LOS ANGELES — Hollywood actor Mykelti Williamson, who's best known for his roles in “Forest Gump” and “Fences,” revealed in an interview with The Christian Post that he was going to stop acting and go behind the camera until he read the script for Tim and Robby Tebow's film “Run The Race.”
Williamson said working with the Tebow brothers on their first film was "terrific."
"I have so much respect for them and I had not met them,” Williamson told CP at the “Run The Race” premiere on Feb 11.
After 40 years as an actor, Williamson admitted that he was ready to retire from the silver screen until his manager found “this little faith-based script.”
“I was actually going to stop working as an actor and just direct only,” he said. “After 'Fences,' I was done. My manager said, 'I'll send it (the script) to you.' And I read it and was like, 'Wow, OK. All right. I'm in.’”
The Saint Louis native revealed that faith has always been a part of his life.
"Well, my whole life, my personal life, the wife that I have, the children I have, the career that I have, the creativity that comes to me and flows through me, is all the result of being prayed up and having a faith walk. That's what it is, that's all it is,” Williamson testified.
"Run the Race" shows the bond between two brothers who feel abandoned by their father after their mother's death, and whose dream of a new life seems lost.
The hope of Zach getting a college football scholarship and moving to a new town seems out of reach for him and his brother, David, after a fight leads to a life-altering injury that renders him unable to get back on the field.
In “Run the Race,” the veteran actor plays a coach who encourages the main characters in the film when their father abandons them.
"I think it's important that if young men don't have a father figure in their life, I think it's important as a community that we step up and try to speak, just sprinkle on them,” Williamson continued. “You don't have to be preachy, just kind of sprinkle some good on them and they'll come back for more and that's basically what I wanted to do with this project is emulate some of my own mentors in my life.”
The “Con Air” actor explained that his mentors were a jazz drummer named Carl Burnett and an actor named Leo Johnson. Both men were his neighbors and an “inspiration” to him like the coach was to the boys in the movie.
"It benefited me in my life. And I just wanted to put that image on screen," Williamson said.
In “Run the Race,” Williamson stars alongside Tanner Stine ("NCIS," HBO's "Here & Now") as Zach; Evan Hofer ("Kickin' It") as David; Kristoffer Polaha who plays the boys' father; and Frances Fisher ("Titanic") as their surrogate mother.
Produced by the Tebow brothers, “Run the Race” hits theaters on Friday.
For more information about the film, written by Chris Dowling ("Where Hope Grows"); Jake McEntire and Jason Baumgardner, visit RuntheRaceMovie.com.