AlongTheWay

“Making His LifeMark” Kirk Cameron AlongTheWay Special Edition

September 13, 2022 John Matarazzo / Kirk Cameron
AlongTheWay
“Making His LifeMark” Kirk Cameron AlongTheWay Special Edition
Show Notes Transcript

Kirk Cameron is known for his roles in Growing Pains, Left Behind, Fireproof, and more. He discusses his latest project with the Kendrick Brother’s team to make the film “LifeMark”. In this episode, the Executive Producer and actor explained how “LifeMark” was inspired by the true life story of David, an adopted son who reconnects with his mother after his 18th birthday. LifeMark highlights the beauty of adoption, the power of choice, and why life matters.

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John Matarazzo:

Welcome to along the way. I'm John Matarazzo. Your host and fellow traveler, thank you for joining me along my way is I try to become more like Jesus every day. The goal of along the way is to identify the moments in life that Jesus really is walking with us and trying to get our attention. But just like the disciples along the way to amaze, we are missing those moments that our hearts are burning within us. I want us to identify these moments, learn from others and apply those lessons to our lives so that we don't miss the blessings God has for us along the way in our life's journey. Since I started working at charisma media, I've had the opportunity to do podcast interviews that I wouldn't normally consider an along the way episode, because I was doing the interview for charisma news or some other format. And I've also been interviewed on other people's podcasts too. Those have been great opportunities as well as interesting conversations, and I want to make sure that I share them with you as well. I love a good movie, and I'm excited to tell you about the new Kendrick Brothers project Lifemark, a new film by the same team that made movies such as fireproof and war room, I had the privilege to view an early cut of the film, and in this special episode, I had the honor of talking with executive producer and actor Kirk Cameron. Kirk explains how Lifemark was inspired by the true story of David, an adopted son who reconnects with his mother after turning 18 And the awesome way that this film came together. This Kendrick Brothers film highlights the beauty of adoption, the power of choice and wildlife matters. Lifemark is already released, go to Lifemark movie.com. To learn how you can see it yourself and support this great film. I'll make sure that that link is in the show notes. I'll get to our conversation in just a moment. But I want to thank you for listening to along the way. All of my episodes and social links are available at my website. Along the way dot media. You can also join my email list to get updates right in your inbox. All the links from this episode will be in the show notes. And now here's my conversation with Kirk Cameron. Cameron, it is a pleasure to have you on the charisma news podcast. We're excited to talk about this new movie that you are in called Life mark. And I had the opportunity to see a screener of it before everybody else to gets a chance to so I'm lucky. But the benefit of that is that I get to now tell people about how good of a movie it is and to be able to talk to you about this. So it is a pleasure to have you on the charisma news podcast. Welcome.

Kirk Cameron:

Thanks, bro. It's great to be talking with you too. And that just makes me feel so good. I want to I want to know what you thought of the movie. I'm here. Let's turn this whole interview. Okay, do you think of the movie?

John Matarazzo:

Oh my goodness. Well, first off, I'm a little bit biased because I am a fan of the Kendrick Brothers and their work. Going back to flywheel and Facing the Giants and bulletproof and fire for not bulletproof, courageous and fireproof I just mixed with a whole bunch of movies together anyway. But I already liked those things. And the message of this movie is really powerful, especially whenever I found out that it's based around a true person's life and how this whole thing of just adoption is such a big deal right now because especially with the the recent overturning of Roe vs. Wade, a big critique or criticism that people have against the church out in the in the culture right now is you don't care about what happens to these kids after they get born. But this movie really shows that you play the part of a tremendous loving father, he and his wife wants to have a child but can't and just the heartbreak that you guys go through with just everything that happens you know, things falling through and then all of a sudden you get this this baby and your life totally changes. I really appreciated how you guys demonstrated the the love of Christ in that scene in those scenes and just how you raised him in that movie. There was times where I was laughing and times where I was crying. And I don't want to give away too much of this movie because I want people to go see it on September the ninth it's going to be in theaters so you gotta go get it but man just i i hope that it gives you a good explanation of what I'm feeling about this like I really just I got all these messages and you could just see the love of Christ coming in so many different ways as I was watching it from adoption to choosing life and just the the friendship that was that was developed with with the main character and his best friend. A lot of really, really good good messages all throughout there. So I know just kind of summarizing the movie, but I loved it. I was telling my family, my parents about it. And they can't wait to go see it.

