
That question is center focus of actor T.C. Stallings’ new movie, A Question of Faith. IMDb.com teases it this way: “When tragedy strikes three families, their destiny forces them on a converging path to discover God’s love, grace and mercy as the challenges of their fate could also resurrect their beliefs.”
It’s in this new faith-filled movie that Stallings explores a tough role that digs into the difficult areas of life. In an exclusive interview with CBN.com, he shared about making A Question of Faith and what he hopes it will encourage our divided country to do. Here are excerpts from the conversation we had sitting in the hall of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida:
Hannah Goodwyn: How would you pitch this movie to an investor?
T.C. Stallings: I would say it’s a story that deals with how to deal with tragedy as a believer when you’re asking that question of ‘Why me?’ Sometimes God can be silent on that or He’ll give you an answer that maybe you don’t want, which means, ‘I’m not going to pull you out of this.’ Like it’s not that peachy cute ending, but it’s a purposeful ending. It has a reason why it happened, but yet it’s still painful.
Most people want to chase their God-given purpose, but what if it’s for you to go through something really, really tough. And then rather than question your faith, you still accept the Lord and accept your purpose?
Goodwyn: What sealed the deal for you in wanting to be a part of A Question of Faith?
Stallings: It’s literally always that simple to be like “Oh my gosh, I want to tell this story.” I did it with War Room. I did it with Courageous. Most of what I read is like “OK. I want to be a part of telling this story. This is going to move some people.” So that did it for me. I just read it and I just wanted to help tell the story.
Goodwyn: Was there a particular scene or a moment when you were reading the script that moved you? You said “moved.”
Stallings: Without giving it away, things happen that start to make you cry… There’s a bunch of those “oh man!” type of parts where you’re either crying with joy or crying upset, or crying at something, then you’re happy again and you’re laughing. So, it’s an emotional rollercoaster that you go on.
That’s what made War Room so great. It was an emotional rollercoaster. This one has that same kind of rollercoaster where the film gets to control your emotions pretty much, and that’s the goal of it. “I’m going to make you laugh right here. I’m going to make you cry right here. I’m going to make you wonder right here. I’m going to make you upset right here. I’m going to make you say, ‘Oh, no, no, don’t go in there’ right here,” and so that’s kind of what I like about it.
Goodwyn: So, you had some tears? Tell me about the tears.
Stallings: Let’s just say, when you cry when you’re reading a script, you know it’s going to be good when you actually get it on screen and get a chance to really watch it.
Goodwyn: Was it the same reaction during filming, this emotional rollercoaster?
Stallings: Yeah. And when you can get it when you’re filming, that’s when you know “OK”, and this is take after take after take, and you still feel the same way every time because of what’s going on. So, we know you got something.
Goodwyn: How do you come to this story as a parent, especially given what tragically happens to the son?
Stallings: I’ve got two kids and yeah, you don’t take them for granted. That’s something for me that I’m big on anyway. It just drives that point home again that you don’t know when your last day’s going to be.
I would hope that people already just don’t take life for granted. Don’t take their kids for granted. And don’t take their own life for granted and think that every day is just going to happen. If you’re not thinking that way, this film will definitely push you in that direction to not procrastinate.
Goodwyn: Texting while driving and the impact it can have are touched on in A Question of Faith. Can you share on that?
Stallings: You know, that’s why I wear a car key and that I have a set in here. I just hope that we continue to make commercials and infomercials about paying attention when you’re driving. Whether it’s… “Don’t eat when you drive. Don’t be talking too much in the back seat.” You’ve got to focus because whatever you’re trying to do becomes instantly unimportant when you nearly get knocked out of the car, like I did. It’s just one of those things where I’m glad that [A Question of Faith] showed that.
I’ve been tempted to do it at times, but I always think, ‘You’ve already been through it, bro. You know. It can wait.’ So, I hope that again, even though people are going to keep doing it, nobody’s perfect, but if we keep on putting this stuff out here, it brings it to light that we need to ‘chill.’
Hannah: What does your movie add to the growing faith-based film catalog?
Stallings: If I had to dive out there, I would just say, again, it deals with the whole body of work when it comes to being a Christian, like the tough side of it. I think what you see in a lot of films is the struggle doesn’t hold the weight of most of the film. Percentage wise, I think a good 65 or 70 percent of this film is tough. You’re just dying to bring some harps in there, some organs in there, or some flowers in there. And it takes a while to get to that. You’ve got to really sit in there and deal with it. That’s what makes it special, to soak in that for a little bit.
Everybody’s waiting for everything to kind of brighten up. And just when you think it’s going to brighten up, you’ve got to hang in that toughness for a little while. It finally brightens up at some point, but most of it is about “Let’s take this issue head on,” and a lot of frustration. It has a nice clean remedy, though, like you know how to get out of it. You know how to talk to the Lord about it and everything. I just like how it really doesn’t run from the tough stuff.
Goodwyn: Unity and diversity. Where does A Question of Faith and its ensemble cast speak to where we are as a country?
Stallings: I would say just watching it, you know, this isn’t a black film. It isn’t a white film. It isn’t a Hispanic film. You see all these different cultures actually in this film. It’s funny how tragedy doesn’t have a race. Neither does prayer. God doesn’t decide who He’s going to hear from. ‘What color are you? Ok I’ll hear your prayers a little bit better.’ God hears the prayer of the earnest and humble. Those are who He helps. So, to see a lot of different nationalities in this film, who don’t even know each other are being affected by the same situation, and there’s a God who’s the God of all of it, and He’s the God of them whether they accept that or not, just to see that play out, to me, makes all the other stuff small.
For me, even with the political landscape of the world right now, I always say that God is still God and really that’s who I want to answer to regardless of who’s making laws, who’s doing anything. What does God’s Word say? What does He want me to do? I’m going to continue to operate under that regardless of how the national landscape and things change. But, it’s nice to see in this film all the different nationalities are going through something where it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it just matters who God is and do you know Him, and do you know how to get a word to Him? I think it’s a good thing to see on screen.