Local lands role in Christian film Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist


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In contrast to many thespians, Charles Andrew Payne doesn’t appear to worry typecasting.

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When it’s identified that his position within the Calgary-shot Christian movie Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist marks the second time he has performed a person of the material for director-star Kevin Sorbo, Payne says that it’s all a part of the plan.

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“I’ve been cultivating a sure persona within the movie world on function: Lawyer. Physician. Cop. Minister. Priest,” he says, earlier than breaking out in a hearty snort.

Maybe it’s his look or maybe it’s as a result of he considers himself at the start to be a journeyman actor who goes the place the work is, however Payne appears at peace with the prospect of being endlessly forged as severe males with regular jobs. The actor, slapstick comedian and motivational speaker performs Pastor Bruce Barnes in Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist, one of many most important characters and the movie’s narrator. It’s the most recent instalment of the right-leaning Left Behind sequence, which is predicated on the controversial however well-liked Christian fundamentalist books by authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

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The principle narrative thrust of Rise of the Antichrist is exploring life after “The Rapture,” an end-time state of affairs eagerly anticipated by evangelical Christians the place believers are swept as much as heaven whereas the “left behind” stew within the apocalyptic chaos they’ve introduced upon themselves by sinful residing. Barnes is a preacher however hadn’t actually believed in what he was preaching till this occasion. It was this battle of religion that attracted Payne to the position.

“I’m a storyteller, I like to inform story,” he says. “To begin with, I by no means learn the books and didn’t do any analysis on the earlier films, I simply learn the script. Pastor Barnes is a person in disaster. That’s story. He’s a person whose religion has been challenged and are available to comprehend he has to face the reality that though he was a pastor, he was paying lip service as a pastor and didn’t really consider up till this occasion occurred that shattered his religion. You might take any job and make that actual. That’s what spoke to me. Yeah, I get this man. I perceive this man and this disaster, the place he has misplaced his spouse and his household, his personal parishioners, he has began consuming after which he finds redemption and hope.”

Payne describes himself as a “form of a lapsed Catholic,” however was raised within the church and is aware of the Bible.

“I nonetheless do consider, so elements of that did converse to me,” he says. “I do know it’s trite to say ‘I’m not spiritual however I’m non secular,’ but it surely’s true for me.”

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Asking an actor about their private spiritual beliefs is definitely not a typical apply. However it’s a tough matter to keep away from when discussing the Left Behind movies. They’re a part of that profitable parallel universe described as “faith-based” leisure. In fact, the religion these movies are completely based mostly on is a conservative pressure of Christianity and so they appear designed to attraction to tens of millions of Christians who really feel Hollywood has left them behind. They are often wildly well-liked in sure circles however are likely to fly beneath the radar of the mainstream. The books had been first tailored for the display in 2000 when conservative-Christian activist and typically actor Kirk Cameron was enlisted to headline the primary movie model. It was broadly panned however did handle to spawn two sequels. In 2012, the sequence was rebooted with a Hollywood sheen that discovered Nicolas Cage taking part in the position of Rayford Steele, the harried pilot protagonist of the sequence. The movie grossed $30 million on the field workplace.

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That position has been taken over by Sorbo in Rise of the Antichrist, who additionally forged Neal McDonough and Christian movie common Corbin Bernsen. It additionally stars Sorbo’s spouse, Sam, and son, Braeden. The storyline focuses on a charismatic new chief who rises to move the United Nations. However who’s he actually? Effectively, we received’t say however the title might supply a little bit of a spoiler.

Sorbo rose to fame taking part in the title character within the TV sequence Hercules: The Legendary Journeys for six seasons and for his starring position within the cult-favourite sci-fi sequence Andromeda. However lately he has devoted himself to directing and starring in Christian movies. He has additionally turn into a polarizing determine as a result of his vocal help of Donald Trump, amongst different issues. He lately promoted Rise of the Antichrist on Huckabee, a chat present styled on late-night tv hosted by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. On it, he talked in regards to the “woke world” taking up church buildings and the way Christians are in a battle in opposition to the “agenda” that Hollywood and mainstream media are supposedly forcing on them.

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Some media shops have certainly pulled no punches of their descriptions of the actor-director. He made headlines in 2021 when his former co-star Lucy Lawless took him to job on Twitter for spreading baseless conspiracy theories in regards to the Jan. 6 capital riots after Trump’s election defeat. Self-importance Honest ran the story beneath a headline that referred to him as “Conspiracy-peddling, Trump-supporting Kevin Sorbo.”

For his half, Payne “tries not to concentrate to all of the political stuff” and says he by no means mentioned politics or faith with Sorbo throughout the 19-day Calgary shoot in late fall of 2021. He has a historical past with the actor. Payne performed Reverend Reese in Sorbo’s 2019 Christian interval movie Miracle in East Texas, which was additionally shot in Calgary. He additionally had a task in an episode of Andromeda in 2000.

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“I’ve labored with Kevin thrice now: He’s at all times been civil, he’s at all times been form, he’s at all times been beneficiant as a director,” Payne says. “That’s all I’m searching for and we don’t discuss politics.”

Sorbo even let Payne ad-lib and improvise often, a deal with for the slapstick comedian, so long as he caught to the script when the dialogue straight quoted the Bible. Payne started appearing within the mid-Eighties and was typically forged as a gang member on TV sequence as a younger actor. He give up the enterprise in 2006 when he moved to Calgary and labored in gross sales earlier than his spouse satisfied him to get again into appearing and arise. Since being in Alberta, he has landed small roles on Heartland and Wynonna Earp and began a collective of actors, administrators and writers to make brief movies.

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Barnes is Payne’s greatest position so far and he says he has no plans to maneuver to Vancouver or Toronto for profession functions. He says Calgary is stuffed with inventive folks creating attention-grabbing tasks however admits it may be powerful for native actors to land roles in larger productions shot within the metropolis.

“Once I see all of the information tales about these things, the one factor that frustrates me is that they discuss our nice areas, a few of our new studios and our unbelievable crews – all of which is 100 per cent correct – however they hardly ever discuss in regards to the expertise base that’s obtainable right here,” he says. “I want they might discuss extra in regards to the expertise base as a result of there are lots of proficient performers right here.”

Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist opens in Landmark Cinemas 10 Shawnessy and Landmark Cinemas Nation Hills on Jan. 26.

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