Kevin Sizemore is a very distinguished actor, to say the least. He’s played in a variety of faith-based films, including Woodlawn with Academy Award winner Jon Voight, Miracles From Heaven with Jennifer Garner, Believe, which he also produced, and most recently The Case For Christ opposite Mike Vogel and Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway.
He has been incredibly consistent throughout his entire career, delivering solid performances in every project he’s been involved in. Sizemore is also a dedicated Christian, which is apparent through his actions and lifestyle. With the critically acclaimed The Case for Christ now in theaters, as well as the recent DVD release of his holiday film Believe, Secondly Magazine caught up with Kevin Sizemore to talk about his latest projects.
Secondly Magazine: Can you tell us a little about your new film Believe, that just came out on DVD and VOD April 11th?
Kevin Sizemore: It’s about a small-town business owner (Ryan O’Quinn) who tries to save the local Christmas pageant to make the wishes of his new friend (Issac Ryan Brown) come true while dealing with a town who has turned on him for making poor decisions with his business. My character, Albert Bagley, is the accountant for the company Matthew Peyton (O’Quinn) runs, and it comes to the surface that I’m doing a few illegal things that he doesn’t know about. This film was written and directed by Billy Dickson and also stars, Shawnee Smith, Danielle Nicolet and David DeLuise. After our theatrical run last October, Believe landed on DVD and VOD with Sony and Smith Global Media.
SM: What universal themes are presented throughout the film? Why do you think the message is so important in today’s culture?
KS: It’s one of those films that will challenge you to think about your own life and how you handle situations, and hopefully, after seeing it, make you a want to be a better person. Our goal is that it lives in homes and will be a holiday tradition every year.
SM: Since you acted and also were one of the producers on Believe, what were some major challenges you and your team faced while making the film? How did you overcome these challenges?
KS: The main challenge when shooting on location is being able to control the environment… which you seldom can. The first night of filming, after having an extensive set up for the car fire, we had to shut it down due to the massive wind storms happening. We wound up having to pick that day up at the end of the shoot, so it all worked out great.
SM: How did you mentally prepare for your acting role in the more emotional scenes?
KS: Believe it or not, playing the guy everyone hates can actually be fun! To get into character for those intense scenes, I just had to think about what “Albert” would do if he’s desperate and has to have this. When a person puts money above everything else, they tend to do things that are usually out of character.
SM: Was there any specific moment where you could clearly see God’s hand at work in the production of the film?
KS: Keeping people sane through the filming process is always one of them. I think seeing a film going into production from day one and then being in 650 theaters in less than nine months definitely involved some divine intervention. During the making of this film, we had many hurdles to overcome. But knowing that the film itself impacted so many people in a such a positive way was the ultimate effect we were going for. As a filmmaker, that’s the rainbow at the end of the rainstorm.
SM: You have acted in quite a few quality faith-based films over the years. What draws you to movies like these?
KS: When I was about to leave the business during the Screen Actors Guild strike about 10 years ago, my wife convinced me to stay the course and not give up. The first job I was offered when I decided to get back on the saddle was the role of Jesus in a film called Good Friday. Ever since then, they kind of just found me! My criteria is that the story is honest and has a great message. If they have those, then I’m grateful to be part of them.
SM: Do you plan on starring in more faith-based movies in the future?
KS: I plan to do good films that move me. I really enjoy films that the entire family can watch and are layered with faith, rather than a movie that is very heavy-handed with faith and not realistic. The quality of the work is my most important goal. If the quality isn’t good (weak writing, poor casting choices, no direction etc) then I would rather pass and wait for one that is solid and one that I know I can proud to be a part of.
SM: Let’s talk about your involvement in the new movie The Case for Christ, where you play Dr. Gary Habermas. Can you explain your role in the film? Dr. Habermas is a distinguished professor of Apologetics and
KS: Dr. Habermas is a distinguished professor of Apologetics and Philosophy currently at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. He’s a very intelligent man who’s co-authored 35 books on religious and philosophical subjects. I wanted to approach this character as honestly as I could within the time frame given for this role (2 days) before shooting. The most difficult part was that I don’t speak the way Dr. Habermas speaks on a regular basis.
The dialogue that author Brian Bird (When Calls the Heart) wrote when adapting the book took some time for me to adjust to… I found it very interesting. Each time Dr. Habermas is faced with an objection, he has a comeback for why Jesus is real. This is one of the main reasons why Lee Strobel makes the decision to believe. Jon Gunn directed the film and it was great getting to work with him, seeing his vision for the film. Dea Vise, Billy DaMotta, and Mark Fincannon served as the casting team for this one. Once again they nailed it. Pure Flix and Triple Horse Studios produced. Another film we did coming out the summer is Sweet Sweet Summertime.
SM: What kind of audience do you hope will attend The Case for Christ?
KS: I always hope that the secular audience will get out something from a film like C4C. When you have the opportunity to cross over to the secular audience, I think it’s important to take that challenge. The Christian audience will attend the films that are out because they know it’s good family entertainment, but if we don’t market to the audience outside the Christian market, I think we do the Christian film market a disservice. Most people won’t go see a “CHRISTIAN FILM” because they think the quality isn’t as good or it’s too preachy. I never do a film hoping only one group of people show up. I want to see them all show up. If people go to see just a “GOOD FILM” instead of the label of a Christian film, I think it can go a lot further. Good movies with a faith element to them that is realistic are films I love to see.
SM: Can you share your faith with us? What does your relationship with God look like?
KS: I’m a Christian and I think that came from my Grandma Brown. I use to attend church with her on occasion back in my home state of WV. As I grew older, I realized that God is with us along the way and there for us, but we all have the opportunity to join or flee and make a mess of things. Every Friday for the last 5 years, (unless I’m working or on location) I’m with the same group of guys for a men’s Bible Study. The group itself has been together for over 20 yrs. I’m fortunate to wake up everyday healthy surrounded by my wife Gina and our son Gunnar. We as a unit are what is important to me when it’s all said and done. God has blessed me many times over and I don’t want to let him down.
SM: What are you working on now?
KS: I’m currently shooting the film Reach about a suicidal teen entering his senior year of high school. I play the alcoholic father of Nick (Jordan Doww) who has recently been released from the police force and dealing with his own issues. It’s a very heavy story about choices in life people have to make and the circumstances that face them when they are right or sometimes wrong.
To stay up-to-date with Kevin Sizemore, visit his IMDB page.