‘No Vacancy’ star Dean Cain talks faith, reliance on God: 'If you're doing the right thing, never give up'
During the toughest seasons in his life, actor Dean Cain said he relies on his faith and turns to God to get him through.
The star of “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” plays Pastor Cliff Lea in the new film “No Vacancy,” which tells the true story of a congregation that transforms an entire community by renovating a motel and turning it into a homeless shelter called the Good Samaritan Inn.
The film follows a “jaded reporter demoted to a rural news bureau who finds her cynicism slowly transformed as she befriends a recovering addict and writes about a church struggling to purchase a motel for homeless families,” reads the film's synopsis.
Premiering May 9 in more than 700 cinemas nationwide, Cain is joined on screen by actress Sean Young (“Blade Runner”) and actor T.C. Stallings (“War Room”). Cain said he was drawn to the film because it was a true story, and many of the people involved in making the film were beneficiaries of the Good Samaritan Inn spearheaded by First Baptist Leesburg in Leesburg, Florida.
"So you see lots of these folks walking around, and you talk to them, and you realize how they've been helped and what they've done. A lot of people were working on the film, and you realize that they have their own story, and this has helped them,” Cain recounted in a video interview with The Christian Post.
The main story of the film, according to Cain, is that of Cecil Johnson, whose story is portrayed by Stallings. “Cecil Johnson had a heck of a story,” he declared.
Johnson was down and out, suicidal and a drug addict who had no faith when he was approached by a man who would take him to the Good Samaritan Inn. Now he's beloved by the community and a follower of Christ. Cain plays Pastor Lea, the minister who was on the front lines working to purchase the vacant motel and get planning approval to renovate the building as a homeless shelter that saved Johnson and the lives of hundreds more.
The actor said it was "impossible" not to be inspired while filming at The Good Samaritan Inn.
The inspiration factor is "very consistent throughout making faith-based films," he said. "That's one of the reasons I started doing that when my son was born. Then [when he] got a little bit older, and was able to come on set with me and see things or watch my films, [he was] able to take away a positive, uplifting message."
Much like the example of Johnson's life, Cain credited his faith for sustaining him through life's most challenging moments.
"There are so many conversations I've had with God at the toughest points and times of my life, and there's nowhere else to turn if you don't have that faith,'' The "God's Not Dead" actor stressed. "I feel bad for someone who doesn't. And maybe it takes those moments to find Him."
Cain added that his pursuit of God has been "a wonderful journey," especially with his son. Once he was born, Cain started thinking much more seriously about faith and someone being more important than himself.
"I remember I had explained to him when he was 5-years-old that one day he's going to die, and he couldn't sleep and I had to sit outside with him on my lap," Cain recalled.
"Then it comes back around right at us, what you've been teaching your child, and then suddenly they have more strength than you or they give you that strength," he added.
In "No Vacancy," the pastor and his members faced opposition when they tried to buy the motel, but they stood firm and didn't back down from what they believed God had called them to do. Cain said they set an example for others not to allow challenges and disappointment to deter them from their mission.
"All you can do is keep moving forward," Cain advised. "You're going to meet that opposition, and whether you say it's the devil doing it, or you believe that's the case or not, you're going to have to fight that battle."
"To see the whole community come together to support [the Good Samaritan Inn], it's the kind of thing that you can't even put into words," he continued. "And the community did come together and did something completely wonderful," he added.
The film also shows the power of influence that the media wields.
"Sean Young, who plays Brandy Michaels, her character is that person in the media who wouldn't care about it whatsoever," Cain said. "She starts off in that place, and then has to go to Leesburg and cover this feel-good story church thing that she doesn't care about. And then her own life gets changed as her eyes are opened. She sees that even within her own family, her own brother is a victim, in that sense. For her to change, and then put that out there [in the media] is wonderful.
"Then for the community to see it, it's a wonderful story," he added. "The media is hugely important. That's why I like to make these films, because if it changes one person's heart, 10 people's heart, or reaffirms something or maybe opens somebody's eyes, then it's worth it."
There's a line in the film where Johnson asked the reporter if she believed in angels because he believed that the man that took him to the Good Samaritan Inn was, in fact, an angel.
Cain told CP that while he also believes in angels, he doesn't know if he's ever encountered one: "I don't know that I've encountered an angel, but you never know. ... "I just don't know where in my life they've been. But I live a very blessed life. And so I imagine it's happened a number of times along the way."
The actor ended his interview with CP by offering advice to those who have a calling but are feeling discouraged.
"It's the same advice I give anybody about filmmaking or about life, it's to never give up, Cain said. "If you're doing the right thing and you believe in what you're doing, never give up! You're going to hit those hurdles, nothing wonderful ever comes easily.
"I look back at all of the things in my life where I've become super successful. I really doubted whether I could get them done, whether I could make it," he added. "I took on more than I thought I could handle but it's all those moments where I stepped up and did it that have led to all of the biggest successes in my life.
"I think that's true for Pastor Lea, my character in this film, there's no way he was about to get this done. It just couldn't have happened. It was over. He knew it was done, but he felt like that was what he was called to do. Then suddenly, it happens," Cain said.
"So for anybody out there who is wondering if they're doing the right thing, if it's right in your heart, and you know you're helping other people, carry on, because eventually, it will happen."
To learn more about "No Vacancy," visit the film's website.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.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