A little faith goes a long way. After spending most of his life under his manipulative mother, a reluctant faith healer comes to learn that some of the best things in life are the EVERYDAY MIRACLES. The inspirational film stars acting veteran Gary Cole (VEEP, Entourage), along with Erik Smith (A Walk to Remember) and Zoe Perry (Young Sheldon). Written and directed by Marty Madden (Musical Chairs), the film is available September 1 On Demand, Digital & DVD.
A reminder that the world is full of EVERYDAY MIRACLES, this family film centers around a faith healer, Cotton (Smith), who is trying to run from his troubled past. After being taken in by a horse rancher (Cole) and his family, Cotton's new life is soon tested when his overbearing mother (Lusia Strus) tracks him down and tries to pull him back into the life he had escaped. Cotton is desperate to avoid his past life which could jeopardize a possible future with his love interest, Young Sheldon's Zoe Perry. When a painful revelation comes to light, he must lean on his new family and learn to trust again. Through his journey, Cotton learns the value of compassion and family through hard work and selflessness.
Q: Erik, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's talk about your new movie "Everyday Miracles" -- briefly, what is the movie about?
I'm so thrilled to do this, thanks so much!
"Everyday Miracles" is about a faith healer who's running from his past...and his gifts. During Cotton's journey, he stumbles into a family with layers of heartbreak. Together, they try to make peace with their broken pasts and cling to the hope of a better future.
(Haha. They didn't write that for me, but they should use it!)
Q: What first drew you to this movie?
First, I loved the patchwork of beautiful moral lessons in the script. The script said so much about family, faith, love and choice.
My character Cotton is a bit of a mystery for the first half of the film - quiet, bad at eye contact. I loved the idea of playing someone who had a hard time connecting to others. A big part of acting is finding a connection, and playing against that instinct was challenging. I also really appreciated the spiritual elements in the film. I go to church every week, I've played in Christian rock bands, and God is a big part of my life. It was nice to NOT hide my trinity tattoo on-camera for once.
Q: Talk to us about your character Cotton, what is his role? What do you appreciate about the character?
He's a faith healer who has abandoned his traveling church. When the movie begins, Cotton has already run away from his past - including his ruthless evangelical mother. In order to stay under the radar, Cotton keeps his interactions short, and never really lets people in. He's a tough nut to crack and not big with words. That made him so much fun to play - because I couldn't rely on the dialogue to tell his story. I had to SHOW the audience what Cotton was all about.
I really appreciate his journey. Marty wrote a very moving character arc for the character, without forcing anything. I simply got to take the emotional ride, and I'm extremely grateful that he trusted me with that responsibility.
Q: What were some of the highlights for you when you were making this movie?
Hands down - every single one of my highlights involved the team. The incredible actors were all so gracious. I spent a majority of the shoot with Gary, Zoe, Dani, Lusia and Ali. Each one was more kind and generous than the next.
Besides the other actors, it was fun finding my way through this movie with Marty. This film was a very personal journey for him, and there were moments that just felt therapeutic for everyone involved. A lot of us needed this movie more than it needed us.
Q: How did the making of this movie affected you as far as your faith is concerned?
It reminded me of a few important faith lessons.
First - God is love. Growing up in a Christian school, I turned away from my faith due to "Christian" bullies. These popular church kids were shoving me in lockers, spitting on me, and teasing me literally every day. In fact, the Christian teachers joined in once and awhile. It took me a LONG time to heal from that and even longer to understand that they didn't speak for God.
Second - it's okay to ask questions. Questions are good. They help you find truth. I honestly believe that more kids would remain engaged in spiritual discussions if they felt like they were in a safe environment to doubt.
Q: What are some lessons people can take away after watching this movie?
One of my favorite lessons is that "family" isn't always blood. Family is anyone that makes you better, just by loving you. And they don't put conditions on that love, or ask you to change in order to receive it. They see you and accept you. That's family.
I have a tattoo on my back that says "every moment before now is the past." Haha. It's a pretty obvious statement, but it's another big takeaway from this movie. All we have is right now. We can't spend the presentdwelling on who hurt us, what mistakes were made, or who to blame. What we CAN do is choose to spend this instant making a positive change. Whether that's a personal change, a worldly change or a change in someone else's life - we have to envision a better future and chase it passionately.
Q: What's next for you?
I do a morning radio show in Los Angeles on 95.5 KLOS. It's called The Heidi & Frank Show, and I'm the on-air executive producer. So, what's next? Waking up at 2:30AM every day to make fart jokes with my friends!
Besides the radio show, I never stop making art. I still find acting work when the right projects come along, and I'm currently writing a fantasy middle-grade novel for my daughter. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the process and it's been incredibly rewarding. I'm also developing my own streetwear fashion label and have a double-album of original music being released before the end of the year. So, when I say I never stop ...I NEVER STOP! Haha.
However, NONE of the art I mentioned even comes close to my masterpieces: I've got a 16-month old boy and a 5-year-old little girl. Being a dad is the single greatest joy in my life and I'm so blessed to have an amazing wife that keeps us all sane during this pandemic.
I guess you could say - just like my character Cotton, I was searching for a place to belong. I'm so blessed to have found it.