The new Left Behind movie is almost upon us, and I couldn’t be more excited! The subject matter makes for a great flick, and I’ve never seen a bad Nicolas Cage movie. I recently had the chance to participate in a teleconference about the new Left Behind movie, and what I heard really excited me. Before we get to that, here’s a look at the trailer.
The Left Behind Movie Isn’t What You Expect
As you can see from the trailer, the new Left Behind movie is more than just a representation of the Biblical end times. That’s just the backdrop of a story of people and what those people can do when they are forced to rise to the occasion. I think it’s going to be a great movie. Everyone participating in the teleconference had a ton of questions, so this post is quite a read. However, if you hang in there, you’ll see that it’s worth your time. Here’s a rundown of the awesome cast.
Nicolas Cage is Rayford Steele: Rayford Steele, pilot of PanCon flight 257, a man with a troubled marriage and a strained relationship with his daughter. As the world below collapses into crisis, he must find a way to get his damaged plane, his terrified passengers and his panicked crew back to safety.
Cassie Thomson is Chloe Steele: College sophomore Chloe Steele is devastated by the strained relationship between her parents Rayford and Irene, a divide caused by her mother’s newfound faith. But when millions of people suddenly vanish leaving the world in chaos, she must face the truth of her mother’s warning and risk everything to try and reunite her family.
Chad Michael Murray is Buck Williams: A well-known news correspondent, Cameron “Buck” Williams is trapped over the Atlantic on the flight piloted by Rayford Steele. When panic breaks out after the Rapture, he must deal with hysterical passengers and crew as they struggle to understand what has happened.
Nicky Whelan is Hattie Durham: A flight attendant assigned to PanCon 257, Hattie flirts with Ray and sees the trip as an opportunity to develop a more serious relationship. When the Rapture intervenes, she must suddenly face her worst fears and work with Buck and Ray to save the lives of everyone on board.
Lea Thompson is Irene Steele: Rayford’s wife, Irene Steele, desperately wants to communicate the truth of her Christian faith to her family, even though it causes a rift between them. A loving wife and mother, she fears for those she believes will remain after the Rapture.
Jordin Sparks is Shasta Carvell: The emotionally fragile wife of a football star, Shasta is travelling with her young daughter on Rayford’s flight to London. When her child vanishes in the Rapture, she struggles with a secret that threatens both her own life and the lives of the remaining passengers.
As you can see the new Left Behind movie sports a deep cast with some serious acting chops, and they are all chomping at the bit for the release of this movie.
What the Cast Had to Say
The cast of the new Left Behind movie is really excited about this project, and they had a lot to say when it came to answering our questions. I wish you could have heard them talk about the movie. You can feel their excitement for this project and what it means to them. Here’s some of what they said about the movie.
Moderator: Is there something that you think would be important for someone who watches this (Left Behind movie) to get out of it?
Answer: Well Hi, this is Nicolas Cage and I was just listening and I, I’d like to answer that question. I was very taken by the family dynamic that plays out in this script. And that’s what drew me to the project. That and an opportunity to work again with Vic Armstrong. I had a good rapport with him on another movie. So I felt that I could get to where I wanted to go with Captain Steele. Because this is, this is a person who is in an extraordinary situation and realizes really what his values are through the, he reaches a catharsis through the experience of this extraordinary flight that he’s on. And, gets back to the heart which is his relationship with his family, which is his relationship with “Chloe” his daughter which is so powerfully, she’s so powerful Cassi Thomson in the movie. And I think that that’s what I want, if there’s anything for me, I want that to come across that people realize, yeah we all make mistakes but in a moment of crisis what we really want, what we really go to, go back to is, the love we have for our families. And that’s what, that’s what pulled me in, into this, into this project. That, and also how you make such an extraordinary set of circumstances authentic and how do you make that real and that was a tremendous challenge for, for all the actors to, to play it almost Cinéma vérité that this is really happening and we’re really believing in this situation and it’s to, to convey that to the audience is the challenge. I’ve always been attracted to movies that aren’t afraid to venture into the unknown. City of Angels, movies that were knowing, movies that aren’t afraid to face the possibility of these extraordinary circumstances and, and the challenge of making that real.
