By Jacob Sahms
Ben Davies is everywhere. The one-time decathlete, who found his acting breakthrough in Courageous with Sherwood Pictures, has three films in theaters in the next six months. The competitive nature that drives Davies is matched by his love for Jesus, and it shows up in the roles he chooses. To help dig into the backstory of I’m Not Ashamed, Christian Cinema caught up with him on a sunny day in mid-October.
Having just seen Davies in both I’m Not Ashamed and The Matchbreaker in the last week, I asked about the segway from one dramatic role to another, lighter piece. With a chuckle, Davies told me that moving from the heavy, weighty piece to a romantic comedy was refreshing. In fact, he had been practicing for a variety of roles since his mother started a talent company when he was born. But sports were where he first thought he would make his mark.
“Sometimes, the best thing is unanswered prayers,” Davies told me. “I suffered a potentially career-ending injury, and had nine months of my coaches not being able to tell me what to do. I remember being very upset, and people were praying for my healing. But the thing is, we never know the plans God has for us.”
When his agent told him about an audition at a local church, Davies showed up in a sling, and earned his spot in the Kendrick Brothers’ film. It set the stage for a filmography that set the stage for sixteen feature-length film roles in the last five years. As a believer, Davies said that he wanted to “do films that are of value and inspire people, that provide a level of enjoyment.”
“I’m first and foremost looking for a great story, and I want to be entertained,” the actor mused. “A movie should leave you laughing, crying, and move you in the end, like a rollercoaster ride. It’s not about slapping Jesus on a film, using it like a cheap gimmick.”
Davies is clear that I’m Not Ashamed is more than a gimmick, and as he warmed to the subject, his passion for the project was evident.
“The movie isn’t a documentary; we hope that people will be entertained. But getting the movie made was nothing short of a miracle. It’s all about God worked through the least and the last to tell this story,” Davies expounded.
“The only thing I had visually of my character was a brief clip of CNN from Rachel’s funeral. We had the personal journal she passed back and forth with him. But Masey, the director, and I worked through it to make sure we were doing it justice.”
Davies believed that the production had to trust God in the right place and the right time, but the end result was that the real-life people from Rachel’s life found themselves using terms like “living memory” when watching the film.
“Rachel drew her six-year-old hand on the back of a bureau, and prayed that God would use her to touch millions of people,” Davies said. “When this film comes out on October 21, we hope even more people will see her faith.”