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Actors' Stories

As a church volunteer, serving in any capacity is often done behind the scenes. That was the case for most of the 1,200 volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church that helped in the making of FIREPROOF.

For the actors and actresses, however, their volunteer service was seen on big screens around the country. Now, with the release of the DVD, we've asked some of them for their thoughts about the experience of FIREPROOF.

Click on the name to read a Question and Answer with them.


alex Q&A with Alex Kendrick (Director, Co-Writer)

Q: What is keeping you occupied these days?
Alex Kendrick:
I'm pouring time back into my family after an extremely busy 2008 year. I'm looking forward to another film, but not before we renew our family time and season of prayer.

Q: Have you had a chance to sit back and think about all that has happened since you wrote the script two years ago?
A:
Yes. It still amazes me that God has impacted so many lives, but I am grateful that He allowed us to be a part of the journey.

Q: What are your thoughts about the impact that FIREPROOF has had since its release?
A:
There's not a day that goes by that we don't hear testimonies from viewers who have been changed by the story. Hearing how the Lord has transformed marriages never gets old!

Q: You also wrote The Love Dare. Have you been surprised by the book's impact?
A:
It has done ten times what we expected. God's still in the duplication business when it comes to taking our meager efforts and multiplying the impact.

Q: What is one of your favorite stories about the impact of the movie or the book?
A:
One man went through the Love Dare THREE times before his wife allowed her heart to soften again. They've renewed their vows and begun a new chapter in their marriage. That's an incredible husband!

Q: What is something you like to share with people when they talk to you about the movie?
A:
That God is still resurrecting dead things and bringing new life to them.

Q: What is your favorite scene from the movie?
A:
I have several: the train scene, the hot sauce, the cross, and the apology scene. The ending in the fire station bay isn't bad either.

Q: What's your favorite Bonus Feature on the DVD?
A:
Fireproof in 60, and the behind the scenes of how a church made a movie.

Q:How did the idea for FP in 60 come about?
A:
We always want to add something to our DVDs that the audience hasn't seen before. Before we started shooting, I thought it would be hilarious to watch a short version of the film, with abbreviated dialogue. Since it seems to have hit everyone's funny bone, we might do it next time as well.

Q: How do you hope the DVD will impact marriages moving forward?
A:
I pray for a cultural shift in how marriage is viewed. It's best lived on God's principles, and is definitely worth fighting for!

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erin Q&A with Erin Bethea (Catherine Holt)

Q: What are you doing these days?
Erin Bethea:
I am still at Walt Disney World in Orlando, doing a job I always dreamed of doing and loving it. I am also doing a television show that will be airing on FamNet on Saturday nights. The show is called OMX and is being produced by the North American Mission Board. I am particularly proud of this show because it is centered around individuals, missionaries, and church groups in North America that are doing some really incredible things to reach their communities for Christ. Also, because of FIREPROOF, I have had the great privilege of speaking at several churches across America addressing women's conferences, youth, and entire congregations. It's been an incredible journey!

Q: What was it like for you the first time you saw the movie on the big screen? What was the audience's reaction?
A:
It was terrifying ... exhilarating but terrifying. I think it's hard for a lot of actors to watch themselves, and it was definitely hard for me. The first time I was able to see it with a real audience, however, was incredible. They laughed and cried in all the right places. They left talking about how the film was going to change so many lives. It just helped me realize that, although I am an actress who is hoping to continue with this career, this particular film was not about my acting career, it was about something so much bigger. It was a film that touched people. That's the kind of work I think all actors want to do, and I got to do it the first time out! Praise God! Although, I still can never get over seeing the apology scene where I have no makeup on and my head is so HUGE! That scene still scares me.

