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Join Craig von Buseck weekdays as he shares his perspective on the major trends and news affecting the Body of Christ today.

Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

By the time Growing Pains was a hit I had somewhat outgrown television sitcoms, so I was not a big Kirk Cameron fan when he was a television star. But I heard that he had become a Christian and that he was taking flack for some of the moral stands he was taking, even during the latter years of Growing Pains. As he grew in his walk with the Lord, I became more impressed with Kirk's commitment to biblical Christianity.

I have been particularly impressed with Kirk's work with Ray Comfort and Way of the Master, an in-depth evangelism training program that equips believers to take the Gospel to the streets.

Despite my excitement over his evangelism endeavors, I was still not a big fan of his acting. I'm also not a big fan of so-called "Christian" movies. In my experience, they are often poorly written, poorly acted, and most often "preachy." So when I was recently invited to an advanced screening of the new Kirk Cameron film, Fireproof, I almost didn't go.

But I'm glad I did.

Fireproof, coming to theaters September 26th, is the third feature film from Sherwood Pictures, the creators of the surprisingly successful Facing the Giants and Flywheel. Directed and Produced by the Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, Fireproof is a challenging look at marriage and what the meaning of love truly is.

The amazing thing about these movies is that they were all produced by one single local church with a cast and crew of volunteers.

Kirk Cameron in 'Fireproof'In Fireproof, Cameron plays firefighter Caleb Holt opposite church member Erin Bethea who plays his wife, Catherine. Like his fellow actors and crew, Cameron worked as a volunteer, though the production will donate to Camp Firefly, the not-for-profit family camp he and his wife founded in 1991.

Unlike his Mike Seaver character in Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron plays an adult role in Fireproof with a problem that is sadly all too common in society today -- the breakup of a marriage. To my delight, he plays the role with sensitivity and maturity. After only a minute or so of Cameron's performance, I believed he was Caleb Holt.

Kirk is that good in this role.

"They called me and said they'd like me to come down and audition for the lead role. They gave me nine scenes to read and all of them were pretty intense emotionally. I had to be angry, frustrated, and tense. I had to be weeping and crying, asking for forgiveness. I had to be strong and in command of a fire rescue scene. I really wanted to do this part … and God opened the door."

"This role is very different from anything else I've played. People will see me do things I've never done before. The range of emotions in this character has been very challenging."

Speaking of the part played by Cameron, co-writer and director Alex Kendrick explains, "Fireman Caleb Holt will run into a burning building to save someone he doesn't know, while he watches his own marriage burn to the ground."

"Fireproof is not the absence of fire, but the ability to withstand it," adds co-writer and producer Stephen Kendrick.

The Kendrick brothers and their pastor, Michael Catt, wanted to speak to the plague of divorce that has affected not only the society at large, but also the Church. "In my lifetime, the divorce rate has climbed to one out of two marriages, and the marriage rate has dropped 30 percent," Pastor Catt observes. "What if we can make a dent in those statistics?"

Another excellent performance is given by Ken Bevel, a first-time actor who plays the part of Lt. Michael Simmons, Caleb's closest friend. Ken is a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who was able to use his days off and then schedule leave time to fit the shooting schedule around his work.

"I've learned that acting is very challenging, but Marines are always up for a challenge! When they announced the movie, I prayed about it and asked my wife if I should audition. I read for the part and I knew that if it were the Lord's will, I'd be in the movie."

Another respectable performance is given by Erin Bethea who plays the role of Catherine Holt, the wife of Cameron's Caleb Holt. While a longtime member of Sherwood Church, Bethea now lives in Orlando, where she is an equity performer at Disney's Magic Kingdom.

The supporting actors of the firehouse crew and nursing staff both add color and humor to the film -- important elements when dealing with such a serious subject.

The other star in this film is the cinematography thanks to Bob Scott, the Director of Photography. Scott has worked as a cinematographer for more than twenty years, including such notable films as The Bourne Ultimatum, Any Given Sunday and Friday Night Lights. He has also filmed numerous Super Bowls for NFL Films, World Series games, and the Olympics for filmmaker Bud Greenspan. This movie is beautifully shot in and around Albany, Georgia, home to Sherwood Church.

Another key to this movie is The Love Dare, which is featured throughout the film (I won't give anything away, but this helps anchor the story of the film). An expanded edition of this book by Stephen and Alex Kendrick will be released by Broadman and Holman Publishers in the months to come. You will want to check this book out. It will be a wonderful gift to married couples and those planning to wed.

