- (Photo: Rebel Pilgrim Productions)
Christian filmmaker Joe Boyd has opened up about his latest exciting new comedy, "A Strange Brand of Happy."
Coming to theaters in just a few months, the film addresses serious questions about life and love that are rolled out in a message about God.
Boyd, who stars in the film, revealed to The Christian Post that he also helped create it.
In an effort to provide audiences with a meaningful message as well as quality entertainment, the actor and his longtime creative partner Brad Wise worked on the idea of "A Strange Brand of Happy" for over three years.
"We joke because less than 95 percent of the first draft made it to the screen, but the theme remained," Boyd told CP in an email. "Basically, we wanted to tell a story about an unhappy guy who loses his job and is forced to actually think about the meaning of life a little bit."
"We wanted him to discover that in pursuing that thing inside of you that gives you a strange brand of happy, you find yourself … and maybe even find God there too," the actor added.
Additionally, Boyd noted that being a Christian filmmaker in Hollywood has its benefits as well as drawbacks.
"In some ways, it's great to be a Christian filmmaker because the Hollywood system has seen that faith movies can make money," said the "Devil Girl" star.
However, Boyd went on to recount an unusual experience with a studio Vice President and atheist who once tried to lecture him on what Christians believe and which films they need to see. As a result, the evangelical seminary-trained pastor-turned-filmmaker clarified that his films are not as "sanitized and religious feeling" as the Hollywood VP wanted, and cited the widespread success of "Fireproof."
"Truth is, we'd like to make movies that someone who liked 'Fireproof' could see and enjoy alongside others who liked 'Office Space' or 'Bernie' or 'Little Miss Sunshine,'" said the actor. "It's harder than you might think to keep both sides happy."
As for "A Strange Brand of Happy," Boyd said the funny romantic comedy would provide entertainment for both people of faith and spiritual seekers without being "preachy or cheesy or heavy-handed."
"If you want to have a deep spiritual conversation after watching it, you could ... Or you could just go grab some ice cream and call it a night," the producer imparted.
Boyd noted that he was a reluctant star in the film, which also sees Rebecca St. James, Marty Ingels, and Academy Award-winner Shirley Jones.
"I tried to find a name to replace me several times, but [the director Brad Wise] wouldn't have it," admitted the ordained minister-turned-actor. "In the end, I'm very proud of my performance, but I went in kicking and screaming a bit."
Lastly, Boyd said that for him, the most important of all the messages found in the film is about finding God.
"If you seek God you eventually will find Him … and God isn't necessarily always in a big hurry to be found," he told CP.
"A Strange Brand of Happy" will hit select theaters on September 13. For more information, visit strangehappymovie.com.
The film has been approved by Dove for kids ages 12 and up.