Q: What is one of your favorite stories about the impact of the movie?
A:
I got an email from a girl about my age who told me that she was single, like me. She went to see FIREPROOF thinking there probably wouldn't be much in it for her since it was about marriage, but she wanted to support a good Christian film. As she sat and watched the story unfold, she said she began to see in Caleb and Catherine's relationship a reflection of her own relationship with God. She said she had become a Christian at a young age, but since then had "taken off her wedding ring," so to speak, and lived life her own way. As she saw the re-commitment Caleb makes to Catherine in the film, she realized she needed to re-commit her relationship with Christ. She told me at the end of the email that she had purchased a copy of The Love Dare and was committing for the next forty days to do The Love Dare to God. What an incredible story. I was so blessed that she felt led to share that with me because I was also single and a part of the film that had inspired her. There are so many great stories to choose from, I wish I could share them all.

Q: What is something you like to share with people when they talk to you about the movie?
A:
Well, first of all they all want to know what it was like to work with Kirk ... and, yes, he was great to work with and he's a very nice guy. But I really enjoy sharing several things. I love talking about watching so many prayers answered on a daily basis. I love talking about the sweet women who would pin pieces of paper with Scripture or notes of encouragement to pieces of my wardrobe so that I would find them when I was getting ready for a scene. I love talking about all of our volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes, and our great professional crew who made us look better than we are. There are so many incredible things to share about working on a movie like this. It's always a pleasure when people want to know more.

Q: Since the movie was filmed, how have you seen God's hand at work in your life?
A:
Wow, God has been so faithful. I think one of the greatest lessons He has taught me during and since the filming is that He is so unbelievably trustworthy. I have learned that when I trust Him with every area of my life, He runs it much better than I could! Since the filming of FIREPROOF, I have seen so many of my personal dreams come true. So many incredible opportunities have come my way. And all because I trusted Him, did what He asked me to do by being a part of FIREPROOF and the rest followed. I think everyone hopes to be a part of something bigger than themselves. To see how the movie is changing lives and marriages everywhere has been so exciting and so humbling. I look forward to what else God has for me and what He will continue to do through the film.

Q: How do you hope the DVD will impact marriages?
A:
I believe having the movie available in a format that is so easily accessible will be very impactful. Sending FIREPROOF as a gift to someone who might be struggling will be a thoughtful way to help and show people you care. Being able to give it away or recommend it to anyone who needs the message will make it a great tool. Also, I believe that as relationships grow, change and face new challenges, they will also continually find something to learn from in the message of FIREPROOF. Having the DVD in your home as a constant reminder of your marriage commitment alone will be great for so many.

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ken Q&A with Ken Bevel (Lt. Michael Simmons)

Q: What are you doing these days?
Ken Bevel:
I'm a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. I work as a Logistics Officer and I am currently stationed at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia. My job consists of logistics planning and assisting in providing logistics solutions for Marine Corps forces operating in garrison and combat environments. When not at work, I am committed to the first ministry God has given me, my family. My wife and I, with our daughter Kyra, have been spending plenty of family time and enjoying each other. Our love and commitment to family is consistently drawing us closer together to create unbreakable relationships. That's the goal! When not a home, I'm actively involved at Sherwood Baptist Church in our Cornerstone Sunday School Class, Music Ministry, and Serving Our Savior (SOS) Ministry. God is allowing the ministry at Sherwood to grow spiritually at an unbelievable rate, so I want to ensure I am giving my all to further the gospel.


Q: What was it like for you the first time you saw the movie on the big screen? What was the audience's reaction? What was it like seeing yourself on the big screen?
A:
My first opportunity to see the movie on the big screen was few days after I returned from a deployment. My wife and I had been apart for six months, so to see a movie that emphasizes the importance of marriage and sacrifice was a refresher for our relationship. We enjoyed every minute of FIREPROOF. The movie ministers to marriages and relationships while also tackling the tough issues (such as unforgiveness, selfishness, pornography). When I watch the movie, I often look at others to see their expressions. I can almost see people picturing themselves in the scenes or putting themselves in the place of the characters. As a result, lives are being changed.