Go see Fireproof on September 26th, and bring your family. This movie could make a difference in your life that will last a lifetime.

Find a theater near you to watch Fireproof

Also check out

Sherwood Baptist Church

Related stories:

Kirk Cameron's Real Life Growing Pains

Facing New Giants: On the Set of Fireproof

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Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Friday, July 18, 2008 2:27 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

The bible commands Christians to abstain from every appearance of evil. Acting as though one is married to someone else other than one’s own wife is temping questionable imaginations. The sanctity of marriage is more than the bed and a kiss. Even though Kirk Cameron doesn't kiss someone who is not his wife, the sanctity of marriage is not respected in the emotions that need to be conjured up in order to "act" the role of loving someone else with such a holy love that is to be directed only toward his own wife. Acting romantic to someone who is not your wife is just the same as kissing someone who is not your wife. The following question should be asked before certain emotions and actions are portrayed on the screen: Would my wife/husband appreciate me acting this way toward anyone else throughout our everyday lives? If the answer is “no”, then it should not be pretended on screen for it violates the emotional sanctity of the husband/wife relationship.
Left by SandraI on Jul 27, 2008 8:54 PM

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

We've had a chance to watch the movie three times now. It gets better with each viewing: this is a strong portrayal of a marriage in crisis, and of the way to move forward. Kirk Cameron does a very nice job in this role; we know from the producers that Kirk had his own real-life wife "stand in" for a kissing scene where the couple is silhouetted on camera. Great idea, Kirk!

We are honored to be the authors of a related resource: "The Soul-Mate Marriage: The Spiritual Journey of Becoming One" (Harvest House Publishers) which is releasing at the same time as the film. Our prayer is that this book helps married couples, especially Christian married couples, move forward toward deeper connections and a spiritually intimate relationship that lasts a lifetime!
Left by DrFrisbie on Jul 30, 2008 12:33 PM

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

I saw this movie as soon as it came out to give our support. I'm sorry to say that the movies was not only boring, but hard to focus on the plot. The acting was terrible! It will be hard to get the kids to go to another Christian movie.
Left by 10185718 on Oct 01, 2008 10:28 AM

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

I kow kirk cameron hes like are BEST friend... is'nt awesome. cause my mom maria was collage room mates with kirks wife.. thats how we started are friend ship!!!!!!!!!!!****
Left by juliabarrett11 on Oct 05, 2008 12:51 PM

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

It is amazing to me that Christians would criticize motives or portrayals of an actor in a movie like this. I find it hard to fathom that Kirk Cameron, or for that matter anyone who could have played the role of Caleb, would take a role like this, especially as a volunteer role, if his motives were anything other than to attempt to demonstrate to someone how to save their marriage from Divorce. Do you think that he just said OK lets do this? I am positive that for any man to play a role like Caleb, he would be setting an example for others to emulate long before this movie was in production let alone hit the big screen. Apparently somewhere you missed what acting really is. The "emotions that need to be conjured up in order to act", are just that, and could have been derived from anything that could bring that specific emotion. Try feeling them first hand in your own marriage and trying to save it, because any man or woman who is going through that would easily identify.
Left by ramdiesel on Oct 14, 2008 2:58 PM

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Cameron! It takes guts to take a stand like you did! I was hoping there would be no kissing in Fireproof, because I wanted to believe that a Christian movie-making venture wouldn't have people kissing outside of a covenant relationship. I was really bummed when the kissing scene came on, but then I went on the web and found out that it really was your wife in those scenes. Thank you, Kirk and thank you, Chelsea, and thank you everyone who cooperated with the switch!
Left by notmygoodness on Oct 14, 2008 8:16 PM

# RE: Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie

I could have written this movie. I came to the Lord in my motel room as I was leaving my husband with our children in tow.

I came away from that motel room with Bible in hand, understanding what I needed to do. I went home and did what is done in this movie. It went very much the way the movie portrays it.

The strength to keep on keeping on in the face of what happens takes all the courage you can muster and some emotional conversations with God in private to help you through the most intense moments of pain.

If there were anything I would want to get through to a seemingly doomed couple, this movie does the job. I highly recommend this movie to any couple even if only one of the spouses seems interested in saving the marriage. The blessings after you do these things are so much sweeter than the movie is able to show though.
Left by Kandy on Feb 11, 2009 1:40 AM