(Photo: The Christian Post)
The latest project by Michael Landon Jr. "The Ultimate Life" has emerged onto the Hollywood film scene with a welcome family-oriented message this year.
While still in production, the upcoming film will offer both a sequel and a prequel to the 2007 acclaimed film "The Ultimate Gift" where we met Red Stevens, a successful businessman who was forced to accept his dysfunctional family with regret. In an attempt to preserve his life's legacy and rectify his family, Red leaves a series of gifts and his multibillion-dollar foundation to his grandson, Jason.
"The Ultimate Life" takes place three years later, when Jason is struggling to maintain his marriage and his grandfather's foundation all while facing a lawsuit from greedy relatives.
Just when Jason reaches the end of his rope, he receives a never-before-seen journal penned by his beloved grandfather. Red's writing takes Jason through poverty, doubts, hardship, and success- and leads him to "The Ultimate Life."
Rick Eldridge and David Kappes are serving as producers, while actors Drew Waters, Peter Fonda, and Logan Bartholomew star in the film.
The Christian Post had the opportunity to visit the set of the film in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the stars including Waters were hard at work.
Best known for his role on "Friday Night Lights," Waters told CP that we was able to draw from personal experience for his role as Red on "The Ultimate Life."
"My dad was a workaholic- a great man, but he worked a lot and thought providing for us [was more important] than being at home," said the actor. "I remembered when I was growing up wanting him around more and him not understanding [what we wanted]."
As for his character, Waters drew a comparison between his father and Red.
"Family is important to him but as long as he is providing, he shouldn't have to worry about that side, that's what family is for," said the actor. "Red is focused on one thing only, making money, and Red can't understand why his family isn't happy because he's doing everything for them and for himself."
Waters also explained that parenthood has taught him to become a more passionate person. His late start at an acting career occurred after realizing the true meaning behind the advice he offered his daughters.
"'You can be anything you want to be, dream big,'" Waters recounted telling his children. "I woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror and realized I was chasing money. Right then and there I decided I'm going to chase my passion and show my kids that its ok and that it's never too late to live your life with passion instead of chasing money."
Furthermore, the "Home Run" star noted his deep faith in Christianity. However, Waters admitted that he avoids the heavier Christian film projects.
"I don't want to preach to anybody, I want the audience to feel the undertones," Waters explained. "You can relay [the message] and let them think about it and if they do that, they'll hold onto it longer and start asking more questions. But if you push something on them I feel that it drives them away."
As for the director of " The Ultimate Life" Michael Landon Jr., the actor had only praise.
"He's an actor's director by all means," said Waters of "Bonanza" star Michael Landon's son.
"The Ultimate Life" is expected for release this fall, but in the meantime, stay up-to-date on the film on The Christian Post.