The first opportunity to see myself on the movie screen was very humbling. Just to know that out of the millions of Christians God could have chosen, the God of the universe decided to use Ken Bevel and 1,200 volunteers from Sherwood to present the Gospel to the world. To me that is amazing! Amazing because it demonstrates His ability to use anyone to reach everyone! Each time I see the movie, I regard it as a privilege and an honor to be used as a tool for God's glory.


Q: What is one of the favorite stories someone has shared with you about the impact of the movie on their life?
A:
There are so many phenomenal stories posted on the FIREPROOF website about how the movie has impacted lives. The story that moved me the most was from a couple on the brink of divorce. The husband and wife had both given up on the idea of being married, but decided to go to the movies before the divorce papers were finalized. The couple saw their lives begin to unfold on the screen. They cried, held hands and exactly two hours later decided to recommit their marriage to the Lord. How is that for a counseling session? What an awesome testimony!


Q: What is something you like to share with people when they talk to you about the movie?
A:
The first thing I like to share with people is "there is nothing special about Ken Bevel, but Christ living in me" (Galatians 2:20). My responsibility is to point people to the cross and let them know that it was God's power working through me to realistically portray the character Michael. As a result, I pray others will look to God for strength to go beyond their expectations. The second thing I like to tell people is that "marriage is honorable" (Hebrews 13:4). Our society is attempting to shape marriage into nothing more than a casual relationship. I want people to realize that the union between a man and woman is honorable, pleasing to God, and worth fighting for.


Q: Since the movie was filmed, how have you seen God's hand at work in your life?
A:
I have seen God move in a number of ways in my own life. Of those, the most important is the continued emphasis on sacrifice in marriage. I am a very active person who loves to help others! Oftentimes, I would go the extra mile to ensure all others were satisfied, but my wife would get the leftovers. At the time, I didn't feel it was wrong because after all, I was helping others; but God's Word has consistently convicted me and reminded me of my responsibilities in marriage and the sacrifices that must be made to ensure my wife has everything she needs physically and spiritually. Without this awareness, my life was out of balance. So after God reminded me of this through His Word, I have been able to pursue my wife's heart and experience God's hand as He matures our relationship.


Q: How do you hope the DVD will impact marriages?
A:
I pray that when unsaved couples and singles see FIREPROOF they will desire a closer relationship and commit themselves to the Lord. I pray that when saved couples and singles see FIREPROOF, they will rekindle the flames of marriage, recommit their marriages to the Lord, and become a Godly example for other couples. If these things are accomplished, we will continue to see more stable families, healthy relationships, and the world being impacted with the gospel from Albany, Georgia!

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stephenQ&A with Stephen Dervan (Wayne Floyd)

Q: What are you doing these days?
Stephen Dervan:
I serve Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett. Tennessee as Associate Pastor to Students. Yes, Wayne Floyd is an ordained minister and works with students. Crazy right? My wife Becca and I have two sons, Cade is 4 and Cole will be 3 in March. We live just outside of Memphis and love it.

Q: What was it like for you the first time you saw the movie on the big screen? What was the audience's reaction? What was it like seeing yourself on the big screen?
A:
Have you ever had that dream that you go to school or work in nothing but your underroos? Yeah, that's what it was like for me. Combine all of life's most fear filled moments and wrap them up tightly in a nice soft tortilla and that was what I bit into that night. It was so weird, but gratifying at the same time because of all the hard work that all of the volunteers put into the film. It was great to see how it was all put together and sense God's hand on it. When I was waiting on my first funny scene to come up, I wanted to excuse myself from the theater because I was scared that no one was going to laugh. I feared they would look at each other and laugh "at me," not with me. Then when it happened and the whole audience was laughing, I was like, "You like me, you really like me!" (I'm just kidding.) It was great and I laughed at the people laughing at me.

