Is Hollywood making room for Jesus? Everyone at Monday night’s Los Angeles premiere of Pure Flix’s “Do You Believe?” at the ArcLight seemed to hope so.
Lee Majors (“The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Big Valley”), who plays J.D. in the theological film, thinks the incredible success of Pure Flix’s last film forecasts more religious projects. “There’s a hunger and a thirst for this kind of film in Middle America, as ‘God’s Not Dead’ proved with a million-dollar budget (from which) it made $62 million. I think Hollywood is going to look at (the topic) more closely, and I don’t know why they don’t do more,” Majors reasoned.
Cybill Shepherd, who plays Teri in the film, echoed Majors’ pro-faith sentiments. “In old-time Hollywood, they used to do faith-based movies all the time,” Shepherd said. “’The Ten Commandments’ was the first movie my parents took me to. So there’s a great history in Hollywood of doing religious films, and they didn’t think it was odd.”
“Do You Believe?” is being trumpeted as “the Christian ‘Crash,’” with intersecting storylines that depict characters from different walks of life.
The project appealed to Mira Sorvino, who stars as Samantha, because she thought it showcased the best of both faith-based cinema and Hollywood’s technical abilities. “It’s an interesting hybrid of something with a very strong message, but it has all the bells and whistles of a high-level, terrific movie,” Sorvino said.
Sorvino wanted to be clear that although her faith does affect her career, it doesn’t restrict her choices. “I try to allow myself to do films that will have an impact on the greater good,” she explained. “I have this whole side of my life that is based on activism, which my faith is very much a part of. Faith infuses my entire life. Sometimes it’s involved with my film choices, and sometimes it has nothing to do with them.”
One of the film’s producers, Michael Scott, thinks that a recent string of biblical epics have paved the way for more faith-based fare. “We’re excited that we’re the ‘in crowd’ right now, after ‘Noah’ and ‘Exodus’ and ‘Son of God.’ I think it just shows you that there’s demand for this type of content,” he noted. “Hollywood typically follows the trend of the money. I think they’ve seen that there’s a big audience here, and we need to figure out the types of movies they want, which I’m all for.”