Kirk Cameron:

John that wow. That's music to my ears. What an encouragement as a guy who made the movie and also the Somebody who is an adoptive father himself. So I'm alright, I'll stop talking about myself in the third person. I have adopted children, okay, more of my six kids are adopted, my wife is an adopted child. So if, if you're listening to this, and you've you're thinking about adoption, or you're having trouble having children, and you're wondering if if adoption is right for you, if you are someone who wants to be involved in helping young ladies who are in unplanned pregnancies to make the choice, this is new that you want to see, separates all of that. And what I love about it to John, is that it's based on a true story, right. So there was a little documentary that somebody introduced to me called, I lived on Parker Avenue. And the title has a bit of a twist and a double meaning to it. I lived on Parker Avenue. And it's the story of an 18 year old girl who, with her boyfriend show up at an abortion clinic, she goes in for the procedure. You know, he sold his radio for $250, to be able to have the money for the procedure. And at the last moment, she changes her mind, she rolls off of the the the operating table and she leaves. She She says I'm just not ready to do this. And she hides her pregnancy for nine months, she lives with her boyfriend, and she delivers her son places him up for adoption. And nobody hears about it at all. Then 19 years later, she gets a phone call from the adoption agency saying that he wants to meet her, she thinks He probably hates her guts because she abandoned him. That's his perspective that she thinks and then tell her thank you for giving me life. And he's bringing his adoptive parents with him, because they want to thank her for giving them a son because they couldn't have children of their own. And it's this beautiful story of how all of these lives intertwine and how God is woven all of it together for something so beautiful. And it is a story we could not have scripted so well. And not only that it's coming out at this perfect time in history, where the Supreme Court has effectively overruled Roe versus Wade and and the nation is polarized over this issue. Personally, I don't see how you get polarized over an issue, like defending the right to life or human beings. But we are and what I love about this is this is not a pro choice movie, this is not a movie that is is going to find itself in a political niche. It's, in my view, a third option that everyone can come see and say, Wait a minute, here's a young lady who chose voluntarily life for her child in an extremely difficult circumstance, we should get behind that choice, right? And then there were those who actually chose that little boy to be their son. They didn't have to choose him. They could have chosen somebody else, but they chose him. And she chose those adoptive parents to be his parents. Everyone's choosing one up we all need to a beautiful life, a whole family lives and abundant life in Christ. Right. It's just a beautiful picture. And I can't wait for people to see it on September 9.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. It is a absolutely beautiful picture. And if you can't, I'd like to talk about the fact that this is a true story. This isn't just something that was well written as a good screenplay. But it is something that is a real story. I mean, it was turned into a good into, you know, communicated by a good screenplay. But it's a true story. They actually did go go skydiving, they actually did some of these things. Yeah, those aren't just thrown into the movie because we need to take up time this really happened.

Kirk Cameron:

And listen, and there's it's so true to life. You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you. So yes, you're talking about skydiving. So this yes, this is this is like a four or five Kleenex movie by the way. Just

John Matarazzo:

know. You bring the box bring the bunk spoiler right

Kirk Cameron:

now you're gonna you're gonna get emotional. Okay. Not only is it emotional, it has got so much action in it. So guys, we've got skydiving, we've got high school wrestling, we've got ATV riding, hatchet throwing, and also cliff jumping. So there's action. There's hard, there's humor. There is the gospel beautifully laid out here. And as far as it being true to life get this we actually recorded an interview with every member of the family that this movie is about. And we actually transcribed dialogue directly Leave from their mouths about how they feel about one another, and about the whole process of reconciliation. We actually interviewed them and, and actually wrote the dialogue in the script based off of what they really said, in real life. And not only that, there are some secret scenes in the movie, where the actors who are playing the roles are actually the real biological mother, the real adoptive mother and father, right. And the real son, the guy that the whole movie is about is in the movie playing a secret role. And you'll find out when you see