Moderator: I think the first thing Cassi we’d love to hear from you is just your just basic thoughts on the film and you know what really attracted you to this script? And what’s something just specific about it that made you want to be involved in LEFT BEHIND?
Answer: Well when I read the script it was just, you know, as Vic said it was very much character-driven which is something you don’t really see that often in a movie that does have so much action involved. And it also is a very strong female character which there unfortunately aren’t that many of, nowadays. So, when I read it, I mean I honestly thought I would never, I would never book it. Just because I, I you know, I’m not a big A-Lister name. I’m, I’m, I have been working for a long time but I, you know I just assumed I would never get this opportunity. But still, I, you know I put a lot of work in, and I sent in tapes, and then I auditioned. And, luckily they, you know, they gave me a chance to be a part of something that was one of, really the most memorable times of my life. And, you know, I had always wanted to do a film like this. And it just, it was great. I mean Vic was great. Nic, Nic, Nicolas Cage was great. All the producers were amazing. It really was, when they say it was a dream team it really was on all, on all ends. It’s very rare that you get to work for producers that you love so much and a director that allows you to be so free, and, and Vic and I have become really close. I just did another film with him. And he, he’s just one of those directors that you want, that you want. You want them on set because they do allow you to be free. And they allow you to experience your character. And let you really be the actor that, that you want to be but they’re also there with all the support, and trust, and he was just amazing. Everybody was really amazing to work with.
Chad Michael Murray
Unfortunately, Chad Michael Murray couldn’t attend the call, but I put his pic in here, because I know the ladies love him. =D
Moderator: You play a very pivotal and very important role in this movie. Maybe just start out just diving right in and telling us about your character (laughing).
Answer: Yea, usually you know, as Cassi has mentioned when I read the script it is a very character-driving script as well as extremely action-packed. But the particular thing you don’t really know a lot about Hattie when she sort of comes in, and she’s quite (laughing) promiscuous. Like we had this fabulous opening scene which we loved to shoot, Vic if you remember with the lipstick and the car and the whole setup and immediately off the bat from seeing Hattie, you say that there’s something going on with her and “Ray”. I think Hattie seems to be at the beginning a very basic character that’s quite immersed in the world of being an air hostess. She loves her job, that’s all she knows, you know. She sort of dresses up for work, it’s a whole production and obviously she’s got something going on, or hopes to have something going on with the captain, played by Nicolas Cage. And I think the beautiful thing about this character is, you know, you want to hate her. She’s a little bit promiscuous. She’s sort of going against the all the rules. It’s clearly obvious why she doesn’t get taken, (laughing) in the rapture. However, me and Vic did discuss, you know, about making this character as human as possible in the sense that you know, throughout the movie these, the rapture occurs and we’re on a plane and you know, you don’t think much of her. She seems to be this quiet, you know, naughty air hostess, mincing about, flirting with the captain. And she becomes quite real and quite human and, and, and I think hopefully quite like likeable by the end of the movie, when you see how she decides to deal with things that happen on the plane. You know, she finds out, I don’t know if I’m aloud to say this. She finds out that Nicolas is married and so she’s been, not only has she been betrayed by someone that she’s, you know planning on spending some time with and hopefully developing a relationship with. The world’s half-ending in a sense. (laughing) And she’s in a plane so there’s a lot taking place and she’s got to keep that as human as possible, and it was a journey that me and Vic discussed and we went on together and as Cassi also mentioned that Vic gave us a great deal of freedom on set to sort of play it how we would. And I remember the very first thing I had to shoot was me coming in hysterical and losing my mind. It was quite a challenge I’ve got to be honest because, there was nothing to sort of build from or anywhere to go from and we really had to be careful with Hattie. I don’t know, I hadn’t read the books before I had started filming. I wasn’t familiar with this story. I just read this cool action-packed movie with great cast in it, and then sort of learned more about it as I got more involved. But, you know it’s, it’s hard playing, as Vic said, and what I think the (inaudible) done a really good job of in this movie is, not only telling a story that rings true to a lot of people but also making a great action film. And I think we’ve managed to balance both out and I, if we go on to make, you know two and three of this movie my character gets (laughing) really interesting, so I find her, I find her a lot of fun to play and I was really embraced in this, Cassi and the girls had mentioned, it was a journey down there in Baton Rouge and we had an incredible team of people working together under strange circumstances, and really trying to make it come to life and as, as real as possible in such a crazy scenario, so.
