Was that just a step on her way to performing at the Oscars?
Could be. The song was written by 10-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren.
“They said Chrissy had to sing it and I was like: ‘Oh, God! She’s an actress. Actresses can’t sing,’” Warren recalled on Thursday at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie. “I said: ‘Let’s get a superstar. Get Carrie Underwood. Get Kelly Clarkson. Get Celine.’” In the end, however, Warren was singing the star’s praises: “I was f—ing blown away and I was like: ‘Now I don’t want anybody on this but you because you’re awesome.’”
“Breakthrough” is a faith-based film inspired by a mother who says the power of prayer helped bring her son back to life as doctors were about to pronounce him dead after he fell through a frozen lake into icy waters.
“The idea of ‘faith-based’ has negative connotations in Hollywood and you know what, it’s a shame,” director Roxann Dawson said. “Hollywood needs to be able to view films that they have chosen to label this way with a clean slate. All of a sudden people are afraid to speak their minds in Hollywood. Why can’t we have discussions about faith and religion? Those are very important subjects, so let’s open a dialogue. I’m not trying to convert anybody,” Dawson says, adding that she prefers the phrase “inspirational drama.”
One person who is not afraid to talk about the power of prayer is Metz, who was joined on the red carpet by her “This Is Us” family, including Sterling K. Brown and Mandy Moore. “I do have faith. I pray every single day,” Metz told Variety. “I think prayer gets a bad wrap. It’s scary and a lot of people are afraid of the unknown — faith and prayer in particular. Prayer for me is just collective consciousness, like collective energy, and once we educate people, the fear goes away. It’s interesting what we covet and what we honor through different genres of movies and art. Why wouldn’t something like this need to be told, you know?”
One thing’s for certain, and that’s the popularity of faith-based movies throughout film history.
“When you go back to the foundation of Hollywood — Cecil B. DeMille, Frank Capra — faith has always been a part of the bedrock, the DNA,” said producer DeVon Franklin. “The reason there aren’t as many [recently] is a lot of times studios think: ‘How do you attract that audience?’ And my point of view is that every movie that is successful has an element of faith. The characters are believing in the unseen, which is really the definition of faith. So my hope is that ‘Breakthrough,’ and films like it, can remind Hollywood that there is an audience out there, and it’s bigger than they think. People want hope and inspiration.”