Playing Samuel Allen
Samuel Allen (the role Ehrich was playing), who was a rock and roll singer, struggled with a wild lifestyle for years, including drugs and addiction. At one point, he ended up in jail, but when a judge gave him a second chance, he turned things around.
While Allen and his family had experience substantial pain at the hands of people who called themselves Christians, and this was an antecedent to his drug use, when he became clean of drug use, he started speaking out about the costs of drug addiction at churches and schools.
In this process, Allen became a Christian and was baptized, and he went on to become a preacher like his father had been.
And Allen’s life didn’t just have an impact on the people who heard him speak and preach. He also had an impact on Max Ehrich as he got into the role.
“The movie is one that has had probably the most profound impact on my life of any project I’ve ever done,” shared Ehrich in an interview with CBN.
That’s why when Ehrich was going to be baptized while playing Allen, the actor decided he’d really be baptized on the movie set.
“I was really excited to be baptized,” he said, explaining he’d been a “man of faith” for a long time, but this movie touched him in a new way at a vulnerable time.
He tells KCAL News about his faith experience that led to the baptism here:
Speaking about the impact of the media’s attention on his engagement ending and why he decided to be baptized on the movie set, he said, “It was very public, and people were very intrusive about it. I just felt like I needed the protection of God and Jesus during that time, and I’d say that was one of the many reasons.”
Max Ehrich said his faith helped him get through the difficult time.
“Something that I definitely leaned on was my faith, which is why I’m saying that this movie was super important,” Ehrich said.
And Ehrich apparently believed God put him on that movie set for a reason. “I don’t think that things happen just out of nowhere,” he said. “I think there’s a reason why and I think that, because I got to work on this project, and I have a character that’s overcoming so many things and has an emotional arc, I was able to use for the film.”
When asked about being baptized and his experience with the film, he said, “I really hope a film like this softens people’s hearts a bit and gives us more of a sense of peace inwardly. When we have that sense of peace inwardly, I think it transmutes outwardly as well.”