Moderator: I want to ask you is regarding the book series if you had been familiar with the books or you knew of them before you were part of this movie or kind of what your main motivation for being in this film was and kind of where your heart behind this is?
Answer: Ok, yeah, Hi Everyone. It’s been really exciting to be a part of this because like you said about the books, when I was younger, all the LEFT BEHIND books came out and then they released a teen series of the books for the younger kids that you know couldn’t read 500 page books, fast enough. So I read this teen series growing up and I just remember being, you know, so affected by the thought of Wow, what if, what if my closest friends just disappeared one day. What if they just weren’t here. Or my closest family members or you know, anything like that and it was just really interesting and as a kid that’s definitely very scary. It’s something that’s like, “Ah well,” Ok that’s very scary it’s just in a book but you know, when you read the bible and you, you take those things to be truth, you know it is definitely something that you can think of and go Wow, that, that could actually happen. My motivation for being in the movie was definitely, I was so excited because I had read the books. And, I was like, you know it would be really fun to be a part of this film because they had described it as something more action and it was definitely, in the beginning of the books, you know the plane is where the book starts. And there’s a whole other story after that, so it’s really fun to be able to see these characters that you might not have been introduced to in the actual books because you’re exploring the people that are on the plane. You’re figuring out their fears, how scared they are, what they’re going through. You look at them sort of like, Ok well I was just on a plane the other day. What would happen if that happened to me on the plane that I was just on. You know, you kind of start to put yourself in those situations. And, so I was very excited to be a part of it, to be like OK this is a character that might not be in the book but you know, she’s got a valid part, so “Shasta” is a mother and her back-story is, is, you know kind of came up with that she’s getting on the plane with her daughter, trying to take her daughter to a safer place in her head that’s what she thinks she’s doing. She’s trying to take her away because of what she’s going through with her husband, her ex-husband, we haven’t really decided that. Is that, you know they’re not going through great things at the moment so she’s taking her daughter and she’s just very weary of everybody on the plane. She’s very, I don’t know, she’s very, I feel like she kind of thinks everything is a conspiracy, that everyone’s out to get her, so she, you know, has her daughter on the plane and she wakes up after taking a nap and her daughter’s gone. And it was really interesting for me because, I was like, I’ve never played a mother before. I don’t have kids myself, what would I do if somebody that I could equate to the little, the little girl who was absolutely incredible, she’s so cute. Her name is Kam, Hi Kam! Hopefully she’ll see this. She was so adorable and I, I just was trying to equate like who would I just be completely devastated, shocked, to see isn’t there anymore. Not because they left of their own accord but because they were taken. And it was very interesting to have to reach deep-down. I remember at one point we were shooting my scene and I was so, I was so overwhelmed and nervous because I kept forgetting my lines when we were practicing and rehearsing and everybody was so great trying to calm me down but I was so nervous because my character was literally in hysterics. She’s sobbing, she thinks that, you know, everybody has been a part of it and aren’t telling her and I remember standing there we got the lines out but I remember being so deep into that scene that I literally could not stop myself and bring myself out of that base for about 20 minutes after the scene was shot. And it was just really interesting. I grew so much as a person in how I was relating to her, how I wasn’t like her, you know and just being in the situation with all the amazing actors on the plane in the first class cabin, I will say. It was just very, it was a very interesting and amazing experience to be able to dive that deep into a character.
The Left Behind Movie is as Deep as the Stars’ Answers
As you can see, the new Left Behind movie has a lot to offer, and the stars had a lot to say about it. The reason I’m so excited about the Left Behind movies is that it’s so much more than a Biblically themed movie. Those movies are fine. There’s nothing wrong with them. They just don’t connect with some people. Left Behind is great because it can connect with both believers and non-believers. It’s a story of the Rapture, but it’s also a story of what people can do when they are faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. Do yourself a favor and check it out! I know I’m going to be watching!