'Instant Family' Will Pull Your Heartstrings in a Good Way

What started as an older man’s joke about wanting to adopt a five-year-old instead of starting from scratch, Instant Family was inspired by writer and director Sean Anders’ real-life family. Pete (Mark Wahlberg) “accidentally” makes the joke to his wife Ellie (Rose Byrne) not wanting to be become that “old dad” everyone knows and before you know it, the two are traveling down to road toward foster care adoptions. After numerous classes taught by two caseworkers (Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro), the two meet three kids at a “foster fair” gathering. Lizzy (Isabela Moner) is the 15-year-old older sister who has protectively looked after her younger siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) while their mother has been incarcerated. She’s a tough cookie with trust issues. Juan is both accident prone and highly sensitive and Lita is super sweet as long as she gets to eat potato chips at every meal. Almost overnight they become an “instant family” and everything g…

Football All-Star, LaDanian Tomlinson, Becomes Movie Star

LaDanian Tomlinson in "God Bless the Broken Road"
LaDanian Tomlinson in "God Bless the Broken Road" (10 West Studios)
In 1979, LaDanian Tomlinson was born. In 1997, he attended Texas Christian University and played for the Horned Frogs where he won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back, and was a finalist for the 2000 Heisman Trophy. In 2001, the San Diego Chargers selected him for the NFL Draft. By the time he left he was ranked eighth among NFL career rushing leaders with 12,490 yards, ranked second with 138 career rushing touchdowns, third with 153 total touchdowns and he became the fastest player to reach 150 career touchdowns. In 2010, he signed a two-year contract with the New York Jets where during his time he became the 6th player in NFL history to reach 18,000 yards from scrimmage. In 2018 he became a movie star.

Tomlinson plays a pastor of a woman whose life falls apart after her husband dies in combat in the faith-based movie, God Bless the Broken Road opening in theaters this weekend. By watching Tomlinson on screen, you might be surprised to learn that he’s never acted before. So, how did he come about coming on board for the film?

Q: “What went through your mind when you were asked if you wanted to be a part of God Bless the Broken Road?"

A: “A friend of over 15 years is the Executive Producer of the film and I received a phone call from him out of the blue. He asked if I wanted to be in a movie. He thought the pastor role would be perfect for me. I read the script and loved it. Then he told me they had a relationship with the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and a portion of the proceeds from the film would benefit our disabled vets. When I saw the generosity of the film makers that sealed it, I was in. That's why I want everyone to see this film. The more successful this film is, the more veterans we can help and serve.”

Q: “I heard that you were a natural on set and that everyone was impressed. How did you feel about it? Can you describe your first day in front of the camera?”

A: “Everyone has been very kind, especially for my first time acting. Man, I was nervous. This was brand new to me. The first day was a lot like my first game playing for the Chargers. I was nervous, scared; but at the same time ready to go. I tried to funnel all of the anxiety into positive energy to go out and do it.”

Q: “I undestand that your mother is a baptist preacher. I’m guessing that is where you drew your inspiration for role came from. True?”

A: “Yes, absolutely. I leaned on my Mother for about 60% of my inspiration. The other 40% came from the great direction from Harold Cronk. He is amazing and he got the best out of me.”

Q: “Are you open to doing more acting work or do you think this was a one time gig for you?”

A: “I would consider acting again. It will have to be the right movie and the right role, but I will certainly listen if someone is interested in me.”

Q: “What do you hope people take away with them after watching this film?”

A: “I'm glad you asked this question. Life is hard and unfair, especially in the times we live in now. This movie will bring hope to people. We can receive that hope by keeping our faith and trust in God. This movie will build your faith and hope in God. I think everyone needs that today.”

God Bless the Broken Road opens on September 7, 2018. Watch the trailer here.

Related: Director Shares His Heart for Christians and Veterans in New Film

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