New Faith-Based Movie from GOD’S NOT DEAD Director Will Use Profits to Help Veterans:
Behind the Scenes of GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Next weekend, the faith-based movie, GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD makes its way to theaters. It follows a young mother who raises her daughter after the loss of her husband in combat. It also showcases a plethora of music, financial struggles and stock car racing.
Director, co-writer and producer Harold Cronk (GOD’S NOT DEAD, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION) told Movieguide® he wanted a variety of audiences to feel there was something in the movie for them. “You know stock car racing, country music, Jesus, and military, that’s a core group of people that make this country great.” Cronk continued, “It also gives them an opportunity to maybe bring someone who isn’t of the faith and just wants to see a good movie.”
Former NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers, New York Jets) makes his big-screen debut in the movie as Pastor Williams. The role is reminiscent of his upbringing in the Texas country where faith was a part of his routine. In an interview with Movieguide®, he said, “My mom is a pastor, so throughout my whole life, she’s always given me great nuggets in times of need and even when I was [at] the top of my profession.” Tomlinson was humble in his comments, giving the church community credit for shaping him into the person he is today. He also added, “I think gives me great perspective, more than anything.” Now that he’s retired from football and is a father of two, LaDainian stays in the sports world as a contributor on various broadcasting networks. He knows that church community helped get him through the trials of sports fame.
Cronk echoed Tomlinson’s comments on how faith is crucial, especially to nonbelievers on set. Cronk said, “We had different backgrounds on set from different people, but we just try to create an atmosphere of love and try to be there for them if they had questions.” Cronk’s heart to see people changed is at the center of the movie. Yet, he was quick to mention that filmmaking pales in comparison to the duties of the troops serving the U.S.
While exploring the themes of heartache, adventure and faith, military families play the major role in the movie. Because of this, Cronk wanted GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD to be a means to monetarily support the troops. Five percent of the net proceeds from the movie will go to the organization Disabled American Veterans, the oldest veteran organization in the country that helps get veterans to and from their appointments and walk along them in the years after service. Cronk referred to it as the movie’s “tithe.”
“Our team has such a huge place in our hearts for our military, and those guys and women go through so much on our behalf. We wanted to pay homage to them and what they’ve done for us. So, having a storyline on someone who’s just fought for our safety and freedoms was very important to us. We did a lot of research,” Cronk said.
Tomlinson also rallies around the movie’s efforts to support the troops. On Twitter, he said
— LaDainian Tomlinson (@LT_21) August 24, 2018
Cronk and the cast want this movie to be reflective of the lyrics of the Rascal Flatt’s song God Bless the Broken Road,” for which the movie gets its title. “There’s just so much pain out there right now, and I wanted to create a film that didn’t shy away from some of the hard, ugly truths about life, and we wanted to show a Christian character in a crisis of faith. But also, show that no matter where you find yourself, no matter how far off the path you get, there’s hope, and that’s the essence of the film.”
The success of GOD’S NOT DEAD prompted Cronk’s heart to make movies with a greater message and offer the extra bonus of giving back to the community. The cast of the movie, which also includes AMERICAN IDOL’s Jordin Sparks, Andrew Walker and Gary Grubbs, rallied around the cause, and the movie is better for it.
Read our full review of GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD here.