I CAN ONLY IMAGINE Actress Steps Away From the Screen for I STILL BELIEVE

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I CAN ONLY IMAGINE Actress Steps Away From the Screen for I STILL BELIEVE

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE’s Madeline Carroll helped write the upcoming Erwin Brothers project, I STILL BELIEVE, about musician Jeremy Camp’s inspiring story. 

Caroll, who presented at the 27th Annual Movieguide® Awards spoke with Movieguide® recently about her transition into a role behind the scenes and working on more faith-based projects.

“I can’t even believe I even got to be the slightest part of it. It’s kind of really overwhelming,” Carroll recalled in an exclusive interview with Movieguide®. 

I STILL BELIEVE stars KJ Apa (RIVERDALE) as Camp, Gary Sinise, Shania Twain, Britt Robertson (GIRLBOSS), and Melissa Roxburgh (MANIFEST).

Though many moviegoers may recognize Carroll as Shannon, Bart Millard’s girlfriend in I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, the Lord led her away from the camera for this project. 

“I literally Googled how to do treatment [and] prayed over it,” Carroll said. Treatment is the industry term for the first stages of scriptwriting. 

“[I] called Jeremy Camp, got to interview with him and just get all the details, and then we met two weeks later, and I was halfway done,” Carroll said. “[Jon Erwin said], ‘Yeah, we’re gonna need you to have that done by Thanksgiving.’ It was like a week ’till Thanksgiving…. I’m not kidding.” 

After they read Carroll’s thoughts, “They were like, ‘Hey, we want you to stay on and write the scripts with us since you since you did the story.’”

“We [later] shot it and filmed it went to Alabama and had a beautiful time,” Carroll said. 

Related: This Christian Actress Refused to Do Nudity in Movies Even Though She was Told She Must


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“I literally felt like a sponge,” Carroll said of her time on set.  

The experience going from an actress to behind the camera gave her a different perspective. 

“It was the best experience because whenever I’m on a set as an actress, of course, I’ve grown up around all these things, and I know how they all work, but getting to physically spend time with them and see how their machine moves each day was just unbelievable, because I’ve never had that opportunity as an actress…. I’m forever grateful.”

Though Carroll says she grew up on set, she said sometimes questioned if the entertainment industry was her platform to shine the light of Jesus. Then, when she was 19, everything changed when she opened her Bible to Isaiah. 

“I remember just really holding on and connecting to that promise that okay, God, I’m willing to go forward. And I’m willing to keep walking this out.”

God later blessed Carroll with roles in GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD and I CAN ONLY IMAGINE– the rest is history.


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Going forward, Carroll wants to harness her set experience of I STILL BELIEVE for directing.

“I actually want to direct something that I could be in, and my first love is acting. I always want to keep acting no matter what like that. That’s my main passion,” Carroll said. “But I think that those other things can [serve] that.”

Watch: I CAN ONLY IMAGINE Interview: Madeline Carroll

Just shy of six months until I STILL BELIEVE releases in theaters, Carroll continues to work with the Erwin brothers and their Kingdom team as a “creative.”

Until the theatrical release, she asks for prayer that I STILL BELIEVE would impact the young adult audience.

“For the young generation, you know, a lot of faith-based movies aren’t necessarily targeted towards them,” Carroll said. “They’re kind of for a little bit of an older audience… I really think it’s going to bless their hearts. My passion is to get the word out to people who maybe have grown up not knowing the Lord, maybe walked away from the Lord. I feel like there’s so many people that have so many dreams and so many callings that they just kind of get tossed to the wayside.”


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“I’m excited for I STILL BELIEVE because it’s kind of like this, those two passions of mine all colliding into one. I think a lot of people are going to be moved by it, a lot of young people,” Carroll said.