John Matarazzo:

it, and I was looking for that, because I figured this is based on somebody that's real. Let me see if I can, you know, watch it as Did you find it? Did you? Did you? I did. I did. I did. I'm not gonna say it here. Maybe after we're done recording here

Kirk Cameron:

in this movie, and you're gonna have to go back and watch it a second time. Or if you stay through to the credits in the movie theater, we'll actually get it out to you. But you'll have to go back to watch the scene again, to say, oh, yeah, that is? Oh, my gosh, look at

John Matarazzo:

that. Right? Yeah, I can definitely say what I saw with the David, the real David playing his part, there was just something extra special in his eyes. And you see that, yes. And that was for me, that was a dead giveaway, because it was so real to him. And that. And so in a good way, it wasn't a dead giveaway in a bad way. But it was it was just enjoyable to know, like the real people are involved in this film.

Kirk Cameron:

Yeah, they're really involved in it. And they're going to be spending a lot of time spreading the word about life. It's coming out on September 9. Something else really important about this is to know that we are in a lot of theaters across the country, but because of the timing of this, and the subject matter theaters are filling up. And so I would recommend that you get your tickets early, you can reserve them at your local theater by just going to Lifemark movie.com. And you can reserve your tickets for one or two your family. If you got a big group like a church, you want to reserve a whole theater for or 25 or more tickets, you can get a discount, I believe, just go to Lifemark movie.com.

John Matarazzo:

That's great. That's great. And this is something that you do want to bring people to go see it is enjoyable. It is a great story. And it'll be something that you guys can talk about afterwards. It is very good discussion afterwards. It's not just it's not just entertaining. Yeah.

Kirk Cameron:

And what's really cool about inviting your friends to this kind of a movie or inviting your kids is, this is a movie that is not about abortion. It's not about Roe v. Wade, it has nothing to do with the political aspect of that what it has to do it is it is pro family. It is pro love. It is pro forgiveness, pro reconciliation, pro life, pro, abundant life, pro parents, it is it's it's got all the kind of gospel fruit and the fruit of the Spirit that you want to see and expect to see from a Kendrick movie. And those are the kinds of movies that I love to get behind.

John Matarazzo:

Amen, amen. Now, tell me about what this felt like for you knowing that this movie is coming out with all the things that have happened from May whenever we got the leak about the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade. And then when it actually happened, tell me kind of what was going on inside of you knowing that this movie was coming out where you've done so much work leading up to this. And then all of a sudden, you get this extra boost of like, oh my goodness, this message from this movie is going to make even a bigger impact than we originally thought.

Kirk Cameron:

So, John, I've been working on this film for two and a half years. Yeah, let me give you a little bit of the backstory. When I first saw this short documentary film, I lived on Parker Avenue, which by the way, you can look up, it's on YouTube, you can see it's about 30 minutes long. And you'll see how that wrecked me and made me want to turn this into a narrative feature film. I started down that road getting the rights to the life story. And I called Alex Kendrick and I said, Hey, Alex, I'm going to I'm gonna spend a lot of time and energy and money making this movie before I do, would you just watch this and let me know if you think I'm crazy. Would this make a good movie? And he called me back and said, Kurt, not only do I think it would make a good movie, I showed it to my brother Steven. And we believe that this is supposed to be our next movie, and we would like to produce it with you. I said, I thought for half a second. And I said let's do it. And so we started producing the film. And we finished it over a year and a half ago. And we've been waiting because of COVID and everything else to get this film finished and what seemed like an unfortunate delay of our plans. Turns out right now to be a divinely placed timeframe, right after the Supreme Court ruling. And we couldn't have ever planned this, we couldn't have paid for this. This appears to be God parting the heavens, and just pouring out His favor on this movie, which we can't do without. That's what we've been praying for, especially with this subject matter. And I think that September 9, is going to offer a solution to this political divide over this issue that is going to bring clarity and courage to everyone who sees Lifemark.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. Now, you as an adoptive father, what was it like playing an adoptive father in this film?

