Galley Molina may have led a tough life, but he finds it hard to compose himself when he realizes part of his past can now be seen in theaters nationwide.
Molina spent several years in jail on federal drug trafficking charges, during which time he started writing the script that would become the basis of the new film I’m in Love with a Church Girl.
“What breaks me down is when I think back to those times .. that dark period of my life when it seemed like I as all alone … not to sound melodramatic,” Molina tells Breitbart News.
I’m in Love with a Church Girl stars Ja Rule as a fictionalized version of Molina. In the film, the rap star plays Miles, a gangster whose priorities change when he meets a beautiful, God-fearing woman (Adrienne Bailon) and starts to question his illegal ways.
Molina, who created the film alongside producing partner and Grammy winner Israel Houghton, says his legal team helped ensure his life story didn’t end up directly on the screen. The inspiration is clearly there, and Molina’s faith is unmistakably the project’s driving force.
The film may show Miles living in luxury for part of the film’s running time, but Molina says he made sure not to glamorize gangster perks.
“We wanted to be careful and not glorify some of the things that happen,” he says, something even great gangster movies have inadvertently accomplished. “People are intrigued with gangsters and the bad guys. You’re rooting for [Robert] De Niro in ‘Goodfellas.”
“In the music industry, you come with a lot of scars and baggage if you’ve been around long enough,” Molina says.
Molina never intended to write a book, let alone a film, when he first started pecking away on a typewriter during his prison stay. He just wanted something to help pass the time. He eventually shared what he wrote with his fellow inmates. They read chapter after chapter–he says even his “cellie” started bugging him for future installments by tapping on his bunk.
“They’re the most honest critics,” he says.
The film got an unlikely sports promotional boost thanks to appearances by gridiron greats Jerry Rice and Vernon Davis. Church Girl was shot in the Bay area, and a business connection Molina had with the stand-out players led to their appearance in the film.
Molina’s film arrives at a time when faith based projects, from The History Channel’s record smashing miniseries The Bible to the big budget Noah, are gaining momentum in Hollywood.
Houghton couldn’t agree more, and he thinks he knows why.
“It could very well be we’re at the threshold of another ‘Jesus Movement’ … we’ve been inundated with a lot of bad news, economic crashes, several wars, division in our government,” Houghton says. “Timing is everything.”