The faith-based film Do You Believe?, from the makers of 2014’s megahit God’s Not Dead debuted nationwide last week, earning $4 million across 1,320 theaters.
Rated PG-13, and starring Mira Sorvino, Ted McGinley, Cybill Shepherd, Delroy Londo, Lee Majors and Brian Bosworth Do You Believe? asks that very question of its audience.
Breitbart News caught up with Mr. Bosworth this week to discuss the film, which takes a rather unique approach for a faith-based picture, by telling a story from a gritty place of realism, something many Christian-themed films do not.
“The hardest time that Christian movies have is they fight the bias of human nature,” says Bosworth.
The former Oklahoma Sooners and Seattle Seahawks standout (both on and off the field) believes that faith-based pictures often fail to deliver messages because they either ignore realism, or because they stir something within their target audience:
Most people are afraid to hear powerful messages, they conflict them. A lot of people don’t see Christian films because they feel it would conflict what is in their hearts. They are scared of changing.
The football powerhouse-turned actor believes faith is an integral part of everyday life, even for those who may not follow any particular religion. Because of that, he feels the film will resonate with moviegoers who are willing to hear its themes of acceptance and change.
Regardless of the mass appeal of such films, “The Boz,” who recently featured his own story of redemption on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, thinks Do You Believe? highlights the nature of forgiveness, by asking its audience to empathize with a diverse set of 12 characters, portrayed by an equally diverse cast — all whom are struggling to start over.
When the uppity pastor Matthew, played by Ted McGinley (Married with Children) is shaken by the strong faith of a black street preacher, he is reminded that true belief in God always requires action, and not words, which is the message of the film — to actively practice faith.
Bosworth approaches his newfound faith with the same fire and tenacity he did with football, and it translates well on screen.
Matthew’s mission brings 12 strangers together, while wonderfully maintaining depth and balance for each character, Bosworth’s in particular.
Boz’s Character, Joe Phillips, is struggling with cancer and decides to use it as motivation to help others with what little time he has left. When he read the script, he says he knew the role was for him, as he recently watched his own father lose a battle with the disease.
“I had a very unique perspective of the visualization of a man that I cared so deeply about, and I just wondered what I would do, with where I am now,” he said. Brian pulled deep from his own experiences to develop the character of Joe and has been praised for his performance despite Joe’s softer side, which is opposite to Boz’s usual action characters.
Responses to adversity in the story by Matthew and Joe ultimately result in a journey that impacts everyone it touches, in ways the film asserts only God could orchestrate.
Bosworth says, on some level, all people are affected similarly every day but are often too busy to pay attention to the ways they are influenced and impacted by chance encounters with strangers.
With an all-star cast, Do You Believe? has been billed as Crash for Christians, and those who don’t enjoy faith based movies could find themselves entertained by the story, which is told through a lens that doesn’t censor the human condition.
While Brian won’t speculate as to what impact the story may have on secular viewers, he does invite all to explore its candid portrayal of the struggles of humanity: “The film’s message is to spread love, not animosity, and that sometimes God has a way of turning bad things into good things. The film is about learning patience.”
When asked why potential moviegoers should see the film, Brian was very direct with his words, and asked some questions of his own:
It’s a unique window into the blessed lives of all of us. If you can replace internal selfishness with faith, how much more rewarding would your life be? Do you believe you should follow him before yourself? That’s the question; do you believe in an opportunity that is more fulfilling than anything of material value? That’s the story.
The Pure Flix Entertainment film debuted March 20, and is showing in theaters nationwide.
Last year’s God’s Not Dead earned more than $60 million with a production budget of only $2 million.