DeVon Franklin recently gave BOSSIP exclusive deets on his feature film debut while weighing on a spiritual leader’s viral comments about Beyoncè.
Franklin is one of the stars of Jesus Revolution, a movie set in the late 1960s and 1970s that tells the real-life story of Pastor Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammar), and charismatic street-preacher Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie) who witnessed and personally took part in the spiritual awakening of the hippies.
Not necessarily a faith-based movie, Jesus Revolution is a detailed account of faith and revival via a history-making counterculture crusade that will surely grab audiences’ attention with its comical moments and relatable scenes surrounding young people and religion.
During Jesus Revolution’s Hollywood premiere, the cast and crew posed for photos…
and reflected to BOSSIP about the movie’s message.
“I feel like when I researched the story, the reason why I kept wanting to get the film is made is that we’re at such a similar time in our nation’s history,” said Director Jon Erwin whose been working on Jesus Revolution for seven years.”The word despair came up a lot, the word desperation came up a lot, and this sort of sweeping movement of love really swept across the country like a tidal wave. My feelings might be optimistic but I feel like this Jesus Movement could happen again,” he added. “We need it. We need to know we can love each other despite our differences.”
“I think it was a period of time where there was desperation,” said producer Andrew Erwin about the real-life Jesus Movement. “There was so much unrest, it was the most divided the film had been up to that point. “I think we’re feeling a lot of that right now. It was a period of time when there were a lot of assassinations; Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy—his brother Bobby, and then they had a lot of riots. There were all these things happening and people were craving hope and there was a group of people who didn’t feel seen, they felt marginalized.
“And in the midst of that, these hippies had been sold a bill of goods that it was going to be LSD that would unlock their mind [and] the bottom dropped out and they were hopeless,” added Erwin.
“Then all of a sudden they experience this authentic pure Christianity. It was a period of time where Christianity was overt and it was counterculture. It was for the ostracized, the outsiders and the marginalized and it was a period of time when it was its most rebellious and most pure.”
“One of my favorite lines in the movie is ‘my people are seeking truth but just in all the wrong places’, and man, how true does that ring today,” said producer Kevin James.
“There are so many ways we can get lost in things that we think are bringing truth in our life but they’re [actually] just tearing us down as a society, a family a community. I think Pastors are getting excited about the film because they see themselves in the film, they see some of the flaws that they may be experiencing in their life, in their church, and in their community, and I’ve had a lot of them tell me,’this inspired me!'”he added.
“That’s what we want. We’re all human but if we can recognize that and understand how to fix that then I think we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”
Speaking of Pastors, one of the film’s stars is a Pastor who gave BOSSIP his insight on his character transformation, before weighing in on a current trending topic.
Pastor DeVon Franklin Speaks On ‘Jesus Revolution’ & Tiphani Montgomery’s Controversial Beyoncé Comments
Jesus Revolution is marking the feature film debut of Pastor DeVon Franklin who plays Josiah, a TIME Magazine reporter who learns about hippies finding faith in the Jesus Movement and is blown away.
Franklin told BOSSIP’s Managing Editor Dani Canada that in order to play this role he worked with an acting coach, wrote his own character bio, and studied Black journalists to bring Josiah to life.
“I wanted to not embarrass the movie and definitely not embarrass myself,” said Franklin.
He also shared that he could see a revolution like this happening again but it wouldn’t be “digitized” and instead would be reflected in people’s lives.
Elsewhere in the chat, Franklin who’s producing Fox searchlight’s feature film FLAMIN’ HOT that details the story of Frito-Lay janitor Richard Montañez who took inspiration from his Mexican American heritage to develop Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, weighed in on a recent viral headline surrounding Beyoncé.
Earlier this month Prophetess Tiphani Montgomery sparked debate after she likened Beyoncé to a “witch holding covens” and rebuked Christians buying Renaissance tour tickets.
“When a witch has a coven it’s normally a small thing. Witch’s covens are normally three to seven people,” said Montgomery who Beyoncè fans quickly attacked. “When it becomes thousands it’s called a hive. Y’all a part of that lady Beyhive? And you call yourself a Christian?!”
According to Pastor Franklin, however, both Montgomery and Beyoncé deserve grace.
“We are all children of God,” said Franklin to BOSSIP. “Beyoncé is a child of God, before we publicly comment and try to say who she is; why don’t you ask her? Why do we have judgement? Why don’t you ask her?”
“I think we have to go to a place of love and acceptance,” he added. “In the church too often we try to regulate. ‘Here’s how it needs to be!’ if you’re not this, then we make a judgement. When you go back to the movie, Josiah came with curiousity. I wish we would search with understanding instead of leading with judgement. Beyoncé is a child of God, as is the minister who said that.”
Near the close of the interview, Dani and Franklin played a quick game of “WWDD [What Would DeVon Do]” to give readers insight into how the producer, author, and motivational speaker would react in certain situations.
According to Franklin, if he caught a friend watching Jesus Revolution on bootleg, he wouldn’t chastise them because of the film’s powerful message and instead would sit down to watch too.
“Usually when that has happened, I [would] say—‘you’re gonna have to pay for my retirement,'” said Franklin to BOSSIP. “‘I’m in the movie business and you’re bootlegging these movies!’ but with this movie because the I think the message is so powerful, I would turn a blind eye. “
Check out our exclusive with DeVon Franklin below.
Jesus Revolution premieres in theaters this weekend.
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