To many, faith seems incompatible with the Hollywood lifestyle. Some have even wondered if celebrities have been “blacklisted” because of their religious convictions.
Gianna Simone, who plays a supporting role in the new movie, “Unbroken: Path to Redemption,” which chronicles World War II veteran Louis Zamperini’s harrowing faith journey, told Faithwire she’s just not convinced Tinseltown ostracizes actors because of their beliefs.
“I think now, in the times that we live in, we march to the beat of our own drum,” Simone said during the new movie’s red carpet premiere Thursday. “If somebody blacklists you … then what’s wrong with Hollywood?”
She went on to say movie stars shouldn’t be “blacklisted” for participating in films that are “bringing goodness to people, that’s bringing hope, … bringing encouragement.” Simone, a professing Christian, said such projects should be “embraced” by her fellow celebrities.
The actress, known also for her roles in “Mother’s Day” and “God’s Not Dead 2,” pointed to the fact that actor Dennis Quaid recently starred alongside her in “I Can Only Imagine,” a movie that told the backstory behind the writing of the popular Christian ballad by the same name.
The 28-year-old “Unbroken” star said Quaid “brought his talent and grace to the screen” during the filming of “I Can Only Imagine” and remains one of the entertainment industry’s biggest celebrities.
“I don’t think people get blacklisted anymore, especially for good things,” she said.
As for how she landed her gigs with Pure Flix, Simone said Thursday she reached out to the faith-based movie production house, expressing interest in working on Christian films. She was a fan of the first “God’s Not Dead” movie and wanted to have a role in the 2016 sequel.
Simone even encouraged viewers who aren’t Christians to see movies like “Unbroken,” which is also a Pure Flix project, arguing that their uplifting messages should encourage all people, regardless of their religious beliefs.
“If you want to get up and feel good, then come and watch this movie, whether you believe in God or not,” she said. “If you want to feel good and be inspired, that’s what it’s going to give you. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to get up and feel good in the morning.”
“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” premieres nationwide on Sept. 14.