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Emmy-winning actor Kelsey Grammer to portray Pastor Chuck Smith in ‘Jesus Revolution’ film

Kelsey Grammer
Actor Kelsey Grammer is set to star in “Jesus Revolution.” |

Actor Kelsey Grammer, known for his role in the popular sitcom “Fraiser,” is headed to the pulpit for his new role in “Jesus Revolution,” an upcoming film inspired by the true story of the national spiritual awakening that swept Southern California in the early 1970s.

Along with Grammer, a five-time Emmy winner, the film stars “The Chosen’s” Jonathan Roumie, Joel Courtney (“Super 8”), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“According to Jim”), Anna Grace Barlow and Nicholas Cirillo. Others listed in the cast include Ally Ioannides, Julia Campbell, Nic Bishop and Jolie Jenkins.

“In the 1970s, young Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney) sets out to redefine truth through all means of liberation, and instead, meets Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie), a charismatic hippie street preacher,” Reads the film synopsis. “Laurie and Frisbee, along with Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer), open the doors of Smith’s languishing church to an unexpected revival by way of rock and roll, newfound love, and a twist of faith leading to aJesus Revolution that changed the world.”

In a statement to The Christian Post, Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship based in Riverside who has held evangelistic crusade events at stadiums across the country for over 30 years, expressed his excitement over the film. 

“This film is not primarily about Chuck Smith, Lonnie Frisbee, Cathe Laurie, or me. It’s about how Jesus moved and sent a spiritual awakening in our lives that is still being felt today,” Laurie said.

“I am honored to have such a talented, venerated cast and crew tell this story that is so near to my heart and changed my life and our country for eternity. The Jesus Movement was the last great American spiritual awakening. Some historians have said it was the greatest revival of all time. Now, I’m praying for another in our time.” 

Grammer will portray Pastor Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Laurie’s mentor. The minister famously opened his church to all seekers and was instrumental in launching one of the largest spiritual revivals in the United States.

“Jesus has been a profound influence in my life. I am proud to be a part of this film,” Grammar shared in a statement with CP.

“Jesus Revolution” is a Kingdom Story film in collaboration with Lionsgate. It will be directed by filmmakers Jon Erwin (“I Can Only Imagine,” “American Underdog”) and Brent McCorkle and produced by Kevin Downes. The film was written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn.

In a past statement, the Erwin Brothers said the film’s content is timely today.  

“This is a fascinating true story about how young people gravitated toward a spiritual movement that erupted during a time that our country was being torn apart and couldn’t be more divided,” the Erwin Brothers said. “Its themes are just as timely and topical today as they were in the late ’60s.”

Jon Erwin added that though the movie is “set in a very specific time and place,” the “theme of finding a deeper meaning to life, in the midst of a fractured and broken world, is timeless.”

“In his iconic performances, Kelsey has a proven ability to connect with audiences in a real, vulnerable way, which will make him a tremendous presence in this film,” he added.

Filming for “Jesus Revolution” begins in March 2022 in Mobile, Ala., and then Los Angeles in April.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: jeannie.law@christianpost.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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