LaDainian Tomlinson (L.T.), who makes his big-screen debut as a pastor in the new film God Bless the Broken Road, is a former NFL player and longtime passer for the San Diego Chargers who was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A graduate of Texas Christian University, he has also been outspoken about his Christian faith.
The film, directed by Harold Cronk and starring Jordin Sparks, Kim Delaney, Robin Givens, Lindsey Pulsipher and Andrew Walker, tells the story of a military widow who struggles to regain her faith, family and relationships after tragedy. The film hits theaters on Sept. 7.
During a recent interview, Tomlinson discussed his involvement in the film and what message it hopes to leave viewers.
How did you get involved with this film?
I've known one of the producers for a number of years over 10 years. I hadn't talked to this gentleman in a little over a year. He just called me out the blue one day and said, 'Hey, we're recasting for a role in this movie. We need a pastor. He told me the one thing about this movie that's unique is that parts of the proceeds are going to benefit DAV, Disabled American Vets organization. This the first time in history of filmmaking that it's ever been done. You will play a pastor, just let me send you the script and you read through it and get back to me and let me know what you think.' I really identified with the part of the pastor, being in myself growing up in a small country town with a small church, being raised in a small church. I've never acted but obviously being in the media, doing shows, football shows, I'm pretty comfortable in front of the camera.
What do you think people will walk away with when they see this film?
I think the underlying message a for it that we all go through different struggles and ups and downs in our lives and I think we all can relate to that particular story because in some way directly or indirectly we're tied to the military and our families. Military families, you know, are people that go over and serve for this country. We know someone that's going through that situation when a loved one don't come home. I think in some ways we all struggle with that questioning God and you might lose a little bit of your faith because you question God and you just don't understand it, but, but the message here is if you hang in there and do continue to believe and trust God and have faith, then it will ultimately work out for you. We'll find peace and happiness again.
One of the first things that sticks out in your bio is that you're a Christian. To me, it's always a cool thing that people identify you with faith. Has that always been important to you and how has that been to maintain through your whole career?
It's always been important to me. It's a foundation of my life. In fact, my mother is a pastor. All throughout my life, I was blessed to be able to just lean on her in times of difficulty, in times of uncertainty and even in joyous and happy moments when I was at the height of my career. Just being able to lean on her and, and, and being able to talk, talk with her about my path and different kinds of things. I think we all need that person that we can rely on and it was my mother for me. It's always been a part of who I am. I didn't realize how strong (it made me). Having that foundation throughout my life has kept me grounded.
Do you have any stories that have impacted you or anything that comes to mind to, through the years that you thought, Man, that was just such a powerful movie that kind of stayed with you?
I think for me it's always a blessing around Easter time when you have the stories of Jesus and resurrection, just to kind of rejuvenate your faith and your belief. Those are the most to me, the most inspiring stories to watch. It's good to be reminded sometimes of the inspiring story of Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. And, and what that does for the Spirit in general. I think those are my favorite types of movies.
DEWAYNE HAMBY is a communications specialist and longtime journalist covering faith-based music, entertainment, books and the retail industry. He is also the editor of the White Wing Messenger, director of communications for the Church of God of Prophecy and author of the book Gratitude Adjustment. Connect with him at dewaynehamby.com or on twitter - @dewaynehamby.
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