When Hollywood filmmakers flooded Jackson, Mississippi, to make the movie, “Same Kind of Different as Me,” they made a noble decision: rather than swoop in, film and then leave, they wanted to make a lasting impact on a beleaguered area.
It all started when those behind the movie were preparing the set. Considering that the film centers on a real-life, unlikely bond that formed between a homeless man and an art dealer and his wife, the filmmakers needed to create a homeless shelter set.
But producer and writer Alexander Foard and director Michael Carney both said that something fascinating happened when they went out to scout a potential location: a local pastor unexpectedly arrived at the very same time as they did, and when they told him what they were doing, the preacher was mesmerized.
At that moment, a partnership was born, with the Hollywood film crew committing to rebuild and fix an actual homeless shelter rather than construct a fake set, and to subsequently leave it behind so that the community would benefit in a lasting way.
“We actually started looking for practical locations that we actually could invest money that we were going to spend building out into a building that we actually could leave there … to help build out a facility … [and] leave a homeless shelter in tact,” Carney said in a behind-the-scenes video.
Foard added that there were so many “miracle moments” during the movie-making process, including their chance encounter with the pastor.
“It was just a miracle,” he said. “We are in the right place at the right time.”
Watch Foard and Carney discuss this effort below:
And here are some comments from actress Renee Zellweger discussing what she loves most about “Same Kind of Different As Me,” which releases on Feb. 20 on DVD:
Here’s a synopsis of the movie:
From the New York Times bestseller comes an inspirational true story that “embraces the beauty of the human spirit”.1 Successful art dealer Ron Hall (Academy Award® nominee GREG KINNEAR*) and his wife Debbie (Academy Award® winner RENÉE ZELLWEGER**) seemingly have the perfect life. But when their faith and family are tested, an unlikely bond with a homeless drifter (Academy Award® nominee DJIMON HOUNSOU†) leads them on a remarkable journey that forges an everlasting friendship. Hailed by critics as “powerful and inspiring”,2 Same Kind of Different As Me shows how a simple act of kindness can change everything.
The filmmakers also discussed what it was like to work with Zellweger: