When our culture mentions a ‘War Room’, it evokes an image of the National Military Command Center, where emergency decisions are made to defend American people and soil. But as Christians, we know our greatest strength is in the power of prayer! War Room, the highly anticipated film from the Kendrick Brothers (Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants), is honest and vulnerable as it centers on a middle class couple who appears to have it all, but whose marriage has become a war zone with their daughter in the midst.
The extraordinary cast, including award-winning actress Karen Abercrombie, brings a depth of spirit, soul, and wisdom to their performances. The film also features New York Times best-selling author Priscilla Shirer (“Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks”) in her acclaimed film debut. Producer/Director Alex Kendrick also appears in the film, along with T.C. Stallings (Courageous), and Christian comedian Michael Jr.
Abercrombie exhibits a quiet but powerful strength in the coveted roll of the soft-spoken widow Aunt Clara. Also a singer-songwriter and a Parent’s Choice Award winning storyteller, Karen Abercrombie has been active in film (she has featured roles in My Name Is Paul and Mountain Top), and television for over 15 years. Besides founding and running the movie production company Handmaiden Entertainment, Karen teaches theater at Angels Take Flight Children’s Theater in North Carolina.
Karen Abercrombie shares her heart on this uplifting family film with Sonoma Christian Home, SCH Editor at Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: Karen, you give a beautiful performance as Miss Clara in War Room. You bring a depth of character that is amazing. Have you performed old-soul, wise women before?
KA: Yes, I have had the privilege of playing older, wise women in other productions. I love performing them because the older person often has a depth of backstory to bring to the character that younger characters sometimes do not.
SCH: How has God been preparing you for the role of Aunt Clara?
KA: He has prepared me through old-soul roles, such as Aunt Ester Tyler in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean and Miss Leah in Flyin’ West. These are 3-dimensional characters with the wisdom and insight of the old-soul, African-American woman.
SCH: What do you see God doing with faith-based movies, television, or other media in the future and in our culture?
KA: The quality is becoming better and better. Prayer is critical. As we fall to our knees to align with Him, God is bending down to us, giving us newer and newer opportunities because of His grace. Christian, faith-based movies are meeting people where they are, and giving us a glimpse of Himself as a multi-faceted diamond.
SCH: What is it like to work with the Kendrick brothers?
KA: With the Kendrick brothers, as well as with the cast and crew, there was a prayerful, sweet, familial atmosphere that was full of respect, fun, and humor.
SCH: How do you relate to the theme of prayer in the movie? Has prayer been personal and meaningful to you?
KA: I have always been a person of praise to God. But now I have become of person of constant prayer.
SCH: How has the character of Clara inspired you?
KA: She has inspired me to be constant in prayer and dedicated to mentoring. I have always mentored young people, but now I am also specifically mentoring a couple of them.
SCH: Is there a specific person in your life that inspired you as you created Clara?
KA: Yes, my 88 year old aunt, who has had what she calls ‘the Sunshine Band’ for community outreach and service.
SCH: How will this movie speak to the world today?
KA: With its prominently African-American cast it crosses over and shows that the Christian faith and life are universal.
SCH: What are you doing now?
KA: I am working on a theater piece, Child Bella, about a homeless artist. I hope it will challenge pre-mature judgement about homeless people, and increase our ability to be empathetic with the community.
SCH: What do you see is ahead for you in the future?
KA: I am working on family-friendly films with rich characters, geared towards youth.
SCH: Thank you for your work and impact. We can’t wait for the movie!
War Room that comes to theaters August 28 focuses on the power of prayer in every area of life: marriage, parenting, career, friendship and more. Another primary theme is the significance of mentoring and discipleship.
Rated PG, War Room is a family-friendly movie that focuses on how prayer can transform even the bleakest, darkest situations. “We made this film to inspire, challenge, and motivate viewers to fight the right kind of battles and to fight the right kind of battles and to fight them the best way possible,” said Alex Kendrick, the movie’s director and co-writer.
War Room is the first movie that the Kendrick brothers have produced independently of Sherwood Pictures, which has been the successful filmmaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. The cast includes: New York Times bestselling author and Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer in her movie debut, Alex Kendrick (Mom’s Night Out, Courageous), T.C. Stallings (Courageous), comedian Michael Jr., and renowned Bible teacher Beth Moore in a cameo in her first acting role.
Those who are interested in War Room and find that it is not scheduled for their towns or local theaters, can bring the movie to their areas by first going to Moviegrouptickets.com. It releases August 28, 2015.
For more information go to War Room.com