Shane Harper, singer and actor who starred in "God's Not Dead," recently revealed in an interview that he was just as shocked as everyone else was when the movie wound up dominating the box office.
"We couldn't have expected in a million years that it would have gotten the kind of traction it did. To see our movie in a headline with Darren Aronofsky's Noah film, almost as if we were competing, was baffling," he said to NewReleaseTuesday. "So many headlines read God's Not Dead with other big name movies, the whole point being that our movie was succeeding even above those other films in terms of what everyone expected. I was shocked. I'm still kind of shocked."
The actor spoke on about how this role stacked up compared to previous ones he had taken. He admitted this was the first "openly" Christian film he had done, and did not focus on what people said about it on their social media accounts.
"I guess I try not to focus too much on what things are being said in the social media stream of life. I'm on my social media accounts all the time trying to interact with people, but if there is anything negative, I try to block it out. Unless it's something really constrictive, but mostly it's not. Most criticism online is never constructive," Harper said.
When asked where he draws the lines with "his convictions" on whether or not he should take non-Christian roles, he provided great commentary into what he thinks on the matter.
"I approach it theologically. If something doesn’t have a soul and it's not breathing, how can it be saved by Christ? I don't think art can be Christian, but I do think it can be made by Christians. If you are person of faith, faith should transmit into everything you do anyway," he said. "When Christ touches your heart, it's hard not to reflect that in whatever you create. And maybe it doesn't always have a tightly wrapped message in terms of a Christian creating."
Harper stated that although he now has a song charting on Christian radio, that does not make him a Christian artist, but rather a Christian who does music. "I want my songs to minister to those who aren’t of faith, not necessarily to say 'hey, you need to find Jesus,' but to pose the simple question: who do you turn to when you are complete depleted? For me, that person is Jesus, and that's the truest thing about me."
The young actor said he never intended or set out to do a Christian movie, but when the roll was offered to him he took interest immediately because he is a person who is not afraid to stand out for Christ. He also equates his willingness to be bold in faith as a measure to help him get through the rigors of Hollywood.
"What I do is no different than how every other Christian in this world has done it for the last 2,000 years. It's serving, it's loving my neighbor, it's living my life in the light of Christ. How we survive Hollywood is exactly how students survive on their college campus, or people in their workplaces. It's not something that needs to be a fight. That's not how Jesus approached culture," he said to NRT.
Harper spoke with BreatheCast at the K-LOVE Fan Awards 2014. His film was up for "Best Christian Media" and it won.
Watch our interview with the crew from "God's Not Dead" below: