'A Week Away' Star Bailee Madison on Film, Faith: 'A Huge Part of Me'

(YouTube/DeWayne Hamby)

On Friday, Netflix will release the teen musical A Week Away starring Bailee Madison, Kevin Quinn, Jahbril Cook, Kat Conner Sterling, Iain Tucker with David Koechner and Sherri Shepherd. The film, directed by Roman White, based on a story by Alan Powell and Kali Bailey, and Gabriel Vasquez, follows troubled teen Will (Quinn) who is given an opportunity to attend a Christian youth camp, where he meets his love interest, Avery (Madison). Along the way, he's exposed to faith—and spontaneous singing and dancing.

Madison, who has appeared in a number of film and television projects including Bridge to Terabithia jumped at the chance to do a musical fit for family viewing, especially one that resonated strongly with her Christian faith.

"I've been wanting to do a musical myself for a really long time," she said. "But figuring out how I was going to introduce that publicly was always a question. So, it felt like the script answered that immediately. And I've always been very vocal about my faith. It's just a huge part of me. The fact that that element was also in there, but it didn't feel as if it was flashy or too showy or if you weren't down that journey yet right now in your life that you couldn't watch this and find something for your heart and for your soul."

In the film, Avery is a positive role model for Will, even though she struggles with her own questions about faith. During a pivotal campfire moment, emotions spill over while singing a mashup of "Awesome God" and "God Only Knows" by for King & Country. For Madison, who is a huge fan of the Christian rock group, it was nice to be able to introduce classic and modern Christian songs to new audiences.

"I think the way [for King & Country] they're doing their music and hitting all forms of media somehow through it is just a really spectacular thing," she said. "I'm fortunate that I grew up knowing about [Christian music], but I'm so grateful that my little nieces and friends of mine and teenage friends of mine are going to get to be reintroduced to the songs. It's a really special thing to get to have that."

Shot on location, the cast and crew worked long hours for three weeks to perfect the choreography and make the most of their on-location shoot at a real camp in Nashville. Madison is grateful that all the hard work and "sweating" paid off with the film finishing on time and now set to premiere on Netflix.

"It's so exciting that we found our home with Netflix, because you know, it feels like the 'little movie that could' with a whole lot of love that was poured into it," she said. "It's a very fortunate and gratifying moment. We're really thrilled to be here."

DeWayne Hamby is a communications specialist and longtime journalist covering faith-based music, entertainment, books and the retail industry. He is the author of the book, Gratitude Adjustment. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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