Priscilla Shirer on Affirm Films “Overcomer”
“Where do you place your significance? Where do you find your value? And if that’s pulled away from you, do you still know who you are?”asked Christian writer and minister Priscilla Shirer, echoing the theme of her latest movie, Overcomer.
Since its arrival in theaters on August 23, Overcomer has gained $8.2 million at the box office during its opening weekend. The faith based film by Alex and Stephen Kendrick “is designed to remind Christians specifically, that our identity is rooted in who God says we are,” according to Shirer.
“Overcomer centers in on a teenage girl (Hannah Scott played by Aryn Wright-Thompson) who struggles with her identity; also, around her coach (John Harrison played by Alex Kendrick). He’s struggling with his identity for different reasons,” said the Christian wife and mother of three.
In an over the phone interview, Shirer had a lot to share when discussing her character, Olivia Brooks, and lessons learned on set; one being her newfound appreciation for continuity. “Wherever the coffee cup was, the coffee cup has got to go back there. And whatever word you said while you were putting down the bowl, that’s exactly what you have to say when you put the bowl down,” she said. She continued, “I appreciated the fact that it took so much work to learn that habit; and that’s true of our lives as well meaning, the same person you are in the dark, has got to be the same person you are in the light. You need to be the same through and through, and that’s something you need to be mindful and thoughtful about to be in character.”
Growing up in the church under her father, Pastor Tony Evans, Shirer understood her characters purpose. “In the middle of this whirlwind of discouragement and disappointment that everybody is facing in this community, (Brook’s)not perfect and she’s not immune to the difficulty, but she’s a little beacon of light in the midst of this whole whirlwind.”
As for her time on set, Shirer surprised herself with her skills and had a great time doing so. “The best part about filming for me, as someone who isn’t a trained actor, is I get the opportunity to have those little butterflies and fear when you realize that God is going to have to pull this off because you don’t have the skills,” she said with a chuckle. “I love being kind of stretched,” she added.
Be sure to head to the theatre to check out the Ephesians 1-2 inspired sports drama, Overcomer and follow the films journey @overcomermovie.