Kirk Cameron:

It was a piece of cake. Yeah, it was a walk in the park. Because I've done this for 25 years, you

John Matarazzo:

have to remember the first time that you adopted and what that was like, again, like, what was your What was that inspiration? What were you pulling from?

Kirk Cameron:

Oh, yeah, I remember when we adopted our son, Jack, our very first son, Chelsea and I, we, you know, we met on the set of growing pains, we got married on the set of growing pains, she played my girlfriend, and we had been married about six or seven years before we started our family. So we're this young couple, we have all these hopes and dreams for a family and we adopted our first son. And I remember holding him in our arms. And it was just, it was just magic. It was this little gift from heaven, this little bundle of joy that the stork brought us. And we took him home. And, and I remember thinking back to that when we made this movie. What's also really cool about this movie is that it spans 20 years of time from when we adopt little David until he's old enough to go on this trip at 20 years old. So there was some special effects that were done to age S and D ages. Right, right. And it's pretty amazing how all of that turned out. I think the screen or copy that you saw, probably did not include the final D aging special effects. So I get to play myself at 35. And then I get to play him older and 55. So that was really cool. And, you know, some of these talks that I had with my son in the movie, as as a young adult are also talks that I've had with my own children or has adopted young adult children. Like, you know, it took a lot of courage for your biological mother to choose life. She probably hadn't even graduated high school at that time. Can you imagine how scary that it must have been for her. And yet, I'm so glad that she did. And we were so thankful for her. We love her, because she helped to complete our family. And, and yet, we want you to always know that no matter what you choose to do, and your relationships going forward with your biological mom or dad, whatever that that we love you You always be our son, and nothing will ever change that.

John Matarazzo:

That's really cool. So you, you've had those conversations in real life, not just as an actor. Yeah, that's right. That's really cool.

Kirk Cameron:

That's right and cool. And so let me say this, if you're thinking about adopting, maybe you haven't been able to have children, or maybe you're just wondering, What can I do to to contribute something positive to the this divisive issue that seems to be splitting our nation since the Roe v. Wade decision, and you realize that the Bible says true religion is taking care of and meeting the needs of widows and orphans in their time of distress? Do you know how many children there are out there who need parents? Do you know how many young moms are going to be out there who will not be having abortions, thank goodness, because of a variety of different reasons, because of their state law because of people who have talked to them and talk to them about this not being a crisis, but an opportunity to be a champion for life. There are parents out there who want to adopt children, I have people in my immediate family who are not able to have children and they want so desperately to give their love to a young one, and create a family. This is a movie that you want to see because it it's going to it's going to give you hope it's going to give you some clarity on the subject and courage to take a step of faith.

John Matarazzo:

Well, I know that I can't wait to see it on the big screen. And you know, I'll make sure to bring my tissues with me Yeah, John, for sure. It's on your phone. Oh, yeah. Oh, my computer. Yeah. Wait, do you see it in the theater with Dolby Surround Sound? Oh, yeah. It's it's gonna be great. And the full effects and everything that you were talking about, you know, the aging and D aging and all that stuff, but I just appreciate so much.

Kirk Cameron:

Yeah, you'll be able to see my Hey, my gray hair and wrinkles up wide.

John Matarazzo:

Oh, goodness. I'm just so grateful that that you and the Kendrick Brothers have invested so much into this film with a powerful message that is really going to give people hope, that maybe find themselves in a, in a hopeless situation when not knowing how to deal with this unplanned pregnancy or whatever, you know, whether it be you want to adopt, or you need to give your child up for adoption, there is hope there is a future. And here is a tremendous outcome that God loving families can adopt and raise children the way that God intended them to be. Yes. And whether that be homeschooling, which I know you're a huge fan of, I was homeschooled as well. And, you know, raising up a child, and the way they should go is is very important. And I think this movie will help people, it'll cast vision for that in their family's lives as well.