Q: What is one of the favorite stories someone has shared with you about the impact of the movie on their life?
A:
I had students from my ministry ask me all the time to go see it with them. So after seeing it for eighth time, I had a couple stop me in the theater. They were very close, arm in arm. They told me that they were about to get a divorce and he had already moved out when mutual friends bought them tickets for the opening weekend and in a last-ditch effort to shut their friends up, they went. They told me that the movie changed their views on roles in a relationship, their focus, attitudes, and basically their lives. They renewed their vows and had seen the film three times. They thanked me and walked off holding hands. It was terrific! I have had numerous people stop me and tell similar stories of how God has used it in their lives.

Q: What is something you like to share with people when they talk to you about the movie?
A:
I love talking about all the volunteers and their hearts to serve. I love to talk about how the older man in the middle of Sasser, Georgia had a forklift that we so desperately needed for the train scene. I love telling people about how God is using Sherwood Baptist Church to touch the whole world with the Gospel.

Q: What are you asked most about FIREPROOF?
A:
People ask me the same three questions almost everywhere I go:
1. Did you really drink hot sauce?
2. What's Kirk Cameron like?
3. How much did you get paid for the movie?

Q: Since the movie was filmed, how have you seen God's hand at work in your life?
A:
God has given Becca and me a renewed commitment to each other and the children that God has blessed us with. For New Year's, I was in Gatlinburg with a group of high school students and 6,500 other people for a three-day conference. I was stopped all the time and took pictures with so many awesome people. I was able to love on people and share how great our God is and how He continues to use the film. He has increased greatly the platform that I get to stand on to proclaim Him.

Q: How do you hope the FIREPROOF DVD will impact marriages?
A:
I pray that the DVD will find its way into every home in America and that it will be a movie that gets passed around between friends and neighbors. I believe that God is going to continue to use this film for years and years to come. I am so grateful that I was allowed to take part!

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harrisQ&A with Harris Malcom (John Holt)

Q: What are you doing these days?
Harris Malcom:
I serve as a Ministry Resource Consultant for the Baptist Convention of the state of Georgia; I'm assigned to Southwest Georgia. I provide consultation, leadership, and support to the churches in my region.

Q: What was it like the first time you saw the movie on the big screen?
A:
It was interesting seeing the entire project complete and together, getting to watch as the story unfolded.

Q: What was the audience's reaction?
A:
The first time I saw the movie was with the Sherwood family and that was exciting because everyone there knew everyone on the screen. It was exciting to see the church celebrate. I have seen the movie about a dozen times including screenings and church events. The reactions have varied and the places in the movie that people react have been varied. I have seen men cry and people just sit and wait when the movie is over.

Q: What was it like seeing yourself on the big screen?
A:
Surreal. It is still strange. We are honored and humbled to have been a part. The amazing thing about the movie is that I have preached the gospel for over 30 years, but through FIREPROOF, I have already shared with more people in a few months than in all 30 previous years. That is truly exponential. I am awed and humbled by what He is doing.

Q: What is one of your favorite stories about the impact of the movie?
A:
We were worshiping at a church one evening and the pastor recognized us as being present and our parts in the movie. This man came and said, "Thank you, my wife and I are back in church because of FIREPROOF." I heard of one couple that had been separated for a year, and divorce papers had been filed. He had returned to his home church. Both churches took groups on the same night to see FIREPROOF. Both the husband and wife were in the theater with their respective churches. Following the movie, they met, talked, and the next morning they called their lawyers and told them that they were no longer needed. The couple is in counseling.

Q: What is something you like to share with people when they talk to you about the movie?
A:
You can have all the stuff and success in the world, but without Jesus you have nothing. The world will tell you to follow your heart, but the Word of God tells us to lead our hearts.

Q: Since the movie was filmed, how have you seen God's hand at work in your life?
A:
It has definitely been a challenge. When you are placed in this position, you have both a privilege and a responsibility. It was a privilege to be a part of FIREPROOF and the responsibility goes beyond what we even realize now.

Q: How do you hope the DVD will impact marriages?
A:
I hope counselors will use it as a resource tool. I pray that churches will use it and follow up with small group studies to strengthen marriages.

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