Kirk Cameron:

Yeah, I mean, I'm speaking from a father who's had a great experience with adoption, I will say that adoption is not picture perfect. Life's not picture perfect marriage is not picture perfect, right. Because we live in this world where we require daily dependence upon God, we need his wisdom, wisdom we don't have without His Holy Spirit without his word. And adoption is challenging, but in the best of ways, because it challenges our selfishness, it challenges our foolishness. And it pushes us down to our knees to pray and be dependent upon God. But in doing so, we're able to partner with God in bringing heaven to earth, through the family. And I would encourage you to come see Lifemark on September 9, because this is a picture of the gospel. And adoption does that so beautifully. Natural adoption is a great experience. It's a challenging experience, but it brings life into a family. And it's a picture of spiritual adoption, which is also a challenging experience, you have to die to yourself to be born into the Family of God, Jesus said, but it brings not only life but eternal life and abundant life into your home. And there's a picture here of the gospel in Lifemark. That is, I think, unique and different from other Christian films that sort of have a thinly veiled gospel presentation at a church with an altar call, or, or some version of that. This is this is painting a picture in real life, of difficult choices, of selflessness, of heartache and heartbreak, but then reconciliation, that leads to joy, and no regret. And, and I just, I just love it. And I hope everyone will come to watch it.

John Matarazzo:

Me too. Me too. The movie is life Mark comes out September 9, go to Lifemark movie.com. To find out where it is playing to get tickets and to get that big group ticket of 25 or more, as well. And there's plenty of information that you'll be able to share and encourage people to go share it on social media, encourage people to come and bring a friend. And we just appreciate so much Kirk that you were able to spend some time with us here on the charisma news, podcast.

Kirk Cameron:

Welfare. Thank you. And one last thing, John, if I could say this. I don't think I'm alone in being deeply concerned about what is happening to our country. We have a nation that was founded on biblical principles. And for generations, we have enjoyed the blessings and the fruits of what our forefathers and foremothers did by sacrificing and living out their faith. But that's been eroded. And if you're sitting there going, man, what can I do? You know, I'm going to try to vote or maybe I don't vote or maybe I can give to my church and maybe tithe a little more, yes, do all those things. But let me say this. The church has been woefully neglectful in the area of school government in late God's God created the family, for sure we love the Church. We love that for sure, God, God's behind that. But politics we think is so dirty and so corrupt, that that's just sort of a worldly thing that Jesus, you know, maybe has low on the list. But I would, I would suggest that that leadership in our civil government is so important. God created civil government, and it's the government that shut down your church, wasn't it? And it's the government that will indoctrinate your children through public schools, isn't it unless you and I, as the family of faith, get behind people of faith and character to take on those leadership positions. To redeem government so that it'll be the blessing and the servant to, to God's people that it's supposed to be. And one way that I think you can inspire people to engage here in the midterm elections coming up in November, is to give them a position and and a reason to go vote for good and godly people by watching Lifemark, which provides a solution to this war between pro choice and pro life and shows them that being pro adoption, allows people to have choice and it promotes life and abundant life. Go go go support people who who are about those kinds of values. And you will begin to see a turnaround in our country, not only through the family, through the church, but also through civil government.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. I'm glad I let you have that other that last moment there. Kirk, thank you so much for being on the charisma news podcast with us. This is a powerful interview. Thank you.

Kirk Cameron:

Thank you, John, and thanks for all the great work that you do. God bless you.

John Matarazzo:

God bless you. This has been John Matarazzo for the charisma news podcast. Thank you for listening to this episode of along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please share this with a friend who you think will be encouraged by this podcast. Also, please rate and review along the way on iTunes that helps more people discover along the way. And please subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and through my website along the way dot media. On my website, you can sign up to receive newsletter updates whenever I put out a new episode, so you don't miss one. If you want to help support me in this podcast, I have a Patreon page. The link to become a supporter is also in my show notes. I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey and may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way. Along the way is honored to be part of the charisma Podcast Network. You can find tons of spirit filled content from our vast catalogue of podcasts, including my Monday through Friday news stories for the charisma news podcast. Go to CPN shows.com To see the full list and latest episodes